Xavier asked the question “What Does Evernote Have Up Its Trunk?” The surprising answer is another trunk! Evernote’s mysterious event yesterday was a roll out of Evernote Trunk, a new series of features and functionality to expand and enhance your Evernote experience.
Xavier was on the scene yesterday tossing out tidbits via Twitter. Apparently he was double-booked that day, ending up at the Mashable Summer Mash. Hopefully he’ll fill us in on his experiences later today (depending on how much fun he had). Until then, here’s what we know from the Evernote Blogcast and my own experiments with some of the announced features, specifically Voice2Note.
The Trunk is a showcase of great apps and products that makes your Evernote experience more awesome.
To access it, click on the new “Trunk” icon in today’s update to Evernote for Windows and Evernote for Mac (Evernote Web later today, iPad next week). Clicking it opens a window full of amazing intergrations. Today, there are nearly 100 items listed across five categories: Mobile, Desktop & Web, Hardware, Gear, and Notebooks (this one is really cool, more on that later).
Of the nearly 100 launch items, around a third are completely new products and integrations. Importantly, new or old, every single integration is in the spotlight. Wondering which scanner works with Evernote? You should check the Trunk. Want to know which Twitter clients sends tweets into Evernote? Look in the Trunk. Which devices come pre-installed with Evernote? You know where to go. Now, every product developer gets exposed to millions of Evernote users, and millions of Evernote user see how to get more out of Evernote. Pretty great!
In blandest terms, Trunk is a marketplace for apps, equipment and services that work with Evernote. These range from apps that send notes straight into Evernote, such as ritePen, or work with notes in customized ways, like Egretlist, to scanners and connected gadgets, like Eye-Fi, that do the same. It also offers content in the form of ready-made Notebooks you can import into your account, like projects from MAKE magazine. Finally, there are instructions on how to integrate Evernote with services like Twitter, so your all-important tweets can be preserved forever.
However, I don’t think “marketplace” does justice to the essence of what they’re trying to accomplish with Trunk. I liken it more to the cultivation of an ecosystem built around Evernote’s “memory catch-all” core. As we’ve seen with the first waves of integrated apps, Evernote can function invisibly in the background, storing and indexing all your notes. Egretlist, for example, allows you to create and use checklists without ever looking at the Evernote app or interface. The same could be done with photos, audio notes, or any other format, allowing each individual to tailor their Evernote experience to their own needs, expanding or contracting it as desired. I think we’ll see a lot of people pulled into Evernote this way, attracted by specific interfaces and apps that fit their needs.
The first thing I tried from Evernote Trunk was Voice2Note, a transcription service that works directly with audio notes in Evernote. Not only does it transcribe audio notes you make directly in or send to Evernote, but it also allows you to phone in your notes via a dedicated phone number. I ran two samples yesterday. The first I phoned in. The second I recorded in the Evernote iPhone app. Both are in my public “Notes 2 Self” notebook. The results are impressively accurate. Didn’t recognize “Sumocat”, despite it being a blend of two common words, but it nailed “Xavier” twice (unlike that potty mouth Google Voice).
Overall, I think Evernote Trunk is worth the pomp and circumstance of yesterday’s press event. Maybe the initial offerings are limited, but I think we’re just seeing the tip of the Trunk here. I see great potential and expect an explosion of Evernote integration to follow.