Interview with Julien Boedec and Xavier Delplanque, Evernote

A screenshot of a smartphone emphasising the Evernote App.
While it is a well-known fact that we only use approximately 10% of the brain, we all have our tricks to be more productive, efficient, and well, simply smarter. Technology is the stepping stone to most of these tricks. Reminders, calendars, notes, smart assistants…
The ambition of Evernote is no less than actually being your second brain. An integrated tool that helps you with every aspect of your life, whatever you have to deal with. Julien Boedec and Xavier Delplanque, two senior managers at Evernote, share with us how we can use Evernote to work smarter, not harder.

Can you describe Evernote in one sentence?

Evernote is your second brain: the tool to be more productive, more organised, more intelligent.

That’s quite an amazing vision! How is it different from a regular notebook, though?

Well, think of Evernote as a smart notebook. The more you give to Evernote, the more valuable it is to you. You add content as you would with a regular notebook: text, photos, sounds, links… but the very fact of adding content adds value. Through our own features such as the tags, the geolocalisation and the ones in the Evernote Market, as well as our integration with many other services suchs as IFTTT, Pocket or Liveminutes, Evernote leverages your contributions to your notebook and creates a virtual loop effortlessly. The goal is to help you make smart decisions, and remember what is relevant. Not just to host your daily content.

Clear enough. How can it evolve?

We relate ourselves to the 100-year-old start-up model, which is here to stay. Things are just beginning. Within the next ten years, one of our focus will be on the Internet of Things, i.e. how the connected objects will make Evernote evolve. We are already seamlessly integrated with smart objects such as the Scanner Fujitsu, which connects to Evernote and LinkedIn to help you scan and organise your business cards.

What is one of the main challenges Evernote is facing?

Social integration. Your brain is yours, and it’s both a personal and intimate space and one that relates (you) to the world and benefits from outside contributions. Integrating this fine line is a great and difficult challenge. We have started with Evernote for Business, with Evernote being the brain of the company. The personal aspect is our next focus.

It looks like Evernote could by used by just about anyone!

Exactly. It’s hard to keep up with the growing diversity of our users, and we’re putting a lot of effort into being the best tool for each of your users. From entrepreneurs to designers, dentists, coaches or teachers, we have to make our product suited for everyone. In this perspective, we’re currently working on our onboarding, i.e. the first experience users have when they join Evernote: our goal is to make them grab the value and use of it in less than 3 minutes. But it doesn’t stop there. Users are constantly guided during their use of Evernote, so the value of Evernote keeps improving.