March 16th, 2012

Evernote Acts as a Personal Mobile File Cabinet


Faculty Focus App of the Week


(Android, iOS & others)




Provides a quick and easy way to create, synchronize and share notes and other content.

Learning Curve

Easy to learn, online tutorials available.

Rating (5 star scale)

4 stars



For those of you who have devices running on the Android operating system, you’ll be happy to learn that we plan to feature Android apps here on a regular basis. Google reported last month that there are more than 450,000 applications available for Android devices, but which ones are worth your time?

One of my personal favorites is Evernote, a free app that helps me keep my work life and home life organized. It’s available for Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, and more. It was named to the New York Times’ Top 10 Android Apps in 2010 and received a Crunchies Award from TechCrunch just this year.

Evernote acts as a personal mobile file cabinet. You can download and install the app on all of your devices and computers. When you open Evernote through secure password-protected access, it allows you to create notes on the device you are using. That note then synchs with all your other devices on which you’ve downloaded the app. When you create a new note or edit one on any of the devices, it will synch automatically across the other devices. That means you can see and access your notes on all of your devices. Evernote also allows you to save web pages, photos and audio clips, and you can easily share notes and notebooks with other Evernote users, which is great for collaborative projects.

I have the Evernote app installed on six devices: my mobile phone, my desktop computer at work, my desktop computer at home, my laptop computer, and my netbook.

In using Evernote, I have setup my account to store a variety of separate notebooks for work and home items. My work files include a number of technology related PDF documents, notes on ideas that come to me throughout the day, equipment inventory items, and other things that help me stay organized and productive. My home files include things like recipes (as I love to cook), screen captures of web pages, notes of items that I need to talk to my family members about, measurements and a to-do list for a basement project I’m working on.

The free Evernote app gives you 60 MB of storage for your account every month. I consider myself a heavy user and I’m currently using only 1 MB per month. The free account allows up to 250 synchronized notebooks to be stored and shared, and you can tag your items so they’re easier to find.

An Evernote Premium upgrade will provide you with a larger upload capacity to your account, more file sharing options, plus PDF search and image recognition for $5 a month or $45 a year. The company also has site licensing and educational discounts.

For those looking to get started with Evernote, the website features a number of forums, including a resource page loaded with ideas for educators. You’ll also find instructional videos on a variety of topics that help you get the most use out of the app. To learn more about Evernote for higher education, go here.

If you use Evernote, please share your thoughts in the comment box below. Assignment strategies are particularly welcome.

Tom Vodak is the technology coordinator of Magna Publications, the parent company of Faculty Focus.

2 comments on “Evernote Acts as a Personal Mobile File Cabinet

  1. I would have to caution anyone on using Tawkle. Stay away! It looks like a free file share service that's just come online in the last few weeks and operates somewhat like DropBox. It offers free unlimited online storage. I've looked into it and I have concerns about privacy and encryption issues. The service is operated by someone called Tresk Technologies and a search turns up no information about the company other than their own website (which is a WordPress site) and a Facebook page. Nowhere in the privacy, terms or contact us popup is there a physical address or phone number to contact anyone. The website was registered through Hostmonster. The unlimited online storage is tempting, but I would suggest that is not possible as a business model, I believe they are just using that as a hook to get your files and data.

  2. Evernote has OCR capabilities, so if you upload an image that includes text, Evernote can scan it and you can later search on keywords. I've scanned old newspapers and then did a word search. The OCR worked pretty well, finding a search word that was in all caps, italicized and first letter capitalized all on the same page.

    A free WordPress site works well. Since it's a single site, there is no syncing necessary, and no app required. Just a browser. You can publish your notes via email to WP including text & images. If you upgrade the audio (mp3), you can publish audio notes. Create WP categories as you would folders to organize by topic. WP is mobile friendly.

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