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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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Posted (edited)
On 5/15/2020 at 11:48 AM, Joe Pairman said:

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

I'm getting a bit more nervous. It's awfully quiet (apart from a few people here exclaiming loudly that they don't even want to hear about a new release if it doesn't have their favorite crusty old Windows feature that only they and somebody's dog use). 

I hope we are not moving into "Dreaming in Code" territory.

Fingers and toes crossed now.

Edited by Joe Pairman
I fixed a typo in my original message that I quoted
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Betas are out and running, drawing comments in the forum.

Besides there is a nasty bug in country, forcing a lot of people to work from home. As util as this may be for many jobs, it for sure puts a stress on project work, where collaboration (formal and informal) is the key to success.

@Shane D. Maybe we can get some news from HQ ?

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On 8/21/2020 at 8:52 PM, PinkElephant said:

Besides there is a nasty bug in country, forcing a lot of people to work from home. As util as this may be for many jobs, it for sure puts a stress on project work, where collaboration (formal and informal) is the key to success.

I don't want to minimize the distress and heartache that many people are experiencing, but I think it depends on the organization as to how well their software development processes hold up (or even improve) due to remote working. We are all strangers on this forum so your point is a fair one without further context, but I do have direct experience of this in a couple of ways.

I would guess that the reason for the delay is just that fundamentally re-architecting Evernote turned out to be a far bigger thing than anyone expected. For any development, if the team hasn't done anything directly comparable before, then their estimates are likely to be off.

But it would be nice to get another update at some point.

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All for getting the foundations rock solid. Not bothered by the lack of news. 

Although I sense the company may be going through culture problems, perhaps by over-reading the body language in the last few behind the scenes videos. Also noticed the forums are not very active as such compared to other tools.

But, Evernote is hiring data scientists and product designers on their career pages. All fo these are healthy signs for a company ready to pivot (culturally), getting in some fresh eyes and hearts and apparently not panicking with flashy competitor noise. Perhaps this is dealing with attrition, perhaps pressure is cascading down...

Personally, I hate cognitive overheads, I love Evernote because the editor is simple, i have memorised keyboards shortcuts on Mac and the tool just gets out of my way. Its stable, its reliable and it doesn't offer me too many distractions. 

However, I have also discovered that there are certain features that are a must.

For example, back linking and blocks like in RoamResearch and Obsidian. I am experimenting with my personal knowledge management outside Evernote nowadays. I hate juggling between tools but i have to as that feature gives me what i want. I still keep PDFs and other documents on Evernote (except for large ones that don't work in my quota)

I also think the task lists and tables can do with a bit more intelligence, things that Notion, Coda and Airtable do. Saves me repetitive work, but those tools are so loaded that with a vocabulary that it slows me down to a drag.

The point is not about my wishlist, I take it more as a long term perspective. 

For the past 5 years roughly, each November I have been going through an overhead of deciding to churn or not, somehow i stick after trials with others. 

Is Evernote ensuring their most loyal customer base remains intact?

Awesome if they are!

Is Evernote going to revamp some of its foundations to allow features to be built that previously weren't possible, e.g. backlinks (graph database required), shorthands for markdown, embedded videos, etc (all requiring web in a desktop) etc. 

I am not sure yet, and this is what will bug me in November again. 

PS: I realised I lost my Evernote wallet :(

 

Edits:: 28 AUG, 2020: Obsidian doesn't have blocks as of today.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Atif said:

But, Evernote is hiring data scientists and product designers on their career pages.

It’s good to hear that Evernote is hiring. A healthy sign indeed. 

I think the backlinks request will keep coming back, though to pick on a detail from your post, why would you need a graph database just to do backlinks? Roam takes a native graph approach, but that's because it does much more than backlinks; it supports sophisticated querying. And it was originally intended to do even more than that with Bayesian inferencing. Way beyond Evernote's ambitions I'd say and beyond those of most regular note-takers. 

Graph DBs are great for understanding relationships across heterogeneous data, inferencing, and more easily working with novel queries. But it would be expensive and burdensome to add one just to do backlinks. If you can do regular links (in any database) you can do backlinks. It’s just a question of priorities.  

Edited by Joe Pairman
Clarified

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On 5/15/2020 at 7:09 AM, Carlos Orrego said:
Quote

 

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.

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

 

 

every time I'm looking for alternatives I realize how good (simple, focused) Evernote is.

 

 

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Same here: Fingers crossed.

I'm hoping that Evernote overcomes the challenges of all the technical dept and pulls off the new versions.

