You all remember Evernote, right? For years (beginning in the late 2000s), Evernote was the note-taking tool for many of us. Then, they got weird, started selling merchandise and branded scanners, and made odd tangental mobile apps for some reason. Evernote seemed to have lost focus.
After a couple of years of that I, as someone who loves trying new software, didn’t hesitate to move on to newer, shinier tools for my notes.
Lately, I’ve been frustrated by all of my note-taking options and workflows. I use Emacs and Org-mode for just about everything I write, but I’m still constantly trying new things and it’s exhausting. Org mode can do anything, but it’s not good at everything. It’s good at text. It’s not good at images or non-text files. I’ve gotten reasonably adept at using org-attach and Dired for handling files, but it’s still awkward.
What I need most of the time are Org mode and an Everything Bucket. Enter Evernote.
I’m trying an experiment. I’m using Evernote as my repository of clippings, web pages, PDFs, etc. As I wrote 10 years ago in Digital Recordkeeping, “Evernote is my junk drawer”. It’s really quite good at it.
Using Evernote in 2023 is about as uncool as it gets. It’s old and decidedly un-trendy. And v10 was recently released, rewritten as a (GASP!) Electron app. That might be what I like about it. Using Evernote feels like a small rebellion against the onslaught of “Tools for Thought”. There’s none of the data-entry-intern feelings of using Tana, or the horror scape of plugins that is Obsidian. Evernote is what it is.
I miss having a good junk drawer. I’ll let you know how it goes.
I was with Evernote for a *long* time, and it makes for a great junk drawer. Unfortunately, for me, that was also its biggest problem. It became the junk drawer that I funnelled *everything* into. I forget how many times I declared bankruptcy and started over — each time, realising that most of the stuff I’ve squirrelled away was junk, of no value to me.
Of course, I went through a similar thing with DEVONthink. It wasn’t until I stopped what I was doing, stepped back and asked myself *what* I wanted to collect and — more importantly — *what* I wanted to do with it that I began to develop a healthier relationship with information management.
I hear that! I’m doing much better recently with keeping things that I actually intend to use later, rather than tossing everything in there “just in case”. It’s hard to resist the “Collector’s Fallacy” though!