14 June 2011

Evernote & Dropbox: Similar Online Apps, but not the same

Dropbox and Evernote are new tools I've learned to use this past year and am pleased to have them during my travels. I'm just a toddler in both apps, not having mastered them yet, but they are meeting some of my needs even now.
Check out what Brett Kelly of Bridging the Nerd Gap says. He writes about "Living, Learning, Working and Creating Online"

Brett's comparison of the two apps is this:

Both services specialize in keeping a given set of data in sync across multiple machines and the Internet. They both offer native mobile clients on multiple platforms for managing said data and they both, to one degree or another, deal in files (like spreadsheets, word processor documents, photos and such like). The ability to keep previous versions of said files is also present on both app’s feature lists, but this is executed in very different ways by each company. That’s it, folks.

He then breaks it down for us.

Dropbox’s focus is files, so that’s what I keep there. Lots of them, in fact (about 89gb worth, as I type this). I keep all of my iTunes music in there, all of my current development projects and all sorts of other stuff. It’s also really great for ad hoc file sharing/hosting using the Public directory and it allows files of over 50mb (which Evernote does not). And it offers a sort of poor man’s version control system by letting you revert to all previous versions of a file going back 30 days incase you foul something up. Evernote supports this to some degree with it’s Note History feature, but it doesn’t keep a revision of every change you make, but rather a snapshot of the note at a given interval that you can revert to if you like.

Evernote deals primarily in textual and image content. It does allow you to attach files to notes, a facility that I use frequently, but not the same way Dropbox does. Evernote allows more versatile and customizable organization in the forms of notebooks and tags (instead of just nested directories). The vast (*vast*) majority of what I keep in Evernote is text: account numbers, throwaway SQL scripts that I might want again someday, scanned copies of Apple Store receipts (which are also searchable), etc. As far non-image, non-PDF files I keep in Evernote, it’s mostly blank forms that I use semi-frequently (like a time off request form or an expense report) and archives of files I want to keep but may never need again.

And gives examples:

  • Dropbox is short-term storage of files, Evernote is long term.
  • Dropbox is where I keep the music, Evernote is where I keep the list of bands to check out and the receipts for the music I buy.
  • Dropbox is where I keep records of client assets, Evernote is where I keep a log of client communication.
  • Dropbox is how I move files easily between computers, Evernote is how I move text easily between computers.
So, check them out if you'd like access to various files and info on all the devices you use to work and play. Dropbox and Evernote

Also check out Brett's site for all kinds of good tips on
these and other apps we can master for our own purposes.

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