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Why Is Evernote Still Highly Buggy? Nov. 2017


WeCanLearnAnything

Idea

My last post a year ago said two things:

  1. Goodbye to buggy Evernote...
  2. But I'll be back in about a year to see if it's less buggy.

I tried Evernote again (V6.7.5.5825) and tables in the Windows version have radically improved.

But most of the other problems and bugs related to ultra basic features are still alive and "well".

  • The cursor remains very buggy.
    • Backspace, delete, enter key, arrows, CTRL+arrows, etc. frequently do not respond as expected. My cursor jumps around randomly, but most often to the top of the note. Sometimes a "fake cursor" - a vertical black line that kinda looks like a cursor, but doesn't flash - appears at some point on the screen. The real cursor, though, goes invisible. I can only find out where that real cursor is by typing. Usually it is not in the same place as the fake cursor.
    • Closing the "search within note" box still causes the cursor to leap all the way to the top of the document, utterly negating the search function. Isn't Evernote supposed to be good at searching?
    • Using the tab key to add rows to a table can make the cursor disappear below the visible portion of the note.
    • Evernote does not manage cursors properly.
  • Font sizes switch around randomly. I don't think I'm the only one confused by it. Evernote does manage font sizes properly.
  • The web editor is available for free on all platforms, but fonts and tables there remain absurdly awful. Evernote does not manage tables properly. Will a single Evernote employee contradict my evaluation? Is even one of them proud of the status of tables in the web version of Evernote? Does even a single Evernote employee use tables in the web version more than once/year? If so, what do they think of it? Have they tried adding a column to a table in the web editor?
  • There are all kinds of problems with Copy/Paste and even just selecting text. Sometimes the blue background of text selection appears in random places in my note, even where there is no text, such as to the left of a list. Evernote doesn't handle copy/paste or selecting properly.
  • Whether or not words, letters, underline, italics, etc. actually show up on the screen (or not) and print (or not) is exactly as bad as it was a year ago, though this is apparently being fixed soon after a mere ~7-year delay. Evernote still hasn't fixed the "feature" of typing a letter and having it appear readably on the screen.
  • Searching through the forums, I still see problems of random notes getting deleted, synchronization failures, etc. Luckily, I haven't had too many problems like these, but their persistent mentioning on these forums is disturbing.

To get away from these bugs - which I correctly predicted would endure for much longer - I've been using a combination of .txt files edited in Sublime, synced by DropBox, and then for docs that need tables and other editing, using Google Docs. These have basically worked bug-free. No problems with fonts, cursors, printing, seeing text on the screen, copy/pasting, etc. Synchronization has been perfect.

They just work.

Evernote does not just work.

For some reason, this very forum editor seems radically superior to Evernote's editor.

Why?

Or am I wrong about all this?

I really want to come back to Evernote, but experiencing all those bugs again convinces me that switching to Sublime/Google Docs/Dropbox is the way to go.

I'm listening.   :-)

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Quote

WeCanLearnAnything wrote:

The web editor is available for free on all platforms, but fonts and tables there remain absurdly awful. Evernote does not manage tables properly. Will a single Evernote employee contradict my evaluation? Is even one of them proud of the status of tables in the web version of Evernote? Does even a single Evernote employee use tables in the web version more than once/year?

 

:) I do not believe;   pasting , deleting rows, columns, selecting, resizing ... everything is a nightmare especially if you use more than platform ...

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I think your question is a fair one. Evernote has a surprising number of bugs for a mature software product. All software has bugs, but most users should not see them on a daily basis if the product is mature and has been well managed. My use of Evernote is that of an average user, but I have had to find workarounds to a number of bugs in the editor that impede daily use and put up with the unpredictable behaviour of the user interface. I can live with it and will continue to use Evernote, but I don't recommend others to use it. Many aspects of the product are excellent, but I find the bugs lower productivity and undermine confidence in the product. My guess is that many users just don't bother to report bugs anymore, because they don't get fixed and on this forum the advice is usually to go and use other software if you don't like Evernote. I do like the concept, design and the implementation of the "backend" system of Evernote but the windows client implementation is not of comparable quality to other software I use on a daily basis.

