Duel-y Noted

I’ve been storing my notes digitally for years. Since my first palmtop – the Atari Portfolio, I’ve rarely jotted down my common notes onto pen and paper. Over the years, I’ve converted these mostly text notes from one device and format to another. Up until I got my iPhone, I moved them all to a program called Mark/Space Notebook, which used to sync with Fliq Notes that resided on my Palm Pre. I’ve since moved to Simplenote, with various clients running on my iDevices and Mac.

In the last 18 months, I started using Evernote to store my web clippings, articles, tips, hints, lists of various subjects, products and details and other non-text notes.

What kind of notes I keep in which app is what I will try to detail below.

Evernote

evernote
Evernote

This app is pretty much the de facto standard for multi-platform note taking and syncing. I embraced this app when I realized that I could keep more than just text synced to all of my devices. I mostly use this for keeping web clips of pages that I want to keep static and not have to go find the bookmark under my web browser. Things like product guides, tech tips, lists of my LEGO minifig collection, emailed coupons, travel documents and reservation details are all synced and instantly accessible.

All items are stored under a notebook, which is like a category. Then each note can be kept in specific notebooks like Personal, Apple, Travel, Coupons, Concerts and many more.

The free account gives you 60mb a month of uploading. That number seems like a small amount, but this is a lot of uploading to get to that level. And that is not to be confused with how much total storage is allowed, which I’m sure I have a good 300mb of data in all of my Evernote notebooks.

If for some reason you find yourself needing to upload more than 60mb a month, it’s $4.99 to go Premium and get more breathing room.

I like Evernote and it’s helped me stay organized in a different way than I expected.

Metanota

metanota
Metanota

This Mac app is pretty new, but it’s the best of the bunch to access your Simplenote notes. And as the name implies, Simplenote is all text notes. No web clips or pasted graphic support. You can store web URLs and email addresses and they will show as a link, but that’s it.

As I mentioned above, my text notes that I have had for over 20 years are all in my Simplenote. Metanota helps keep them organized by category, which are synced. I found you do need to create the category first then all of the notes associated with that category get synced over. Although this wasn’t the case for existing notes that I had before I started using Metanota.

There are other Simplenote clients for the iPhone and iPad, webOS (Noted! and PondNotes) and Android (Flick Note) that keep each one of your text notes in sync across all of your devices.

I don’t have a need to access my Simplenote notes under Windows, but there is a Windows client available as well called GumNotes.

Summary

Note taking in the digital world is very much alive and if you need to have your notes everywhere, there are a couple of choices in Evernote and Simplenote that should meet just about everyone of your needs.

Do you keep digital notes? What kind of information do you keep? Does it help over pen and paper?

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