As an avid Google user, it was difficult for me to embrace an entirely new system for looking at my documents, whether they were generated by myself or downloaded from the web. I like Google because it keeps all my documents in one place, is connected to my email, is easy and simple to navigate, and it doesn’t hurt that I’ve been using it for years.
Good old Google Drive
Making the switch over to Evernote was, to say the least, very difficult for me. First, I found that there were a lot of things going on without a lot of explanation as to how to most easily and efficiently optimize the services Evernote was offering. Making a new note was easy enough, but I had a lot of difficulty figuring out how to create groups and subgroups for organizing the types of materials I was using–I wanted one group for PDFs, another for notes I had created myself, and different groups for different classes. I wanted to use these groups within the shared notebook I had made for class; however, this proved to be easier said than done. I ended up creating a few different “notebooks” which sometimes held what I wanted and sometimes did not. It looks something like this:
The reason my notes ended up slightly jumbled is because I had a hard time moving my notes from group to group–and even more trouble moving groups within groups.
Another aspect of Evernote that was hard to adjust to is the way new notes look while one is drafting; the text bank is very small and can be made larger horizontally but not vertically:
This is quite the departure from Google Drive, which formats your document to look something more like a Word document or text on an 8.5″x11″ page.
However, I did, with a lot of time and patience, begin to enjoy a lot of what Evernote had to offer, especially the web clipper. I had never used web clipping software before, but when I realized I could take articles and PDFs directly from my internet browser, I was excited. Before using the web clipper, I had to find a print option and make a PDF and then email it to myself so it would be accessible through multiple devices. Evernote made it easy for me to look at my readings on my computer or iPad, and make them accessible very quickly.
Even though I had trouble navigating Evernote’s application on my laptop, I really liked how the application worked and looked on my iPad. It made looking at PDFs and scrolling through my notes much easier, and I think the iPad’s application is a little more simple, making it easier for me to interact with:
The only trouble with the iPad application is that it does not enable web clipping, which is the main reason I wanted to explore Evernote.
Overall, though my experience with Evernote was slow at the beginning, I grew to appreciate the unique services it offered me, despite the few drawbacks it also sent my way. I will definitely continue to use it for reading PDFs and other articles, but may stick to other applications for drafting my own notes and documents.