This past week, Post-it and Evernote brands announced a joint venture. According to CNET’s article, the point of the venture is to turn your paper sticky notes into digital notes. You can take a picture of specific bright-colored Post-it notes, upload those photos to Evernote, and store them there where you can access the photos of your paper stickies on your phone and/or tablet.
I don’t disagree with this venture; after all, it breathes new digital life into a paper product, as well as brings a popular brand (3M/Post-it) to a digital resource. But personally, I don’t really get the point, at least for myself. Being both a paper and digital user, I can see the value of using both—I use a combination myself. However, I use sticky notes for random reminders and notes, not for something that I would want to take a picture of and store on my phone.
True, I do keep lists in my planner and transfer them to Wunderlist as needed, but that is for easy access when I’m out and about. It also helps me to organize my errands and what I will buy when I’m out at any given time, depending on my budget at the time. I suppose I could and would use the Evernote software for the same thing, but I tend not to use Evernote that way (a full description of how I use paper versus various digital apps is forthcoming). Basically, I use Evernote for reference purposes at home, to keep articles I find online that I want to save, and not for any kind of lists. I can access any of them via my phone and tablet should I need to. That need rarely arises though.
Of course, this is just how I use the products. I’m sure people will use this as it’s intended and will use it successfully. But to me, it’s just an extra two steps that I wouldn’t otherwise need to take—not only would I write the note, but then I’d also need to take a picture of it, upload it to the software, and access it when and where I need to. Meanwhile, I could have pulled out my planner and referred to the actual sticky itself in less time. The same could be said of my Wunderlist lists, I suppose. But I open that software at least once a day, most times more, so it’s not really an “extra step” if I’m already using it. With Evernote, it all depends on what I’m working on at any given time. I may open that software only once or twice a week, and only if I’m working on a specific project or need to refer to a saved article.
One thing about CNET’s article that threw me though is the quote from Evernote’s CEO: “’Paperless as a concept is stupid… The goal is to get rid of stupid uses of paper.’”
Let’s break this down. I agree with the first part—I don’t like the concept of an all or nothing approach to paper versus technology. While we’ll find many articles and blog posts for one side or another, I don’t see why we all can’t use what we want, especially if it’s a combination. That seems to be what works for most people. However, the second part, that just doesn’t make sense to me. Who is to say what is a “stupid use of paper”? And from inference, does that mean that using the paper Post-its is “stupid”? Because, if so, that’s putting down a product you are now going into business with.
Maybe it’s just me—maybe I’m just reading too much into the statement. I love Evernote. But really, Post-its was (and still is) my first love.
So what do you think—is this a product you might use?