I’ve played with 100 note-taking/history-recording tools over the years, and none of them have ever really taken off for me. I started playing with Evernote soon after the beta began, and while I loved the interface and the story, my uses were very occasional.
Now, however, I’m constantly in Evernote – it’s third only to my browser and Textmate – as I’m coding.
Why? I’m using it as a programming information repository. Every day that I program in Ruby on Rails, I learn a few new things or change the way I do things – today, for example, I learned that interpolation is faster than concatenation, and yesterday I finally found a clear explanation on how yields work. What I do now is every time I find an interesting piece of information, I clip the whole page to Evernote, add a few tags, and then keep on going. Occasionally I’ll paste screenshots from the PDFs of some books I own as well, which then (usually) get magically transcribed for me.
I’ve realized that I was using Google to search for the same information over and over again, and then trying to remember which link I liked the best. With Evernote, I’ve already recorded that memory, so I just have one source. Every day a greater percentage of my programming-related searching is happening in Evernote.
I’ve thought about making a separate notebook for my Rails/Ruby content and making it public – if I do so, I’ll post it here – though obviously it’s not a replacement for an actual text, it just has pointers to things I’ve cared about. However, if a dozen people did this, I’d love to have links to all of their notebooks.