Sometimes ideas are brought to me, and other times I just sit down and start writing about something that’s floating in my head. Unfortunately, most of the time when I get my great ideas, I’m not conveniently sitting behind my computer. In that situation, a lot of writers would use notepads to scribble down an idea. But come on, paper is so 1997; besides I’m pretty sure my handwriting isn’t even legible. So, I found a digital alternative: Evernote for Android.
Note: For writing this post I used Evernote for Android on a Samsung Galaxy S i9000 with Froyo, but it should work and look similar on other Android devices.
Setting Up Evernote
Go to Evernote.com and add an account. When your done, you can use the web version, or you could download the desktop version here. But, what we are going to talk about is the Evernote mobile app, which is free in the Android Market.
Once you have it up, enter your account details and log in. For me, this only took two steps in the Android app.
Now let’s set up a widget. Go to one of your homescreens and perform a long-press on an open spot. Tap Widgets, scroll down to Evernote and select it. Presto! That’s all there is to it. Now you are just one step away from easy-street to notes and reminders.
Everything you put into Evernote comes in the form of a note. Notes come in real handy when you are walking about and discover something note-worthy (pun intended!). For example: You see a little unknown bug that’s making a weird sound. You want to know what sort of bug it is and blog about your amazing find. So, you just press the little Evernote camera widget button*, make the shot, press save, and you are done. Later on, you can sit behind your pc and write a fantastic research paper about that little annoying critter.
*Alternatively, you can also open the camera app on your phone, make the shot and share it to Evernote. When a new note opens, fill in the blanks and you are done.
Using Evernote to find inspiration
Aside from writing, my other passion is photography. In Evernote, I’ve made a note full of topics that I want to photograph or write about. Whenever I need inspiration, I just open up this particular note and Evernote makes my topic list easily accessible. Additionally, I can quickly delete a topic from the note whenever I’ve written or photographed it.
Another great way to get topics for writing is by reading; books, blogs, news, magazines, labels on your dishwasher soap, you name it. Whatever makes you excited is a great place to start. A lot of stuff I like to blog about comes from the internet via my Android RSS reader, Pulse. Once you figure out how to add custom feeds to it, Pulse is the greatest thing to happen to RSS since Google Reader. You can use Evernote in combination with Pulse, and with some groovy results; I’ll show you below.
Combine Evernote with Pulse to note your RSS subscriptions
Open Pulse and start reading, that’s the simple part. But, when you find something that you like, you might not want to read the full story on your phone’s shoddy 3G connection. Pulse gives you the option to share the article in many ways, and that is where the magic happens. Press the dotted icon in the bottom right of the corner, and then share the story to Evernote.
Now here comes the fun part. Once you’ve shared a story to Evernote you’ll find yourself in a note containing the excerpt of the story along with a link to the full article. Here you can do much more then simply editing the note. For example: You can put the note in a pre-defined notebook, add tags to the note, add picutres, or even insert sounds into the note. Those last two won’t come in handy if the note is about something you want to read, but still, it’s a groovy option to have.
Seamlessly continue work from your computer
When you are done, save the note, close the Evernote app and carry on with whatever you were doing. When you get home, open Evernote on your computer. Bam, everything you were reading and noting is now on your big screen and you can continue (or start) working without losing any momentum.
I like to blog, and I like to read. As a result, I like to blog about almost everything I read. And for me, making notes and grabbing photo’s was never so easy and fast!
What do you think!? Will Evernote be a great addition to your work-flow?