Evernote 5.0

KEY INFO
Developer: Evernote Corporation
Price: Free

REQUIREMENTS
OS X 10.6.6 or later, Free or Premium Evernote account

 Evernote 5.0 debuts a radical redesign that makes it easier than ever to navigate.

With Evernote 5.0, it feels like the note-taking service that spans web, desktop and mobile has come of age – on the Mac at least. The redesigned user interface and the dozens of genuinely useful new features all build on a solid base to deliver a much better note-taking experience.

At its heart, Evernote remains what it has always been: a tool for quickly jotting down notes, with options for filing in notebooks and adding tags to link together related notes from different books. What version 5 does is present this in a much more efficient and friendly manner, illustrated perfectly by the new sidebar, which provides fast access to different areas of the program as well as pinned favourites – whether notes, notebooks or tags – and recently accessed notes.

There are also new views, designed to make things more attractive and logical, including the does-what-it-says-on-the-tin All Notes option. Evernote 5 also adds a new default view – Cards – that provides an alternative means of browsing your notes. Thankfully, you can still access the Snippet view if you find Cards doesn’t provide enough information. Browsing notebooks is simpler too, thanks to a grid view and the ability to view all personal, shared and joined notebooks in the same place.

The new Atlas view provides shortcuts to all your tagged locations from its main screen.

Adding and editing notes is now simpler, whether it’s dragging files into notebooks to quickly create new notes or enjoying the updated notes editor. You can now open notes in their own dedicated window, and use indented text and tag notes by location. This latter feature is joined by a new Atlas view, which pins your notes on a map according to their location tag. It might feel gimmicky to some, but others will appreciate having another means of organising their notes and photos. Elsewhere, TypeAhead suggestions grace the search box and there are better signposted options for sharing notes and notebooks with others.

Evernote recently launched a new version of image-annotation tool Skitch that now produces images as Evernote notes, and the main app can now view these. Editing them still requires Skitch, but it’s a feature we can see being integrated in the next major release.

Sadly, the 5.0 release on the iPad and iPhone hasn’t hit the same heights as the Mac version, largely due to sluggish sync performance. Thankfully, the desktop app only synchronises every 15 minutes (and you can switch it off via Preferences), so even if you get turned off using Evernote on your mobile, you’ll still enjoy the pleasures of using it on your Mac.

Verdict

The excellent note-organising service just got even better with a raft of new features and improvements.