Although to newcomers it sounds like a simple note taking tool, Evernote is far more than that. It also allows users to keep, and easily find, images, and documents, as well as share those notes with others.

If you’re not already using Evernote, go sign up right now. Then read on to learn why you may want to go back and upgrade your free account.

If you are already one of the millions of people who use Evernote for free, there are some very good reasons why you might want to pay a small amount to make the service even more powerful. Here are my seven reasons to upgrade your account to their Plus level at only $35 per year.

  1. Email directly to notebooks – For me this is worth the price all by itself. It’s great for keeping all those digital receipts in one place and for gathering together all the confirmation numbers, e-tickets, and other information for trips. You’re limited to 200 forwards per day but, as much as I use the forward email feature, I’ve never come close to that number.
  2. More storage space – At the free level you can upload 60mb of materials per month, which isn’t bad for a casual user. At the Plus level that upload allowance increases to 1gb per month which is getting into serious storage territory. Remember, that’s uploads per month not total storage (which is unlimited on all plans), so after that first year you could be storing 12gb of material for your $35, 24gb after the next year, and so on.
  3. Larger note size – With free accounts uploads are limited to 25mb document size (including pictures, audio, and attachments). Not bad. But the Plus tier doubles that to 50mb, which is a big chunk of PowerPoint or whatever you need to store.
  4. Access your notes on mobile devices with no connection – If you’re going to be traveling and unsure of the quality of your internet connection (or if you’ll have one at all), this feature becomes a lifesaver. When we traveled to China, I downloaded the folder with all the information I needed to my phone and never had to worry about navigating their sometimes uncertain web.
  5. Limited number of devices at the Basic level – With the free version of Evernote, you can only access your account on two devices at a time. A computer and a tablet, for example. I don’t know how you might use the service, but I often take and refer to notes on my phone as well, especially when traveling. So paying for the Plus level gets you far more flexibility in how you use Evernote.
  6. Add a passcode to access notes on your mobile app – If your tablet or phone are stolen, having a passcode on your sensitive notebooks adds an extra roadblock to someone getting into your information in Evernote.
  7. Faster sync – Users on the Plus or Premium ($70/year) level get in line first when it comes to syncing Evernote information to all your devices. So paying for the service is more assurance that your data is everywhere you need it, as soon as you need it.

By the way, I have no direct association with Evernote. I don’t work for the company or own any stock in it. I’m just someone who relies on Evernote as the center of my information management process.