Despite being an avid Evernote user, I’ve been able to resist the siren call of upgrading to a premium account for several months. It’s only $45 a year or $5 a month, but I wasn’t even close to hitting the 40MB a month limit on a free account and the file restrictions weren’t that big a deal. Taking a few notes via text, voice or photo was good enough. But then I read a tip on automatically adding files to Evernote, started thinking of other ways to apply it, and realized I had to take the plunge.
That tip is a simple two-part operation published by EveryJoe (via Lifehacker) that uses a custom shortcut in the Windows “Send to” menu to send files to a folder you’ve designated for Evernote to automatically monitor for import. Basically, with a right-click and Send to, you can add any file to Evernote.
With a free account, those file types are limited to ones that Evernote can recognize (text, HTML, image, PDF). But with a premium account, any file type can be added. Evernote can’t read unrecognized file types and display their contents, but the files themselves are sync’d for access and can be opened by their default applications. Did run into a problem with .m4a files, but I fixed the association in Windows so now it’s fine.
I’m also using the auto-import feature to grab my photos as I add them to my computer. Picasa does a fine job of that already, but I’ve been back and forth on ways to keep them accessible. I save to my Tablet PC first, then backup to my network drive, then save to DVD before deleting locally. My network drive is web-accessible, but Evernote offers that plus text recognition and the convenience of one-stop for all my notes. And adding that data helps justify the upgrade to the 500MB monthly limit.
Finally, I’ve decided to make local sync my primary means of loading iPhone notes into Evernote. The Evernote iPhone app is good, but I think it’s more convenient to use the built-in apps for recording data and sync at my leisure. I already mentioned the photo sync. For voice notes, I’m going to use the voice memo app to record then auto-import into Evernote whenever I sync with iTunes. If I want a photo or voice note in Evernote immediately, I’ll email it in and do the same for text notes. I’ll be treating the Evernote app primarily as a viewer.
From here, the big enterprise will be to sync my ink blog entries. I have more than a thousand of those in both Windows Journal and jpg format. Obviously, I’ll need to meter that out in some way. I may just start fresh. I also have my micro-blog and GBM entries here to consider. I craft ink entries locally, but these typed entries were grown in the cloud – auto-import won’t work. If anyone has ideas on that, I’d love to see them.
Regardless, now that I’ve discovered the auto-import feature, I feel like I’m finally utilizing Evernote in a way that approaches its full potential. Yes, I’m kind of just using it as an index, but it’s an automatic index I can access anywhere that links to the files I need and acts as redundant backup for that data. That’s four kinds of useful to me.