just returned from the #EC2013 Evernote
For those of you who have yet to stumble upon
Conference in San Francisco. Iâ€™ve been a
Evernote, or those of you who are still on the fence, I
fan of Evernote since their infancy, but with
the current releases debuted at the event, I must admit,
say itâ€™s time to get fully on board. I predict Evernote will become a household name with the likes of other
Evernote is my new favorite company (move over
iconic brands like Apple, Starbucks, and Virgin, who
Apple!). I see it as a brand I can learn from to better
have the magic that separate them from others inside
my own vision and skills for building a better company
and outside their respective industries.
myself. In my mind, Evernote will become an iconic brand because they offer great tech, sure, but more
This blog is for those of you who love Evernote, but missed
importantly, I believe, it will be due to the philosophy of
the conference. Iâ€™m sharing what I found to be the highlights
the company led by Founder and CEO, Phil Libin.
over the two days peppered with some of my own learning experiences.
“…there are 6.9 billion people not using Evernote”
PHILOSOPHY “…there are 6.9 billion people not using Evernote”
The “Evernote Ecosystem” begins with 330 employees around the globe and includes 75 million users. Those numbers already are staggering, but what is so impressive about Evernote’s global web is the number of people
success. Though they boast of their 75 million users, they see that it means there are 6.9
billion people who are NOT using Evernote. But you don’t have to be a big company like Evernote or Apple to have the same kind of success. The secret, that you can also apply to a business of a much smaller scale, is to build
who are not employees or customers who are
something great that others want, in some way,
over 30,000 developers of apps who plug into
people who have a passion for your Brand, and it
also involved with the brand. Evernote has
Evernote! More and more innovative developers and designers are choosing Evernote as the platform to build tools to help the world become smarter. This is why I say people on the fence with
to latch on to or become a part of. Attract enough will grow all on its own! “We are building something for ourselves – something we need and love and hope others will need and love as well.”
Evernote need to jump off now: as Apple’s
Phil opened the conference by sharing the
attract innovative outside app developers
by saying that Evernote is building something for
story shows, technology companies that
tend to skyrocket in terms of success. And
Evernote has the ambition to replicate that
fundamental philosophy of Evernote. He started themselves – something they need and love that they hope others will need and love as well.
“a 100 year old ‘startup’ ...building Evernote to always be better is our lifetime’s work.”
This statement resonates with me because this
One of the ways Evernote stretches is in its
is the mission behind GoodLife Team. The last 5
“no tricks approach” business model: the
years have been about building a better kind of
company only makes money when you buy
real estate experience – a 5-star experience we
its products. If that seems elementary, that’s
home sellers and REALTORS.
lot of companies make their money nowadays.
We have a commitment to offer a good life
through advertising and data mining. Evernote,
experience that we think the consumer and real
however, believes that this way creates a
estate professional (serving our customers)
fundamental conflict of interest. Instead,
deserve in an industry that makes no brand
for about five years now, they have been
stretching to focus on only solving significant
would want to have ourselves as home-buyers,
“My oath is to stretch. I think everything can be better. Our commitment is to go beyond the app.” The Evernote mission is to make the world
because it is, but of course that is not how a Many companies collect indirect revenue
problems to help the end user. With all its focus on developing products and features that serve the consumer, Evernote
has come out of nowhere to join the ranks of the most well known brands in the global marketplace. More importantly,
smarter. And, in order to do this, Libin says
this philosophy gives them time to talk to their
Evernote must never rest on its laurels, but
customers and respond to feedback, enabling
instead they must build things far beyond their
them to continuously update and improve
comfort zone. He says that his commitment is to
the product. The “no tricks approach” allows
always “stretch.” Libin believes that everything
Evernote to truly have a holistic business model.
requires first that they build the best app
To me, Libin’s vision and mission is keenly
possible and then “go beyond the App.” He
reminiscent of Steve Jobs’. Perhaps this is why
can be made better. And, for Evernote, that
says “this mission will enable us to be “a 100
year old ‘startup’ as building Evernote to always be better is our lifetime’s work.”
