Evernote and the "A-Ha" Moment

Evernote logo

If you've ever tried to use Evernote before, but were skeptical as to what practical use it would have, this post is for you. To realize the usefulness of Evernote, you might have to go back to it several times. For me, it took 3-4 months before I realized the potential. Since then, whenever I introduce someone to Evernote, I follow-up with them from time to time over the following weeks. Inevitably, on one of those follow ups, they'll reveal their "a-ha" moment. I have a buddy who is almost as geeky as I am, but lacks the patience to spend too much time trying out new tech. He's interested in it, but if it doesn't help or entertain him in some way within a day or two, he shelves it. I told him about Evernote a few years ago when I started using it religiously--he downloaded the app, signed up for an account, tried it out a bit, then pretty much forgot about it.

The other day, I met this friend for lunch. When I sat down, I noticed a stack of business cards rubber-banded together. This stack was a good six inches tall, sitting on the table. Of course, the first thing that came out of my mouth was, "why aren't they all in Evernote?" I explained how simple it would be to just snap photos of the business cards with his iPhone, then load them into Evernote. Because of the large number of cards, I suggested that he take the photos on his phone, transfer them to his computer, then drag them over to a new "Business Cards" notebook.

I talked to him the next day, and he mentioned that he'd taken pictures of 200 cards, and dragged them into an Evernote notebook.

I asked him if he had tried searching for a business or contact name in that notebook yet.

"No, but I didn't type in any of the information," he responded.

"Doesn't matter, Evernote's servers will run OCR on the images," I assured him.

He did a search, and of course, (as any of us who've been using Evernote for a while can attest to,) Evernote found the image of the business card containing his query.

I could hear the a-ha moment through the phone.

"Can I search on my iPhone, too?" He asked.

"Yep"

Again, I could sense the a-ha moment through the phone.

For him, the moment he realized what Evernote could do for him was when he discovered how much time he had just saved himself. No more carrying around a stack of cards. No typing contact information from each card in by hand.

Evernote serves different purposes for different people. If you've been using Evernote for a while, what was your "a-ha" moment?