Jump to content

what good note taking software is there please - URGENT


Recommended Posts

Hi,

I urgently need to find some good software or service for note taking and information storage and retrieval.

I would like to make notes using android and windows text apps and take photos of handwritten notes. These notes must be easily and reliably retrieved via good search syntax. Syncing is also important.  Ideally I would also like check boxes and tables.

The most important aspect to the software is that it must work and be reliable.  I do know of one service that is marketed as doing this type of stuff but it is very much a waste of time, has pathetic service is too expensive for a faulty product and always fails when it is needed the most.

I really really need a good working solution - Does anyone have a great solution please.   ..... and honestly I am not pulling anyone's leg. It is a REAL and serious request. 

cheers

 

Link to post
  • Level 5*
36 minutes ago, fred2112 said:

I urgently need to find some good software or service for note taking and information storage and retrieval

imho  Evernote is the best service for information storage and retrieval   
There's an integrated note editor; ok for basic notes, but not great for note taking

For note taking, I use the Notability app on my iPad.    
Sorry, I don't know of an Android/Windows equivalent   
I store the notes in Evernote in both pdf and native format

>>and honestly I am not pulling anyone's leg. It is a REAL and serious request

Why would anyone question your honesty

Link to post
1 minute ago, DTLow said:

imho  Evernote is the best service for information storage and retrieval

Thanks DTLow but I honestly don't know how you can say that. I think you have far better experience than I.  Evernote doesn't even retrieve text notes that I have added over the last few days.

Finally after a 6 month job I reduced my notes and started again with a smaller set but even this hasn't helped. 

It's totally unacceptable to not even index notes now.  Not sure if it's because I've moved from premium to plus but I got sick of paying premium for years and years still not being able to use it.  In the 10 years I've had it Evernote has been fantastic to save notes and totally cr*p to retrieve them.  This last issue with not even indexing bog standard text is the last straw.   I honestly don't know how they can keep going with such a pathetic offering and I'm totally sick of putting endless hours in to keep it alive on my end.

Link to post

I heard some blogger talking about apple notes. Does anyone know if this is any good? I dont do apple but may be convinced to carry an iphone if it works. I never heard of apple notes before though.

Link to post
  • Level 5*
30 minutes ago, fred2112 said:

I heard some blogger talking about apple notes. Does anyone know if this is any good?

Apple Notes is not great for information storage and retrieval

>>I dont do apple but may be convinced to carry an iphone if it works

I find the phone screen size to small for note taking - I use a tablet (iPad with Apple Pencil)

Link to post
  • Level 5*

I think you can assume that apart from a few masochists that have moved on from Evernote,  and are mainly hanging around to see if anything new and interesting happens,  everyone here is still an Evernote user.  In several cases,  from the posts they've made,  people have tried other services;  but they have sooner or later come back to Evernote because it is - despite a few obvious flaws - the most effective solution.  This is entirely the wrong place to look for endorsements of the Acme Note-Taking App,  because we're mostly here to talk about Evernote.

Now any internet search is going to give you a lengthy list of possible options,  and the best way to find out if any of them suit your needs is probably to start using one.  If that doesn't work,  for you try another;  but your solution is likely going to be different from anyone else's.  

IME the only guaranteed,  fail safe,  infinitely reliable note-taking device is a paper notebook!

  • Like 1
Link to post

btw... is this non-indexing/searching of notes body a known issue currently (temp or permanent)? I did see something about only titles being searchable on android now.  I would normally check this out with support but I lost chat when I moved to plus.

Link to post
  • Level 5*
3 minutes ago, fred2112 said:

is this non-indexing/searching of notes body a known issue currently (temp or permanent)?

? I just searched my Android for the word 'ingredients' and got hits on several cook books,  so I'd say they're indexed fine.  As a subscriber you're still able to request email support - sounds like you should maybe try that?

Link to post
2 minutes ago, gazumped said:

I think you can assume that apart from a few masochists that have moved on from Evernote,  and are mainly hanging around to see if anything new and interesting happens,  everyone here is still an Evernote user.  In several cases,  from the posts they've made,  people have tried other services;  but they have sooner or later come back to Evernote because it is - despite a few obvious flaws - the most effective solution.  This is entirely the wrong place to look for endorsements of the Acme Note-Taking App,  because we're mostly here to talk about Evernote.

Now any internet search is going to give you a lengthy list of possible options,  and the best way to find out if any of them suit your needs is probably to start using one.  If that doesn't work,  for you try another;  but your solution is likely going to be different from anyone else's.  