I am magnetized by the Evernote brand. Like Apple, Evernote is, well, “better.” And again, Libin’s philosophy (and Jobs’ before him)
have a different perspective. I don’t necessarily believe in an exact balance between the two, but I do think they need to be distinct. For me, a lack of separation combined with a desire to perform at a high level – at work/life as one – proved to be unsustainable and severely unhealthy. It broke me. Bad. Today, I think there many aspects of life, and work is just one of them. I am passionate about my business, I LOVE my work, and I think what I do is important – but it no longer consumes my whole life. I’ve learned how to be just as passionate in other areas of my life. I’ve even found a hobby (drawing), and I’ve learned how to take time to “do” nothing but enjoy the moment. speaks to my heart because my own personal mission is to always endeavor to be better. The challenge I’ve taken on is to first build a better real estate company. And then, as my life’s work, build an overall GoodLife Companies brand that is better and stands for helping others live a good life.
“Evernote is my Life’s Work.”
With that said, I believe that happiness at work makes for more happiness at home, so I do wish to create a place to work where everyone believes that what we do at work is “sufficiently epic” and that our work makes the world a better place. I want every team member of GoodLife Companies to believe that the importance of their work in helping others helps
Libin’s philosophy leaves blurred lines between the distinctions of personal life and business/work. He believes that when you do something you love, are passionate about, and are good at, you’ll have no need to find a balance between the two because the two are a blend versus a division. Because he’s found his life’s work, he wishes to attract to Evernote others who want their life’s work to be building indispensable products that make all of us better at life. He wants the employees
of Evernote to feel that the work they are doing
is important and “sufficiently epic” - which could perhaps be translated to also mean having blurred lines between work and life. This is a philosophy that I don’t completely agree with. I used to. In fact, before I got sick earlier this year, the exact words would have come from my mouth – that because I love what I do, I have no boundaries between my work and life. Today, I
them live a “better” life.
“It’s not how something looks, but how it feels.” I think most of you who know me know how much good design means to me. I put extra
Beautiful, right? Read on to learn more about the new iOS7 update for Evernote!
effort and money into everything we do at
design. So, hearing Libin talk about Evernote’s
“Certainly the most important thing to the health of a company is great employee experiences.”
to borrow) gave me another reason to love this
I enjoyed hearing Libin’s forward thinking
company. Libin continued to say that everything
on this. So much today is spoken on the
they do is designed to produce an “Evernote
inescapability of the need to produce
Experience.” The Evernote philosophy for
outstanding “customer experiences.” But Libin
design is “it’s not how something looks, but how
takes this new age maxim a step further and
GoodLife because I believe much of how our brand is “felt” and “experienced” is in the
“Empathetic Design” (buzz words I intend
it feels to the user.” Libin gave example after
continues to blur those work/life boundaries.
example of the added expense they put into all
Libin thinks that we all deserve a great
their elements of design – even down to finding
experience at work. “In this day and age of
the perfect icon. And Evernote is succeeding in
knowledge workers vs. laborers, certainly the
their design philosophy: they just won the Apple Design Award and Red Dot Design Award. Libin continued to say that it’s no longer just
most important thing to the health of a company is employee happiness and overall state of
mind,” says Libin. Unlike other companies in their space, they do not offer BYOD (bring
design we must consider. Today we must
your own device). He declares that employees
design for the user because the app has to be
don’t want to bring their own devices – they
designed around how we live, which means it
want MacBooks and iPads. Employees want
used by the customer. When he said this, I
that they would hope to own personally. The
design is important now than ever.
a good experience at work so they offer them
must integrate with several different devices realized how true it is and took note that
the same devices, tools, and software at work concept at Evernote is their employees deserve
I’ve noted here a few changes that dedicated Evernote users will want to take note of:
1. The Evernote App Center Ever wondered what Evernote Trunk is? Well, it has been renamed the Evernote App Center to clear up some confusion. A lesson that Libin shared here is that when naming things, don’t MacBooks, iPads, and even great organic food.
