Until about six months ago, I had a tenuous relationship with Evernote. I had a few niche use cases for it—mostly storing reference photos that didn't belong anywhere else. My biggest worry with developing a dependence on Evernote was that, in its early days, there was no practical way to get groups of files back out.

But last year when Evernote added a feature to easily save note attachments (e.g. PDF) to system folders, I decided it was time to start using Evernote as a full-blown mixed-media content management system.

Evernote's cloud-based OCR and fast search were always really attractive features for me, but the "TypeAhead" search in Evernote 5 was game changing for someone (me) who goes to Evernote multiple times a day to retrieve information.

Being able to throw hundreds and hundreds of PDF pages into a single hole, walk away, and have them indexed so that I can get to anything from a single search field is almost too good to be true.

The iOS apps associated with Evernote 5's release deserve as much praise. They are faster than ever and make it extremely practical to get information in and out.

My coworkers and I are also sharing notebooks through Evernote Business. I've never seen a more effective tool for pooling information. It hit me the other day that this is what we were chasing last decade during the wiki craze: a repository of information that users can search quickly. The problem with wikis was that only geeks cared to learn the syntax. Evernote works because putting information in is as easy as getting information out—for everyone.

For what it's worth, I still don't use Evernote for any kind of technical, web, or creative writing. That's all in plain text. Word processing documents, spreadsheets, and other working files still live in Dropbox. My Evernote "objects" tend to be static, mixed-media reference items that would melt away in a conventional file system.

I have no affiliation with Evernote, and they don't sponsor anything I do. I guess I'm just writing this for anyone who might still be on the outside of Evernote looking in. It's worth the dive.