Physical and digital content management tool Evernote has moved out of beta.
Evernote combines bookmarking, clipping, scanning and picture taking with industrial OCR software to allow users to catalog pretty much anything they want to. I’m not sure exactly when Evernote first launched in beta, but I’m sure I read somewhere the company was founded in 2002. The first mention of the company according to Google News is 2004. Notably this beta period (4 or more years) was a closed beta as well, with new users only able to sign up via a received invite code from another user. It’s a proven viral tactic, but 4 or more years would seem to be a new record.
I’ve publicly praised Evernote before, but I should explain again how I use Evernote. I do use it for some web clipping, but primarily I use it to scan and store digital documents, which in the most part means bills. Telephone bill comes in I scan it directly into the Evernote desktop app, then it gets shredded. I can then leave a note to reopen it when it needs to be paid. Business cards, menus…pretty much any piece of paper I can either get rid of (because it isn’t needed in hard copy later) or I want to have easy access to (Evernote is desktop, web + iPhone) goes into Evernote.
The downside: over 40mb a month in uploads means paying for the service, and when you’re scanning large documents you usually don’t bother shrinking them down before they hit Evernote. That and storage is fairly cheap to free everywhere else. Of course it helps that Evernote has such beautifully thought out tools, but still, some people will baulk at the price. The other issue: as much as I love Evernote, as a stand alone idea it struggles. Someone is going to come along and integrate Evernote like features into another, all in one package (say email or a GTD app) and then Evernote will become redundant. It’s extremely good at what it does, it’s just limited in what it does, if that makes sense.
Mashable notes that an API is being developed for Evernote, if this is the case we will see Evernote functionality built into other apps in the future.