IME the only guaranteed,  fail safe,  infinitely reliable note-taking device is a paper notebook!

yeh I get it. I'm venting too I guess ....because I have looked in the past and stuck with EN.  But it NEVER worked properly. For years I couldnt get it to work on windows to the point where I moved all my notes and started again (and that was very very difficult with no help from support either - and they never solved the windows issue where it would just hang for minutes on end (on any PC I had.)

But the end of the day what is the point in saving a note if I can't get it back. Surely this is CORE stuff. I never had issue with this particular problem even 10 years ago. Even windows search is better at finding stuff than evernote.

I am so incredibly hacked off right now!

Link to post
  • Level 5*
5 minutes ago, fred2112 said:

is this non-indexing/searching of notes body a known issue

I've not experienced this issue

I've only seen one report of this issue at the post linked below   
The use indicated the issue was resolved


Link to post
1 minute ago, gazumped said:

? I just searched my Android for the word 'ingredients' and got hits on several cook books,  so I'd say they're indexed fine.  As a subscriber you're still able to request email support - sounds like you should maybe try that?

did you just make the new note? I can find old notes just not new in the last 24 hrs

Link to post
  • Level 5*
6 minutes ago, fred2112 said:

did you just make the new note? I can find old notes just not new in the last 24 hrs

There could be a lag in indexing on the server (using a browser or a mobile device) as seen in other threads, but not 24 hours, more like 15 minutes tops.  If using one of the desktop apps search is pretty much instantaneous.  I spend most of my time on Windows desktop but do a fair amount of search on IOS devices and am not aware of any search issues. 

Just did a search on my iPhone for some notes I added a half hour ago and they all appeared.  Text results and one where the word was in a screen image.  So seems to be working here.  FWIW.

  • Like 1
Link to post
  • Level 5*
35 minutes ago, fred2112 said:

did you just make the new note? I can find old notes just not new in the last 24 hrs

Just minutes for me    
Be aware, the OCR and search process is a server function - the note has to sync several times

Link to post
  • Level 5*

Yup - same experience as above happening here:  are your notes images / PDFs / handwriting / Text?  There are different processes for each,  plus as noted your new notes have to sync to the server and then get back to the phone before they can even be added.

Link to post
  • Level 5*
11 minutes ago, DTLow said:

Be aware, the OCR process is a server function - the note has to sync several times

Yeah, that was my point - all done in a worst case of 30 minutes.  Not sure it is related to number of syncs, maybe more server workload and priority (if there is any)?

Link to post

Thanks guys

I was aware of the lag for OCR and that premium had priority but didn't think there was lag for standard text.  I just tried again with the new basic account and 

5 minutes ago, gazumped said:

Yup - same experience as above happening here:  are your notes images / PDFs / handwriting / Text?  There are different processes for each,  plus as noted your new notes have to sync to the server and then get back to the phone before they can even be added.

I'm testing with text only.

Actually just a moment ago  a batch of notes got searchable even ones with only a few minutes life.

However now its back to the same. I create a note with one word, search it and it comes back as no note found. I also created a one word note same as one from the batch that came good and it only displayed the note from that batch not both.

It does look like maybe there is very low prioritisation for non-premium accounts. many hours is a bit much though if that is the case....especially when plus is STILL paid.

I'll see how it goes over the next few days.

cheers 

Link to post
  • Level 5*
6 minutes ago, fred2112 said:

Thanks guys

......

I'll see how it goes over the next few days.

cheers 

You are welcome.  Don't know what to say on the prioritizing but I would hope your notes would be searchable within 30 minutes or so.

Link to post

so far so good. over the last hour or so Ive created a fair few one word notes and all have been searchable within a few minutes. So... fingers crossed it's solved! 🙂

  • Like 1
Link to post
  • Level 5

@fred2112 Sometimes EN does maintenance on their servers. You can review server status here

http://status.evernote.com/

Usually maintenance is not noticeable, but it may lead to some background jobs like indexing and OCRing to be stopped and restarted. And while it is stopped, a backlog will build.

About Apple Notes: Nice tool if you work on Apple gadgets only: iPhone, iPad, Mac, maybe the watch. Integration through iCloud is very smooth, it is embedded into the OS. Some nice features while on iOS or MacOS - the next one will be the scribble handwriting-to-text-conversion that will be released with iOS14. 

