When it comes to cloud computing, there are two services that everyone knows, and nearly everyone uses. Dropbox hit the scene in 2007 and in recent years has become wildly popular among individuals and companies because of its storage and easy file-sharing capabilities. But it can be used for much more than that.
Evernote was released in 2008 and it too has become popular among many individuals and companies, mainly because of its powerful, yet simple, note creation capabilities.
While the two services have a few similarities, and they are often grouped together in mentions of cloud services, they are both used in extremely different ways. You can think about Evernote as sticky notes posted all over your desk, while Dropbox is more like the floor-to-ceiling stack of (neatly organized) filing cabinets in your office.
In this article, we will look at the differences between Evernote and Dropbox, as well as some common (and not so common) ways that the two services are used. This should be an interesting journey, let’s get started with Evernote.
Evernote allows users to create notes or upload documents. These files are all stored in a special proprietary Evernote format, even if you uploaded a MS Word file, PDF, or other type of document. Once a document is sent or created in Evernote, it becomes an Evernote “note.” But a note is so much more than it sounds. Notes can have photos attached, and the Evernote smartphone app has a feature that allows your phone to take photos and automatically uploads the pics to Evernote. Audio clips can be recorded and saved directly from your phone as well.
Evernote has the ability to be accessed from any type of device such as desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Evernote has an app for iPhones and iPads, as well as an app for Android smartphones and tablets.
Keywords, or tags, can be added to any note, photo, audio clip, etc. These tags allow easy searching of files. Evernote can search within notes for text, even handwritten notes.
Emails can be sent directly to Evernote where they can be tagged and stored as notes. Tweets can be saved as notes as well.
The free version of Evernote has a monthly limit on the amount of data that can be uploaded, although there does not seem to be a limit on how much can be uploaded overall. The premium version is well worth the $5.00 monthly charge as users can upload around 1GB of data per month, add a PIN lock to their app, offline access to notebooks, faster image recognition, collaboration on documents, ad-free, and more.
As I mentioned above, Dropbox is like a large filing cabinet. Inside this filing cabinet you can have many folders. Inside these folders you can have subfolders, files, documents, and other data. However, as with a large filing cabinet, you can just throw all your files together in one area or you can neatly organize them in folders so you can easily find them at a later time.
One of the features that makes Dropbox so preferable for users is the ability to share large files. File sizes are only limited by how much space you have available in your Dropbox folder. If you have 5GB available in your Dropbox folder, you can upload a single file that is 5GB or a bunch of smaller files until the 5GB limit is reached. Dropbox has several different plans available for users that need large amounts of space.
Worried about security? Dropbox uses encryption such as SSL and AES-256 bit encryption to transfer and store your files. All files stored online by Dropbox are encrypted and kept securely on Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3) in multiple data centers located across the United States. Dropbox offers two-step authentication which means even if a hacker finds your password, or even if someone steals your laptop, they still cannot access your account without access to your mobile phone. Dropbox also offers the option of Time-based one-time password apps.
You can easily do this in Windows XP, Windows 7 or Vista. Right-click on your current “My Documents” folder and select Properties. Click on the Location tab and enter the location of your Dropbox folder you wish to use as the new “My Documents” folder. In Windows XP, you will have to change the Target value. Now you have successfully moved your “My Documents” folder to the cloud!
Dropbox offers 2GB of storage for free users but has upgrade plans of up to 500GB. Users also have the option of purchasing the Packrat plan, which allows unlimited restoration of files so you never have to worry about accidentally deleting important files.
Evernote is like a handy little notebook that’s always in your pocket. Dropbox is a powerful file system that’s also right there in your pocket. This gives you many options.
You can use Evernote to take notes, store photos, record audio clips, and it has incredible searching capabilities. Dropbox is used to handle bigger, bulkier files – videos, music, applications, PDF files, DOC files – although, as noted above, it can be used to create libraries of photos and organized “filing” of documents as well. So Evernote can grab notes, photos, audio, and web clippings directly from the web which can then be used to create databases in Dropbox. There are even third-party cloud services that allow Evernote and Dropbox to be synced together which creates an even more powerful array of tools at your fingertips. The possibilities are only limited by your creativity and imagination.