be clever! They named Evernote Trunk to play
And sometimes a little bit of junk food too!
off the elephant logo and the idea of a luggage
Those of you who have followed me are very
didn’t connect the dots. The new name, Libin
aware of our GoodLife Companies brand promise to provide a 5-star experience to the consumer. Our innovative real estate approach has enabled us as a real estate brokerage brand to triumph with this initiative here in Austin. As proud as I am to say we’ve succeeded in fulfilling this difficult to achieve core value, I must also admit that I’ve been less successful in offering a “better” experience to my other customer, my GoodLife Team agent. As a result, I don’t think our company has been as healthy as it could be. But I do think our employees and agents deserve happiness. I want them to feel that working here is a centerpiece of their own good life. I’ve already taken some steps here, but in 2014, there will be much more to come (so be watching!). My desire is to have the world’s most talented and brilliant people come together and say, “Great, let’s go change the world!”
EVERNOTE ENHANCED 5 New & Improved Evernote Features The innovative philosophy behind Evernote is outstanding, but the company has also made a few remarkable tweaks to their product!
trunk to store things. However, the consumer hopes, will make it more than obvious what the Trunk is: the Evernote App Center. In the trunk, or I guess in the App Center, there are fewer apps from which to choose, but each one is promised to deliver a great experience.
2. The Reminders feature This is my favorite new feature! In my opinion,
the Reminders feature gives EN so much more utility. As part of the Reminders feature, you can set alarms, add reminders, to-dos, and pin
...better design, search experience, and speed.
notes for note order.
3. iOS7 Release
I also love the enhanced experience on the release of iOS7. For the iOS7 release, Evernote threw out everything, and they redesigned as if this were the very first edition of Evernote, but knowing everything they know now. (This
INTRODUCING EVERNOTE BUSINESS
“a business-class experience for the end
user is a business-class experience for the business”
would be a good exercise for many of us!). A
We know the difference in experience flying
design, search experience, and speed.
comes to software, “business class” usually
4. Webclipper 6.0
says it’s because the product isn’t made for the
few features of the new release are a better
You will love this. In 6.0, EN combined the best of their 3 most popular products – Clipper, Clearly, and Skitch. You can now annotate your
business class versus economy. Yet when it means a substandard product. Why? Libin end user, but instead for enterprise purchasing departments.
Clips without having to open Skitch.
Libin says “Getting rid of the office isn’t the
5. Skitch 3.0
It’s about offering a better office experience.
Better yet, built-in annotation isn’t just for Clipper – Skitch is now a built-in feature of Evernote. In other words, you never have to leave Evernote in order to mark up your work in Evernote. And if you need for Skitch outside of Evernote, it’s now a 3-step process. Simply capture a picture, mark it up, and pass it on.
goal, just as being paper-free isn’t the goal. Coming to the office should be more fun and more productive than not.” Evernote business 2.0. is meant to help us be smarter and more productive. Evernote Business wants to become our companies’ brain. It now offers new ways to capture, find, share, and discover information and knowledge of your company. No more
already in EN, so Evernote created presentation mode to make it easier to follow along with the speaker. Built-in features such as a laser pointer make presenting information to your team so much more intuitive (and fun)!
scratching our heads and wondering where we stored that document or Keynote presentation! With these new refinements, EVB gives us situational awareness so that everyone can see what everyone else in the company is working on in the company. And don’t worry; everything in your professional notebook is still private.
5 New & Improved Evernote Business Features 1. Send to Meeting Send to Meeting lets you share annotated images that you create in Skitch with attendees of an event on your calendar. You can access this tool through the Share icon, but Send to Meeting also pops up with reminders on your calendar so you can send pictures ahead of time. Talk about streamlined!
2. PDF Annotation Capability In the previous version of Evernote, PDF annotation often felt clunky and timeconsuming. But with this new update, you now don’t need to open the entire document to see the annotations made on it. Everything shows up on the first page! This definitely saves time in product workflows.
3. Presentation Mode Your agenda, notes and presentation are
4. Business Home Business Home is the new Library in Evernote. It serves as a central location for all your company’s information, including your own business notes and those notes shared with you by coworkers. You can even join notebooks that you find interesting from this platform.
