Evernote is an application for MAC, Windows, Android, and iOS. It lets you make notes and “clip” web pages and other documents you might want to come back to. It is very searchable. It has a revised version, just released.
I started using Evernote a few months ago. I like it (*) and would happily explain its benefits, but, though I still use it occasionally, I find that I return to it less and less.
It seems that this is the fate of many well-conceived and well-implemented applications – despite their positive qualities, they do not integrate themselves into our daily lives, and gradually drift out of use. Given that the apps rely on advertising support – or else freemium-to-premium paid upgrade, as in the case of Evernote – they need to stay in use if they are to succeed.
Some apps or websites achieve their “keep-going-backability” by addicting the user to interactive behavior – especially social behavior – FaceBook being a key example. Others aim for simplicity, and try to serve a need that you have many times a day (Google search). Another method might be to hook people on a repetitive narrative, like a TV soap opera – though this seems less common in tech, unless you argue that viewing Twitter-feeds, or reading Internet news, is analogous, being forms of Internet-based repetitive entertainment. Similarly, games can be addicting.
The fact is that the number of apps or web-sites that can “hook” the user in this kind of way, and so become habitual and entrenched in the user’s day, is probably not more than 7-9 per person. So one of the things that we are discussing most intently as we brainstorm new startup ideas is – how do we achieve that “keep-going-backability” that makes the difference between success and failure?
(*) Slight caveat on Evernote, I did have some bad experience with their Android app, which did put me off a bit, even though it is working now. Avoiding supporting too many platforms, not all of which work well, is another, rather more humdrum, lesson.