Working with a product such as Evernote using one system on a variety of platforms is delightful. It is easy to learn and fast to use. You ensure that your information is always available to you no matter where you are as it is a cloud based system as adept at running on mobile devices as it is desktop units.
Closed vs Open Systems
Some people have argued that Evernote is a closed system and that your data is locked in and there is some truth to this but not much. Evernote is actually a very open system and data can easily be transported to it from many systems and it is easy to export your data out of Evernote should you want to.
However, this article is not about open vs closed systems in the vein of the above discussion. Rather, Evernote is a system that runs equally on four different environments allowing you to switch between any of these environments and see your information, work with your information and transfer your information all over the place.
Evernote runs on:
- OSX (The Mac)
This is impressive. It really runs on all the major OS environments we work with. Someone could be easily working on their Blackberry at the office or home and then work on their Mac and use Evernote all the while using the exact same information in the same the same way.
Evernote is not only an impressive app in the manner in which it works in a platorms environment such as the Mac ecosystem. Evernote crosses platform borders with aplombe. This supposedly closed system is probably one of the most open systems on the market.
All of the above can be done with Onedrive but this is a cloud based hosting platform. Evernote is that in reality but it is a full note taking applications environment also. I’ve often referred to as Evernote as an Information Manager but it is crossing the bounds now to become a full fledged knowledege management system.
The difference is one system allows you to manage your information so that you have better control over it while the other does the same except that you can create logical links between the information to produce knowledge. With Evernote you are starting and I would say we now have such a system.
Combine this capability with its ability to cross borders and you have the most powerful note taking information/knowledge management systems going. Your information is far from being an island of information caught in a spot that you can only occassionally get to it. Rather, it is available ubiquitously.
Liberating to say the Least
Evernote is one of those environments that is just very liberating. It is very liberating not just to be able to use Evernote on all your Apple devices but on any of the devices I mentioned above. So if you wanted to work on a Blackberry for whatever reason there is nothing to stop you knowing you can use Evernote on that then your other devices.
Evernote is clearly not a closed system as many detractors would like to suggest. An argument about what constitutes an open system could easily be pursued. I like Microsoft’s CEO’s expression “Mobility First, Cloud First.” We are the closest we’ve ever been to open systems that I can remember. All pure Open Systems endeavours have been flat out failures. The Unix push of 1990 and then the Linux push of the 2000’s all went no where in terms of a mass market adoption. However, both systems are everywhere.
The Open Systems that these sytems promised though are happening because the cloud is happening everywhere you turn. Evernote, being a pure cloud based system driving an applications environment is a very open system and this will only grow.
Nothing could be more liberating than being able to freely move between all these platforms and devices.
Evernote is the First to Deliver but…
Evernote I would contend is the first applications platform to truly deliver an open system based on the cloud. However, there are others who are nipping at its heel.
Microsoft is coming on strong with Office 365 and Onedrive. Apple is there in many ways and is only beginning in others. It is about as closed a system as there is but it is begining break out. iCloud Drive is the first indicator of their interest in branching out. They may actually do this by leveraging others such as their recent deal with IBM and even let Microsoft do the heavy lifting with Office 365 and Onedrive but being fully plugged in. It is like a train that runs on one track but all you have to do is flip the switch and it can move along another to at least drop off the goods.
The Device, The Cloud, The Future
It is essential to the future of computing that all systems are like Evernote and they cross borders easily one way or another. The best way is when they do it directly like Evernote has done. But leveraging others capabilities while fully delivering the data can work just as well. It might appear to you in a BusyCal calendar first generated in Fantastical and then pumped through Office 365 so that you just see that very same calendar event on a Blackberry only formatted slight differently. To you, the end user, you understand both calendars as long as the data in each is relevant to you and identical.
Nothing less will be acceptable. This is the promise of Office 365, the capability of Evernote and hopefully Apple’s embracing of something they either fully understand or don’t but do it anyway.
Regardless, it is essential the train cross the borders. Evernote is probably the first exemplar of the capability we all seek. No one really seeks to be locked into anyone environment. This was the tremendous backlash against DRM’d music. If we bought it, the companies could tell us we could only play it on their particular brand of player such as the iPod even if it is the best. No one wanted this once they saw it for what it was and the companies retrenched.
Open systems are here and they are here to stay. Once you have stepped in to that garden there is no stepping out. Going back is not an option. But who would want to anyway.