Cool Tech Alert: Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskin

This hits all the right points: it’s techy and geeky and it involves a Moleskin. If you love to journal the old fashioned way, but want to keep track of your life digitally, this is your toy. The Evernote Smart Notebook is a paper notebook made by Moleskin, purveyors of some of the finest paper notebooks out there. After filling your page with scribbles, take a photo of it with Evernote’s new Page Camera feature, and the page is digitized and searchable. Use the included Page Stickers to give Evernote further clues about how you want the information treated within the app. These smart Stickers are essentially tagging tools – when  you capture a page with Evernote, the  Sticker icons become searchable, digital tags to help keep ideas organized and  digital and analog workspaces synced. Page Camera has automatic edge detection and image optimization to give you the best result.  The book contains specially formatted paper, designed specifically for use with Evernote. The paper lines are made up of dots for better image recovery within the app.

Using the Evernote app for iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, you can customize what tags and notebooks you want to have automatically associated with your Smart Stickers when they are captured using the Page Camera feature.

 

Each Smart Sticker may have one notebook and up to six tags associated with it. You can see the image, make changes if necessary and then “accept” if you want to save into your Evernote account.

You can get a larger or small version, sized at 5 by 8.25″ or 3.5  by 5.5″ , 240 or 192 pages respectively, in traditional lined or graph paper styles. $24.95 and $29.95. The Page Camera feature currently works in iOS apps, but it is promised to be coming to Android.

If you don’t know what Evernote is, it is one of the best note taking and archiving applications out there, with web-based and local applications, as well as native mobile applications for most devices. There are applications that work with Evernote to make it cooler, like dictation services, and great OCR and audio tools so that you can really save and search most anything.

Check out the video below for an introduction. This is really so cool and a great bridge for people looking to get more digitally organized but not quite willing to give up pen and paper. As a bonus, each book comes with a free 3 month subscription to Evernote Premium. Nice!

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Evernote Clearly Improves Reading Experience Across Platforms, Devices

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Reading web content is an adventure, to say the least. Ads, flashy banners and irrelevant links everywhere. If you already have bought into the joys of Instapaper, Readability or Read it Later, and you use Evernote, then you have the means to dramatically improve your reading experience across any device that support an Evernote App.

Evernote Clearly is a browser extension for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox that will allow you to clip full web pages online and automatically rid them of bling for easier off line digestion. Much like Instapaper and it’s competitors. But I like Clearly for a couple of reasons. You can keep your content organized in one location – the much more robust Evernote ecosystem. You can set font size and typestyle for maximum ease. And if you are like me and rock both iOS and Android, Evernote offers the best option for cross-platform collection and viewing.

The only downside is the lack of a mobile extension to similarly collect and clean up web pages on the go – mobile Safari’s built in Reader button can help you in that context. But if you collect on your full Chrome or Firefox browser, you can consolidate your clipping and reading in one convenient application no matter where you happen to be.

Return to Dictation with Quicktate & Evernote

I remember the “good” old days when the alternative to typing was to speak your document into a little microcassette recorder so that your assistant could type it for you. I still encounter folks who prefer dictation to typing up their own stuff, for whatever reason that may be. But don’t you “dictators” long for being in charge of your words from first utterance until final text edit?

Well, from the “do it yourself” bin, you can get all the fun of dictation with quick conversion to editable text on your smartphone or desktop and the convenience of Evernote with Quicktate. Quicktate is a third-party service that allows you to speak your notes either directly into Evernote or as an audio note attached to email to your Evernote account or via a telephone number and receive back simple, searchable text notes. Quicktate uses live audio transcribers to convert voice to text, no matter how small or larger the recording. If Quicktate integration is enabled, Evernote will “notify” Quicktate when an audio recording has been saved and Quicktate retrieves a copy, transcribes the note and sends it back via email and directly back into yoru Evernote account. It currently works for notes created going forward, but they are working on allowing users to transcribe old audio notes as well. Notes tagged with NOQT will not get automatically transcribed. While Quicktate doesn’t save the audio notes, it saves transcripts in your Quicktate account, organized by month. You can even enable Quicktate to transcribe your voicemail messages and return them into Evernote.

