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Evernote is the app for our data-addled times: It lets users save (and later retrieve) anything, from a note to a photo to part of a web page, via smartphones, tablets, and desktops. Its goal is to be users’ external brain, and new apps that let them catalog the people they meet and the food they eat have broadened its appeal beyond productivity nerds. Evernote grew from 20 million users in late 2011 to more than 45 million by the end of 2012, and the company, which has well over a million customers paying $5 a month (or $45 a year) for unlimited storage and access, is now valued at $1 billion. “Evernote was maybe the least original idea in tech,” says CEO Phil Libin. “Our success, for what it is, was that we got the timing right. That, plus we have the world’s greatest logo.”

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[Infographic by Francesco Muzzi]