everNote is a computerized system for filing notes and retrieving them later. everNote is currently on version three, which is, in a radical departure from its predecessors, actually a web application with downloadable clients available, sold as a subscription service to keep notes synchronized between computers and the Internet.
everNote is a direct competitor to Microsoft OneNote, Agilix GoBinder, and the GPL-licensed software Tomboy. It is intended as an exhaustive repository of all the associated brain debris that a person can accumulate, and store it for future reference. From the first version, everNote has been sold on the strength of its integrated search capabilities as the primary mechanism for note retrieval.
everNote uses a metaphor called the infinite tape to present its note database in the Mac, Windows, and iPhone clients. Notes are added onto the end of this unlimited stream of note-boxes. Further organization can be done by tagging the notes; this feature was formerly known as "categories", but as blog tagging has become commonplace, the term changed to match the usage. Notes can be filtered by category, time, whether or not they contain a checkbox, whether or not its checkboxes are checked, and of course any text within the note, for a search. A search highlights all instances of the searched-for word in the note, and hides all notes that do not contain the search term.
Notes cannot be otherwise organized. The Infinite Tape frees one from having to decide the exact place in one's notes a note should be placed, but forbids one from organizing notes in what might be some other, more useful way. Notes containing information on relations between notes can be the only available too. everNote is built around its search capability, so that is how information is intended to be recovered.
Text recognition is an important part of this search. Screenshots of software and grainy cameraphone photographs of white boards are included in the indexing with a shotgun algorithm; every possible thing everNote thinks your text might say is added to the search index, which can result in some extremely Freudian interpretations of the text. The software also includes ink support, for those with graphics tablets or Tablet PCs. Handwriting inked in everNote is recognized significantly more accurately than imported images of handwriting, as the recognizer can use stroke order to identify text.
The target audience is just about anybody. I got into it in college, when my note-taking was at its heaviest, but it has continued to be highly useful at work and in my personal life. everNote's Infinite Tape interface seems ideal for people who tend to be disorganized, as compared to GoBinder or OneNote and their more traditional notebook/section/page hierarchical organization. If your notes are neatly categorized in clearly-labeled binders, the enforced chaos of the Infinite Tape will drive you crazy. If your notes are strewn about in random piles on your desk and in bent-up, unlabeled notebooks, everNote is very likely to mesh well with your style of organization, because it's exactly like that, if your desk had Google.