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How Evernote, the Company of the Year, Works

December 27, 2011

A deeper look at the inner workings of Evernote, and highlighting how some big names in the tech industry have become fanatics of this Company of the Year.

Here are some of the items Phil Libin added to his account in October. Evernote (read the Inc. magazine feature on Company of the Year Evernote here) can store audio memos, webpages, e-mails, documents, and photos. Libin uses it to keep a log of meetings, company metrics, and online articles. He even takes photos of his meals when he travels, so he can remember what he ate.

Web Clippings
By downloading a browser add-on, you can save webpages—like this snippet about a camera that caught Libin’s eye—with a single click. Evernote archives text and images.

Digital Bread Crumbs
You can add labels and tags to make items easier to find in a search. Evernote automatically tracks when the note was created and where you were when you created it. You can also organize items into notebooks.

It’s Everywhere
Evernote has apps for PC, Mac, iPad, and nearly every kind of smartphone. There’s also a Web-based application. You can even store information by forwarding e-mails to Evernote.

Searchable Scribbles
Evernote reads and catalogs visible text in photos, including handwritten notes (provided you have decent penmanship). If you upload a photo of a whiteboard to Evernote, you can find the file again later by doing a search for one of the words on the board.

An Affair to Remember

Many Evernote users, especially those in the tech industry, have become fanatics. Here are three of them.

Loic Le Meur
Founder of Seesmic, a San Francisco–based maker of social-media-management softwareHow I use it
To save lunch receipts (which I share with my accountant), business cards, meeting notes, and memos I speak into my iPhone

Favorite trick
When I’m handed a business card, I immediately take a photo of it with my phone to put it in Evernote. Then, just for fun, I hand the card back, unless it would be impolite.

How it has come in handy
Both my mobile phones are perfectly synchronized with all my latest information through Evernote. I have no paper in my life at all now.

Adelle Charles
Co-founder of Tinder, a San Francisco–based company that makes online publishing tools. She also co-founded Carbon Ads, an online advertising network. How I use it
To keep track of honeymoon ideas, recipes, notes, e-mails, and shopping lists

Favorite trick
I treat Evernote as my other e-mail inbox. Everything that doesn’t require an immediate response goes there, so I can follow up later and keep my inbox clean.

How it has come in handy
I needed to match a paint color in my home, so I searched Evernote and found a picture I had taken of the paint can.

Guy Kawasaki
Author and co-founder of Alltop, an online news aggregator based in Palo Alto, CaliforniaHow I use it
To keep track of passwords, travel itineraries, receipts, contracts, business cards, and webpage snippets for book research

Favorite trick
My Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 scanner automatically sends everything straight to Evernote.

How it has come in handy
Several months ago, I flew to Los Angeles to do a commercial. In order to get reimbursed, I had to provide a copy of the receipt. But I bought the ticket at the airport, and the paper receipt was long gone. Thankfully, I had scanned it into Evernote.

David H. Freedman

A Boston-based contributing editor, Freedman is the co-author of A Perfect Mess, which examines the useful role of disorder in daily life, business, and science. His other books include Corps Business: The 30 Management Principles of the U.S. Marines; At Large: The Strange Case of the World’s Biggest Internet Invasion (co-authored with Charles C. Mann); and Brainmakers: How Scientists are Moving Beyond Computers to Create a Rival to the Human Brain.

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  1. Evernote: Company of the Year « Business Review

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