One free tool that I have come to love over the years is Evernote. Evernote has been around for awhile and is among one of the first apps I got when the new app store was announced for iOS or maybe it was soon after that. At first I did not use it much but have since come to love and use it a lot.
One of the great things about Evernote is they seem to have an app on every device so you can literally remember everything you put in it where ever you be and with any device you have on you. So if I make a note on my iPhone then go to my computer my note is right there. If I make a note on my computer I can go over to my Blackberry Playbook and find the same not there, it really is that easy and the best part of course is that it is free!
Once you have ever not installed an icon will show up on the top right hand of your status bar if you are a Mac and bottom right hand side if you are a PC.
Now you can either pull open Evernote and make your notes there or you can use these icons to do quick notes notes or paste screen shots or even highlighted portions of the website you are looking at.
As you can see from the menu above, this allows you to quickly create a new note, paste whatever you have in your clipboard to Evernote, Clip a rectangle area or window screen to Evernote, Click full screen to Evernote or record audio in Evernote. You can also see the shortcut keys for this commands which would speed up some time.
So lets say you are reviewing something on a website and come across a phrase or comment that you would like to remember. Highlight that portion of the website that you would like to clip to Evernote.
In this example I have highlighted just some text from on of my favorite sites apple.com.
With that text selected I can come up to the top and select the elephant icon and then select Paste to Evernote. This will open up a new note in Evernote.
So you can see from here that your text becomes the note title which you can modify and even add more text below in the text area. You can also select from the drop down box for what category this note falls under as well as still see the source of the text you copied so you can refer back to that site.
The nice thing about this is now if I pull up my Evernote app on my iPhone I can see that same note and even edit that note on my iPhone.
You can also go the opposite direction and take a snapshot on your phone or record audio on your phone and those notes will automatically show up on your desktop app.
Also with Evernote is the ability to create notebooks to organize your notes in a better fashion. So if you make a note you can choose as you are making the note what notebook you want this to go under or you can always modify the note at a later time as well.
Which you even have the option to share specific notes with other Evernote users. So say you are in a meeting and you are the one taking notes, if other users would like access to those notes you can make it a shared note and then collaborate on those notes.
One other thing that I really love about Evernote is their toolbar.
You can do your normal text editing but you can also add check marks if you have to do items in your notes as well as tables. I especially love the tables, the reason is in design meetings I create a two column table and on one side I can have a design and on the other I can make notes and comments about that design, so now I can review those comments wherever I may be and on any device I may be on.
You can also see from that tool bar you can create an audio note, take a snap shot with your computer camera or attach a file. If you take a screenshot with Evernote, it will try to recognize text even or handwriting and try to convert that to text for you.
There are a lot more powerful features involved with Evernote and it is quickly becoming one of my most favorite tools to use, I recommend you download it for free both on your computer and on your mobile devices (iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows 7 Phones).