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Vidalia

Will Evernote become obsolete because of Corona virus?

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Let me explain the title of the thread first.

I am using Evernote for many years. My notes are predominantly text and some embedded images. Almost no handwritten notes. 

The beauty of Evernote is syncing across all devices. 

Then 2 things happened.

[1] The sync was limited to 2 devices for free users.

[2] My employer blocked all cloud storage at work (this includes Evernote, Dropbox etc.)

The [2] is now reality for many corporate organizations to prevent people uploading confidential documents to cloud. 

This meant, at work, my only option to check all my notes is via my mobile. It was not a big issue as such because I could always use my mobile among 1 of 2 free devices to sync. But I still had to be online to access my notes.

Now fast forward to Corona virus pandemic. Like millions of others, I am working from home and this is going to be the norm in foreseeable future. Full 5 day work from office is very unlikely even after this whole saga ends. 

I now have no need to check my notes in tiny phone screen! I can always check them in my large computer screen. For multiple computers, I can always open the Evernote web version. 

I don't use attachments in my notes (other than embedded images). So technically I can keep all my notes as DOCX/RTF or markdown/TXT text in any cloud storage - be it Dropbox, Onedrive etc. and run a search command on them when I need to find something.  The speed is much faster as all notes are in my local disk (compared to accessing everything from web for free EN users).

So that means, I can choose my own cloud (which could be my own NAS drives) and my notes becomes individual documents on disk. 

99% of my notes are not needed regularly. Those notes which I want to store locally in my phone (say during holidays with no access to internet - typically 5% of time in a year max) I can simply copy some files locally before travel.

Now my conclusion is that (for me) it is no longer necessary to keep notes in a proprietary format in any specific cloud storage. 

Please note that I am not saying Evernote is bad and Onenote or something similar is better. I am saying for users like me whole business model is unattractive. Notes can be individual documents on file system. As long as those file system is in cloud and some mechanism exists to search among those files, the user need is fulfilled. 

For example, OneNote allows to search across all Word documents. So an Office user can simply keep multiple Word document as notes. 

In conclusion, I feel for users whose use cases are similar to mine, the note capturing scenario might be very different post Covid19. 

Off course a lot you will disagree but that is fine. Everyone has different perspective and use case. 
 

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7 hours ago, Vidalia said:

So technically I can keep all my notes as DOCX/RTF or markdown/TXT text in any cloud storage - be it Dropbox, Onedrive etc.

True; this has always been an option   
Why do you see this as a new concept?

This storage method loses the benefits of Evernote features       
- integrated editor and note/file manager
- sync to cloud and devices   
- offline access
- note container with text, attachments, links
- organization (Notebooks/Tags)
- links between notes   
- links for public access (shared)   
- ...

>>check all my notes is via my mobile ... in tiny phone screen

I use an iPad; full offline data copy

>>it is no longer necessary to keep notes in a proprietary format in any specific cloud storage. 

Evernote's note format is enml; basically html   
I'm more concerned with my data locked away in the Evernote database    
- I keep an html export as backup

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11 hours ago, Vidalia said:

In conclusion, I feel for users whose use cases are similar to mine, the note capturing scenario might be very different post Covid19.

If this is the case, then indeed for users like you Evernote may indeed become obsolete. I feel that your subject line is a bit misleading, since for some users COVID-19 might make Evernote even more necessary, and for many others it will remain essential in any case.

I would suggest the following test: get everything out of Evernote that you will ever need to have, and deactivate your account (detailed instructions here: https://help.evernote.com/hc/en-us/articles/208314088). Then in the following weeks, see if the following scenario occurs: whatever you happen to be doing, you think, "Oh, I should save that to Evernote." For myself, I am 100% sure that I would be back on Evernote in one or two days. But if you find that you are truly doing as well without Evernote as with it, then you're good. OTOH, if you do find yourself frequently saying, "I should put that in Evernote," then you'll know it wasn't actually obsolete.

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If a file system on a computer would be the solution to all needs and workflows, EN would not have been founded and survived for more than 10 years. Even if file systems gain features, they are still far away from what EN offers.

For me they are systems to FILE stuff, EN is my system to FIND Stuff. And that makes the difference, because it takes away a lot of work from the filing step, and still enables fast and reliable finding.

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Hi. If I understand your problem correctly, the two-device limit and your employer's restrictions are making it difficult to use Evernote, and you don't see a need for it. Indeed, if you are unwilling or unable to pay for the premium service, and your employer is preventing you from making full use of it anyhow, then you can either:

(1) use Evernote on your computer with work-related documents in an offline Evernote notebook or 

(2) pay for Evernote and just keep your work-related documents on your computer at work

It may be that you don't need Evernote. Personally, I find it to be a useful app. I particularly enjoy the ease of input, editing, and file organization (I do very little organizing, because the combination of robust search options, tags, and handwriting recognition make it possible to get by with very little organization). I don't mind paying for an app I use every day. Your mileage may vary.

In fact, after COVID-19, I've found myself relying even more heavily on Evernote. I have to go into my workplace to work (I am in a region with minimal restrictions), I have to do work at home (we had more serious restrictions up until a few days ago), and I need to do child care while somehow doing work. Work has seeped into everything--it was always a problem, I guess, but now it seems inseparable from everything else. I enjoy my work, but... yeah, I am kind of looking forward to at least making an attempt at separating my private and personal life. I think we are all being asked to wear multiple hats at the same time these days, and Evernote makes it easy for me to go from device to device working on projects in tiny chunks appropriate to the limited time I have to focus on projects. Even if I am suddenly interrupted and have to rush off to do this or that, my work is right there in my pocket ready to be resumed when I have a moment.

In other words, it seems to me that Evernote is uniquely well-suited to our new post-pandemic lifestyle, assuming you are willing / able to pay for it, and you can work around the limitations (my list of Evernote's shortcomings in the context of my work flow has been posted repeatedly here over the last decade, so I won't belabor those points).

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