Why I Still Use (and Love) Evernote

Evernote had a rough 2016, primarily due to a price change and an announced (and then retracted) change to their privacy policy. Each raised concerns from users and spurred several articles on how to switch from Evernote to similar apps.

Despite these conflicts, Evernote is still my note taking software of choice. I’ve tried using Apple Notes and Simplenote, and they are worthy apps. But one feature has ingrained Evernote in my daily activities online: web clipping. One can argue that web clipping is not a core feature for note taking, but it is supported by both Apple Notes and Evernote. It’s so deeply entrenched in my workflow that I can’t imagine working without it.

Pictures speak louder than words so take a look at the screen captures below.

Evernote captures web content in the note and the results are editable.
Apple Notes snippets are clean, but capture very little from the page and are not configurable.

Evernote’s advanced web clipper ensures that I save exactly what I want, to the folder I choose, with the URL for the source. Apple Notes allows folder choice and note choice, but the app only saves the URL, a title, a snippet of text, and a hero image. I’ve built my workflow around capturing information from the web, saving it to Evernote and accessing it even when offline. Apple Notes gives you the snippet but requires a connection to access the full page. In addition, Evernote has extensions for both Safari and Chrome (Apple Notes does not,) and I use both browsers daily.

Users of note taking apps tend to make personal investments in them. Time spent in an app increases familiarity, and most humans tend to like the familiar. The effect is boosted when users are capturing and saving their lives and livelihood in these apps. I’ve invested my time in Evernote and it has never let me down. It’s been there from laptop to tablet to phone since I started using it in 2008. I’ll still take the time to try new apps (Bear is next on my list,) but until I find one with a better web clipping experience that improves my workflow, I’m sticking with Evernote.


Note: I also use Pocket for web clipping, but it has a different purpose. I designate the content I save to Pocket as ‘read it later,’ and it’s typically items that interest me personally. Evernote is my professional, note taking, web clipping app of choice.

The iPad-only Test

Even after owning an iPad for the last 5 years, I still find myself marveling at what it can do. Accounts of tech enthusiasts going ‘full iPad’ have been around for a while (here is one of my favorites,) so I thought it was time to try it myself. I picked up the Logitech Ultra Slim Keyboard (refurbished) from Amazon, and for the next few days my laptop will be used solely for media playback. More to come on my iPad experience soon. 

Initial impressions:

  • I already like the keyboard (a lot.) 
  • My iPad Air may be a bit underpowered as switching apps seems a little slow.
  • Keyboard navigation for the MacOS version of Reeder (my RSS app of choice) are not supported on the iOS version.

Twitter Test

Tweetbot to Twitter
Tweetbot to Twitter

Basically, Twitter has become what I call “secret-handshake software” — something that’s so complicated that, as in a secret society, only insiders know the rituals that unlock its power.

After reading Walt Mossberg’s article, Twitter Has Become Secret-Handshake Software, I thought it was time for a little introspection.  Tweetbot has been my primary twitter client for almost 5 years. Now I am making the (temporary) switch back to Twitter’s iOS app to see how it has changed. Expect more here soon.

New site – KempSF

I want to share a combination of personal and professional information in one place. LinkedIn does well for professional info, Facebook is more personal, and Twitter crosses in both areas. Still, none do what I want, so I built a new site, KempSF. It’s a work in progress, but it does provide a more balanced perspective on who I am. Check it out.

KempSF

KempSF Kemp Mullaney

The simple solution for sharing live pictures

Wedding Pic

Live Photos on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are great, but difficult to share. Enter Live GIF, the easiest way to share your live pics with friends and family who don’t own the latest iPhone. The UI is dead simple. Open the app and you’re presented all of your Live Photos. Select the one you want to share and then choose to send it as a GIF or video.

Live GIF is $1.99 and worth every penny.

Tweetbot 4 is out – get it now

Tweetbot 4

Tweetbot has been my go to Twitter client since 2011, and today they launched Tweetbot 4. The biggest news is that it’s now a Universal App which is a welcome update. You can get it for $4.99 for a limited time. Check out all of the new features at the Tapbots site.

icon_tweetbot_ios_256

iPhone 6s

iPhone 6s

Here are a few of my impressions after one weekend.

  • It is REALLY fast, especially Touch ID.
  • 3D Touch is a massive achievement and will have a lasting affect on device and app development.
  • Living Pictures are terrific and not just a gimmick.
  • The increase in weight is not noticeable.

Here’s a Live Picture of our cat, Paul.

Paul Vs. the sheet

New Toy

bb-8

BB-8 arrived last week and has been a hit with friends, co-workers and family. The controls take some getting used to, and once you do it’s a blast to zip around the home/office with this little guy.

Consistently Inconsistent

iOS OSX Sometimes it’s the little things that get me, but this one bothered me in May of 2013 and it still bothers me today. The Update All button is not only placed in different locations on iOS and OS X, but more surprisingly is in a different location on the iPad and iPhone. I’d love to see the search bar on iPad dropped to the bottom menu (just like on the iPhone) and move ‘Update All’ to the upper right-hand corner.

I think my OCD is showing.