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Business - Splitting Personal and Business Tabs to Separate Emails!

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I may be missing something but am I the only one concerned about the Evernote plan to split business personal and business tabs into separate workbooks requiring separate emails?

As a business owner, I do not want employees storing business information separately under different email accounts.  Meanwhile I currently use the business section to share information with other employees and the personal tab for my personal notes about business issues - and find it very useful to switch between the two.

As an individual, my only other email is personal which I use for my personal evernote premium account.  I do not want yet another email address.

I really like evernote and am resisting pressure to use Onenote across the business as that is provided for free within our 365 subscription.  If Evernote is making things more difficult though then maybe now is the time to grasp the nettle and move over.

Am I missing something?


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At the moment business users get a "business" tab with notebooks and notes and a separate, but within the same screen, "personal" tab again with notebooks and notes.  The plan is to separate them out into separate accounts with separate emails.  It is a real shame as I think this is the nudge my work colleagues were looking for to transition to Onenote.

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  • Level 5

This is nothing new. It is a setup since 2017 ! You are probably running on an older business account, that did not get updated since.

The idea behind it that every Business user gets a Premium personal account for free. These are completely separate accounts.

The business account belongs to the company, the content belongs to the company and access is controlled by a person named as admin. The main tool to organize access are the Spaces, where a group of users is allowed to use a group of notebooks, and their content. By this, information can be protected, and workflows supported. Example: Sales - Order fulfillment - Accounting. There are 3 spaces, new orders flow from one to the other, but the only people who can see all is probably management. In each department, people are only allowed to see what they need to do their job. And they should probably focus on getting the departments inbox (notebook) content moved to their outbox, which is the inbox of the next process step ...

If an employee changes department, he is allocated to another space. And if he leaves, the information stays. From my view this is pretty good, in its handling and under a compliance perspective. It is easier to set up and maintain than the classical folder structure on a server.

The individual Premium account is not linked to the business account. It is (as long as an employee is with the employer) a way to use EN for personal purpose, without interfering with the professional information management. If he leaves, he can take the personal account with him, and pay for it, or downgrade it to Basic.

The old structure had no "chinese wall" between the company and personal use. It was IMHO not compliant and could lead to severe leaks and loss of data. If you want to access both accounts on the job (?!), you can open one in a client, the other for example in a browser window. Or switch accounts in the client, then it is not side by side.

This is the view I would have as a CEO, COO or CIO - feeling responsible for the sound data management of my company. 

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Thanks for taking the time to reply in such detail on this.

I guess it depends on how you use Evernote.  For us we have always used it to take notes etc because it did that very very well.  We then had the business tab for shared notes and the personal tab still for business issues but not shared.  So, for me as CEO, I have all my notes of meetings with individual employees on my personal tab.  Meanwhile for shared meeting agendas and notes we have that on the business tab.

I meanwhile have a premium personal account which I use extensively and which I access with my only other email account.

We have looked at Spaces but it just did not work for us.  

I get that our version may be old.  I also accept that potentially I am attaching insufficient value to the data ownership/security side of things and it is of course for Evernote to do what it likes with its platform.  Stepping back from the detail though, all we want, as the paying customer, is somewhere to take notes and I am not keen at all to divert considerable time to sorting things out for Evernote whilst paying for the privilege let alone having to create and manage new email accounts for Evernote's sake.

The beauty of evernote was always that it did something, ostensibly simple, very very well.  Is that still the case?

Anyway, already spent enough time on this one!  It may be we are simply older customers not aligned with the new platform - all good.




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Thanks for elaborating a little. What you did with the 2 tabs is what Spaces are made for, but they are way more flexible.

Let’s have a look at your example, trying a full model:

You will need a general Space, where every employee has access. General information, company rules, that sort of stuff. Each space can span several notebooks.

You need a Space for Management, either for each one, or a shared one, or both. Depends on the level of trust, and whether the management team needs access in case one is out of the office.

Then it depends on your business. Let us say you have a real estate setup. Then you would probably set up a Space dealing with vendors, one with leads and buyers, one with projects under development, one with forms and standard contracts etc. Plus some for the internal processes, like Finance, Purchasing or HR. The link between spaces is the workflow that makes up your business.

Next the assignment of employees to the Spaces. It is is based on „need to know“. Maybe as a fall back the team leader gets access to other spaces as well. Depending on the company size one employee may have several roles, which leads to access to more spaces as well. Example: The HR clerk does the office purchasing as well. So he gets 2 Spaces, HR and Purchasing.

