Editor's Note: A warm welcome to our longtime friend Dorian Speed, who joins us today with her first column for our Tech Talk series.

Hello, everyone! I’m so excited to be joining the Tech Talk team here at CatholicMom.com! As an (occasionally exasperated) Android user, I’m looking forward to exploring both Catholic apps for this platform as well as tools that I use in my vocation. While I won’t say that all of my surfing is time well spent, I do rely on technology to connect with family and friends, to explore homeschooling resources, and for my own professional development. My hope is that I can provide useful suggestions and help point you to resources that might make your life a little easier.

While I’ll primarily be focusing on Catholic content for both Android phones and the Kindle Fire (which uses the Android platform), I’d like to start off with a series of posts on the app I use the most: EVERNOTE. Evernote goes so far beyond a traditional “app” that its wonderfulness can’t possibly be compressed into a single column. So let’s start with the basics.


Whether you’re an everything-in-its-place organizing genius or a more “holistic,” pile-based thinker (like me), Evernote will work for you. It’s like a virtual file cabinet into which you can throw receipts, important documents, links to funny YouTube cat videos, notes from a business meeting, and to-do checklists. Better than a traditional file cabinet, though, Evernote allows you to either search for a single word among all those piles/folders, or organize them to the hilt using separate notebooks and tags (like labels for individual file folders).

So, it’s an app?

It’s an app, it’s a desktop application, it’s a lifesaver. The best thing about Evernote is that everything’s stored “in the cloud” (and, if you use the desktop application, on your computer). So you can access it from your smartphone, your tablet, your web browser, and your computer.

Here’s an example: let’s say I’ve come across a webpage tutorial for a sewing project. It’s got tons of pictures that I’d like to look at in greater detail. But I’m supposed to be working on something else right now instead of sitting down at my sewing machine, so I click “save to Evernote,” assign it to the “Sewing” notebook, and then pull it up that weekend on my Android phone to have handy when I do finally have time to start on that project. The ability to share all sorts of information on multiple devices is at the heart of what has made Evernote so successful.

How much does it cost?

Evernote offers a free version that’s very robust. It includes 60MB/month of storage (at this time), the ability to use it on multiple devices, and a maximum limit of 100,000 notes and 250 notebooks. That’s a LOT of cat videos.

I’ve made the choice to upgrade to the Premium version due to some extra features that really make it a valuable tool for family organization, and I’ll go into that in a later column. For now, if you haven’t already checked out Evernote, I encourage you to download the free version, play around with it, and enjoy the freedom of never having to remember anything again.

Read more of our Tech Talk columns.

Copyright 2012 Dorian Speed