Quicktate’s transciption API has been used by services other than Evernote, such as YouMail, TweetCall, Voxie and Voice on the Go.

The service costs – Economy is $4.99 per month and includes 700 words, with each word over costing $.0125 cents. Standard, for $19,99 per month includes 3,000 words with overage costing $.011 per word. There is also a pay as you go option for $.0175 cents per word. Quicktate also offers a free trial so you can see how you like the service.

If you prefer the freedom of dictation but want the convenience of searchable text, Quicktate might be your ticket. Paired with Evernote, you can become a chattering, organizing machine. And, if you are an Evernote fan generally, you may want to check out their Trunk – it is chock full of applications that work with Evernote to make the service more efficient and effective for your particular needs.

Do-It-Yourself Wiki

DISCLAIMER: this is NOT a Wikipedia-bashing post. There, now, having gotten the formalities out of the way, it is time in the Studio to examine the benefits of creating your own Wiki and one way to go about doing it. If you are on-line, reading this post, odds are you have visited Wikipedia once or twice. But do you really know what a Wiki is?

I couldn’t help it – I pulled this definition of Wiki off Wikipedia:

A wiki ( /ˈwɪki/ WIK-ee) is a website that allows the easy[1] creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor.[2][3] Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used to create collaborative websites, to power community websites, for personal note taking, in corporate intranets, and in knowledge management systems.

Did you know that the word “wiki” is the Hawaiian word for fast? I didn’t until this morning. The key points to a Wiki are that it is user created and that its pages are heavily interlinked, allowing for a “tree” like structure to the information layers.

I am not going to plumb the benefits or drawbacks to contributing to a public Wiki, such as Wikipedia here. Instead, let’s consider the benefits of building your own personal Wiki. Do you use a “to do” list? Do you maintain a contacts list? Do you bookmark relevant Web information? Do you take notes or grap snips for later consumption? Do you have all of this data in one place, with links between the information?

If not, consider using your own Wiki. One such tool to help you along the way is offered by Zim Wiki (link here), a free, open-source, desktop Wiki application that works in Linux and Windows. I discovered this tool on MakeUseOf (link here). According to MakeUseOf, there are means for getting the tool up and running in OSX, but they are a bit complicated and not for the faint of heart.

What is Zim Wiki? Taken from their website:

Zim aims to bring the concept of a wiki to your desktop. Every page is saved as a text file with wiki markup. Pages can contain links to other pages, and are saved automatically. Creating a new page is as easy as linking to a non-existing page. This tool is intended to keep track of TODO lists or to serve as a personal scratch book. But it will also serve you when writing longer and more complicated documents.

A “desktop wiki” means that we try to capture the idea of a wiki, not as a webpage but as a collection of files on your local file system that can be edited with a GUI application. The main focus is a kind of personal wiki that serves for all kind of notes: todo-lists, addresses, brainstorm ideas etc.

But we want to go further then just a wiki filled with random content. It should also be possible to use you random notes as the basis for more structured data: articles, presentations etc. Zim will not include tools to layout a presentation or something like that, you should use your office suite of choice for that, but it should be a tool that can deliver all the content for a presentation in a form that only needs a template and some layout before usage. Therefore certain features normally not found in wikis will be added.

The first step after installation is setting up your information repository, stored locally. You create a home page and direct Zim where to store documents. Text editing tools are basic – just enough to get the data entry job done. Then, start entering.

The strength in this tool is the layering that you can implement. For a given project, put the different major tasks on one layer, and then link off to subtasks residing on their own, separate pages. If you want access to your Zim Wiki on different computers, consider using Dropbox (MakeUseOf’s suggestion – link here) – you can access your Wiki on the go.

