Evernote Opens a Trunk of Goodies for Online-Notes Fans

7/16/10Follow @wroush

If I only had a second brain—one that could hold my Web clips, store my business cards, transcribe my voice memos, keep my to-do lists, preserve my receipts and recipes and passwords, and archive items from my Twitter, Facebook, and RSS feeds, just to list a few of the myriad types of information I attempt to manage in my home and work life.

Well, that’s actually what the freemium online notebook service Evernote aspires to be. “We want to be your permanent, trusted, ubiquitous destination for lifetime memories,” says CEO Phil Libin. In what Libin calls “Phase 1″ of Evernote’s development, the Mountain View, CA, startup got pretty good at certain parts of that mission, especially storing Web clips, text notes, snapshots, PDFs, and audio files. It’s won 3.7 million users around the world since the June 2008 launch of its Web, mobile, and desktop applications, and has seen revenue from premium subscriptions grow at 12 percent per month or more for the past two years.

But to function as something truly akin to an offboard brain, Evernote would need to extend into many more aspects of its users’ lives—allowing them to capture and browse more kinds of information on more kinds of devices, and to redeploy their digitized memories in more ways. And that’s what Phase 2 at Evernote will be about, Libin said at a press event I attended Wednesday at San Francisco’s W Hotel.

The company with the big elephant in its logo convened the event (which is viewable online here) to roll out the Evernote Trunk. Aside from being “an astonishingly clever word play,” to quote the droll Libin (who is an Xconomist), the Trunk is a collection of nearly 100 third-party applications, services, and devices that connect with Evernote in various ways.

The new Trunk pop-up screen in EvernoteMost of the Trunk items provide additional methods for users to get information into their Evernote notebooks. Dublin, Ireland-based Dial2Do, for example, introduced a Trunk app called Voice2Note that turns phone messages into text notes in Evernote, while users of Seesmic‘s social media app for the iPhone and Android phones can now save tweets and Facebook updates to Evernote with a couple of clicks. The Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner includes a new button that lets owners send scanned documents directly into their Evernote, and a Japanese product called the Airpen lets users write notes on normal paper and save digital copies in Evernote.

The Evernote Trunk is accessible from the Web, Mac, and Windows versions of Evernote’s own software application, and will be added soon to the iPad, iPhone, Android, and Blackberry versions. The Trunk resembles an app store similar to Apple’s iTunes App Store, right down to the rounded-corner icons, but it is currently more of a showcase of products, services, and content that integrate with Evernote than an actual store, Libin said. Links in the Trunk lead users to places such as the iTunes Store where they can access, download, or buy the actual products; in-app purchases from the Trunk itself may come later.

Many of the Evernote-connected services in the Trunk, such as the Eye-Fi wireless camera storage card, have been available for a while, and simply haven’t been collected in one place before. But 30 of the integrated services were announced for the first time at the press event, including Voice2Note, PDF annotation tools PDFpen and Nitro Reader, the Lil’grams service for sharing baby pictures, the ScanBizCards app for digitizing business cards, and … Next Page »

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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