Apr 192013

I used to get excited about new computer apps when they hit the market but most of them ended up having limited value. This year, however, I discovered Evernote which has become my favorite application. Evernote helps me remember, document and journal things. This year I’m using it to document my garden with a combination of photo and sound files. For five years I’ve used a spiral binder and the results have been unsatisfactory. So, far I’m very happy with the way things are going with Evernote. Evernote allows you to tag items with as many tags as you want: “Garden 2013”, “gardening”, “seeds”, “garden beds”, “garden journal”, or whatever. The search function pulls all these notes together as in this snapshot:

Using the Cloud, Evernote syncs these notes to all my devices. Since I am blessed with an iPhone, iPad, iMac and Macbook, all these notes appear very quickly on each device. If I modify an item on one device the change is synced on all devices. So, I can use my iPhone in the garden to make a recording, describing what I have done, when I did it and where I did it, then tag it later when I sit down at the laptop. I can also access my files via Evernote’s website from a third party computer.

I can add to each file as the season goes along and also include links to web pages, photos of invoice (for seed) and pics of seed packs to show the source, date packaged, etc.

I found it was awkward in the garden to find the notebook, something to write with and to figure out how to organize the material. At the end of the season I was constantly paging through the entire notebook to find what I was looking for.

A small garden can probably do this on a page or two. But as the garden gets bigger (and we’ve added a small orchard, some grapes, kiwis, and vegetable beds outside the main garden), it’s more and more difficult to keep track of things. I can no longer rely on my vaunted memory which has now vaulted to places unknown.