Evernote, the Eternal Operating System

by Mike Shea on 12 December 2009

So I'm trying Evernote...again. I've tried it and dumped it before but I seem to keep coming back to it. It continues to show up as I search for the thousand-year archive of one's digital self.

If you're new to Evernote, it's a small database of pictures, text, web clips, and all sorts of other digital junk that you want to store and retrieve. It's not really much of a publishing platform, more like a personal database of all your digital junk. It syncs across your mac or windows machine, your iphone, and on the web so your digital junk is available anywhere.

I used it to store flight information for our trip to Boston for Thanksgiving. I'm using it to store some notes for future D&D games. Tonight I used it to write a journal entry instead of writing in my large lined Moleskine.

Evernote is a great software-based universal capturing device. It grabs digital stuff (including camera-phone pics), stores it for you, synchs it across all of your machines, and lets you find it later.

Since I've last tried it, they've picked up a bunch of features critical to my use such as exporting to HTML. All great software must include a way to export it out in a usable format. In this case its HTML - per entry or all in one file.

I started thinking about whether Evernote is the object-based operating system we'd always considered. It doesn't hold everything, but it can hold a lot of the random junk we throw around our PCs. If its scale grew, we could throw all our pictures, music, video, mail, and other crap into it. Perhaps thats what we already have on our hard drives today. Maybe Evernote is simply the scrap-book that replaces the dozens of random text files and saved items sitting around on our drives.

Still, it's an impressive tool, if a bit open in scope. I plan to give it a much greater workout than I've given it in the past - maybe a full month of extensive use.

Is it the thousand-year digital archive of our lives? Is it the Probably a bit early to tell, but it has a lot to like.