I really do like writing in real, paper, leather-covered journal, with a real pen and real ink. The problem is that I don’t always have them handy, nor can I always just stop what I am doing and pull out pen and journal whenever I have an idea. The alternative for me seems to be an online journal or notebook. I have tried a number of them including Journey, Evernote, straight up Google Docs, none of them really seem right. I don’t own a decent laptop, and the tablet gives me the same issues as the physical journal and pen, I don’t always have it with me right when I find the need to write something down. What I do always seem to have handy is my cell phone.
I have tried using my phone for short journal items or reminders, mostly though for to do lists when going to the store or getting a list of household projects that need to be done. I just find that, perhaps due to age, that the phone is too small (even though I currently own a Pixel XL). The biggest issue is, most likely, that I haven’t really given it a real chance to see if it will work for me. But what will work for me?
I have used Evernote in the past and to be honest it is a nice platform. I have tried others as I mentioned earlier, but for some reason keep coming back to Evernote. That must mean there is something there, right? I listen to leadership and business podcasts every now and then and I keep hearing these people say what an essential tool this is for them and how they couldn’t do without it. Maybe I need to give it another chance to see if it grows on me. The thing that I am struggling with is that it seems to be getting more and more commercial and wanting monthly subscriptions if I want to access my account on more that one device, or more storage, or more features. What will happen if I really get hooked on it? Will suddenly one day it will be a pay only site and then if I want access to all my stuff am I going to have to pay for it? On the other hand I do understand the need to monetize the system as it isn’t free for the company to maintain and add new features and support.
The free sites are nice. Who doesn’t like free? But I find with the free stuff, you get what you pay for. Google Docs is nice, free, but I have to create the forms and notebooks and all the extras that Evernote has already built in. I can also use Evernote offline and it is easy to jot down a quick note on the fly, or add a photo, or audio.
I am going to give Evernote one last good, honest try and see what happens. Who knows, it might become one of those tools that, in time, I will wonder how I ever did anything without.