5. Redesigned Search Searching in Evernote is better than ever with their redesigned search feature. Now, in addition to searching your own notebooks, Evernote also finds relevant content in notebooks shared across your business. Evernote Business even suggests coworkers who may know more about whatever you’re searching for!
Watch the GoodLife Team Evernote Business Case Study Video above.
Evernote Business Case Studies To demonstrate Evernote Business 2.0 in real life, Libon displays on the big screen two slides and one video of businesses using Evernote Business to help run their companies:
1. Mail Chimp LINK Across their marketing and UX teams, Mail Chimp uses Evernote Business to gather research from diverse sources and to connect data in a meaningful way enabling them to improve their product and their company seamlessly. UX designer Federico Holdago states “after using Evernote Business, nobody has an excuse to make an uninformed decision
more effectively with his colleagues and to collect aggregate knowledge about the business in a place that will never get lost. Jim says, “It’s pretty hectic the entire time around here, so we’ve got to have somewhere where we can keep track of everything. Evernote is the best thing for that.”
...and, last but not least,
2. Jimmy’s Iced Coffee LINK
3. GoodLife Team!
As a small business owner wearing many hats, Jim Cregan, the Founder of Jimmy’s Iced Coffee, uses Evernote Business to communicate
GoodLife Team was featured as an Evernote Business Case Study in this video!
is a MUST for all Evernote users. Another must have for all iPad users is the Jot Script Evernote Edition Stylus -- the first fine-tip stylus. And, for those wishing for an ideal MacBook bag that also carries your iPad, chargers, and even that journal, you will want to have the Triangle Commuter Bag. Garry Wise bought one and he loves it!
GRAND OPENING OF THE EVERNOTE MARKET Evernote made it abundantly clear at the conference that their mission is to make our lives BETTER. And, they included, this doesn’t end with just the apps. Evernote announced the collaboration with their favorite designers and manufacturers to bring us the brand-new Evernote Market. The Evernote Market is meant to be a selection of products designed to “improve more of our everyday.” Jeff Zwerner, Vice President of Branded Products, said their goal is to provide
us with the most beautifully designed elegant tools to use first thing in the morning and throughout our life’s work. I must admit, as a product snob, I was remarkably impressed. All of the products really captured the essence of being modern and sleek in design combined with real utility. My favorites are the Scansnap Evernote Edition Scanner touted as “the world’s most beautiful scanner and scanner experience.” I agree, it does have a fabulous mod design (not your normal ugly scanner) which, better yet, scans directly into your Evernote. This, in my opinion,
CLOSING ADDRESS The Evernote Conference 2013 ended with a fantastic presentation from David Allen, author
• We can learn from ants: they are efficient and effective, yet have no capacity for memory. If they
of the revolutionary “Getting Things Done”.
discover food, while they carry the food back to
Things Done” describes a new way to be
to the food. The pheromones are markers that
to organize yourself and your day and keep
your life to keep yourself productive and on track!
For those of you who don’t know, “Getting
the nest, they drop pheromones to lead more ants
productive; it’s a complete reimagining of how
cause action! Drop metaphorical pheromones in
your stress levels at a minimum. Allen, to close out a conference all about how Evernote
is evolving, reminded us that Evernote is, at its most fundamental level, a productivity tool. Here are his top five tips
for increasing your daily productivity by using
• Read the book “Getting Things Done.” It will give you great ideas for using Evernote as your external brain to help you be more productive and more things done. I read it and am using several GTD methodologies or organize my own
5 Tips from the Closing Keynote
Thanks for reading, everyone! And thanks
• Have an external brain (like Evernote) in order to free up your mind to do something way better. • Our brains are meant for imagining ideas, not
to Phil for having us at the conference! And, please: tell me your thoughts about this post. I’d LOVE your feedback.
for holding them.
Live a good life,
• Don’t have the same thought twice – do
something with your thoughts, otherwise you wake up at 3:00am remembering to set the office alarm!