I’ve always looked at Evernote as a service that simply wasn’t for me. Dropbox and Finder have always met my limited needs, but a steady stream of updates and acquisitions has made Evernote harder and harder to ignore. The service can store nearly anything, and features like OCR and tags make content easy to sift through.
Capture is an important part of the Evernote process, but it’s not really something that the iOS versions of the apps do very well. Sure, Evernote has a giant Plus button, but that doesn’t mean that adding items is easy. This Plus button brings up a blank note, which works well for simple notes, but copying and pasting into Evernote can be a pain. On top of that, adding tags or changing a notebook takes several taps. EverClip tries to improve upon the Evernote capture process. The app runs in the background and captures anything that’s copied to the iOS clipboard. Should EverClip be a part of your Evernote arsenal?
Think of EverClip as an Evernote inbox. EverClip is capable of creating text and image notes within the app, but it’s designed for copying from an outside application. Once Evernote credentials are accepted, it’s time to leave the app. Users have ten minutes to copy to their heart’s content, before the background process ends. Simply copy text, images, or both at the same time, and EverClip will add it as a new entry. The app verifies that it has copied an item with a sound and a buzz, so it’s easy to tell that it’s still working.
How It Works
EverClip is mostly about clipping, but it’s possible to create new notes within the app. Tap the pencil icon to bring up new note options. EverClip can pull photos from the camera roll, take a photo using the iPhone’s camera or create a simple text note. Just be sure to type the note correctly the first time, because it’s impossible to go back and edit the text later. Hopefully some sort of editing functionality will be added in the future, but its omission is forgivable, since the app is more about clipping content than creating it.
Pasting articles directly into Evernote conserves font styles, but EverClip strips clippings of their original style. This can be good or bad, depending on the needs of the user.
Tap a note to bring up the note details. From here, users can change the title and add or remove additional tags. In the Evernote app, adding tags required hitting the info button and clicking on the Tags entry, but with EverClip it’s possible to edit tags in fewer steps. New notes are assigned to a default notebook and given a default tag. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to change an entry’s notebook without changing the default notebook, and EverClip doesn’t provide a tags list when typing in a new default tag.
EverClip will clear entries once they’ve been sent to Evernote, but users can disable this in the settings menu.
EverClip items can be processed individually or combined into one entry. Start by tapping the Edit pencil. Tap entries in the order desired, and EverClip will place a number next to each selected entry. This is the order in which the entries will be combined. Once selection is complete, tap the Play button. This will combine the selected entries into a single note, with the title of the first entry. EverClip will combine all of the tags of the separate entries as well. From here it’s possible to edit the title or tags. When done editing, tap Send, and EverClip will combine the entries and ship them off to Evernote.
Room For Improvement
The biggest problem with EverClip lies with iOS’ limitations. The app must be activated for background clipping to work, but users must reactivate every ten minutes. EverClip plays a sounds or vibrates when a clip is copied, so it’s easy to tell when the ten minutes are up, but the app also sends a notification to let the user know that the clipping session has ended. If time runs out, users will have to switch to EverClip, switch back to the previous app and recopy the data. This process probably takes more time than copying directly into Evernote, but the developers could lessen the blow by making it possible to paste content directly into EverClip.
EverClip works best for short bursts of capture, but there’s a good chance that it’s going to grab a few things that you’ll wish it hadn’t. There’s no auto-post with EverClip, so this isn’t a huge issue, but it certainly makes me nervous when the app grabs a password that I’ve copied and pasted into mobile Safari. The latest EverClip update also adds “support” for url schemes, but this is limited to opening EverClip with “everclip://”. Hopefully, EverClip will allow users to create new notes using a url scheme, something that the Evernote app can’t do. Launch Center Pro fans will welcome this addition, and this simple feature may broaden EverClip’s appeal.
EverClip is a beautiful app that serves a very specific function. If you’re looking for a great background clipper, for quick bursts of clipping that doesn’t require mobile Safari, then EverClip may be the app for you. The ability to quickly edit tags is a plus, but the inability to edit entries is a bummer. It’s these little omissions that make it hard to rely exclusively on EverClip for handling and sorting clippings. For now, avid clippers will certainly find a fine-looking friend in EverClip, but I’m interested to see where this app will go with a bit more polish and a few more updates.