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Adding comments like in Google Docs


Jakub_

Idea

I love Evernote but sometimes collaboration is impossible because you'd like to comment on things and therefore you need to use Google Docs which is slower and the notes have more unnecessary margin. If Evernote had the "Add/Comment" feature of Google Docs, id be willing to purchase premium immediately.

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I support comments as well. Especially since Evernote is not only a "note taking app". I use it more for clipping and annotating web content for further use. The clipping capability is one particular area where Evernote shines.

I'd love to see them supported as "side notes" or "margin notes",

  • Like in books (scribbled by readers, but sometimes used as part of the book design as an alternative to footnotes if it is important to keep comments close to the text. Yes, some may overflow, and there are ways to address that.
  • There are some markdown extensions, mainly associated with R (the statistics programming language). I believe they are an alternative to "footnotes" native to markdown. Footnotes have the disadvantage that they separate the annotation far from the relevant place. Side notes are commonly associated with Edward G Tufte, the one from the books on Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Beautiful Evidence, and Visual Explanations, all "must reads" if you work anywhere near science and visualization; he has used margin notes extensively and to great benefit.
  • A bit like the bubble comments in MS Word or Google Docs. I would like to have an extremely effortless and visually pleasing way of adding my comments, thoughts and highlights (well, I can do highlights, now even in assorted colors), while keeping the original text largely intact. I don't like the "bubble comments"; I prefer the simpler "margin note" or "side note"
  • For my own comments I also do not need the whole "who and when" information, but for collaborative comments it is excellent.
  • I guess you could convert them into something visually smaller that pops up for mobile, but when I work on a computer, I have at least a 4K screen that I subdivide into narrow columns, so the windows are manageable. There it is not an issue. Evernote should also offer some benefits to "power users", not only to bring Evernote to small mobile screens.

I attach a picture from somewhere below.

Some people may now comment "but why do you not use MS Word or Google Docs, or Dropbox Paper" documents within Evernote, as a simple workaround. I would like to comment that features like web clipping and tagging, as well as more than a decade of using Evernote, basically before Google Docs or Dropbox Paper, and some Evernote alternatives became available. At this point I am at the edge: if somebody would write a good ENML/ENEX editor for one of the other alternatives so my exported notes would not suffer, Evernote would be dead for me. I would happily and very generously contribute to a kickstarter that offers a good open source ENEX/ENML editor integrated into one of the other environments, so I do not lose my formatted notes.

There was a time when Evernote was so unique and successful that one of the diversifications for the big money flowing in were ... socks! I do think Evernote has to get their act together not just by catching up with a decade of neglect in the product and streamlining their product (and removing some useful features in the process), but also adding some useful features for people that are really overdue.

 

image.png.fbb58931ca3fb1f33a43791e8c5efa0b.png

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5 hours ago, Jakub_ said:

you'd like to comment on things

Where in the UI would you see comments posted/displayed

Currently, I only see Note Contents and Attachments (inline or link)

The underlying base format (html) does provide for comments (<!-- comment -->); Evernote could enable comments anywhere in the Note Contents

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6 hours ago, PinkElephant said:

With a little work you can mimic this already, by using a table to hold the text.

In general drop things you would like to get in the feedback function build into the clients.

Correct, but mimicing "with a little work" it is also inconvenient. I may have sidetracked the issue --- possibly even have run it into a ditch --- by pointing out that comments/sidenotes could be presented in a visually pleasing way. 

Let me restate: I would be just happy with the comments as in other systems, gaudy bubbles and all. The key part is the convenience and usefulness. Comments/bubbles/marginalia/sidenotes: They are very convenient and useful.

After all I use Evernote because it has a very convenient clipping system (with metadata such as URL), a very convenient tagging system, a reasonably convenient storage system, and a reasonably convenient editor. 

"With a little work" I could shoehorn the conveniences of the tagging system and the metadata system into Google Drive or another system, but it would not be convenient; migration is another inconvenience.

 

Regarding the feedback system of the client, and possibly the support which I also pay for: I find this forum much more convenient and useful. I often get good feedback and on what I write, inspiration on how things could be done, and see that I am not alone with my grievance. There is even a voting system. All things the built-in feedback function does not provide.

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, lhb said:

Regarding the feedback system of the client, and possibly the support which I also pay for: I find this forum much more convenient and useful. I often get good feedback and on what I write, inspiration on how things could be done, and see that I am not alone with my grievance. There is even a voting system. All things the built-in feedback function does not provide.

 

I fear I did not word that strongly enough: The pinnacle of dumbness, the apex of stupidity, the culmination of ignorance would be if Evernote prioritized a "built-in" feedback over this forum of experienced, knowledgeable and passionate users.

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Hmmm - have you ever seen the results from a customer survey, the feedback, the support team, the beta group etc. ? If not, you are like one of the experts in this picture, telling the world what it is from his perspective:

BA3099AF-F475-4779-B2FB-57040FD54546.thumb.jpeg.e9399c10f194a049dedee17817e962ea.jpeg

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Thank you for the charming picture of "Evernote, the bug-ridden elephant".

 

Yes, Evernote is many things to many people. It should be useful to many people, in many workflows. Some have used or tried to use it for years. Some use cases may be useful, some of them not.

Yes, I even took part in the beta user group, customer surveys, feedback, and have interacted with support.

 

Faced with such a breath, legacy and potential entrenchment of a product, how to get good feedback. How to get rid of annoying experts with their myopic views, blind to what other people are doing? How to not only get feedback on what users use, but what they would what to use, and what could make a product more useful?

What about a user forum, a section "Product Feedback/General Requests" / "General Feature Requests" where users can suggest ideas, supply comments, suggest enhancements, vote upon them? In the process suggestions could be refined, their relative relevance substantiated, myopic experts have a chance to broaden their horizon, and the potential bias of individual experts diminished. We happen to be in just such a forum. Evernote should value the effort made by the participants and read it.

It seems therefore disingenuous and disrespectful to suggest that rather than taking the effort to engage in such a forum, people should just use the feedback function, be done with it, and go away. Even if the mild suggestion that forum participants are irrelevant idiots is communicated through trite content from a correspondence course in "Marketing 101".

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Well, we assume they are not around because there rarely is staff interaction. But maybe they are ? 

If you read through the forum, a lot of the feature requests have their origin in very specific, personal use cases. Some for which the program was never thought to be (at least I think so, from a lack of related features), some which would break the business model to charge only for upload bandwidth, not for total storage (like a video archive). There are a ton of formatting feature requests, that would in total bloat the lean editor of v10 into something like MS Word. And so on.

And then there are some feature requests where I don’t understand why they are not implemented. But this can be plain inertia as well as setting priorities for scarce resources - whoever knows. Ignorance of users is the last explanation that crosses my mind - there are too many user interaction channels in place and maintained to believe they are only a facade for sending user ideas straight to the bin.

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I wish features like the one you have requested here (and the ones that are already what you would consider a basic feature of a note taking app in 2022) were implemented as a priority rather than focusing on some other secondary features that are just nice-to-haves. Every few days I end up in this forum after searching on google to get Evernote do some basic stuff each time (changing the line height of the body text being the most recent example before this). 

The app doesn't even focus on intuitiveness for some of its old features that are still there but almost nobody would find them. For example, there's another forum post where somebody was asking if the option to put images inline was done away with. The post is a few years old (like this one) but even the most recent replies didn't know how to do it and everybody just assumed that Evernote had scrapped it. But no, you just have to drag an appropriately small/medium sized image next to another appropriately small/sized image. 

On the free tier, there's even that infamous bug that make file duplicates. It used to annoy me to no end. Sometimes it made 10 copies within a few seconds and almost always left me on the verge of pulling my hair out. Thankfully, it stopped once I switched to the paid plan (which was a decision influenced by a reply left by one of the team members regarding that bug)

I see PinkElephant has posted a humorous image in a context where its use seems forced. while it would be a company's folly to follow its users' wishes blindly (irl case studies exist to prove that), it doesn't mean a company should discard the most genuine ones. A company needs to know what their users actually want and I know that a good number of us want some basic features that are already there in its rival note taking apps! A workaround for basic features isn't going to cut it. I had the same "putting some tables" idea but isn't it cumbersome to do the "workaround" every few lines in a lot of new notes over a period of time instead of a simple comment button/shortcut?

Lastly, why do I always see some users getting soooooo defensive of the app and the dev team whenever another user raises a question in this forum about a basic feature (like this one)? I see this every single time and it objectively makes no logical sense, no matter what anybody says.

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Thanks for posting your ideas. The forum is mainly user 2 user - so don’t expect any effect.

To reach out for EN use the feedback function, or issue a support ticket. Personally I doubt it will be a mover either, but not trying means having no chance from the beginning.

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