Evernote: SF Explorer App of the Month

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Hear this discussion from our Longevity Explorers — circles of older adults who meet monthly to explore solutions to the challenges that come with aging.

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from: Longevity Explorers | Sequoias SF, SF Village

Discussion Summary

Explorer Rich reports on Evernote, an app he has found useful for years and especially now when his memory seems not so reliable as in the past. He describes mentally noting something that he wants to remember later, but has difficulty capturing the thought and forgetting after a time.

Evernote is a note taking app for smartphones that syncs with one's computer or tablet. Rich reports that he finds it intuitive, easy to use, and flexible for recording simple or complex material.

He goes on to enumerate some of the features that he especially likes about Evernote:

  • Information can be organized into 'notebook' files by topic and subtopic.
  • Information is easily searchable and retrievable - within a notebook or across all notebooks 

For example, one type of notebook holds Rich's doctors' appointment summaries with a separate notebook for each physician, then subfolders for each appointment. He finds it convenient to review the subfolder from the prior appointment prior to going to follow up appointments.

Other types of notebooks are for:

  • Finances, with expenses and income by category for tax records.
  • New 'interest destinations', movies, books, or activities in San Francisco for visiting guests 
  • 'To do' lists with subfolders organized by topic ( i.e. grocery list, home or auto repairs).
  • Furniture and remodel ideas
  • Gifts and presents
  • Favorite foods (recipes) or restaurants
  • Save photos or screenshots to Evernote
  • Send an article to a folder for later reading

During the ensuing conversation, Rich reminds the group that the app is only as good as the user. He points out that if one fails to follow up in seeking information from folders or sub folders, it remains buried in the application. Another has used Apple Notes in the past, but found twice that their files had 'evaporated' when searched later. (Perhaps due to failure to update the app or the iOS timely?) More thoughts on use of the note taking apps:

  • Why are you using Evernote vs. Apple Notes? Ans. - Evernote predated Notes (yet is probably similar).  
  • Notes is not as convenient to organize. No table of contents (subfolders) evident at first glance.
  • Typing on a phone is much slower than on a standard keyboard for most, and the smaller phone is prone to mistakes and autofill errors. Hence, some prefer voice dictation.  Evernote and Notes both have that capability.

The bottom line for many in the group is a privacy concern when using online notes, possibly opening one to unwanted advertising or clandestine personal data collection. Rich tells the group that, "It has never happened to me."







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Key words: 
Evernote, note taking app, memory aids, short term memory loss