What do you like?

I have a few programs that I use all the time because I’ve liked them for a long time. But I’m always looking for alternatives.

What do you like? Here’s the stuff I’d have a hard time living without.

I throw everything in a giant shoebox and look for the thing I want later.

Really? Yes. And that giant shoebox is called Evernote.

To describe Evernote as “note taking software” is not doing it justice.

Save everything to Evernote, get it wherever you are on any connected device, and find stuff fast. Take pictures, save web pages, write down ideas, dictate a note, scan a document.

And, search for what you need.

Evernote runs on Windows, Mac, iPhone/iPad, Android phones/tablets and your stuff is always accessible in a web browser when you sign in with your Evernote user name and password.

Everything stays in sync. You can keep things private or share them.

I use Evernote all day long for a variety of things. At a customer, I might snap a photo of a Blue Screen of Death with my smart phone so I have all the information readily available to research.

When I park in a garage or large parking lot, I often take a picture of my car so I can find it later. I save technical information from websites.

Heck, I save recipes from websites! I save interesting thoughts for that novel I’ll write someday.

I save snapshots of the cartridges in our printers so that next time I need ink I know what I’m looking for. (Bonus tip: That works for wine labels, too.)

Some Evernote users take the shoebox approach. Others use a structured hierarchy of folders. You can use Evernote either way.

There are excellent Evernote tutorials available on YouTube. Here’s one on getting started.  

Here’s a link to the Evernote YouTube Channel.

Evernote offers a free version and several tiers of paid versions.

These programs get me through the day

Besides Evernote, I use a few little programs that make my computing experience better.

Google Play Music Manager
Set your iTunes library free. Upload your music and stream it to any device. More here.

USB Disk Ejector
Ejects disks when Windows can’t. Makes it easier even when Windows can.  Lightweight and portable. More here.

VLC Media Player
Plays just about any video file, disc, or stream. Runs on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Adware-free. Make sure to download from the official site; many programs purport to be VLC player but are not. Get it here.

A simple, secure way to share or synchronize files between your computers, phones, iPads, tablets. Free or paid versions. If you want to give it a try and scoop up some extra free space, use my referral link. (We both get some free space.) I use Dropbox countless times every day on my computers and phone.

Yankee Clipper 3
Simple, lightweight, feature-rich, ad-free Windows clipboard manager . I tried others and kept coming back to this one. Works on everything from Windows 7 to Windows 10. Get it here.

What utilities do you like? Email [email protected] with your recommendations (and links to them, please!) and I’ll share them in a future column.

 Do you need help with your computer? I'm here to help you and your home or business computer get along.


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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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