The things I ate in Japan

Posted by Phil Libin on 13 Oct 2009

Posted by Phil Libin on 13 Oct 2009


I just got back from eight hectic days in Japan. It was wall-to-wall meetings with no room for sightseeing, but I did make time to eat a quick bite here and there. And there. And at that place around the corner.

Naturally, I decided that I would photograph every single thing that I ate and put it into an Evernote shared notebook. I had three good reasons for this:

  1. It’s Evernote Food Month, and this is a great way to remember your trip (and shortcut all those, “what’d you have for lunch?” conversations with the relatives back home).
  2. It was a good excuse for me to buy a new camera and Eye-Fi card (read about Eye-Fi and Evernote).
  3. It would prevent me from eating anything that I would be too ashamed to share with the world.

That last reason turned out not to have any impact.

My notebook

Here is my shared notebook of every single thing I ate in Japan. Since this is clearly the sort of content that you’ll constantly want at your fingertips, you can link the notebook to your own account.

The setup worked great. The Panasonic GF1 was small enough to bring everywhere and it took great, low-light shots of the food, which the Eye-Fi Pro automatically geotagged (try hitting “Map it” on most of the notes) and magically transferred into my Evernote account. I did some light editing in Evernote itself (putting in titles, text, and occasionally right-clicking the photos to open them in my photo editing software to crop things non-edible) and then dragged all of the food notes into this shared notebook.

All in all, a great experience! I’m going to do this whenever I go anywhere interesting from now on.

And now for something completely different…

While on my food cataloging spree, I realized this process would also work well for those (clearly not me on this trip) that are keeping tabs on what they eat for dietary reasons. Just make a few small changes to the procedure:

  • Photograph only the portion you eat (some of my pictures are of communal-sized dishes, which I shared with several people).
  • Add a known-size object (like a business card; yours or the restaurant’s) to each shot for scale.
  • Add any calorie or nutritional info as text.

And voila, now you have an always-accessible dietary log.

Food Month posts


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9 Comments RSS

  • Andrew

    Pretty Neat! BTW, where’s the “Map It” button you mentioned? Can’t seem to find it!

    • Andrew Sinkov

      @Andrew If the note has geo-location data, then the Map it button will appear next to the words “Note attributes” along the top of the note. For example, this note has it

  • Andrew

    @Andrew Sinkov : Ah, very cool! So, is there a search term that will get me all geotagged notes?

    • Andrew Sinkov

      @Andrew To find the geotagged notes, type ‘latitude:*’ into the search bar.

  • Steve

    This is just way too “twilight zone-ish” … I just started doing this today with my camera phone. You Evernote guys … you are always just one step ahead of me. – Love the Evernote – great work you all are doing!

  • sis

    I’m glad that you enjoyed Japan. I am a Japanese. Hope Evernote become better for Japanese.
    Anyway, I had forgot that I can publish(share) notes. It can also be used for photo-sharing as you did.
    Gotta rethink how I use Evernote.

  • Phil Libin


    We’re working pretty hard to make Evernote better for Japanese users – that was the main point of my trip. All the food was just a bonus. Stay tuned for more announcements.

  • Jamie@heart healthy diet

    You never know what kind of “different” foods around the world there are,that can be extremely healthy for you…

  • suzie

    Wow that food looks amazing, Japan is a place we really want to visit, looks great! hope it wasn’t all work and no play.