New Year = New Job

2011 certainly started off with a bang!  I’ve been working for a consulting company for almost four years and so far I have missed out on getting promoted and the up and out rules were going to affect me pretty soon.  This meant I had to begin formulating my personal exit strategy just in case it was needed so that I could continue working without interruption.  I began my search back in November when I realized that this performance year was going to totally suck and that my options were becoming more and more limited due to my managers\s also leaving the company who normally represent me during laddering meetings.  Of course I enjoy the pay that a consultant gets but at the expense of leaving home every week, but since I live in South Florida, options for me to work in IT are very limited and I had no desire to be in IT Operations again (I hate carrying a pager).  This lead me to seeking out some of the competitors of my now former company.  Luckily I had contacts in almost every place I wanted to interview with so getting my resume through the front door wasn’t all that hard.

I gotta say I went through some interesting interviews in late November and early December but the result was what I desired, a new job for 2011!  I was expecting to go to a new company but as fate would have it, I’m going back to the company where I started my career after college.  I start in late January only because it takes time to process my paper work but at least I get to have my old employee ID back which is nice.  I can’t wait to start, it’ll be like using an old shoe, fits just nice and I know what to expect when I go take a walk in it.

Springpad almost replaced Evernote…. Almost

Ahh note taking.  It’s one of the most basic forms of communication that humans do on a daily basis.  There are notes for everything, shopping lists, packing lists, reminders, and of course meeting notes for work.  I myself have been an avid note taker as I’ve progressed through life and I’ve tried tons of different programs and methods to take notes on just about everything I can think of.  I’ve been using Evernote and OneNote for quite a while (well Evernote is more recent) and both have done a great job at taking notes for me.  I recently stumbled upon a new service called Springboard and I gotta say that it is really cool.  It has almost taken over for Evernote for the most part due to its flexibility and feature set.

Evernote is great, don’t get me wrong.  It has done the job I needed it to do which is take my thoughts down and put it in the cloud so I can find it later.  The only caveat is that there are ads and there are caps for free accounts.  I don’t think I’ve ever gone over the cap but I’ve been close when I’ve had to do a lot of shopping.  The ads only show up in the desktop and web client so that doesn’t bother me much either.

I decided to try Springpad when I saw it on one of the websites I use to track technology.  Springpad does the same thing as Evernote but with more pizzaz so to speak.  It has ways to organize your stuff into different notebooks like Evernote but also by different types of notes that you are trying to input.  Evernote is free form so you make the note what you want it to be, Springpad gives you templates for checklists, to do lists, shopping lists, free form notes, and can even scan in bar codes and do product lookups on the web and incorporate it into the note and give price alert updates.  Thats some really cool functionality.  The part that is missing is the desktop client which means I always have to be online to use it.  That really isn’t much of a problem since I’m online all the time anyway but its just one of those little gotchas that stand out.  One thing that I do like about Evertnote compared to Springpad is that you can search text in images.  This is part of the service that Evernote provides so that if you take a snap shot and do nothing else, if there are words in the snap shot it’ll come up in the search results later.

Personally I’ve been switching over to Springpad for most of my personal, non-sensitive stuff because of features like the bar code scanner and the inclusion of so many different types of notes that I can take that help me organize my stuff better.  For the more sensitive things and for pictures where I need to have the text searchable, I’m sticking with Evernote.  One feature that I like about Evernote that Springpad doesn’t have is the ability to encrypt the text of a note.  I’ve used this for some notes that I have to protect information that I think is sensitive in nature.  I mean its not ground breaking stuff but its still stuff that I wouldn’t want to have shared accidentally.  For really really secure stuff, I just use the notes app that is on my phone which doesn’t sync to anything except for my home desktop.

So there you have it, Springpad has become my new defacto note taking application overall, but for sensitive information and a few other uses, Evernote is still my go to app.  🙂