Two popular productivity tools on the market today are Evernote and Dropbox. I’ve previously written about how much I love Evernote over on Organize to Revitalize, and later this month look for my post over there with more detailed information about Dropbox. However, some people think they need to choose between the two, but the simple truth is they serve different functions. They are similar in that they keep data organized and synced across multiple devices and via the internet. They are different in what kind of information they are really meant to store.
Dropbox is generally about files. Document files, excel files, photo files, Quickbooks backup files, music files – these are the types of files Dropbox was really meant for, and that’s what I keep there. It’s set up just like the nested directories you probably already have on your computer. Dropbox is wonderful if your friends or colleagues use it too and you like to share files that are too big to send via email. This has made sharing documents with my accountant a snap, as well as sharing information for group collaboration or marketing efforts with colleagues simpler than it’s ever been.
Evernote is more about text, clippings from websites, and images. I use Evernote for researching topics (clipping information and images from website in particular), keeping client notes, brainstorming ideas for various topics, storing standard text I use in email responses, and creating outlines for projects. Evernote also has the capacity for adding tags and other comments to each note, which makes searching far easier in my opinion than Dropbox.
I could certainly use Dropbox for some of these things; however, I don’t have a laptop, but I usually have my smartphone with me. Evernote is much easier for updating and adding information to notes from the phone than Dropbox is – I can’t edit a Word document from my phone, but I can update my notes in Evernote.
That being said, I use both apps frequently to make my data available to me just about no matter where I am. They’re both fabulous for helping me increase my productivity, especially when I travel, and I certainly don’t think one could replace the other.
Do you use Evernote or Dropbox or both? I’d love to hear how you’re using them to make your life and work more portable and productive in the comments below!