Sam Harrelson



Sam Harrelson

“Worlds colliding, Jerry!”

This is interesting… Dropbox and Google Drive have always been competitors (in my mind and usage), but it seems like Dropbox is taking on the “internet scale storage system” that Dave Winer mentioned on Twitter… more like competition with Evernote?


Dropbox users will be able to create, open, edit, save, and share Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides directly from Dropbox. And when you’re working in Dropbox, you’ll be able to save Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides to your Dropbox account.

Source: Working with Google Cloud to bring all your work together | | Dropbox Blog




How to use Evernote

We all need another brain to remember things and even remind us later. Evernote basically accomplishes that for me.

I’ve been a fan and user of Evernote for (over?) 10 years now. Here’s a nifty guide for using the app in ways that even I found valuable:

You’re just getting started with Evernote, and you’re asked to create your first note. What do you do with it? Make a shopping list? Write a poem? Plan your life? A blank page offers endless possibilities. Here are some cool ideas you can use to make that first note—and all the notes to follow—matter.

Source: 38 Things You Should Save in Evernote




Thoughts on Evernote’s price hike

Evernote

Evernote has been one of the leading note-taking services for some time, with clients for the Web and every major OS. The company recently announced sweeping changes to its “freemium” pricing strategy, which puts a big limit on the “free” tier and raises prices across the board for new and existing users.

Source: Evernote limits free tier to two devices, raises prices 40%

I’ve been an Evernote user since March 28, 2008 (got in before it launched in beta in June 2008) and immediately signed up for their Premium option when it opened up.

I was eager to support the app / service early on, because I saw the utility of being able to access my notes and create new ones from whatever device I happened to be on. That was already possible with the early iterations of services like Google Docs that had previously been Writely, but Evernote felt “new” in the sense that it was post-iPhone and looked ahead to a world where apps became the driving force of interaction, especially on mobile (after Steve Jobs relented on allowing apps to be installed and an app store for the iPhone).

Over the years, Evernote became more things to more people than just a note taking app. There were checklists, and document syncing, and PDF OCR, and business card storage. As a result, there were more and more calls for Evernote to get back to its roots and avoid bloat. I know I suffered through some of the “bloat” in 2011 and 2012 when Evernote seemed to really take off and started acquiring smaller and focused apps such as Penultimate, Skitch (still one of my favorites), Readable etc to round out their offerings. Then, there were the partnerships with the “offline” world such as Moleskine and Post-It Notes. We even saw an Evernote branded line of coffee mugs, backpacks, and lifestyle gear.

It was all too much.

I welcome this new period in Evernote’s story. I’m hoping they do “slim down” to some extent and even focus more on things like the current web version’s Google Drive integration (rather than being a document storage platform themselves). I’ve always thought of Evernote as more of an “Operations HQ” that ties into other apps I use like Trello or 1Writer on the iPad than a place to store all of my documents, pictures, and files.

I use Evernote everyday, and more so now that I’m trying to use iPad Pro as my main computer. It serves as my note repository, the place where I put PDF’s that I need for OCR, and a quasi-database of ideas for clients and research. It’s indespinsible to me, and I’m not sure how something “free” like OneNote or Google Keep could replicate that. I’m hopeful they continue to push forward on the excellent web version as well (and that doesn’t affect free members, which is a nice incentive for people to give it a try).

It’s painful when anything “goes up” in price. But the economic reality is that costs go up as we demand more from services and companies compete for skilled developers. Evernote did see the loss of a number of devs over the last few years, but I’m hopeful they’ll get their mojo back.

So, sign me up for another year of Premium.




Evernote 5.4 Adds Skitch Support

Evernote is one of those apps I’ve always had an on-and-off relationship with. I’ve used it and quit it more times than I can count, but now that version 5.4 for iOS adds Skitch support, I’ll be using it a whole lot more for annotating images I use here and various other places (client work, etc)…

Neat. I don’t know what I’d do without Skitch on my MacBook and I use it from time to time on the iPhone to annotate screenshots there as well.

Evernote for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store: “Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity. Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders–and makes these notes completely searchable, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go. ”




Dear @Evernote, I Want to Use your Service But This is Unacceptable

Over and over tonight (strong wifi):

Looks like I’m sticking with Basecamp.
 
