With Thursday's news that Google is discontinuing development on its Notebook service, it may leave a few people looking for a viable replacement. The good news is that there are a handful of really solid products that do the same thing, and in some cases--do it better. Here's a list of seven of our favorites, in no particular order.
Evernote has a few big things going for it, the main one being its cross-platform architecture which lets you access and add to your Evernotes from multiple devices. It also has optical character recognition, which means any photos you send in will be scanned for text, which gets indexed for searching.
Serious desktop users will most likely want to download the local client, which enables you to create and edit notes even when you don't have an Internet connection. There's also a browser plug-in that lets you clip entire Web pages, or simply bits of them, to save for later.
If you want to get at Evernote on your phone there are clients for both the iPhone and Windows Mobile handsets. Both let you access your notes collection and create new ones right from your device. This includes things like voice messages and snapshots from your phone's built-in camera and microphone.
The service is free to use up to a certain amount of data per month, which you can easily go over if you intend to use it for archiving high-resolution photo scans or for storing large files. However, if you're just using it for quick notes, and a few photos and Web clippings you'll be well under the limit.
Shortly after the news that Google Notebook was ceasing development, Evernote announced it would soon be providing an escape hatch for users to export their stuff over to Evernote free of charge.
2. Zoho Notebook
Zoho's Notebook is probably one of the best services for ex-Google Notebookers to flock to if only for its collaborative features. Several people can work on the same notebook at once, and it combines a handful of Zoho's other Web productivity services into one place. For instance, you can drop in a presentation from Zoho Show, add a video from YouTube, Viddler, Vimeo, or any other site that uses embed code, as well as upload files from your desktop to share or squirrel away on Zoho's servers.
Additionally there's live chat with other Zoho users and collaborators, voice recording, and the capability to link to other notebooks within any notebook.
Its learning curve may be a bit steep for Google Notebook users unfamiliar with other Zoho products, but one thing that might help is the optional browser extension (for IE and Firefox) that lets users clip bits of Web pages to send to specific notebooks.… Read more