Evernote for Agile Practitioners, Part 3

June 18, 2012

In this last of a three-part series on Evernote, we’ll look at a few more features that will benefit Agile teams. To learn more about the features that we’ve already covered, click on Part 1 and Part 2 to get caught up.

The Agile world is filled with visual cues. Kanban boards, burn up/down charts, sprint planning whiteboard notes, user stories written on sticky notes or note cards and other artifacts are an ever-present visual part of Agile. Wouldn’t it be neat to have a place to store these? Enter Evernote. Again, using the note methodology mentioned in the last post, you can upload images into Evernote. Because it is a note, all of the other neat things you can do with notes can be done to these image-based notes. One of the greatest features of Evernote is that it makes images containing printed or handwritten text searchable. Imagine that you can upload these images to your project folder then search for what might be written on one of these pictures without flipping through all of the images. You can also click and drag pictures from your desktop right into a note that you have stored in Evernote. Pretty neat feature for capturing that graphical information your team might need someday.

One of the biggest concerns (translation=fears) that individuals and businesses alike have with social and cloud-based services like Evernote is security. And that’s understandable – it seems like every day we hear about another data breach involving thousands of users and their most sensitive information. By using a good password for your Evernote account, you can be reasonably assured that your data will remain safe. However, Evernote goes a step further. You can choose to encrypt text within a note and provide a key or passphrase that is unique to that data, so in order to access the data you would need not only the password for the account but the passphrase for the data. Premium users can also choose to encrypt their data with an external encryption solution. So, your project’s most sensitive data can remain as protected as you need it to be.

The last feature we’ll look at for Evernote is called “The Trunk.” The Trunk is not a feature of Evernote itself, but rather a collection of third-party products that are integrated and optimized to make use of Evernote. In my opinion, it is this level of integration and cooperation with others that has distinguished Evernote from the pack of competitors in this space. Not only will you find apps and sites that are optimized for Evernote, you’ll even find hardware such as scanners, printers, cameras and smart pens that can feed directly into Evernote. You can access this through the Evernote web page by clicking on the link titled “The Trunk” at the top of the screen.

Three posts later and we’ve just skimmed the surface of Evernote. By now, I hope you’ve kicked the tires with Evernote to check out some of the great features that this tool has to offer. If so, comment with your feedback and let others hear your story. Or, do you think this is something that might be valuable to your Agile team and that you may try in the future? If so, Braintrust can help you decide how you might get started with Evernote. Click the Contact link to get in touch with someone about how we can help.



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