Taking notes online: Still looking

I must have missed this the other day, but apparently Evernote — the note-taking desktop software app — has launched an online version as an invitation-only beta. I wish I had been more on the ball, because TechCrunch had a bunch of invites, but of course they were probably gone in a matter of minutes. That’s usually what happens, and the comments on the post suggest it happened this time as well.

The video that Evernote has of the app at work (which is also here) looks pretty slick, and I know that lots of people swear by the desktop software. The main reason I haven’t used it — or Microsoft’s OneNote, or any of the other “backup brain” note-taking solutions — is that you have to install them on every computer you use, keep them synched, etc. This is the biggest attraction of a Web-based version.

I’ve tried — and still occasionally use — a bunch of different note-taking apps, including the ScribeFire plugin for Firefox, which I believe my friend Paul Kedrosky is also a fan of (or used to be), as well Google’s Notebook app and Clipmarks. At one point I was using Clipmarks.com to post to my blog, but it was too cumbersome and didn’t include support for tags. I mostly just use del.icio.us to save pages I want to remember, but as much as I like how simple it is, it lacks a whole pile of features.

I really wanted to like Google’s Notebook app, but I have to say it: It sucks. It’s clunky and kludgy and just plain goofy — it doesn’t make you want to use it, it doesn’t make it easy to see or organize the things you’ve clipped. It just sucks. I was really hoping that it would be the one-shot solution that would let me pull together bits and pieces that I come across on the Web into some kind of coherent whole, but it isn’t. If Evernote can do that, then I just might become a fan. But first I need an invite 🙂

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