How Evernote Plans to Re-Conquer Your Life

Widgets and customization for the win

Key Takeaways

  • Evernote’s newly released Home screen claims to give you quick access to your most relevant content.
  • Widgets include Notes, Scratch Pad, Recently Captured, Notebooks, Pinned Note, Tags, and Shortcuts. 
  • One organization expert compares Evernote Home to the cockpit of a plane.
The Evernote home screen displayed on a laptop computer and a mobile device.
Evernote

Evernote wants you to put its note-taking software at the center of your digital life with a new dashboard that promises to organize all your information with widgets. 

The recently released Home feature claims to give you quick access to your most relevant content. It features a revamped look and a customizable dashboard that includes a scratchpad and recently captured information.

The dashboard gives Evernote a fresh shot at becoming your online corkboard and one-ups some competitors, observers say. 

"For many years, Evernote was my main app to keep digital documents, manage projects and tasks, and collect useful information," Rebeca Sena, a consultant at GetSpace.digital, said in an email interview. "The dashboard will help me better categorize personal and professional notes, and its visual appeal is a bonus."

Widgets R Us

The Evernote Home screen suggests items that it thinks users would want to see first. Those with an Evernote Basic or Plus account are presented with several widgets each day, including Notes, Scratch Pad, Recently Captured, Notebooks, Pinned Note, Tags, and Shortcuts. Evernote Premium and Business subscribers can resize, reorder, and remove widgets to customize their Home dashboard and access options that allow them to change the background image.

"I simply need to be able to put my hands on it exactly when I need it."

Evernote was once all the rage among digital note-takers. Still, it seemed to dip off the radar in recent years as competitors like Google’s Keep and Microsoft’s OneNote gained in features and popularity. There’s also the elegantly minimalist Notion for organizing content and sharing it with teams. 

"I have experimented with tools such as Notion, which I see as the biggest competitor of Evernote nowadays," Sena said. "It is possible to create a similar dashboard manually within Notion. However, it can be quite a time-consuming task to create a workplace that works for you from scratch."

Customization is King

Evernote Home’s customization abilities are the best part of the software, Sena said. "The user can create a panel and pin different notes, visualize shortcuts, and showcase captured excerpts," she said.

"Heavy users of Evernote often deal with collections of hundreds of notes. The dashboard makes it easier to keep them under control, not forcing you to rely solely on the search functionality."

Frank Buck, the author of "Get Organized!: Time Management for School Leaders," and an Evernote Certified Consultant says that the new Home feature isn’t enough of a reason for people to switch from another note-taking program.

"But it is part of a larger vision being implemented by Evernote under its current leader," Buck said in an email interview. "They have done tons of work to make the experience across all platforms the same."

Buck likens Evernote Home to in the cockpit of a plane. "It pulls together the information you have either most recently used, or you most commonly use. It's personalized based on your use of Evernote," he wrote on his website.

Evernote on a laptop with the search function open.
Evernote

"Rather than clicking through notebooks or conducting a search, the information is at your fingertips. Clicking on anything on the 'dashboard' opens that information from within Evernote."

Evernote Home has been a boon to Buck’s work. "I find most of the information I save will never be printed," he wrote on his site. "I simply need to be able to put my hands on it exactly when I need it. Evernote is the perfect place to keep digital reference information. In fact, the words you are reading right now were composed and edited in Evernote."

Evernote said it would roll out the Home update to Mac, Windows, and web users over the next few weeks. The feature will make its way to iOS and Android devices at a later date.

I’m an avid online note jotter, and I am eager to give Evernote Home a try. My devotion has been to Google Keep in recent years, simply because of its deep integration with other Google services. But Home is making me rethink my loyalty, and I might even fork over money to pay for an Evernote subscription.

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