Evernote isn't looking too healthy these days

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/09/19/evernote-isnt-looking-too-he.html


Microsoft OneDrive is intended to eliminate the need for any cloud storage that isn’t fully integrated with Windows. It seamlessly interacts with Office 365, Azure Active Directory, and Sharepoint, giving you one-stop shopping for all your software rental needs. Buying or building aren’t cool any more, renting is the hot lick.


The thing with Evernote was that I never really knew how to use it. I tried–I even got a card for a year of premium, free, and signed up. It ended up lapsing with only a few notes in it. I’m not saying it has no use–just that I never had much idea of what to do with it. I found that I made up documents in Word/Notepad++/Vim and shuttled them between devices via email/Box and that was much breezier than going through EV. I _ wanted_ to use it, because it seemed to offer a lot of features, but it never seemed to work for me. No one wanted to use it for collab either, so it’s just sitting on my systems, doing nothing.


I just want to keep lists and simple notes on my phone, so about a year ago I switched to Swiftnotes. It’s no longer updated, but still works fine.


If 54 people represents 15% of their workforce, then that means they employ north of 350 people. How is it possible that they need that many?

They should fire everybody except 54 people, strip the product down to it’s core, and slip into maintenance mode.

I’m a paying user of Evernote but they discontinued the plan I use. If they don’t let me resubscribe at the same level next year, I think I’m done with Evernote. Unfortunately, there’s nothing out there that works as well for me (please don’t recommend OneNote).

I used to use Evernote as a cloud based solution for writing on the go.

Then features got shuffled around, some being paywalled and others not. Then they pivoted to being a productivity/team collaboration app without any features of leading products in that sector. Then I got fed up with the web interface and their MacOS app.

This article is a great reminder that I need to finish migrating all my documents over to Scriviner …


Was this another one of those lifetime subscriptions you could bequeath to your favorite niece?


So long as you are good for an intune subscription as well they don’t seem overly picky about the ‘Windows’ bit: on both iOS and Android they’ve been busy building their little garden of “MAM-enabled applications” that largely ignore platform convention and huddle around Microsoft Authenticator and AAD; acting as a little bubble of MDM-within-MDM.

Not an unpragmatic strategy for salvaging the situation after the market for phones where their bubble encompasses the entire system bled out; but rather irksome; either if you don’t like using software that has the same “equally alien everywhere” feel that Java used to bring renouned for; or if you run into hilarious fun courtesy of the fact that it’s rather tricky to bring some platform native functions that can’t readily be imitated into the bubble.

(Not at all hypothetically; Microsoft doesn’t have a drop-in for the dialer on either iOS or Android; and users totally love it when they can no longer call their contacts or see who is calling them because that information is now siloed off behind Exchange policies and conditional access rules that seemed seamless and unobtrusive enough when tested by people who basically only use email via Outlook. That’s fun. Getting OneDrive to cooperate as a source or destination for files moving between apps is also fun; and has been for a couple of weeks despite Microsoft’s attempts to help. I’m not bitter, even slightly.)

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I’m an Evernote Premium user (been paying for years). I love it. If you have ideas, do any writing, or want a dumping ground for random thoughts, it’s great. Everything (including media and searchable PDFs) is available across my devices. Syncing is excellent, and I’ve never had problems with conflict resolution.

But the post seems to be more about the possibility that my data will need a new compound to live in should Evernote go away. I don’t think Evernote’s going away.

Evernote did go crazy for a while, though.

There was that phase where they thought people would use EN for everything from note-taking to skitching. I don’t know what a “skitch” is, and I have the app. I remember it as being like a scrapbooking app that used EN as its storage medium.

There are/were weird little apps that added little value to the EN experience. I should come back with a couple examples (I stopped paying attention when the apps weren’t updated for iOS 11).

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. The post is mostly inference (from which I’m inferring, making this a lot of wild guessing), but maybe the parting of staff means that Evernote is finding its place. This trimming might be a course-correction.