It takes some effort to set it up, but IMHO it is worth the time. Just pick a common business object like an order and follow the paper trail. The trick is to tailor it to your business case, but do not cut to narrow.

The final step is set up the tagging system. In EN Business Tagging should follow a concept, that is general, easily understood and supports the workflow. For example a department XX gets stuff with an „Open-XX“ tag, does the job, removes the tag and adds a „Done-XX“ tag plus a „Open-NextXX“ to show it has processed a document. So when a new employee is to be hired, HR can add a „Done-HR“ tag, and move the note with the documents on to management for approval, tagged „Open-CEO“.

Maybe in the end it is not as simple as you were doing before. The Admin-role is important, but it helps others to work more efficiently. IMHO it it worth the effort. Information will flow, documents are easily located and all share a common data base for everything.

If you just want to use it for meeting notes, you can probably do with only 2 spaces: General (for everybody, and as a reference) and Management (for confidential stuff). Then you are back to your 2 tabs, if this will do.

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Thanks again for taking the time on this.

So to be sure I've got this right:

I can put all my "personal albeit business" notes and notebooks in 1 space and no-one else will be able to see them and then all the shared notes and notebooks in another space which no-one else can see until I share them?

A quick follow-up - can I have different sharing permissions within a single space? So 1 notebook in Space A is shared with Chris and Lucy (say), another notebook in Space A is only shared by me with Lucy and a third notebook also in Space A is private to me?

Appreciate your time on this,


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  • Level 5

Hi, no problem. A initial hint: I myself have no business account, so I am working from the content of the support base at evernote.com.

In a business account, notebooks (and tags) "belong" to the company. Access control is based on notebooks (notes can still be shared).

A Space is a group of people working together, sharing information. One employee can belong to several spaces. Everybody in a space has access to the same set of notebooks. This is defined by the Admin: He defines which notebooks belong to a space, and which people belong to a space.

One notebook can be in several spaces - for example there can be a notebook called "Orders ready for purchasing", which is they have all the relevant information from the sales department, and start the process in purchasing. This notebook would belong to 2 spaces, and would be the outbox for sales and at the same time the inbox for purchasing. Access would be for sales and for purchasing. Another sales notebook (for example "FollowUp on Offers") would only be visible for the sales-space, whereas a notebook "Open material orders" would be only visible for the Purchasing-Space. By this, information can be compartmentalized and at the same time flow through the notebooks shared between spaces.

If you create a space in which there is only one person - you - it is like a personal account within of the business account (Here I am not sure about the Admin, what he can see or not. I assume he can set up a space, but not look into it. But this is guessing, not knowing.).

The idea behind Spaces is to make access control easy. You define a function or a process, define it as a space, and give all employees that contribute or need-to-know access to this space. So which person has access to what depends on the spaces it has access to.

In your example you would need 3 Spaces: One for you personally, no other person allowed here, one for you and Lucy, and a third one for the three of you. Each space needs at least 1 notebook to make it work. But the example is irritating, because you would solve this person2person-business probably by sharing.

A better example is a department, let us say HR. They need a protected area for their HR business, but would maybe share a notebook called "Presence & Absence" with a Space called "Team Managers". This notebook would be in both spaces. Team managers would inform about presences and absence, and HR would inform about changes in staff etc. . Content is still protected, because it is in 2 pretty tight spaces. But everybody working for HR will get the HR-Space, and a new team manager simply gets assigned to the TM-Space. So it is pretty easy to give somebody all the information needed for a specific job, and both would get access to this shared notebook (among others).

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  • Level 5

Now a hint about culture and change management:

The basic idea behind Spaces is that - except from very few cases - several people share all their professional information. EN gives the power of search, of tagging, of OCR, of AI based context etc. So this is bad news for these VIP-guys who are often working since a long time for the company, used to hoard their know how on their c:-drive or a USB-stick. I have experienced clever guys that tried to protect their job by this, making them the bottleneck for complete company processes. When they were on holiday, paralysis was left behind, because key information was not available.

The introduction of EN Business with spaces is a chance to break this up - and it is neutral because it is not going against a specific person, but has a general improvement as goal. But depending on the size and current company culture it should be treated as a change project, not a job for the Admin for a quiet Friday afternoon.

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