April 11, 2008 - Phil Hodgen

Evernote beta

I fired up a copy of my Evernote beta test over the weekend. I want to try it because I need an “everywhere” capture/organize tool. At the moment I use Backpack.

My experience with Evernote so far is not good. It was easy to sign in, but upon being presented with the screen, it wasn’t entirely easy to understand what to do. I will have to go back to it because my tolerance for ineptitude was at zero, so I can’t say I gave Evernote a decent shot.

Here’s what I want to do, and how Evernote measured up to Backpack.

1. Capture information.

Evernote seems to capture all types of information in ways that I don’t need: photos, sound. The projects I work on typically don’t need this.

To give you an example of what I do with Backpack, I will use it to share information on a specific project with people. Typical projects where it has worked well include website upgrades.

I also use Backpack as a place to park information useful only to myself. I have a page with logins for various web services. No matter where I am, I can log on and find the CPanel username/password combo I need.

Backpack does this easily enough.

2. Learning curve is flat, downhill-sloping.

Backpack is certainly intuitive. If you are presented with the Backpack home page, you don’t have to think too long about what to do. Your next step is usually self-evident.

Evernote is, well, let’s just say that I swore like a pirate.

Do I really need Evernote or Backpack?

The bigger question is whether I even need Evernote or Backpack?

Username/password combinations are stored securely in SplashID on my BlackBerry. There’s no equivalent for the iPhone that I can see. Yet.

The “sharing of data with remote project team members” question is a bit harder to handle. Email works, but poorly. A web-based solution is easily the best. So for the moment I use Backpack. But I have downgraded my account to the free one. This tells me that Backpack is not as useful to me as it could be.

In the coming months I will be looking at a variety of other methods to operate–heavy duty/enterprise-level and lightweight/individual sized.