Evernote 3

by JL Beeken on 9-29-2008

EverNote 3I’ve been dragging my feet about upgrading to Evernote 3. EverNote 2 is still available for download but they’ve dropped it on its head and someday it will be gone. Life without Evernote of some kind is unfathomable.

I installed Evernote 3 a few months ago, not a happy camper, just curious. Right off the bat, I couldn’t find a way to move my v.2 notes so that killed what little excitement I had about it to start with. When I fired it up yesterday there was an update waiting and a fix for the import.

If you go to Note/Import in your v.3 menu, and browse to the ENB file of v.2 (under MyEverNote Files/DataBases) it will import all your notes in seconds.

Evernote 3
Having accomplished that, I spent the rest of the day scouring around for other reasons to upgrade.

In Evernote 3 you have the choice of keeping your notes local or also synchronizing them with the Evernote server so you can log into your account online and have access to all your notes from any computer.

I don’t personally care for web notes. I like to keep my notes to myself and somewhere I don’t need a password to get into them. But there are benefits depending on your situation. You can sync notes with your mobile devices and email pictures from your cell phone to your database and then sync them to your online account and that kind of thing. There’s 40 MB a month of free upload allowance and then it costs $5 a month up to 500 MB.

Under Account Properties is where you set your options for synchronization.

Account Properties, Evernote 3

This would be useful if you don’t have your own computer. And you don’t have a flash-drive to plug into another person’s. And you’re always somewhere besides at home in a world full of other people’s computers. And you’ve remembered to bring along the little notebook with all your log-in names and numbers. (I don’t even have one of those. They’re all in KeePass on a flash-drive. Vicious circle.)

In EverNote 2 there’s just notes and tags. Very simple and efficient. In v.3 they’ve added a concept called Notebooks. Notes belong to one notebook or another and they can be local or synchronized. Local means private on your drive and you can keep everything that way if you want.

Any synchronized Notebook can be either private or public. Any public Notebook is shareable with anyone to whom you’ve given the URL for access. This could be useful. For instance, sharing a collection of notes gathered on a particular family line … (or I could just print them all into a PDF and email it.)

Version 3 is still a work in constant progress. Right smack in the middle of writing this there was another update. They’ve moved the Source URL (if there is one) from the bottom right of each note to the header. It’s tidier and if it’s left in for printing to PDF, it’s a live link which could be helpful. If it’s only a link to an email or personal notes it will show in the header so you can tell the difference.

At this point, I don’t want my notes online but I do like the idea of being able to access my notes when I’m traveling, so here’s a different option: In v.3 you can install Evernote Portable straight from the main menu. Just click ‘Install Evernote Portable’ and pick your destination. In seconds it’s done.

Evernote Portable, Evernote 3

My excitement about this was short-lived. I thought I’d found a way to synchronize from my hard-drive to this version on a flash-drive but I must have been dreaming. A couple more years have gone by and this is still one of my pet projects: trying to figure out what the point of Evernote Portable actually is.

Last night I had a sudden insight. There is no such thing as synchronizing between the hard-drive database and the portable! It’s simply a matter of either/or. If you always work on your home computer, you use the regular version of Evernote. If you are constantly moving between computers, you use the Portable version. I’m guessing.

If I’m sticking with EverNote 2 I can simply import the v.2 database into the v.3 Portable as described above. At least that way I can carry a copy of my Evernote database on a flash-drive or external hard-drive. I’d hate to find myself in a hotel room wondering where did I put that? … (or I could just install EverNote 2 on my laptop and share the ENB file.)

A major problem I found is with the printing. In Evernote 3 the note-headers have been dropped. I didn’t like the headers in EverNote 2 but now they’re gone I really don’t like it. It means the dates are gone. Notes and email without dates. Not good. I wrote to support and they referred me to a Forum post from one of their engineers about how to re-code it myself. Just what I wanted to hear at the end of a long day.

I tackled it first thing this morning and figured it out but I think it’s a bit much for programmers to be asking ordinary people to do their own programming of their programs. I would hope someday soon they’ll make check boxes in Print Setup for all the variables.

Evernote 3 does only text notes or image notes. (That’s plenty.) All the fancier templates seem to be missing although they import fine from EverNote 2. Maybe I haven’t found them yet? I never used them much anyway.

It indexes text in images. Somewhat. So does EverNote 2 if you pay for it.

My main problem with Evernote 3 was the printing so now that I can alter it myself and I prefer it to EverNote 2 printing, maybe I’ll let EverNote 2 go. But with no use for multiple notebooks, either on my hard-drive or the web, it’s a minor issue. I’m neurotically attached to EverNote 2 so I’m still waiting for the tipping point. Still, the only version they’re developing is Evernote 3 so best to keep up on what’s happening there. Can you feel my indecision? You can have both for free and run them at the same time.

The wonders of EverNote … wild horses couldn’t drag me away.

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