Downside: Not available on other platforms - if on windows, you need to open iCloud in a browser to get access. No way on Android AFAIK. No web clipper. Problems with exporting your content one day - just possible note by note, as pdf. Weak tagging, search not very elaborate.

And guess what: I am working on a full Apple machine park, and still continue using EN. No plans to switch !

My setup is that I use 2 more tools for note taking: Handwriting with GoodNotes 5 on my iPad, Just-Press-Record for speech-to-text notes on Apple watch and iOS. For both EN serves as archive and retrieval tool. My scanners (ix500 for the Mac, ScannerPro on my iPhone) are both set to do the OCR locally, so the full text is always available for indexing and search the moment I upload.

Link to post

@PinkElephant Yes I think you may be correct that  maintenance had some effect. It makes sense. It was probably made worse that,  one... it was the first time coming back to evernote with some serious work for a while,  and two... the initial testing was done on an internal evernote note that is not returned in searches I guess by design. I think this is why it appeared that EN was not indexing for such a long time when in actuality it was probably more like only a few hours max.  That is still too long even with maintenance but hopefully that was exception rather than the rule. Still worrying though is that report that android was only returning searched on titles. Searching as a core activity with EN so should be flawless IMO and any issue should be dealt with immediately.

 

I've tested many times now and no problems with new searches since.

 

Cheers All!

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
  • Level 5*
11 hours ago, fred2112 said:

the initial testing was done on an internal evernote note that is not returned in searches I guess by design.

Out of interest, what is an internal EN note?

And, if there is a maintenance impact it would be during and right after the maintenance event.  So your firing up EN would most likely have had to occur near one of those.  On a day to day basis I do know I measured a 10 minute lag recently from note entry to note appearing in a web search.  As a Premium subscriber.  Not quick enough in my view.  :shrug:

Link to post
7 hours ago, CalS said:

Out of interest, what is an internal EN note?

And, if there is a maintenance impact it would be during and right after the maintenance event.  So your firing up EN would most likely have had to occur near one of those.  On a day to day basis I do know I measured a 10 minute lag recently from note entry to note appearing in a web search.  As a Premium subscriber.  Not quick enough in my view.  :shrug:

Its the one titled "the power of the note" and is there when a new account is created. I am unable to search the body text. eg searching for "tracking" does not return this note.

Link to post
  • Level 5*
1 hour ago, fred2112 said:

Its the one titled "the power of the note" and is there when a new account is created. I am unable to search the body text. eg searching for "tracking" does not return this note.

Is it a note or something that is displayed to new users I wonder?

Link to post
  • Level 5*
11 hours ago, fred2112 said:

yeh it's a note. Here is the export.

Evernotepower of note.enex 16.03 kB · 4 downloads

edit.... just found I can search it in windows desktop but not on android.

Does the note appear on android?  Can you search it on Android now?

I added the note and it was immediately searchable on Windows.  It appeared on IOS right away though not searchable.  I waited five minutes and it is still NOT searchable on IOS.  So there is a definite lag for web based searches on new notes.

I wonder if this impacts On Demand Sync?

Link to post
1 hour ago, CalS said:

Does the note appear on android?  Can you search it on Android now?

It appears but no it's never been searchable on Android. That is what confused my issue from the start I think. It IS searchable if the title is removed.

All  seems good still though. My testing is still showing small notes are searchable after a few minutes. I'll be happy I think if EN keeps performing like this. 

I'm trying to setup more dynamic notes and todo system which is pretty interactive hour by hour so significant delays will make it useless but if it stays under 5 mins or so I think it will be okay for me. I hope finally I get to trust EN again.    It's been a long time!!

Link to post
  • Level 5*
18 minutes ago, fred2112 said:

It appears but no it's never been searchable on Android. That is what confused my issue from the start I think. It IS searchable if the title is removed.

All  seems good still though. My testing is still showing small notes are searchable after a few minutes. I'll be happy I think if EN keeps performing like this. 

I'm trying to setup more dynamic notes and todo system which is pretty interactive hour by hour so significant delays will make it useless but if it stays under 5 mins or so I think it will be okay for me. I hope finally I get to trust EN again.    It's been a long time!!

Went away to do some work.  Came back and don't exactly know when but I checked at 1 hour 15 minutes and the note WAS searchable on my iPhone.  So somewhere between 10 minutes and 1 hour 15 minutes to get it indexed on the servers.  Not sure what is happening on your android side. 

I do most of my heavy lifting on my PC re tasks and all so this is not an issue for me.  Hope it gets better for you,

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...