Why I’m Now an Evernote Premium User

evernotelogoDespite 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.