The free Evernote app for Android-equipped smart phones is a handy way to jot and store notes in the cloud, said several real estate professionals who reviewed the product for Inman News.
But a simplified note-taking app may be preferred for quick text notes, said one user. Among the other shortcomings cited by other reviewers: The loss of a mobile or WiFi signal can make Evernote-stored data inaccessible, and copying notes between devices can lead to loss of some basic formatting information.
Evernote offers mobile apps for a range of devices that allow users to record and store text, voice and photo notes.
Information stored using Evernote can also be accessed by desktop and laptop computers. Evernote supports Mac and Windows operating systems and offers apps for iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Android, Palm and Windows Mobile devices.
The review process was conducted from Oct. 14-25, 2010, with participation from nine real estate professionals.
According app ratings and rankings site AppBrain.com, the Evernote app for Android-equipped devices had been downloaded more than 250,000 times as of today, with an average user rating of 4.16 (out of five possible), based on 17,246 ratings.
The nine volunteer reviewers were asked to evaluate whether the product is useful to real estate professionals. They evaluated the app based on three criteria and also considered the overall strengths and weaknesses of the app. The three criteria:
- Ease: How easy is it to use?
- Usefulness: Is this something real estate professionals would use regularly as a business tool?
- Originality: How unique is this product and its features?
Reviewers, who completed an online form, could award 0 (worst) to 10 (best) points per category. Individual point totals among the nine reviewers ranged from 18 to 27 out of a maximum 30 points possible per reviewer.
The ratings from one reviewer awarding the highest total points and one reviewer awarding the lowest total points were discarded, and the average ratings are based on the seven remaining sets of ratings.
The app received an average rating of eight in each category, and an overall point total of 166 out of 210 possible, or 79 percent.
When asked whether the app would be most useful to consumers, agents, brokers, association and MLS staff, vendors and technologists, or mortgage/title/escrow/appraisal professionals, most reviewers selected real estate agents/sales associates.
Reviewer Christian Solsby, broker-owner of Paragon Equity Partners in Portland, Ore., said, "The app is very handy for capturing and remembering things; especially the use of photographing signs, numbers, etc., and saving a picture as the ‘note.’
"The app is not great when it comes to jotting down quick notes — a more ‘notepad’-focused app is better for quick notes. The record function on Evernote is great, but two to three steps to access makes the use … a bit difficult," he added.
Tom Scaglione, a Realtor with Future Home Realty Inc. in St. Petersburg, Fla., commented that the Evernote app is "very useful and easy to use and sync with my computer."
Deb Agliano, a sales consultant with ERA Andrew Realty in Medford, Mass., also commended Evernote’s ease of use. While reviewer Barrett Powell of Coldwell Banker Advantage in Pittsboro, N.C., said the app "could be more intuitive."
He also summarized, "The idea behind Evernote is very good. Pricing is also favorable. Execution still needs improvement as it is hit or miss for searches."
Brett Keppler, broker-owner for TREO, Realtors, in Cincinnati, Ohio, meanwhile, said Evernote is an effective organization tool. "I constantly lose notes and never have a central place for storing information. Evernote allows me to keep all my information in the same place saving me time and keeping me organized," Keppler stated.
Methodology: Nine Inman News readers responded to our call to review the Evernote for Android app. All participants stated in an online form that they do not have any conflict of interest, financial or otherwise, for participating in this review process. The pool of reviewers shared comments and rated the app in three categories on a scale of zero (worst) to 10 (best).
In total, each reviewer could award a minimum score of zero (worst) to 30 (best). The ratings from the reviewer who offered the highest ratings across the three categories, and from the reviewer who offered the lowest ratings across the three categories, were discarded — leaving 7 sets of ratings. Based on these ratings, an average rating was calculated for each category, rounded up or down to the nearest whole number.
A letter grade ("Overall" rating) is assigned based on the cumulative total points awarded by reviewers, divided by the maximum number of points possible. Inman News offered a $100 gift card to one participating reviewer, selected at random for completing the review process. No other reviewer received payment for participating in the process.
Letter grades are awarded as follows: A+ for 90-100 percent; A for 85-89 percent; A- for 80-84 percent; B+ for 77-79 percent; B for 73-76 percent; B- for 70-72 percent; C+ for 67-69 percent; C for 63-66 percent; C- for 60-62 percent; D+ for 57-59 percent; D for 53-56 percent; D- for 50-52 percent; F for 0-49 percent.
Inman News encourages you to share your own comments about the Evernote app in the comments section.
If you would like to participate in a review process, please fill out this online form (if you have already filled out this form there is no need to fill it out again):