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17 minutes ago, gazumped said:

find a better app.

As I said, the response on this forum is "go use different software" - except that the "Gurus"  can never say it as succinctly as that. We then get the long list of excuses for Evernote. Not very useful (compared, for example, with https://mathematica.stackexchange.com/ which is succinct and incredibly helpful - maybe Evernote needs an independent forum...). I digress; my experience is that Evernote has many more bugs than other apps I use. But there is no point in reporting them if all you get is a lot of waffle and excuses.  So I wont bother and will say no more ...

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6 minutes ago, WeCanLearnAnything said:

I don't think that "complicated software" is an excuse for even a single one of the non-sync-related bugs I mentioned in the list.

Or, perhaps, you think that it's totally reasonable that the font size switches randomly while the cursor sometimes disappears below a note or jumps to the top? That these are the kinds of bugs that should last for a decade or two?

I think if Evernote's not working for you, you should switch to software you're happy with

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On 11/21/2017 at 4:35 PM, gazumped said:

If you're happy where you are...

 

2 minutes ago, DTLow said:

I think if Evernote's not working for you, you should switch to software you're happy with

I'm happy with what is essentially a complete absence of bugs using my combination of Dropbox/Sublime/.txt/Google Drive. I'm not really happy with the poor tagging, poor or non-existent offline modes, (mostly) worse searches, and generally having to use more than one program. Overall, this is better for me than Evernote.

However, the basic idea of Evernote seems great... until my letters disappear, and my cursor jumps around and screws up my train of thought, then the font changes for no reason, then I can't copy/paste, and selecting text doesn't work... Evernote remains a great idea made super annoying by the Everbugs. Still!

DTLow might say that all complicated software has bugs, but Dropbox/Sublime/Google Drive  seem to have orders of magnitude fewer than Evernote. Why?

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19 hours ago, WeCanLearnAnything said:

using my combination of Dropbox/Sublime/.txt/Google Drive. I'm not really happy with the poor tagging, poor or non-existent offline modes, (mostly) worse searches, and generally having to use more than one program.

Thats why I use Evernote for filing my data; offline access, tagging, searches ...

As to the Evernote editor; I find it adequate for basic notes.  
For serious work, I use dedicated editors
For word processing, Word/Pages; for spreadsheets Excel/Numbers; Notability on my iPad ...

I have no problem using multiple apps.  Whatever software works best for me 

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I've accumulated 48,400 notes over the past 9 years in Evernote. 
By using tags and a structured title, Evernote search can find specific notes quickly and efficiently.

It does what it was originally designed to do.

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58 minutes ago, motz said:

Evernote has a surprising number of bugs for a mature software product.

I don't think Evernote is,  or ever can be a 'mature software product'.  Any app that depends for its operational code environment on the whims of several different OS teams,  multiple device manufacturers and several browser development teams,  all of whom are kicking out software updates with intervals from daily to a couple of times per year,  is never able to stand still and say "Finished!".

- Not to mention the fact that the Evernote team is not shy of adding, moving and removing features (presumably) led by the beliefs of its designers and focus groups.  Oh - and the fact that Apple, Windows and Google have shifting fashions in design 'guidelines' they like to see observed.

I'm using browser and word processing software that still contains - well,  let's be charitable and call them 'design flaws' for which I need to apply work-arounds,  in exactly the same way that you say you do with Evernote.  It's a given:  no software can be completely error-free,  and my processing needs are possibly quite different from yours.

Beyond registering the fact with Evernote that a given process is not optimal for your use case,  it's not (IMHO) worth campaigning repeatedly for change.  This ain't a democracy - Evernote will implement whatever changes it feels will best benefit its bottom line.  Comments and feedback are useful and important,  but outright politicking is probably going to reduce your credibility. 

