Autodesk recognizes that their customers are using multiple technologies throughout their workflow to stay organized, share information with co-workers and clients, store data, etc. This is an effort on their part to make Autodesk (in this case AutoCAD 360 Mobile) products more compatible with other technologies. Many users and companies use Evernote to organize their project information. This new integration simplifies the process.
I was able to speak with Autodesk’s Amy Bunszel, Vice President, AutoCAD Products and Mayte Zavaleta, Product Line Manager, AutoCAD Products about this new collaboration.
“The AutoCAD 360/Evernote integration allows our customers to collaborate even better using two tools they know and love,” said Amy Bunszel, vice president of AutoCAD Products at Autodesk. “Users can move seamlessly back and forth between AutoCAD and Evernote enabling instant access to their DWG data and associated project data stored in Evernote. It’s the best of both worlds and even better - you can take it with you on your mobile devices.”
Amy and Mayte were able to show me how this new integration works as well as provided me with a bit of insight on the future of this new Evernote collaboration. Today the iOS AutoCAD 360 app will receive an update that will add an Evernote link in the Design Feed tool. From that you will be able to link to an Evernote Note that you have created. Evernote is ideal for this type of data sharing because the software platform agnostic. That means if you run an operating system then there is more than likely an Evernote App for it. Really all you need access to is a browser. Users can set up Evernote notes to share them. These are shared via a URL, or website address. It is easy enough for Autodesk to integrate these abilities right into Design Feed.
In Design Feed you can link to an Evernote Note. Anyone accessing the Design Feed for that file can now read the Evernote Note. That note can always be updated by anyone that has access. The sky is the limit. You can provide a project timeline, product data, meeting notes, design criteria, contract information, client information, or anything else that anyone might need. Since it’s Evernote you can access that data from your desk at work, your phone while on the job site, your tablet, or a web browser at your parent’s house while you visit.
Not only will you be able to link to a note, but you will be able to create a note from AutoCAD 360. It works through Design Feed. Click the export to Evernote button and a screen shot of the area of the drawing in question will be taken and a new note created and linked to in Design Feed. Once it is in Evernote you can use Evernote’s other apps to manipulate it, like Skitch. Skitch is a very simple image mark-up app. You can redline the image, add notes, add giant red arrows, and a bit more, but not a lot. Skitch is a simplified tool. It’s perfect for this sort of thing actually.
This AutoCAD 360 and Evernote integration is very simple but it makes sharing data simple and that’s the key. I use Evernote every day in my personal and professional life. I create Evernote Notes for everything. I will love this when I can get it.
This new tool is free of course but will only be available for iOS right now. I know, Autodesk hates Android. Not really, it just seems like they do. I have had this discussion with them several times. Amy and Mayte understand that AutoCAD 360 has been downloaded to Android more times than it has been to iOS but from a developer’s perspective (and it makes sense) it is easier to write code for iOS than it is for Android because iOS is limited in hardware specifications. It limits the variables needed to make a fantastic product so they code for iOS first, then for Android. They were not able to give me a time frame for when the Evernote integration will come to Android but they did confirm it was coming. The browser version of AutoCAD 360 is also in the works. AutoCAD 2014 (and its verticals) have Design Feed built in. I asked them if it was coming to the desktop and this was their response, “We can’t comment on that, but it is an interesting idea that they are investigating.” I’m not sure what that means exactly, but to be honest if they want this integration to really work it has to be embedded in the desktop.
It does not do me any good as a user to stop working in on my desktop drawing, upload the file to my Autodesk 360 account, grab my phone or tablet, open AutoCAD 360, access the file and share the Evernote link. That takes too much time and effort. I expect to see it in the next version of Design Feed on the desktop. Hopefully it will be included in a patch and we won’t have to wait for the next release, but I’m betting that is what will happen.
What do you think? Do you use Evernote? Will you use this new feature? Will you start using Evernote now that it is an option? I can’t wait to start using it.
This update was originally planned to be available today but at the last minute a bug was found delaying its release. I will update you all when it is available.