Two years ago, Evernote bought out Skitch, the popular Mac screenshot annotation tool, and promptly ruined it. Perhaps it wasn’t that bad, but most Skitch fans were frustrated over the new version’s lack of features, and it took quite some time for Evernote to win us back to Skitch.
But now, they’ve taken Skitch’s best annotation features, mixed them with the original Evernote web clipper and their Clearly extension (which itself was another purchased app, Readable), and made the best tool to save online content yet. The brand-new Evernote Web Web Clipper 6 for Chrome is amazing, whether you’re wanting to save text-only copies of articles to Evernote or want to annotate sites and share them with others.
When a Clip Isn’t Just a Clip
The Evernote Web Clipper is already pretty great, just by letting you save any section of any page to the Evernote folder of your choice, complete with tags and notes of your own. Combine that with the Evernote related results in Google searches so you can find stuff you’ve saved when you’re searching online, and it’s really a powerful assistant. But that’s nothing compared to the new Clipper.
The new Clipper brings everything Evernote has to offer right to Chrome, in a beautifully designed sidebar that packs a ton of features while still seeming simple. You can view your article directly, see a simplified — Evernote Clearly-style — article view, see the full page without changes, grab a bookmark snippet, or take a screenshot of the page. That’s plenty of options to save anything you want online. Then, there’s the markup tools. You’ll find everything from arrows to shapes to a pixelate tool, as well as stamps, a crop tool, color and zoom options. It’s full Skitch, right in your browser, to markup anything you find online. And it works great, faster than any other online graphics tool I’ve ever used.
Once you’ve tweaked your webpage as much as you want, you can file it away in Evernote the way you want as well. You can pick a notebook to save it to, add tags (yes, with auto-fill prompts), and add a comment at the same time. Then, you can save it to Evernote and go on with your research. Or, in an interesting twist, you can save anything — a full webpage or your own annotation-filled copy — directly from the Evernote extension. It’ll save the clip to your Evernote database first, and then will copy an Evernote URL to your clipboard that you can share in your own apps or post to Twitter, Facebook and more directly from the integrated buttons. It’s a simple way to save and/or share anything you find online.
But that’s not all. Once you’ve saved a clip, you can add a reminder to it right from the page so you won’t forget about it. Then, in the extension’s settings, you can choose to open Evernote search results in the desktop app, set keyboard shortcuts to speed everything up, and set your default clip style and notebook. It’s a power-user’s clipping tool this time, for sure.
Go Try It. You Know You Want To.
I’m a Safari user by default, but the new Evernote Clipper for Chrome is almost enough reason to want to switch browsers again. It’s beautifully designed, works amazingly well, and is the perfect tool to make Evernote your online data repository of choice.
Evernote’s made quite the journey from XP to the iPad age, and somehow I can’t help but think that this extension means they’re focusing on the web more again. It’s sure be awesome to see the Evernote web app get the same attention that their Mac and Windows apps have gotten with the v.5 refresh. Even if they don’t, though, Evernote easily retains its crown as king of notetaking apps (and web clipping, and annotations, and so much more).