Hoping to move more aggressively into professional and productivity apps, Evernote released an updated version of its web client with an increased focus on the workplace. The beta version of the client is now available, and features a sleeker interface designed to increase productivity. A full version is expected to launch in the fall.
The update -- along with several other developments -- was launched during the Fourth Annual Evernote Conference, which began yesterday in San Francisco. To underline its new focus on the workplace, the company adopted the slogan “Welcome to Your New Workspace” for the event.
“From desk to meeting and from individual work to group projects, Evernote allows you to get it all done without switching apps or contexts,” the company said in a blog post Thursday.
A New Context
The new design seeks to move Evernote away from being solely a note-taking application and toward a focus on four central actions: writing, collecting, finding and presenting. The four activities will be supported with new collaborative features and enhanced algorithms, the company said.
In addition to the redesigned interface, Evernote also trotted out a new “augmented intelligence” feature it is calling Context that is aimed at facilitating research. Context, which is slated for release as a premium feature soon, will search through users’ old notes for information that might be related to their current projects.
For Evernote business users, Context will also search the notebooks of colleagues to help prevent duplicating their work. The business version will also come with something called Expertise Discovery that will identify other employees Evernote thinks have expert information on a user’s topic.
The feature can also recognize the names of contacts from other organizations named in a note, and can pull their contact information from LinkedIn, including their current titles, photos and employers. Evernote will then offer to connect users with their contacts through its new Work Chat feature.
Context will also bring up recent articles from a list of news organizations, including The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, CrunchBase, Fast Company and, for business users, Factiva. Users will then be able to read, clip, and share articles with their colleagues.
Collaborating with Work Chat
Evernote also introduced a new instant messaging platform aimed at business users called Work Chat, in an effort to keep users from switching away to another app.
“Why should you have to drop what you’re doing in Evernote and be sucked into another app to get the answers and feedback you need?” Evernote asked in a blog post. “Or, worse yet, draft an email that your teammates might read in a few hours (or days) and wait until then to pick up your work again?”
Co-workers will be able to share and collaborate on notes through the chat platform by granting read/write permissions to sets of colleagues working on the same project, according to the company. Evernote said it plans to launch the feature in November for all major desktop, Web, mobile, and tablet versions of Evernote.