From Evernote Back to Backpack

I’ve been a longtime Evernote member going back to March ’08 (and then a paying Premium member since June ’08 shortly after they opened that functionality), but I just can’t figure out the best way to integrate the service into my workflow.  I’ve certainly tried because I do see so much potential in the product.

However, since I’ve been trying to do most everything using only web apps and my iPhone, I’ve had a tougher time using Evernote. The Mac desktop client is beautiful and easy to use. The Windows desktop client less so. But it’s the web interface that just isn’t working for me (and that is the most important one at this point since I can’t install the desktop client on my locked-down school Macbook).

So, I’m going back to Backpack (in the old days, I would have used my affiliate link for the program there with a little disclosure) for workflow management. The web interface is fantastic (and familiar), I can easily email in material, create seperate pages, feel secure, integrate easily with GMail, Google Calendar and be completely web-based. 

However, the killer app Backpack has going for it is the Journal feature:

I’m using it for product management, status updates to myself and as a “private twitter” etc. It’s like the anti-social bookmarketing site Pinboard for micro-messaging.

The problem that has plagued Backpack (and the whole suite of 37Signals products such as Basecamp and Highrise) is the lack of iPhone apps or integration.  That’s been solved by a nifty app called Satchel.  Yes, it costs $10, but it’s well worth the price. Satchel is speedy, works “offline” (whatever that means anymore), and intuitive. I can also easily update my Journal through Satchel. Plus, there are hacks and apps for getting Backpack to work well as a web app (like GMail) on the iPhone if preferred.

So, between Backpack’s web apps and Satchel, I’m very happy (and productive).

I’ll explain more on today’s Thinking.FM podcast episode. 

2 thoughts on “From Evernote Back to Backpack”

  1. I’m not sure about the Mac version, but the Windows Evernote client has an option to install to a flash drive (I think its through the Tools menu) Once you do that, you can run Evernote as a portable app on a locked-down computer (unless it’s in kiosk mode, but it probably isn’t.) It will keep a local copy of your database on the flash drive (hint: manually copying the file from your desktop will save som syncing time and bandwidth.) I use Evernote Portable on the computers at my University all the time. Also, Evernote does have an iPhone app.Incidentally, Firefox Portable ( is a great way to keep all your bookmarks, settings and extensions with you as well.

  2. Yep, I know and use Portable Apps.And yep, this Macbook is in kiosk mode, so you can't even run Portable Adium or Portable Evernote. Alas, I'm bound to the web!

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