Personally, I'm hoping it turns out well because I would prefer a refreshed Evernote over the OneNote I am mainly using at the moment.

I rejoined premium last fall to play with it and gäbe some feedback in the preview program.

But the Lack of communication is starting to irritate me - I liked the new style of communication, both in the blog posts and especially the video-updates.

I get that such compex projects usually take longer than planned. But the current silence feels off, after all the good earlier information.

I rarely post anywhere, but I regularly look for some update... Would be nice, even if the news isnt all roses and stuff.

 

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On 8/24/2020 at 9:12 PM, tm87 said:

Same here: Fingers crossed.

I'm hoping that Evernote overcomes the challenges of all the technical dept and pulls off the new versions.

Personally, I'm hoping it turns out well because I would prefer a refreshed Evernote over the OneNote I am mainly using at the moment.

I rejoined premium last fall to play with it and gäbe some feedback in the preview program.

But the Lack of communication is starting to irritate me - I liked the new style of communication, both in the blog posts and especially the video-updates.

I get that such compex projects usually take longer than planned. But the current silence feels off, after all the good earlier information.

I rarely post anywhere, but I regularly look for some update... Would be nice, even if the news isnt all roses and stuff.

 

maybe this is getting a bit off-topic, but how can you "replace" Evernote by using OneNote (at least on the Mac): no Tags, no Reminders, narrow columns to read note titiles, you cannot edit attachments, no search grammar, no GPS location assigned to notes (if you need this), poor Web Clipper. I'd expect to replace OneNote with Noteshelf or Notability but not Evernote.

This is not to blame OneNote, I really like the approach of infinite workspace and how it looks like - but it's a completely different world 🙂

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2 hours ago, stocky2605 said:

maybe this is getting a bit off-topic, but how can you "replace" Evernote by using OneNote (at least on the Mac): no Tags, no Reminders, narrow columns to read note titiles, you cannot edit attachments, no search grammar, no GPS location assigned to notes (if you need this), poor Web Clipper. I'd expect to replace OneNote with Noteshelf or Notability but not Evernote.

This is not to blame OneNote, I really like the approach of infinite workspace and how it looks like - but it's a completely different world 🙂

 

I am using windows / android. Around 2014 I bought a 2-in-1 laptop with an integrated pen. Evernote didn't offer pen-support under Windows and OneNote did (and does) a good job with that, at least under windows. The webclipper was (and is, in my opinion) decent under windows as well. And I rarely needed to save and search scans or pdf-files. Never used reminders inside Evernote or GPS-based notes. Most of my notes are actual written notes (ideas / concepts / memos / etc.) or web-clips about topics that I could sort well by notebooks and subcategories. OneNote worked better at that time for me and is still my main note application.

But it does have it's own weaknesses and on top of it my use-case did shift over the last couple years.

This is why I'm really curious / hopeful to see where Evernote goes: I would like to shift back under certain circumstances, especially because somed demands on my side changed. The fact that Evernote already feels muuuuch more reliable with sync and edits from different clients than a while ago also helps a lot. But moving and correctly tagging whole libraries on certain topics is going to be lots of work. I would prefer to have a better idea about the future client and it's capacities, before I spend lots of time just to switch one set of weaknesses for another. (Of course this is use-case specific.)

I had a really good impression by the steps that Ian Small took and started to put stuff into Evernote instead of OneNote to test it. So, back to topic: fingers crossed!

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On 8/23/2020 at 3:34 PM, Joe Pairman said:

It’s good to hear that Evernote is hiring. A healthy sign indeed. 

I think the backlinks request will keep coming back, though to pick on a detail from your post, why would you need a graph database just to do backlinks? Roam takes a native graph approach, but that's because it does much more than backlinks; it supports sophisticated querying. And it was originally intended to do even more than that with Bayesian inferencing. Way beyond Evernote's ambitions I'd say and beyond those of most regular note-takers. 

 

"Graph DBs are great for understanding relationships across heterogeneous data, inferencing, and more easily working with novel queries. But it would be expensive and burdensome to add one just to do backlinks. If you can do regular links (in any database) you can do backlinks. It’s just a question of priorities. "

Good pick @Joe Pairman, I should have elaborated it earlier. It is what backlinks enables in terms of query capability at scale and at speed that is quite exclusive to graph database AFAIK. Many queries in a networked thought are queries over inter-related records that are simply too expensive to scale in a non-graph engine. PostgreSQL is trying a few things with clever indices and data types but its a combo of both graph storage and graph compute.