As with any tool, the user will find their own unique uses. I see lots of potential in Zim Wiki, primarily due to its fairly stripped down simplicity. Tools like Microsoft’s OneNote and Evernote are similar in their organizational capabilities but can be confounding to a user looking for the simple answer. Zim seems to fit this latter need fairly nicely and, unlike OneNote, for free.

From The Clever Tip Box: Save Twitter Info Using Tweetdeck and Evernote

Image representing TweetDeck as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

My problem with Twitter, which I am guessing is shared,  is that the information blasts past like leaves floating on a raging river, making it difficult to pull and save the wothwhile bits. Sure you can “star” tweets and then go back later to manually collect. But I saw this on Lifehacker this morning and think it is a fabulous tip:  send and save the valuable Twitter tweets using Tweetdeck and Evernote.

Tweetdeck is great for sifting through the torrent to find the gold in the first instance. Tweetdeck also allows you to email tweets via your own email client. Evernote permits notating via email – provided you are using Evernote’s universal capture system. You can then stream to RSS, your phone client or your desktop RSS reader. Automatic for the people!

Thanks Steve Ruble (East Coast Blogging) and Lifehacker for the nice suggestion.

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Evernote Won, But Not By Much

Following up on my earlier post about Lifehacker’s earlier post surveying readers regarding their preference in note-taking applications, I present here Lifehacker’s results. The ratio held true through the end of voting: the free Evernote bested the more expensive OneNote, but only by a slim margin. Check it here and check out both of these able applications – they really make organization a snap!
One Note Evernote

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‘Notes On The Ropes: OneNote versus Evernote

Lifehacker’s been dancing around it and so have I: which desktop notetaking app should win the big prize? OneNote and Evernote are the clear contenders here and I personally use both. Lifehacker has a poll going on over there and I am finding the results very interesting.

Lifehacker prefaces its poll with a quick little synopsis of the differences and similarities. To quote Adam Pash:

OneNote integrates like a dream with every corner of your Windows desktop…. Both apps are serious about syncing your notes with the web and other computers with the software installed. Evernote wins the mobile war with support for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Palm Pre; OneNote, on the other hand supports only Windows Mobile devices. Both can perform optical character recognition (or OCR) for translating your handwriting into searchable notes…. We could go on, but ultimately both tools have a lot in common with subtle differences (the tablet PC-owner niche loves OneNote).

I have always thought this particular war is the victim of price-bias: advantage to Evernote available at the unbeatable price – free. Evernote premium is a paid application but costs only about 1/2 of OneNote’s retail price. Consequently the results, at the time I looked, were a bit surprising to me in spread rather than lead, and that was even BEFORE I voted.

So, which application do you think I favor? Which application do you favor? Enquiring minds want to know.

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'Notes On The Ropes: OneNote versus Evernote

Lifehacker’s been dancing around it and so have I: which desktop notetaking app should win the big prize? OneNote and Evernote are the clear contenders here and I personally use both. Lifehacker has a poll going on over there and I am finding the results very interesting.

Lifehacker prefaces its poll with a quick little synopsis of the differences and similarities. To quote Adam Pash:

OneNote integrates like a dream with every corner of your Windows desktop…. Both apps are serious about syncing your notes with the web and other computers with the software installed. Evernote wins the mobile war with support for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Palm Pre; OneNote, on the other hand supports only Windows Mobile devices. Both can perform optical character recognition (or OCR) for translating your handwriting into searchable notes…. We could go on, but ultimately both tools have a lot in common with subtle differences (the tablet PC-owner niche loves OneNote).

I have always thought this particular war is the victim of price-bias: advantage to Evernote available at the unbeatable price – free. Evernote premium is a paid application but costs only about 1/2 of OneNote’s retail price. Consequently the results, at the time I looked, were a bit surprising to me in spread rather than lead, and that was even BEFORE I voted.

So, which application do you think I favor? Which application do you favor? Enquiring minds want to know.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]