Evernote includes free notebooks from sites like

Evernote is a free program for note taking. You can get it at and it’s hugely popular. We always used Microsoft Word for taking notes, but now we’re tuning in to Evernote’s advantages.

You can create as many “notebooks” as you like. Each one is a collection of related notes: thoughts that pop into your head, ideas for work or play, clips from articles and things you see on the web. When you see something on the web and want to add it to a note book, you can clip it by copying and pasting. Highlight a passage with your mouse, then right-click to choose “copy.” Then go to your notebook, right-click and choose “paste.”  The Chrome and Firefox web browsers offer an extension you can load to make this even easier. In Internet Explorer, click “Tools” and “Add to Evernote.”

Evernote works with Windows, Macs, and smart phones like iPhone, Blackberry and Android. You can load it onto as many computers, phones, pads and gadgets you want, and when you open it up on any of those devices, you automatically have access all of your notebooks after you’ve signed in.  Click “the trunk” to add sample notebooks, like’s collection of the best hamburger recipes, complete with magazine-quality photos. (They don’t all use beef.) We also liked the crafts notebooks from Make Magazine and the photography collections from “My Modern Metropolis.”

Naturally, we loaded “Ron’s Evernote Tips” from the trunk. We have no idea who Ron is, but the Evernote founder, Phil Libin, is a gadget guy. We read that he takes 26 pounds worth of tech stuff in a backpack wherever he goes. This includes a laptop, two tablets, a DSLR camera, two lenses, two headsets, several cell phones and a few other gadgets.

One of Ron’s tips for conventions and other meetings, is to snap a picture of a person with your cell phone or camera and another shot of their name tag. If they don’t have a name tag, ask them to hold up their business card.  Drag the photos into your notebook.  Evernote will make all the text in the image searchable so now you can have a face to go with the name. Create a separate notebook for contacts, or tag them to make them easier to find. If you search for something, you can save your search to find it faster the next time.

Like Google Docs, you can share your notebooks with others and invite them to collaborate.  You can also integrate Evernote with Twitter to save your best tweets in a notebook. Use Evernote to record audio clips and voice memos. You can email notes from a cell phone to a personalized Evernote address. You can snap photos of whiteboards and use Evernote to search the text.

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