Maybe they dipped their toes in the world of less-successful-than-Sketch apps and found it unwelcoming.

Whatever happens, these posts can be fun. When I come back in six months to see if anything interesting happened, I’ll probably plant a sweaty palm against my blushing forehead inside of which my brain will have “embarrassment” turned up to one-million… all because I had some coffee and pontificated and navel-gazed a little too much this Wednesday afternoon.


I’ve never entirely trusted the cloud.

Hear here.

Evernote always sounded great, but that was mostly during a time when I convinced myself to not write. (I still think that was sound advice.)

So I missed out on the features, but now that I’m typing again, I also missed out on the dependence.

I wonder how many EN users also use Scrivener (and vice-versa).

Evernote feels weird. It’s not a comfy place to write. It feels so “Yay!” and “Hang in There!” and “Every Problem in Life Can Be Solved with a List!”

Evernote wins me when I want access to data wherever I am, whatever device I’m using.

I use Scrivener when my heart’s in it. It’s a nice place to be. You want to write.


I use cloud-based services for more dynamic tasks (e.g. my RSS newsreader or file transfers) but while Evernote looked tempting I was more inclined to keep my notes app off-line and just sync it across devices through Dropbox.

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I was a heavy Evernote user, but at some point they started adding features and raising prices.

I don’t blame them; you’ve got to make money somehow, but I felt like I would have been paying for the new features that I wasn’t actually interested in.

I switched to Google Keep, but it also won’t last forever.

Bled out after they stabbed it and ran it over with a truck. The market didn’t kill Nokia, Redmond did.

I’m “enjoying” trying to make their Ignite 2018 event work on a Microsoft branded Lumia even as we speak!

I started using Evernote way back in 2007 (I think it wasn’t even a company then). It was a really great tool and ahead of its time for quite a bit, but future versions just got more and more bloated, slower and slower, and less and less useful. I finally migrated to Apple’s notes app a few years ago. It’s simple, fast and does everything I need (and nothing more).

The best thing to ever come out of Evernote was Skitch. It is the greatest screenshot app I’ve ever used. Though on MacOS, you need to downgrade since the latest version is broken and no one has bothered to fix it in a few years.

I did like an use Evernote for a time. My problem is the way I used it wasn’t how the developers saw their system. I wanted something that used fixed width fonts where stuff could be aligned for stuff like code or lists or RP character sheets.

They just went further into that use of tons of whitespace and it would constantly destroy formatting depending on the platform I touched the data with. Then they changed their plans and I just gave up and moved to text files in dropbox. I probably should just put all the text in a git repository or something.

Thanks for the heads up. I was looking for apersonal alternative to my institution’s Box account and I was considering OneDrive since Windows 10 does offer (at least theoretically) some neat ways to sync things across devices. My attempts to actually make the Microsoft cross-platform experience “happen” have failed thus far, so I think I’ll give it a pass and give DropBox a shot.

Skitch is a great example of the Evernote-Gone-Weird set of projects.

Specifically where you talk about the lack of updates.

Because I’m a premium subscriber and want to believe I’m getting more stuff than regular users, I went and downloaded various apps that lived in the Evernote-verse. But, like Skitch, there’ve been problems. In these cases, those problems appear to have been the apps themselves, which are now basically abandonware in the App Store… unprepared for iOS 11… forgotten… and not really known in the first place, really.

I don’t know if there are any marketing types here, but I think apps like these are called “halo” products. If I remember, they’re supposed to attract people to the company/product around which they, yep, form a “halo.”

That sounds like a first-to-go-when-the-money-gets-tight set of jobs.

I’d like to see the numbers. How many people did EN win over because of these things?

I have Scrivener on my Mac, Surface Go and iPhone 7 Plus. You can sync by Dropbox and still maintain a backup on hardware that you own. That’s one of the biggest selling points for me.

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scrivener 2 or 3?