Really? Is Evernote the best we can do given all the new technology at our fingertips? Although Evernote is great at recording and remembering information, the progress of technology should allow us to organize, collaborate and share that information as well.
On the organization front, there should be a simple way to categorize and prioritize the data, files, notes, pictures, and audio files you have in a meaningful way. There is the default notebook filing system. But why are we sticking to this skeumorphic representation? Some people store the information in their head using metaphors of boxes, others in lists, some in mindmaps. The right tool should be flexible enough to accommodate all these solutions, which is why I’m such a big fan of Evernote Trunk. Additionally, there is a lack of real weight when arranging among different notebooks. The visceral sense of moving objects around in boxes is missing since in real life there’s just a certain heaviness to carry items around. One possible solution is to visualize the weight by using size or color so users can easily see how much stuff any given notebook has and its importance or urgency.
On the collaboration front, Evernote is missing a number of great opportunities that people could have in building together great collections of thoughts and ideas. Although it’s possible to share notebooks, this process is incredibly difficult and requires going through multiple steps. It’s clear that as of now, the goal at Evernote is for users to store their personal information, rather than to use or present that information.
This thinking is just wrong. Great ideas and important data is meant to be open. Passwords and other personal items should remain stored, but at that point, do you really need the 25MB of storage just those few strings of text? Ultimately, I really want to believe in the future of Evernote and cloud-based productivity software, but we just aren’t there yet.