 
Sent from my iPhone




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:

http://www.viddler.com/player/a45407f8/

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. 




Hey, You! Get Off of My Cloud! (Or The Rise of Anti-Social Media)

I’ve fallen in love with Pinboard (for bookmarking) and Simplenote (search for it on the iPhone app store) this week. I’ve been testing out both services for a little while but decided to take the plunge this week and use them more heavily.

And they rock.

Pinboard is Delicious from 2004 with more goodness baked in. It’s fast, easy and private.  That’s right… in an age of rival-bookmarker Diigo’s communities, Evernote offering sharing of notebooks as a Premium feature and RememberTheMilk touting their social features, I’m finding myself leaning back towards sites like Pinboard that take advantage of the web2.0 goodness with a nod towards those of us who want to bookmark without worrying about what the neighbors might think (not that I’m bookmarking anything scandalous, but I don’t have to worry about crossing the education/tech/marketing/science/music streams with Pinboard). 

Simplenote does exactly what I want a note taking app to do… it takes notes quickly, easily and syncs automagically. I love Evernote, but I’ve found myself overwhlemed there as of late since there are so many features (and since I do have so much data there).  Simplenote is… well, simple. And that’s refreshing.  The same with Pinboard vs Diigo. I love Diigo, but I honestly don’t make use of all their community and bookmarking features enough to pledge allegiance. 

So, will we see a rise of anti-social media apps that take us back to a “much more civilized time” of elegant and simple lightsabers rather than social blasters? I’m not sure. But the evolution of media is definitely fascinating to participate in and ponder.




GeekToMe 6: Freemiums and Netbooks

Affiliate Marketing Legend and all-around geek Todd Crawford and I are back with episode six of our weekly podcast, GeekTo.Me.

We had a ton of fun doing the show and it’s (in my opinion) our best show yet. We definitely keep getting better and better (and geekier and geekier) every week.

So, if you’ve got the stomach for some heavy geek lifting, give it a shot.

The show runs about an hour.

http://www.hipcast.com/playweb?audioid=Pfe44ba46557327b5b5fb78d62425141cbF98QFREYmN9&buffer=5&shape=6&fc=FFFFFF&pc=CCFF33&kc=FFCC33&bc=FFFFFF&brand=1&player=ap24

MP3 File

Show Notes:
Freemium vs Premium
Google with OpenID
Google Notebook, Evernote or BackPack?
Netbooks vs iPhones
Mac Adoption with the Kids
iPhone App Restrictions
Android
Windows 7: Will It Save Microsoft?
Linux Desktops and New Ubuntu
Google Maps on iPhone
Hulu
Mint.com and Stupid web2.0 names
eCommerce is Big in Japan
Todd’s Picks: Fring, Panolab, Classic eBook Reader
Sam’s Picks: Everest, VoteReport

GeekTo.Me 6: Freemiums




kwiry Improvements Roll Out

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kwiry is a neat mobile based service that I’ve been following lately. In essence, it turns text messages, emails, voice calls, or photos, into online reminders by texting anything to 59479 (k-w-i-r-y).

Those notes, emails, photos, etc can be shared or sent to iCal, Twitter, RSS, Facebook or a user’s profile page for later access. The service reminds me of a cross between Jott and Evernote.

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I’ve been using Jott and Evernote (both together and separately) everyday for the last few months and find the ability to create notes on the go, both visually and audio wise, incredibly helpful to my workflow.

So, when I found kwiry I was hopeful that it could do in one application what I was doing with two separate ones. However, the initial limitations of not being able to grab photos and send to my own kwiry page and the lackluster mobile page itself led to some frustrations.

It looks like the kwiry folks have been working on those improvements and they are rolling out to the service. So, users can now take pics on the fly and send them in with a specific email address along with the text and audio notes.

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kwiry also has a much improved mobile site at m.kwiry.com with a nice iPhone interface (even though I’m on a BlackBerry, it’s still much improved).

So, with these improvements I’ll probably give the service another shot and see how it can hold up to my Jott / Evernote paradigm. There are still things that Jott /Evernote does better (Evernote has incredible handwriting and tagging as well as a fantastic desktop app for the Mac that I can’t put away and Jott integrates nicely with my RememberTheMilk todo lists and GMail), but kwiry could serve as a nice on the fly notes grabber.