Remembering people is hard. It’s hard because the tools we use are at odds with how our brains actually work. We’re wired to tell stories. In order to recall the who, we also need the when, where and why. We need more than address books full of alphabetical lists. We need context. That’s why today, we’re launching our new application that’s going to make it easier than ever to remember people.
Say ‘Hi’ to Evernote Hello, available for free for iPhone.
Evernote Hello is based around the three fundamental ways that our brains actually remember people:
- Faces: What do you look like?
- Time: When did we meet?
- Context: Why did we meet and who else was there?
That’s all there is to it. Whether you’re at a big conference, catching up with people at a coffee shop or joining a meeting in your office conference room, these concepts hold true. Here’s how it comes together.
Adding someone to Hello
When you meet someone new, launch Evernote Hello, tap on the big plus button and hand over your phone. They’ll quickly create a profile and then hand the phone back. Now, you’ll have their name, photo and whatever contact information they wish to share. If you’d prefer not to hand your phone over, just enter this information yourself, but then again, watching someone take pictures of themselves is pretty fun.
If the person enters their email address, then Evernote Hello will automatically send them an email containing your information. This way, the people you meet benefit from you using the app.
Taking the photo is the coolest part of the process. Tapping the button turns on the front-facing camera and instructs the user to lift the phone to eye level (or higher). Once there, the camera automatically snaps four quick photos. The app uses the photos to lightly animate the individual’s face in the Mosaic (more on that soon).
As soon as you add an individual to Evernote Hello, the app automatically creates an Encounter with this person. An Encounter consists of the person’s profile, the location of your meeting and any additional information you’d like to add that will make the event more meaningful for you later. The app lets you attach photos and notes to your encounters.
It will even scan your calendar to anticipate who you might be at the meeting with to make it easier to add them to the app. If you want, you can export a profile to your address book by tapping on the chevron near the person’s name, then tap on the address book icon.
The next time you meet the person, you can add an additional Encounter by tapping on the option at the top of this screen. You can even add new photos of the person, if you’d like. Now you’ll have a running history of every time you’ve met, along with a bunch of useful information to jog your memory.
Related notes from Evernote
This is where things get really interesting. Evernote Hello will automatically display notes made in Evernote or Evernote Food around the same time as your encounter. Say you met someone at a conference (Evernote Hello) and had lunch with them (Evernote Food), all the while taking notes on your laptop (Evernote). The app will show you everything when you view this person in Evernote Hello—even more context.
Our brains have evolved to think about faces, so we built a face-centric interface called the Mosaic. All of the people that you’ve met are displayed in a chronological, vertically swipeable view. Tap on a face to reveal your encounters with that person.
All synchronized with Evernote
All of your Evernote Hello entries are synchronized with Evernote so that you can view them from any device or computer. This means that you can search for people inside of Evernote. When you’re trying to find a particular note that you created during a meeting with someone, you can search for them and then look for notes created around the same time. More context!
For the time being, the notes created by Evernote Hello are read-only inside of Evernote. If you want to make changes, view the encounters and people from Evernote Hello.
Here are few nice things hidden away in the Settings area that you should be aware of. To view Settings, swipe down on the Mosaic screen.
- Go to Settings to make changes to your own profile
- Tap on the gear in your profile to create a custom greeting that appears when you hand over your phone
- Link Evernote Hello to your calendars and it will build more information into your encounters
- You can also choose whether or not the app will automatically send an email to the person, sharing your contact information with them
Memory and shared experiences
The Evernote Hello approach is focused on visuals and narrative. For example, if you’re trying to remember the name of someone you met at a big company meeting, tap on the face of anyone else you met at the same time. That will show you the encounter along with all the other people that you met together. By exploring these shared experiences, you’re able to find the people you want and strengthen your own memory.
We’re really excited about this new app. It’s focused on solving a problem that we deal with every single day. We hope you like it.