Evernote and contextual experiences

Evernote is the app you use to remember stuff. Just about anything. Its apps run on a variety of mobile devices, Mac and Windows and the only reason its not ubiquitous is that there isn’t a Linux app (although the Web app has really developed in the last few years to the point where its a pretty decent desktop app alternative).

Evernote has launched a couple apps in the last few months that focus the general service on specific uses. Clearly, a Chrome extension, is a lot like the Readability extension and it renders a Web page into something more readable and which you can conveniently save into Evernote to read another time.

Evernote launched two more really interesting apps in the last week or so. The first is Evernote Food which immediately reminded me of Oink which I am using. The idea is to capture food you eat and enjoy along with information about location (posts can be geotagged) and people you were with. The result is a custom note in Evernote optimized for the content type (a photo, description of the food and other info). I’m not sure how often I’ll use it but it signifies a subtle shift in how users may perceive and use Evernote.

The latest app, Evernote Hello, excites me a bit more. This app encroaches on apps like LinkedIn’s CardMunch and Hashable although it takes the idea of capturing contacts a bit beyond business card captures (one of the uses Evernote’s Phil Libin mentioned in the earlier days was snapping business cards with Evernote with his camera phone) and addresses one of the challenges I face – recognizing people when I bump into them again.

I am curious to see how this would work in practice. It would obviously work best if people you meet are happy to take a snapshot of themselves and enter their data (or let you take the photo). As with Food, this app creates a custom note in Evernote with the data you capture along with the photo. I love the idea.

What interests me more about these apps is how it extends Evernote’s utility for me. Until now I have had the Evernote app on my phone and use it from time to time (I find the app is pretty sluggish so I don’t bother when I have a quick note to take – not the point). These two apps give me quick, specialized applications of the service to specific contexts. These apps make Evernote an experiential and contextual service and that interests me a lot.


What do you think?

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