Don't like to toot the other tool's horn here, but they have managed to break a page / note into its independent blocks and then we have a graph database of these units essentially. Nothing much Evernote can do about it, its how products evolve, new entrants always have the advantage to leapfrog with a superior technology and an empty slate. 

it's interesting to see one of Evernote's most vocal advocates, Tiago Forte, come out with a video earlier this week where he opines that Evernote's future is better served focusing on service reliability rather than trying to mimic what others are doing. In saying so, I do know RoamResearch has been bringing him to their camp and it seems its working. Here's the video about the future of Evernote by Tiago: 

 

 

 

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Remembering the vision of Evernote over the years:

  • Remember Everything (somewhere around 2010-2011)
  • Your Life's best work (I think this was when Tim Ferris started advocating it)
  • Current:
    Your notes.
    Organized.
    Effortless.

The first two served their purpose really well during their times IMHO. 

The current one, not so sure...

  1. Your Notes: The ENML format and the HTML exports are not necessarily mine. It's non-trivial to move these notes to others without effort. The API helps but it leads to a digital divide for the non-tech-savvy to make notes their own. (Unless ownership simply means you can offload from one Evernote and back up to another instance)
  2. Organized: Wasn't that OneNote's vision, to have a proper place for every thing, neatly organised and 'filed'. And wasn't Evernote the cool tool that helped us avoid all of that organisation and let us simply 'pile' our stuff. And along with powerful tagging, we had a brilliant search interface, quiet similar to the metaphorical portray of iconography with the brain. So is Evernote transitioning to the Filers from the Pilers camp? Or is it trying to serve both? And is that good for either? 
  3. Effortless: Taxonomies are made with the tax of sweat and toil. The overhead of organising things top-down was bearable before these new tools came out. Now, if we simply give up with taxonomies and just drop everything there for search to do its magic, should Tenet 2 still hold true?  

One way Evernote can thrive again is by thinking of itself in lines of a dating app. The best dating apps are the ones that get deleted :) Solve the customer's core job. 

For people who are all over the place with their content and thoughts,  Evernote can bring the calm to the storm and help people get more methodical about their lives. And as they are initiated, they will look elsewhere to cover for feature parity (and value) and will face the complexity of multiple tools and a higher subscription cost (not necessarily TCO) OR will simply satisfice with a single reliable tool. 

I did a quick sketch to see what this would look like for some:

1421432414_ScreenShot2020-08-28at3_12_28pm.thumb.png.fa588ca4e1b344c3f85aac16cb2ece11.png

From a meagre 10 USD of Evernote base subscription to roughly 56 USD to get specialised apps.

With no data at our disposal, I can only anecdotally guess a pricing change is on the table:

  • New Entrants: 
    • Free tier (Same as before) with caveats. 
    • Bundle coaching services from Disciples to get their lives organised. 
    • Gamify Usage, get affiliate partner network to incentivise. 
  • Loyalists:
    • Base tier (to be increased to 15 USD) with no limits. (Premium essentially)
    • the moment I can no more  upload a 50MB file to Evernote because I am in the mid-tier, I go to another tool. 
    • For the loyalists, the tool gets out of their way and they love it, they get their jobs done. 
    • Gamify usage and participation to become Disciples. 
  • Disciples:
    • Premier tier (free on selected months, 15 USD otherwise) with no limits (but fully premium)
    • They get to offer specialised training to New Entrants on organising Life. 
    • When New Entrants become paying members, they get their month's free. 
    • Special Badge (like the Certified one today, although I am not sure what that badge does or how is it given). 
  • The X:
    • Went elsewhere but are what they are today due to Evernote :)
    • Build the mindshare of how good Evernote is to get started in getting their lives in shape. 

While you may notice all this 'in the air' day dreaming, this is mere distraction.

I am sure Evernote is coming up with some good news :)

 

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5 hours ago, Atif said:

The ENML format and the HTML exports are not necessarily mine. It's non-trivial to move these notes to others without effort.

imho HTML format is a great format choice    
- ubiquitous (readable by any web browser app); editable; non-proprietary  
ENML/.enex is Evernote's internal format; but essentially HTML based

>>Unless ownership simply means you can offload

This is an important feature for me; my data is not locked in

>>So is Evernote transitioning to the Filers from the Pilers camp? Or is it trying to serve both?

I'd agree with "trying to serve both", but Evernote's core is "Pilers" based (tags instead of folders)

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13 hours ago, Atif said:

I am sure Evernote is coming up with some good news

Hey there, what exactly are you trying to say in the two posts just above?  In a couple of sentences....

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