Best App for Taking Notes
Worth A Thousand Words: Add text, photo, or voice notes. Photos are especially easy ways to grab info from menus, books, sticky notes, or museum wall text—Evernote recognizes and indexes any text or handwriting in your pictures. Alas, Evernote doesn't transcribe speech, but its voice memos are still convenient ways to leave yourself a reminder. Record up to five minutes per note, and play them back when you're ready.
Leave The Marker At Home: Evernote does its work in business-like Helvetica instead of the funky Marker Felt font preferred by the built-in Notes app. You can also flip it on its side to edit in landscape view. Photos and recorded audio appear as attachments to a regular note; add descriptive text, or give it tags to add your own personal categories to the note. When you're done, the app saves the note in your evernote.com account.
Head In The Cloud: Because everything's kept online, you need Internet access to consult all notes except those marked as favorites, which the app thoughtfully keeps around for offline viewing. Evernote lets you open and read attached documents, just as you would in the Mail app but with a catch: Free evernote.com accounts let you work only with PDF, images, and audio. Adding other file types requires a $5/month premium account.
Search Me: As your notebook bulges to hundreds or thousands of notes, Evernote's search engine shines. Here, a search picks up text from a Web clipping and a book title, but things get even more interesting when you search by location, since the app records where you took each note. Take a photo of a wine label at a restaurant, and the next time you're there, search for nearby notes to recall the name of that tasty Burgundy.
Version reviewed: 2.0
Far more than a notepad, Evernote is a self-organizing file cabinet for all the info you care to keep. It's Google for your brain. Chuck anything into it, and Evernote's search finds it for you. It even reads text in photos; snap a business card or scribbled note, and fetch it later with a text search. Notes are stored at evernote.com, so you can also get at 'em on the Web or with free desktop software, where you can also add files to your personal archive.
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