Posts tagged EverNote

Evernote CEO Discusses App (SXSW Video)

Phil Libin, Evernote CEO, discusses the current state of the app in this video from the SXSW ‘09 conference (courtesy of Arik Hesseldahl). One of the interesting notes is that the company is now “net margin profitable”, meaning that they are turning a profit even when you consider all of their overhead expenses. Their primary source of revenue according to Phil is their premium subscriptions, so they are already profitable even without the new ads.

Phil Libin, Evernote from Arik Hesseldahl on Vimeo.

DROE Tool now supports EverNote, and much more!

I just released a new version of the Daily Record of Events (DROE) note taking tool.  This release adds support for EverNote and text-based DROE files, as well as enhancements for the OneNote DROE.

From the README file, here is a summary of what changed in v0.4 (Beta). For complete details, download the README file. To get your own copy of the tool, see the Downloads page.

  • NEW FEATURE: Added support for a completely text-based DROE without the need for OneNote. This includes a quick edit window.
  • NEW FEATURE: Added support for EverNote… DROE Tool can send text notes to EverNote using EverNote’s auto-import feature
  • NEW FEATURE: The amount of white space between notes is now configurable in the INI file.
  • NEW FEATURE: “Clip Mode” causes any selected text to be clipped and included in the DROE entry. For OneNote DROE files, selected images are also sent to the DROE.
  • NEW FEATURE: WIN+LeftArrow now summons a new control panel that makes it easy to update settings in the INI file and reload the tool.
  • Bug fix: Fixed issue with cursor being stranded 3-4 lines below the date stamp.
  • Bug fix: The CTRL-SHIFT-K and CTRL-SHIFT-M shortcuts were not working when the Outlook window was active. This is fixed.
  • Updated and re-organized this README file. Switched to PDF format to significantly reduce the download size.

Send PDF Files to EverNote

UPDATE: Since releasing version in September 2008, Evernote for Windows now supports import, indexing, and preview of PDF files.  The Mac version supported this several months prior.  The work-around below is no longer needed (but still fun to try if you want to experiment with and learn more about Ghostscript).

UPDATE 2 (May 2009):  A reader pointed out to me that this macro is still useful because, even through Evernote now supports PDFs, it does not support indexing the images inside those PDFs. This has been requested many times over in the Evernote forums with no clear delivery date. So, if indexing the images inside your PDFs is important, it may still be worth tinkering with this script.

As I mentioned in my EverNote vs. OneNote post, one of the key weaknesses of EverNote is its inability to handle PDF files. To get around that, I created a script to send the content of PDF files to EverNote as JPEG images. This is in the form of an Outlook VBA macro. I used it to quickly capture hand-written notes scanned into my office copier/scanner. The notes would arrive via email in an attached PDF file.

To use the script, you must set up an Outlook rule to trigger based on the mail address of your copier/scanner. The script then saves the attachment to a folder of your choice (edit path below), then calls Ghostscript to generate a JPEG file for each page. Note that since I already had PDF995 installed, I just used the Ghostscript executables that come bundled with that tool. You can install the PDF995 tool and edit the path in the VBA script below to point to those executables… or you can probably find or compile a standalone version. By the way, PDF995 is an excellent free tool and does a fantastic job distilling content into PDF files.

The last pre-requisite is setting up the >> READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY >>

EverNote vs. OneNote

UPDATE July 2008: Since writing this post in October 2007, some important things have changed on the EverNote side. I’m currently evaluating the EverNote 3 beta and will let you know how things turn out. The original post is below…

Okay, let’s have it out! What tool is best for capturing and organizing notes? For a long time I used nothing but Notepad, plus some hand-crafted AutoHotkey scripts. As I got further into my GTD implementation, I wanted something that fit that methodology better and also integrated well with Microsoft Outlook. By the way, this post probably reeks of Procrastivity, but let’s indulge for a bit.

I canvassed the field multiple multiple times. I installed and uninstalled many a tool on my poor tired laptop, probably making a mess of my registry. There were two tools that I kept coming back to: EverNote and OneNote. Eventually those were the only tools left. For several months I used both tools simultaneously, going back and forth between the two trying to find that one reason that would tip the scales. That one reason never came. Both tools had some great features, and each tool also had several painful shortcomings. To help force the decision, I did what any self-respecting anal-retentive manager would do: I made a list!

The list below represents those features that were important to me for my system along with Low/Medium/High priorities. Where there were major shortcomings, I tried my best to find a work-around as if I had already decided to select that tool and make it work.



EverNote 2.1

OneNote 2007

Text Recognition


Yes, but doesn’t allow you to copy/select text Yes, and text can be easily extracted
Handwriting Recognition (image, not digital ink)


Yes, but uses a “shotgun” word approach and doesn’t allow you to copy/extract text. No.
Auto Import


Very nice import of text and images just by dropping to folder. No. I wish OneNote had this. I even tried some of the currently available “PowerToys” and no such luck. There are some command line tricks you can do, but these are very awkward.
PDF Import/ Export


No, EverNote basically doesn’t handle PDFs. You have to just add a link to the file (as an icon). I got around this somewhat with a Ghostscript command file I wrote to extract JPEGs from the PDF and automatically send them to EverNote. Yes. You have to install the iFilter from Adobe, but after that you have options to import, export, email, etc.
Web Clipping from IE and Firefox


Yes – fast and accurate with links to original; clip and forget. Poor – Formats somewhat mangled, Firefox is via 3rd party extension, slow & distracting (you have to watch OneNote open, splash screen and all)
Easily create Outlook tasks from Notes


No, manual process Yes, very easy to create. Some issues where tasks get out of sync (if you move task to another folder)
Send note via email


Yes, although notes are more of a screen shot (not editable) format Yes, but included function is weak (sends as OneNote attachment). Can get add-on that sends via PDF.
On-Screen editing of notes


Very limited. Cannot draw or float text over images. When inserting something everything else moves around. Yes, excellent capability here. Also includes a lot of the standard editing & drawing tools ala Microsoft Word.
Easy to learn & use GUI


I know that scroll tape is their “thing”, but it’s awkward. The notes list is nice for quickly jumping to notes. You can only view one note at a time in full screen, and usually the link/source info is not available in that view. Editor and layout is very easy if you’re familiar with Office products. The layers of notebooks and sections and tabs and pages feel a bit cluttered.
Tagging/ Categories


Yes, Excellent – ability to tag notes, define rules for automatic tags, and search via tag intersection panel Very weak and poorly implemented. Only manual tags, no good tag hierarchy. The search function doesn’t filter, instead creates awkward page with copy of tagged items not linked back to original items.


FREE! As long as you don’t want handwriting recognition (which isn’t ready for primetime anyway) or sync multiple databases. Fairly expensive… $75 (standard license) on I saw some better deals on eBay ($55-60) if you’re willing to deal with smaller companies or individuals. Microsoft does, however, offer a free 60-day trial.
Built in Search


Yes, also like the fact that it starts to filter as soon as you type Yes
Support for Desktop Search


No. Big minus here. No way to quickly get to all that useful data. I think they are adding Google Desktop Search capability in v2.2 however. Yes – Works well with Windows Desktop Search. Should support Google Desktop Search too but I haven’t tested it.
Ability to link to notes from other places


Yes Yes


Generally not an issue – fairly lightweight and fast. Occasional hangs, but pretty rare. This was a big problem on my Dell Latitude D610. By the time it opened and loaded the page, I almost forgot what I was going to jot down. Not really an issue on my shiny new D630.

So which one did I finally pick? Well, I >> READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY >>