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Carlos Orrego

Am I the only one crossing fingers?

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The lack of news and information about the so anticipated upcoming changes plus the delay have gotten me worried. I've been a user of Evernote for around 10 years now, I started as a free user but the last two years I start paying.

But since then I also became a "Productive Apps" enthusiastic and have learn about some other note taking apps, from that learning I can say Evernote's current version is at least 4 years behind its competitor. Now, I'm just waiting for the new features and changes to be a good reason to keep using it, because today I keep the account only because I already paid for the year and because nostalgia tells me that I should wait.

Here some of my expectations:

  • I want it to be clean, the tiny toolbar full of icons and options is not that user friendly.
  • Moder, the settings make it look like an app from Win98.
  • There is a reason so many apps are migrating to the concept of blocks. Something like the Gutenberg WordPress Editor would be nice and closer to 2020.
  • UX integrity (I don't know that's the correct term). I know you're already working on having a unified experience across all devices, so I think I shouldn't worry about this one.
  • Don't get as complex as Notion. I thought the concept of databases was great until it got so complicated that I no longer could take quick notes in Notion.

I already love Evernote, but It's hard to avoid looking to other ways.

 

 

 

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I share your hope and a slight sense of anxiety. I reassure myself that the lack of news probably means that everyone is working hard on the new releases. I don't agree with this though:

5 hours ago, Carlos Orrego said:

Evernote's current version is at least 4 years behind

The web clipper is best in class. The new web editor (soon to be the editor everywhere) is on a par with the leading notes apps. Some features are different of course but generally on a par.

Bear in mind also that it's operating on a very large scale (itself a reassuring factor), so the recent backend changes are very material; a couple of the cutting-edge note apps have a tendency to lose people's data, and a proper, secure, robust backend is really important.

But as I saw I'm also eagerly looking forward to the new releases and a little nervous in the silence... 

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As user-to-user forums, this isn't really a good place to address Evernote directly. Premium and Plus users can contact them through tech support (https://help.evernote.com/hc/requests/new), though I don't know if this sort of concern can be addressed through that channel. There have been a series of Behind the Scenes videos showing aspects of specific improvements being implemented. Admittedly there hasn't been a new one for over 6 months. But I would doubt that they've just stopped working on it.

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It is strange that they have gone from such great transparency on the upcoming version to silence. They are even silent about changes to the web beta, where the release number changes every once in a while, but they don't say what is different.

If you are happy with the current Evernote, none of this is a problem. For me, primarily using iOS, I'm not happy with the existing issues - screen redraws, tiny iPhone font, and others - the lack of progress is getting wearing. When I re-upped a year ago, it was in anticipation of the new version. A year later, it is almost time to renew again, and I'm still using essentially the same app as a year ago.

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On 5/15/2020 at 9:26 AM, ObviousBob said:

If you are happy with the current Evernote, none of this is a problem.

That's me, Mac primary and iPad supplemental
Evernote is working well for me; 15k+ notes at 13GB

My expectation is the "new" Mac version will have decreased functionality, and I won't be upgrading   
edit: (For the Charlton Heston analogy, see here)

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10 hours ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

As user-to-user forums, this isn't really a good place to address Evernote directly. Premium and Plus users can contact them through tech support

My intentions were not to address the Evernote's team but to know the expectation of other users and if there were more people like me that are between nervous, exited and a little bit tired of waiting. For the communication with Evernote's team I am part of the on the Beta testing for Windows which is the platform I use the most and I give my honest feedback. That's the way I think I can help.

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15 hours ago, Joe Pairman said:

The web clipper is best in class. The new web editor (soon to be the editor everywhere) is on a par with the leading notes apps. Some features are different of course but generally on a par.

You are completely right about the web clipper, I love it!

What I meant about the four years is more related with the Windows version. Here is a screenshot of the current Windows version (I have access to the windows beta version, and I know it'll get better):

image.thumb.png.3ca9ec1ff16aed0df42c8b70816d1ea3.png

As you can see there is no way to format a header (H1, H2, H3), at least not that I know, the format toolbar and the menu bar look old school, don't they?

But as you said It looks like they are trying to bring all the versions closer to the web version and those are good news.

And again, I'm crossing fingers because I want Evernote to be the best once more.

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Sorry for the misunderstanding. I do get the finger-crossing! Font size mismatches between the Windows program and the Web beta client (where headers are available) have become an annoyance for me.

I am curious about one thing. In your OP, you put as your first expectation:

Quote

I want it to be clean, the tiny toolbar full of icons and options is not that user friendly.

I find toolbars convenient. Are you just saying it ought to be larger, or that the interface would be cleaner with no toolbar at all? I personally do find it more friendly than having to sort through menus or remember keyboard shortcuts (though I find I'm managing the latter pretty well).

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On 5/15/2020 at 6:26 PM, ObviousBob said:

It is strange that they have gone from such great transparency on the upcoming version to silence. They are even silent about changes to the web beta, where the release number changes every once in a while, but they don't say what is different.

Yep, it would be nice to see the changes listed somewhere :)

 

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On 5/15/2020 at 9:26 AM, ObviousBob said:

It is strange that they have gone from such great transparency on the upcoming version to silence.

If I were guessing, I would say the re-engineering of the apps is proving far more difficult than they predicted.  At the beginning of the year they were 4 months behind in a 12 month window according to the CEO.  Making stuff the same across multiple platforms and protecting what is already in place is complicated on a good day.  Scary to me is they are attempting the redo on an incremental basis, feature loss in the betas being an indicator, and it is still taking longer than originally projected.  Not making excuses for EN, it is an issue they need to get on top off, show some positive results.  This many months in its hard to change the roadmap.  Time for a SWAT team. 

Current PC and IOS versions work great for me so okay for now and my use case. I do want to see EN succeed.  One so I don't have to change.  Extremely selfish of me I know. 🤷‍♂️

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1 hour ago, CalS said:

Scary to me is they are attempting the redo on an incremental basis, feature loss in the betas being an indicator,

Resolved on the web platform with feature differences on various web versions  🙂
Example: for reminders, use the "previous" version

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15 minutes ago, DTLow said:

Resolved on the web platform with feature differences on various web versions        
Example: for reminders, use the "previous" version

Less to do with being able to find the feature in a previous release, more to do with a strategy which seems to be to incrementally create the new product.  Makes transition for users confusing and harder than it seems it should be.  Plus it is taking a while to create less than complete functionality.  Not the best of signs.  Hoping for the best though.

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2 hours ago, CalS said:

Scary to me is they are attempting the redo on an incremental basis, feature loss in the betas being an indicator…

Sounds very sensible to me. I suspect they're not able to be quite as incremental as they'd like, thus slowing them down, because if they update the apps without a fairly rich feature set, a lot of us old-timers are going to complain loudly. We probably aren't the majority of the user base but are the most vocal :-).

Have you ever seen a major revamp of any large tool where some previously features weren't omitted on the initial proper release of the new one? Not to mention betas.

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2 hours ago, Joe Pairman said:

Sounds very sensible to me. I suspect they're not able to be quite as incremental as they'd like, thus slowing them down, because if they update the apps without a fairly rich feature set, a lot of us old-timers are going to complain loudly. We probably aren't the majority of the user base but are the most vocal :-).

Have you ever seen a major revamp of any large tool where some previously features weren't omitted on the initial proper release of the new one? Not to mention betas.

I don't ever remember a major software update for anything I've used where "core" features were left out or of a public release.  Core being the key word.  There is so much left out of the betas though that some of it has to be deemed as core. 

IMO rewrites are done best when the plumbing is changed, issues are resolved, but the features stay the same for the user unless publicly retired.  Here we have incremental change with functional loss, not a winning proposition for an experienced user.  To say you have to blow it up and then deliver in slices is a strategy I would not pursue. 

But I'm not EN.  I just hope 6.24 lives until the journey is complete.   Maybe it's got something to do with the Atom/Electron environment which I think??? they are using to help with a single code base of some sort.  But I could be way off there as well. Just an opinion in the wilderness.

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How much of you, have observed that 'string search' is being removed, in favour of a more productive 'predictive search', which is returning garbage? ( Yeah, the promo video is all rose and honey, but in real world, the results are trash). As of now, they have already implemented the new search in Android and IOS( following the Web Conduit). The Windows client is yet to get the new changes, and there is a sea load of difference in search results, between the Old windows search, and the new one. 

Evernote is going down hill. Good luck, all. 

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I can't speak for anyone else's experiences, but in my experience the search works fine. In fact, I hope that it brings in new users who might be unwilling or uninterested in learning the advanced search grammar. Good idea.

But, I'd like to be able to turn it off. I think I mentioned my own pet peeves about predictive searches about a decade ago (!?), when the predictive searches began. They slow things down AND they display a bunch of detailed information about me and my account that I might not want to show to a class of 100 students when I am giving a lecture using Evernote. For anyone who gives presentations, this predictive feature can become quite a headache. As usual, I am happy to have this and other features as the standard default. But, I want to be able to turn things off. 

As for crossing my fingers, I've been doing that for about 12 years now, because I love the app, but don't always love the things that happen to it or the company. From my perspective, though, slowly rolling out changes is far better than the old style of an update a day (slightly exaggerated), often with insufficient testing or warning (especially about missing or de-stabilized features). In a way, the lack of updates is reassuring. In fact, I hadn't noticed any "lack." 

The behind the scenes videos have disappeared. True. But, the world is in the midst of a horrific and perhaps world altering pandemic. So, I don't have any particular expectations for a return to normal. I'd prefer a return to a new normal, with plenty of social distancing and care taken of its employees. If they have to slow stuff down a bit to transition to a telework-style environment, no problem. 

In fact, one thing I am now happy about is the movement of the servers out of their location. If they had to take care of those and deal with the pandemic, I'm sure they'd be having a really tough time. By not having to worry about that, perhaps they have ended up with a more flexible and safer work environment. A win-win for everyone.

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8 hours ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

In fact, one thing I am now happy about is the movement of the servers out of their location. If they had to take care of those and deal with the pandemic, I'm sure they'd be having a really tough time. By not having to worry about that, perhaps they have ended up with a more flexible and safer work environment. A win-win for everyone.

Sorry, what? Evernote moved servers? Or Google did?

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I think Evernote has had a thankless task. When they started out there was no hope of consolidating their applications to one code base: web apis just weren't up to it and there was no way even to write an app which would run on iOS and Android. This resulted in lots of teams writing apps for lots of different platforms (blackberry os 6/7 and blackberry os 10, anybody?). 

And evernote as an app is pretty complicated with synchronisation and handwriting recognition and a chat service and lots of other stuff too. 

Re-engineering on one code base is something I really wouldn't like to try. As a server programmer I have the great advantage that I only have to support Linux (because of Docker). One code base for complex logic on iOS/Android/Windows/OS X/Linux(?) is still really tricky. If I were Evernote i'd be tempted to put a lot of eggs in the Flutter basket and let the native apps for Windows and OS X lie fallow for a while until Flutter Native is usable. 

Maybe Evernote hasn't yet got to the stage of thinking about the next step in its journey, presuming the huge refactoring effort succeeds. We're certainly living in interesting times for the company.

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1 hour ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

Sorry, what? Evernote moved servers? Or Google did?

From 2008 to 2017 Evernote ran its own servers, but in 2017 it moved all of the data onto Google’s server. There was some doom and gloom talk back then, and crossed fingers, but here we are three years later with a situation that almost certainly makes it possible for Evernote to deal more effectively with the demands imposed by a pandemic. In 2010, for example, bad hardware(?) caused some data loss—no worries about having to fiddle with the hardware anymore. I don’t remember my comments from the time, but I was likely against the move from a security and independence perspective. If they hadn’t made the move, we’d be in a bind now, so it’s a good thing they didn’t listen to me.

I guess, much like the 2017 move, things go on in the background with little obvious impact on us, but the service seems on a firmer footing nowadays.

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I've been a user of Evernote for over 11 years. So long as I can export from the native app, and there are competitors that will import them (which Notion, Zoho, and OneNote do) I'm not too worried. 

Evernote meets my needs well and every time I've looked at changing, nothing made it worth making the change. I want a place to take notes, stuff web clips and document, that I can tag and effectively search. 

I would like to have some snappier options to taking quick notes as I still find myself opening Notepad to take get to writing out a note quickly. Evernote has never been responsive enough to fire up a note quick enough to take down a number on a phone call when I wasn't expecting to take notes. I can usually fish up a pen and something to write on or fire up Notepad more quickly. 

My main issue is that Evernote have not yet lived up to its promise of being able to put all my notes and references in one place.  I have to file many reference documents separate from Evernote because of file-size limitations, so I am managing documents in both Google Docs and Evernote and having to think about where I put which. I'm very disappointed that Google Drive integration doesn't work with Evernote Web. 

If I do leave Evernote, it will be for Google Drive and Google Keep. If Google made it easier to import Evernote content I may have already tested this. If Evernote offered true integration with Google Drive, I wouldn't need to. 

What I would most mist if I left Evernote would be the sublime web-clipper and the great, if not always snappy, iOS app. 

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2 hours ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

From 2008 to 2017 Evernote ran its own servers, but in 2017 it moved all of the data onto Google’s server.

Oh, OK, right, I thought you were talking about something that just happened. Time just all runs together these days....

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On 5/15/2020 at 12:32 PM, DTLow said:

That's me, Mac primary and iPad supplemental
Evernote is working well for me; 15k+ notes at 13GB

My expectation is the

Quote

"new" Mac version will have decreased functionality

, and I won't be upgrading   
edit: (For the Charlton Heston analogy, see here)

Wait, WHY?

They would decrease it even though they are using electron which should carry the same functionality across the systems right?

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1 hour ago, ileo said:

They would decrease it even though they are using electron which should carry the same functionality across the systems right?

The thing is, the "same functionality" is not always possible on all platforms    
For example, Evernote/Mac currently has integrated scripting using Mac's Applescript utility

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18 hours ago, SK_123 said:

'string search' is being removed

I am still able to search for text strings like 'string search' (Mac and iPad)

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14 minutes ago, DTLow said:

The thing is, the "same functionality" is not always possible on all platforms    
For example, Evernote/Mac currently has integrated scripting using Applescript

Oh boy......die hard 7.14 user I guess then!

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7 hours ago, DTLow said:

The thing is, the "same functionality" is not always possible on all platforms    
For example, Evernote/Mac currently has integrated scripting using Mac's Applescript utility

If anyone's interested, the history of allowing unfettered access to the operating system from code running in the web browser is less than glorious: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ActiveX (particularly frightening: ... Internet Explorer maintains a blacklist of bad controls ...)

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On 5/16/2020 at 10:53 AM, Dave-in-Decatur said:

Are you just saying it ought to be larger, or that the interface would be cleaner with no toolbar at all? I personally do find it more friendly than having to sort through menus or remember keyboard shortcuts (though I find I'm managing the latter pretty well).

I like the way the WordPress editor works these days. When you are typing you have a clean canvas

image.png.b2106f3c81b332c4f32babfc22be3dad.png

But you just need to select one block and then you'll see the options.

image.png.96c2878de7758fdb13a0a2d5b4e41977.png

There you have the options you need to give format to the content, and the option to change the kind of content (p, h1, h2, order list, youtube video)

 

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Thanks, I can see the advantage of that. Personally, I'm not distracted by the toolbar, and there are a few things on it that go beyond formatting selected text (insert table, divider line, attachment, audio, picture). But of course all of those less-common actions could be done from a menu. It might be good to post this and other ideas in the feature request forum: https://discussion.evernote.com/forum/449-product-feedbackfeature-requests/.

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It's kind of weird, but maybe it's just because I've never done it before

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