IBJOpinion

COTA: Evernote aims to be Google for your brain

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Jim Cota

I discovered an infographic recently that said, “Google receives more than 2,000,000 search queries” and, “Facebook users share more than 684,000 pieces of content.”

Staggering numbers? Consider this: Those numbers represent what happens every minute of every day.

Every minute.

We’re generating more information at a faster rate than ever before. Yet I don’t know anyone who feels as if their memory is improving. We’ve all become fairly adept searchers. But Google isn’t going to help us find the recipe for Grandma’s Cinnamon Rolls or the clothing sizes for our kids.

For a couple of years now, I’ve been using Evernote (www.evernote.com) to store all kinds of information, and I still have trouble explaining exactly what it is. It’s a filing cabinet to supplement your memory. It’s a bucket for anything and everything, with the ability to pull out random connections between items to help you retrieve the information—much like pulling out the data from inside your mind. It’s like Google for your own brain.

The whole exercise began with CEO Phil Libin, who had been considering how our memories work. How do we remember something, like the name of a restaurant? The trigger might be thinking about whom you were with when you heard about it, where you were, what else you were doing at the time, or a related word or image. From these bits and pieces, we can often dredge up a forgotten but important thought. But not always.

Libin realized we needed something better than our own brains. We needed an electronic memory—somewhere we could put in information in any form, be it a typed document, a handwritten note, a photo, a website, a spoken conversation. The trick would be instantly retrieving the information on any of your devices on the fly without worrying about how to organize it. The result, says Libin, is your brain offloaded to a server.

“When people want to capture a thought, they don’t want to stop what they’re doing,” he says. They want to find whatever it is whenever they need it, as effortlessly and intuitively as we now find things using Google. “Google is great, but it only knows about public information,” says Libin. “We needed something that could handle your information.” More important, you wouldn’t need to remember much about what exactly you were looking for. As with your brain, what you would need is only a vague clue—like a person, a place, a word, a time. Evernote is the tool that makes the connection. And with its growing suite of complementary applications, it’s working hard to become the absolute repository of everything you might ever want to remember.

Evernote can store meeting and class notes, voice memos, web pages, photos (including text that is automatically recognized and indexed for searching), receipts, product manuals, warranty information, phone numbers, and on and on. You can put information into Evernote directly, clip it from web pages, upload photos, send it via e-mail, or use third-party applications to automatically insert. It’s great for parents, students and people in business. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be a demographic that wouldn’t benefit from having instant access to its own memories.

There are native applications for both Windows and Mac desktops, smartphones and most tablets. All of them sync over the Internet to keep everything, everywhere up to date (and regularly backed up). So far, the strategy is working. Evernote’s feature-rich completely free version surpassed 15 million users late last year.•

__________

Cota is president and co-founder of Rare Bird Inc., a marketing communications firm specializing in Internet application development. His column appears monthly. He can be reached at jim@rarebirdinc.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Angela IS the best RD

  2. We are a nation of speed. All of our younger lives are filled with deadlines, quotas and bottom lines. We start to ease out of the pressured rat-race when we finally see "retirement." The most enjoyable travel on the planet is passenger rail service. Indy to Chicago does not beat Megabus or Southwest Airlines in speed. Passenger rail however has the best seating, mammoth legroon, seat backs that recline to more than 45 degrees and employers that really want you to return as a customer. Indiana municipalities need to maintain subsidies to support this transportation mode. Losing it is loss for all of us.

  3. Good day! I just want to testify how i got my loan from Mr. Eric Lefkofsky after i applied several times from various loan lenders who claimed to also testify right in this forum,i thought the testimonies where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan. Until a friend of mine introduce me to this popular Mr. Eric Lefkofsky who promised to help me and indeed he did as he promised without any form of delay. I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr. Eric lefkofsky who indeed helped me with the loan and changed my belief. I promised to share this testimony after I got my loan. I don't know if you are in any way in need of a genuine and urgent loan,free feel to contact Mr. Eric Lefkofsky via their email{grouponfunding@hotmail.com}

  4. Its a THUG issue. Bleecker Street and NYX are thug bars. They attract thugs of all races. Places that attract thugs need to be kicked out of Broad Ripple. Ain't nobody got time for that!

  5. Hello everyone, My name is Marian Gareth, I am from the Texas, United State, am here to testify of how i got my loan from Mr Andre Frank {frankloancompany@yahoo.com} after i applied Two times from various loan lenders who claimed to be lenders right in this forum,i thought their lending where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan.Until a friend of mine introduce me to Mr Andre Frank the C.E.O of Andre Frank Loan Company who promised to help me with a loan of my desire and he really did as he promised without any form of delay, I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr Andre Frank, who really help me with my loan and changed my lief for better. I don't know if you are in need of an urgent loan, free feel to contact Mr Andre Frank on his email{ Frankloancompany@yahoo.com} for help

ADVERTISEMENT