Monday, August 20, 2012

Google Docs and Evernote

Two of my favourite tools are Google Docs/Drive and Evernote. Just yesterday I was reflecting on my use of these products and thinking on my personal practices.. As they can be used for similar purposes I need to have a personal policy for their use or I won't know where I have put my stuff.

Firstly I thought about some sort of tool that would sync my Evernote and Google Docs stuff and I found a few. But that's not what I want; I don't need to duplicate everything I have stored in one or the other; I need to work out what to do with each of them. I considered asking people on Twitter and Google+ how they differentiated their use of these tools or if they were just loyal to one.  Then I got distracted (I'm not just tangential in genealogy) and put my pondering aside for another day.

Lo and behold, what should appear in my RSS feeds this morning but this post from educator, David Andrade, "Google Docs and Evernote – when and why I use each one". David said "I see them as two completely different tools and when used together prove a powerful combination of resources for students and teachers alike." I would add and "little old ladies who dabble in the digital world."

I looked at the way David uses the tools and compared my practice. Because of our situations my use differs from his but his post gave me a good yardstick against which to compare my practice. The major difference is that  I will take notes from presentations in Google+. I find it easy to do this then, at a later time, edit them for future reference,  publishing on the web, in print or as the basis for a blog post. 

Evernote is my way of organizing captured images and text clipped from the web, random thoughts, short notes and URLs. I share two of my notebooks, Genealogy and Technology publicly while I keep others private. I even have a couple of audio files saved. I no longer use Delicious to look after my bookmarks; Evernote does this and much more.  My private notebooks store recipes, health notes, humour, travel info, my travel bucket list and all sorts of other stuff. The powerful Evernote tagging facility means that I can easily retrieve things that I have tagged (especially useful when my memory fails me).

Like David I use Google Docs on Google Drive for writing documents and spreadsheets. I have dabbled with presentations but may use this more when I travel with my netbook that does not have Powerpoint installed on it. The ability to easily collaborate through document sharing on Google makes it a winner for me. On a personal level I have used Google spreadsheets to organise parties, travel and weddings with family members. For geenealogy purposes I have collaborated with genealogists in three other countries to prepare a Rootstech presentation. I am presently using a Google spreadsheet to maintain with the Social Media Committee a planning document for our Society blog.  I also use Google’s Gmail and calendar for organising my life. When at a conference or event I use the Google drive Android app to take notes.

That I am able to have both Evernote and Google Drive/Docs on my four devices: laptop, netbook, Android tablet and Android 'phone makes my life so much easier. And now that I have thought about how I will use each of them I should become more efficient - Hope springs eternal!

Does your practice differ from mine? I am open to ideas.


Louis Kessler said...


I'm not an Evernote user, but I just heard today about a site in beta that is hooking Evernote up to a GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology.

The do sync actions with Google Calendar. Since they are in beta, you might be able to convince them to implement syncing of your Evernote notes with your Google Docs.


Louis Kessler said...

Hmm. I better give you the site. It's:

GeniAus said...

Thanks, Louis. Have signed up for zendone.

Youly said...

Jill, I use them in almost exactly the same way that you do. Absolutely LOVE Evernote... I'd be lost without it!

Chris said...

Now this is interesting. But it wasn't till you said you'd dropped Delicious in favour of Evernote that I really sat up and listened and was moved to comment!
Have been wondering what everyone raves about evernote for. Haven't had time to really dig into it and how to use it but REALLY want to move on from Delicious without losing all those filed urls. Have you got a suggestion for some good clear advice on the uses of Evernote and getting the best out of it?
Many thanks Chris

GeniAus said...

Chris, I'll prepare a blog post on how I use Evernote. I didn't find an easy way to move my several thousand Delicious links - I imported them into Google Bookmarks and have been slowly adding them to Evernote. It's amazing how many of them I didn't bother with.

Laren said...

I've been using Evernote for a couple of years. I can't live without it!! The thing is, Delicious is a bookmarking site. Evernote allows you to store booksmarks, but also the content contained on pages, in a variety of formats (text, images, files, media etc) And it allows you to store off line, so you don't need to be connected to access the information.

Anonymous said...

I have been using Google docs for a while now,seriously never felt the need of any other tool. Be it Dropbox or Evernote. But recently with Google docs I was not able to share parts of my data i.e., share spreadsheet data. N that's when I shifted from Google docs to a new one out in the market called CollateBox .


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