If you have a task to complete either work with what you have,  or find a better app.  Even if a feature suggestion were adopted by Evernote immediately it's raised,  it wouldn't benefit users for weeks,  months or years when the public version goes live.

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On 11/27/2017 at 12:18 PM, Gangun said:

 

 

:) I do not believe [any Evernote employee regularly uses tables in Evernote's web version]...

Yeah, I agree. I'm not holding my breath for any employee to start bragging about those tables the way they are. I'm pretty sure Evernote employees just ignore threads like this.

Nor am I holding my breath for those tables to get better.

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2 hours ago, motz said:

My guess is that many users just don't bother to report bugs anymore, because they don't get fixed and on this forum the advice is usually to go and use other software if you don't like Evernote. I do like the concept, design and the implementation of the "backend" system of Evernote but the windows client implementation is not of comparable quality to other software I use on a daily basis.

 

1 hour ago, motz said:

... I digress; my experience is that Evernote has many more bugs than other apps I use. But there is no point in reporting them if all you get is a lot of waffle and excuses.  So I wont bother and will say no more ...

I agree wholeheartedly. Why complain about a bug if many other users have been complaining about it in these forums since 2009? Jason Kincaid complained about cursors leaping around in 2014.  Then, Evernote's CEO quickly responded, indicating, presumably, they've been aware of this issue all along and will fix it soon . Years later, the cursor still leaps all over the place.

David Pogue complained about formatting bugginess in 2015. Evernote's CEO responded (see end of previous article) stating that they are working to eradicate all those bugs. Years later, formatting is still super buggy.

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I think everyone is acknowledging that EN has bugs it most likely ought not have.  The why is the mystery.  At this point this is beginning to feel like 

download.jpg.116c5d78f7ff578e1dab7eb7d4dd1562.jpg

I also wish EN would address more of the blatantly obvious errors, but they gotta decide to do it.  Whining to date hasn't fixed it.  :(

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I'm vehemently disappointed that this is the state of the main bug I was looking to report, not to mention the other several I had been trying to ignore.

I had gotten to my breaking point today: I was trying to add a single word to the end of a line, and my cursor jumped to the top of the page three times while I was attempting to do so. I have no idea what was triggering it, so I can understand that it must be hard to track and fix it. However, it happens so ridiculously frequently (often enough that I'm surprised when it does NOT happen) that there must be some way to trace it by adding things into the code to highlight when it happens and figure it out.

This bug defeats the main purpose of this app: I cannot take notes with it! 

I had put up with it for so long because of the other benefits of Evernote, figuring that something this broken would get fixed eventually, but I'm saddened to see the evidence that I'm wrong to hope. Have I really been putting up with this for YEARS? Yikes. Anyways, I guess that's all I can say, other than I'm using Windows 10 and Chrome and not intending to change either of those things, so I guess I'm going to have to move my actual notes to somewhere else and stick to just clipping recipes here and hope I rarely want to add my own comments or changes to them. (Sorry for the long paragraph: I can't seem to add any more line breaks to this text box.) 

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On 11/21/2017 at 12:12 PM, DTLow said:

You'll find any complicated software has bugs of some sort.  
It's an axiom "There's always one more bug"

The question is, can you make the software work for you
The answer for me is Yes, and Evernote does the job

 

I don't think that "complicated software" is an excuse for even a single one of the non-sync-related bugs I mentioned in the list.

Or, perhaps, you think that it's totally reasonable that the font size switches randomly while the cursor sometimes disappears below a note or jumps to the top? That these are the kinds of bugs that should last for a decade or two?

 

EDIT. To whoever down-voted this post, please answer the following question: How many years should the bugs mentioned in this thread last? 5? 10? 40?

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You'll find any complicated software has bugs of some sort.  
It's an axiom "There's always one more bug"

The question is, can you make the software work for you
The answer for me is Yes, and Evernote does the job

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