I don’t know if Evernote is indispensable as I don’t remember working without it. It’s installed on each of my computers and every reinstall of Windows since 2005…
Evernote3 has only made life easier, simpler, with syncing in the cloud. It’s the goodness of never having to chose between storing stuff on this computer, that computer, on your Flash drive or in the cloud: it’s and, not or. And Evernote does the transparent heavy lifting of all that synced goodness.
Evernote can store images (and yes, index and search text in those images…) and PDF files (which, again, it can index and search too). So I didn’t take out my notetaker walllet to copy down the addition to the opening times of the nearby swimming pool; I snapped a photo with the low-res CMOS camera built-in to most cellphones today and emailed it to my Evernote account.
Likewise my copy of Leo Babauta’s Zen to Done has been drag-and-dropped into Evernote and is thus available to me anywhere at any time.
However, as it goes with these kind of improvements, they make you long for more. That longing rises quickly when you attempt to drag a non-image, non-PDF into Evernote.
Can’t be done.
Adobe Acrobat to the Rescue
Having been on the fence whether to continue to use a patchwork of alternative solutions or buy Adobe Acrobat, I interpreted the recently-ish release of Acrobat 9.0 as a sign that I should buy a copy.
Ever since I’ve been playing around with the program, liking my new software toy very much — thank you — and turning just about anything into PDF’s. Our Husky now scurries away when he sees me approach.
One of the things I came across is the ability to create a PDF Portfolio. A PDF Portfilio is a PDF-ish file that can contain other files: images, Word files, Excel, video, etc. etc. …
You see where this is going to go, right?
Create a PDF Portfolio
Except for the reader-only version, obviously, any edition of Adobe Acrobat 9.0 can create PDF Portfolio’s.
Open your copy and go for Create -> Assemble a PDF Portfolio.
Grab a file and drag-and-drop it to the PDF Portfolio screen.
If you want you click on the file name to change that. Or click under the file name to add a description to that file.
You can switch to the esthetically more pleasing list view too. Adobe Acrobat Pro and Pro Extended can also apply templates to how these PDF Portfolio’s look and behave. Brian S. Friedlander’s Assistive Technology has a good entry on creating PDF Portfolio’s in Adobe Acrobat Pro (Extended).
The created PDF Portfolio, containing your files, can be dropped into Evernote and will be synced with and through the cloud.
Even when (if?) Evernote adds native file sharing, using PDF Portfolio’s in a very elegant way to move and share files which should be kept together.