Mobile Uses for Evernote’s Trunk

My infatuation with Evernote is not new. Evernote is my dumping ground for research ideas, quick notes, and web pages I’ve come across on the Internet and want to save for future reading — while I love Instapaper and use it daily (often to send content into Evernote), I also like knowing a page saved into Evernote is there for what passes for digital forever these days.

When Evernote announced its new Trunk service on Wednesday, I was immediately skeptical and derisive. As I IM’d a friend, “Trunk? As in ‘Junk in the?'” Evernote has had an API for apps to connect to it available for a while. While the Trunk has been jokingly referred to as the Evernote App Store, that’s pretty much what it is. I don’t, however, think they are copying the Apple Store model; Trunk is more of a way to promote services that are Evernote-ready — as well as market some of its own for-pay services.

You can check out Evernote-enabled apps here. I’ve found most of them stretch Evernote integration. It seems most of them consider the ability to save a photo to your iDevices Photo Library, and use Evernote to create a photo from said graphic “integrates with Evernote.” I say hogwash.

I’m focusing on mobile apps here because my MacBook has become a stay-at-home computer since I got the iPad. So, my focus here is on apps I can use on my iDevice while away from my Mac.

These are the ones I’ve spent some time with: Seesmic, AP Mobile, and Egretlist.

Egretlist is a to-do manager that integrates with Evernote and it can build lists based off your Evernote tags. If you’re project heavy, this can be a nice way to track all materials and tasks associated with it. For example, if you’re working on a research paper, you can tag in Evernote all the source material and tasks and in Egretlist, create a project based on that tag. While I love the interface, I’m not sold this is a good replacement for Cultured Code’s Things. For starters, Things is a Universal App; Egretlist isn’t. However, Egretlist will allow for cloud syncing, something Things lacks.

Seesmic is a social media client that integrates with Twitter and Facebook. You can have up to four accounts associated with it. I tend to over-use the Favorites feature of Twitter to mark tweets. With Seesmic, I can send those right into Evernote now. That said, a lot of my marking is for later referral, not for keeping for later, so I’m more inclined to send a linked article to Instapaper.

AP Mobile is, as you’d assume, the iPhone app for the AP News Service. Sending an article to Evernote opens the Evernote app and clips the text into the new note. You can then assign tags and what notebook you want it in. I’d love to see more news apps use the Evernote API.

The Future

It’s my hope that iPhone app developers will see Trunk as another way to promote their app. There are a lot of apps I can see as Trunk candidates. RSS readers, for one. None of the RSS readers on iOS I’ve tried can directly clip into Evernote; I have to send them to Instapaper and have Instapaper e-mail the contents to Evernote. There are a few Bible apps that claim to be Evernote-ready. I’d love to see a Wikipedia and traditional encyclopedia app have the ability to send content into Evernote.

The easier it is to get content from your app into a service I use would be a big selling point for me. It’s my hope developers will see a listing in the Trunk as a way of separating their app from the noise of the App Store.