Sunday, January 9, 2011

Evernote, a Must for Knitters

I first heard about this handy little program from the DH who uses it for work related reasons, he carries his iPod Touch with him and is able to use it to look up or make notes for himself. I then read about it over on Blossom Merz Blog about how he uses it for inventory, patterns and the like and thought I really need to check this out.  (Blossom Merz is a hand weaver, so you can already see the many benefits to all fiber artists). So I downloaded Evernote, which is free by the way, we like free! Although a premium version is available. You install it like you would any other new program, by clicking run the first time you click the icon after you download it. And then click save, when it asks you to. That's it. Nothing more complicated than that. Once you are all downloaded and installed you need to set up an account again, very simple, just a user name and password. Than then you are in business. Now the way it works is that you can copy and paste items you find on the net into Evernote. You then "sync" the program and that way no matter what devise or computer you are on later you can retrieve that note. Let me give you an example:

I downloaded and installed Evernote on my laptop and my iPad. I then went in search of a Tam pattern on Ravelry. I found one I liked but it was  not a Ravelry download, the free pattern was linked to the knitters blog. Okay no problem I just highlighted the pattern, copied it, opened my Evernote program, clicked "File", "New Note" and then pasted into the blank space provided. Then I went up to the top and clicked "sync". So now, I can open my Evernote app on my iPad and the pattern will be there and I can use it to knit my project at home and on the go.

I have just started using this program so I am sure I have not explored all the things it can do just yet, but what I have used so far is very handy and I wanted to share it with you.

Pros: You can copy and paste text from any site, there are a couple of ways you can do this, as is the example above, when you need a free pattern from Ravelry that is on a personal website or blog you just highlight copy and paste. (Please remember to respect individual copyright). Also, if you are on your computer or laptop and use Firefox or Chrome as your browser there is an add-on you can download that is very useful in capturing pages or articles from news sites etc. You can also write your own notes into the program. A shopping list, other important information you might want or need later. You can add tags to help make items more searchable, but Evernote will organize and index your notes for you and make them searchable, so the tags are an added bonus in the ability to search for something you may have saved.  The possibilities are endless. You an be as creative as you want with Evernote, or as my DH, use it for business purposes, you can even plan a trip with it.
They also work with Twitter so you can save your favorite tweets if you like. I like that feature for saving sales and notes from my favorite yarn suppliers and stores.

Cons:  You need to be connected to the Internet with both your computer and your mobile devise right after you sync. So lets say I find a great pattern on Ravelry I want to use, I'm on my laptop so I capture it into Evernote. Later I will want to use it on my iPad while knitting in public somewhere. You must open the note in Evernote once while online, to be able to open it again when you are off-line. Evernote is a cloud program and so internet connection is a must. But like I said if you have opened that particular note at least once while online, you will be able to open it again offline. So the con is not so much of the Evernote program itself, but the availability of web access in certain places. So just be mindful of where you are and if there is wi fi available. If you have an mobile device with 3G then you should have no problems.
I realize most places do have open wi fi, but not everywhere, for example the local sports park, where a there are lots of soccer fields and ball fields, does not have wi fi, so if a soccer mom wanted to knit using a pattern on Evernote while waiting for practice to end, she would need to have opened the pattern in a wi fi environment first.

Anyway, there is more great information on the Evernote site itself, so go check them out.

4 comments:

Alisha said...

Thanks for dropping by and commenting on my blog! Definitely check out The Hunger Games series- it is another of those "teen series" but I honestly don't know that it is age appropriate given the plot. Anyways, it is really good!

I'll have to check out that evernote thing- do you know if it works on Android software? I don't have an ipad/iphone but I do have a nook and a droid.

Nancy McCarroll - Arts, Crafts and Favorites said...

Great information about the app. Thank you. (I am following you)

Knitwit said...

Sounds like a great app. I wonder if they have a version of it for the Droid.

Ron Toledo said...

Hello Milly,
This is Ron from Evernote. I just came across your post and wanted to drop by and say thanks for sharing with your readers, we really appreciate all the support. When i was reading your uses one feature that i thought you might be interested in was our web clipper. We have web clippers that go in your browser and allow you to clip portions (or all ) of the web pages you come across. The best part is we automatically pull out the title, the original url, and all of the links are preserved. For more information and to download the one that's suited for your browser you can go to http://www.evernote.com/about/download/web_clipper If you have any other questions please let me know.