I have been rediscovering EverNote today. One of the members of the Friends group in the Academic Writing Club, which I participate in as well as run, brought up EverNote today and wondered who had introduced her to it. Well, it was me! I had tried an early beta version once and it had crashed my computer, so I had been wary to try it again. But she said she used it daily, so I re-downloaded it, and I'm excited about it all over again.
It's a deceptively simple program. I say deceptive because it appears at first glance that it's like a running note pad or journal, where you can write notes, copy and paste, or drag and drop anything that you find online or that you're working on in your computer, and store it chronologically. And that would be reason enough to use it, as far as I'm concerned. But it's a whole lot more. You can assign keywords and categories to each note, use the various templates that are loaded on to create to-do lists, or meeting notes, for example; or download lots of other templates available online such as a template for writing your notes on an article you just read. So you can capture all of your thoughts, all the articles, web sites, notes or even drawings and doodles (if you have a tablet) that you don't want to lose, and you have a way of finding them later.
If you think you might like to try it for your academic research, be sure and check out this post by GTD Wannabe. Also follow the links to the templates that s/he has created, including the aforementioned reading template. GTDW has created a pretty involved system of cross-referencing your readings, things you need to read, and locations where you can find your readings.
EverNote is a free download with all features enabled. After 60 days, if you want to access advanced features, such as image and text recognition, you have to pay ($49.95) although I think a lot of people would be happy with it without those features.