Reblog: Evernote Assistive Apps to leverage your “Remember Everything” Experience

This article is a reblog from Tablet Productive. Personally, I use a lot of extra apps, and I wish I wrote this article myself. But I haven’t tried most of these apps, so the recommendation is based on Chris’s advice, and I endorse his opinion on iPad application, as that is one of the main roles of his blog. 

I wrote here how much I liked the new Evernote 5 for the iPad. After several months of use, I can still say I like version 5.0, but there are some things that bug me. The latest version is not as fast as I would like and some of the interface changes make my key tasks more complicated. I manage tasks using a combination of tags and smart searches. However, the version 5.0 requires several steps to switch between different searches and tags. I don’t know about you, but additional steps add up when you are using an app over and over. And this is the space where an interesting category of apps is responding to, the Evernote helper app. This post is a preview for a series of posts and reviews on iOS apps dedicated to making Evernote better, more useful and faster on your iPad.

Task Managers

  1. As I wrote here, is one such helper app focused on transforming Evernote into a hard-core task manager. While not ready for primetime yet, I am confident that will respond to a need that has been written about constantly since Evernote first arrived in 2008; the need for an Evernote-based task manager. Don’t let my review discourage you, I am confident that will be a game changer for those looking for a more structured way to manage tasks in Evernote.
  2. Zendone Zendone is a task manager that uses Evernote as its collection tool via a web page or their recently released iPhone app. I have to admit that I have not tried this one yet, but I have read it about in Daniel E. Gold’s Evernote ebook. Here is a brief excerpt from Daniel: “In essence, zendone serves as a layer on top of Evernote for the GTD aspect only. It should be noted that while you can access your notes in their application, it is not bi-directional. In other words, the changes that you make to your notes do not show up in Evernote as well.” As of this writing in January 2013, Zendone is still in private beta. I will likely try it out whenever it is more widely available. Hopefully, Zendone has an iPad app on the way as well.

Capturing Apps

  1. FastEverXL I have lots of experience with this one, in fact, I wrote this post about how much faster FastEver can make your workflow. FastEver was originally written as a fast way to get notes in Evernote which is why I first tried FastEver when I was still using my iPad 1 and Evernote was really slow.
  2. QuickEver Here is another one I have not tried, but since it appears to be very similar to FastEver I will likely wait to give this one a try until someone convinces me that it provides something unique.
  3. Everlog I have not tried this one yet either, but I am intrigued by the concept. My main hesitation thus far has been that it is only available on the iPhone, but since the company offers a free version (linked above) I will likely give this one a try as well. Check out this short review which provides a little detail about what Everlog can do.

Front-end apps

  1. Clever HD I classify this one as one of those “I can’t believe I never heard of this app before” apps. I first heard of this one a few weeks back while reading this post on Michael Hyatt’s blog. I will be doing a detailed review of Clever in the near future, but in the meantime here are a few highlights. Clever is amazingly fast, startlingly so. Evernote 5 is somewhat sluggish on my iPad 2, especially if I have a few apps running. And, the process of switching back and forth between notebooks and tags takes several steps in Evernote. Even though I wrote the post linked about how I manage my tasks using Evernote 5 on my iPad, I have been defaulting back to my desktop version more and more often. Clever is bringing me back to managing tasks in iOS. Clever allows you to dock tags, smart searches and notebooks on the left side of the screen just like you can on the desktop versions. And, the biggest killer feature is that Clever allows you to create/copy note links within iOS! I am still amazed that iOS Evernote does not have this feature, especially with the latest version. So, if you use note links in Evernote you can now link from your iPad!

Chris’s Conclusion

There are many more apps out there that extend/improve what Evernote can do on the iPad and iPhone. The above apps are just a few that I have used or intend to use in the near future. Do you use any of the Evernote helper apps above? Are you familiar with apps that make Evernote better on iOS?

My thoughts

My addition to these apps would be Penultimate, that recently got a big upgrade. Like Skitch before it, it also got complete Evernote integration, so once you sketch your notes with your finger, they will be on your desktop/phone, by the time you get to them. Evernote Optical Character Recognition indexes it pretty quickly so your notes are immediately indexed and ready for search. Above that, the Penultimate became free!

Additional Evernote apps enhance the original Evernote experience so I am highly recommending them. But experiment first, don’t fall into the app frenzy, and think from a point of minimalism, as I’ve previously stated in Task Management Redundancy. Do you really need all of those apps? Start using those that solve your actual workflow problem.