69Earlier this year I downloaded a free copy of Evernote on my PC, phone and tablet. It has received rave reviews as one of the best applications on the internet. Evernote helps you remember and act upon ideas, projects and experiences across all the computers, phones and tablets you use. I used it for a week and was less than impressed. I didn’t get it. It was easy enough to use, but I couldn’t see the benefits. I deleted it a few days later.

The rave reviews kept coming. Evernote says it has 50 million users around the world (a third in the U.S.) and is adding 100,000 a day. So… I figured it must be me and that I needed to give it a second try. I’m glad I did because Evernote is now my no. 1 favorite application.

You type, or clip or upload a new “note” (an image, a recording, or a Web page) and store it in a “notebook”. Evernote saves your ideas, documents your meetings, archives articles, reminds you what your kid wants for Christmas, and coughs up the business card of Plaid Jacket Guy from that conference in Scottsdale. In addition to segregating such material into notebooks, users can organize it with tags, but don’t have to. Evernote’s search function, with optical character recognition that even picks up words within pictures, is impressively accurate and speedy. The effectiveness of this function is crucial, because the willingness to dump work and personal material in one place is central to Evernote’s power and simplicity.

Still not getting it? Either did I. Evernote is one of those applications that you either get or struggle to understand. My advice is don’t give up until you get it. You will thank me later. To download Evernote onto your iPhone, iPad or iTouch, go to the iTunes store from that device. For your Android phone or tablet, go to the Google Play store from each device. To download it to your laptop or desktop computers, click here.