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Switching to an alternate service


Marko Zorec

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I feel a little guilty posting about alternative solutions on an Evernote forum but suspect there are other users who, like me, have joined the Preview and Beta programmes and contributed feedback but are disappointed with the recent releases. I've also been frustrated at what appears to be a rush to release the new versions before they're ready. We've lost a lot of basic functionality and it's often felt like a losing battle trying to maintain a relatively simple workflow.

Personally, after 12 years, I've cancelled my Evernote subscription and switched to DEVONthink. It took a couple of days to transfer my notes (about 5,000), which provided an opportunity to review my notes, delete redundant ones and reorganise.

DEVONthink seems to be a great solution for document management. It took me a little while to become familiar with the interface but I've discovered a lot of useful document management tools. It feels as if the development focus has been on making a tool that works, rather than looking pretty.

I guess an interesting measure of whether switching has been successful or not is that I feel positive about moving forward with DEVONthink whereas Evernote has just become a source of frustration.

It may not work for everybody but, for my needs, DEVONthink is getting the job done. And that's what matters.

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I’m not sure there is an adequate replacement for me.  Key things for me are multi platform sync - at least ios and windows. Universal tags are essential, as is now, custom templates.  I tried notion but its so confusing i spent way more time trying to work out how to do something than actually doing it. 

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8 hours ago, Marko Zorec said:

Dissapointed long time power-user of Evernote here. The new update is really really bad - just like browser version, the same thing. The news - I have switched to Bear app.

Big, big fan of Bear, but tbh this is not evernote replacement. And to not to be confused i like bear a lot and use it a lot.

I tried to find replacement for evernote, tried Notion, Roam, Obsidian and some more and evernote have some features that none of this ones have. Didnt tried Devonthink as i just see it as ugly overkill.

Think we should see how new roll outs will go now with evernote, and if they manage to deliver fast new/old updates situation will be good.

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DEVONthink looks intimidating.....  @Gavin Gough how was the import process and what issues did you encounter pulling in the .enex files?

For anyone interested, I just concluded a trial of Nimbus Note.  It has some good features but OMG are the desktop and iOS apps a mess.

I have an ongoing experiment with Obsidian now and generally like the wiki-esq linking scheme.  However, the way it deals with attachments I don't think is going to work for me.  Besides not having a iOS app which is critical to my life.

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22 minutes ago, Adam_A said:

DEVONthink looks intimidating.....  @Gavin Gough how was the import process and what issues did you encounter pulling in the .enex files?

For anyone interested, I just concluded a trial of Nimbus Note.  It has some good features but OMG are the desktop and iOS apps a mess.

I have an ongoing experiment with Obsidian now and generally like the wiki-esq linking scheme.  However, the way it deals with attachments I don't think is going to work for me.  Besides not having a iOS app which is critical to my life.

DEVONthink has a dedicated Evernote import feature, so transferring files is as simple as selecting a notebook and importing the notes. Tags and annotations are transferred to DEVONthink intact along with a bookmark to the original Evernote note, just in case.

However, this feature only works with Evernote 7.x and won't work with Evernote 10 (where have we heard that before?).

I've found the DEVONthink manual easy to follow and a friendly online community forum ready to answer questions. So far, I have encountered no problems and I'm happy with the results.

My main issue for me is going to be changing links to Evernote notes in third-party apps in favour of DEVONthink links but at least I *can* create a link to a DEVONthink note, something that's no longer possible in Evernote.

To be clear, Evernote 7 worked perfectly well for me and I've been an enthusiastic advocate of Evernote for many years, until this release. It may not be a solution for everybody, but switching has allowed me to get back to work with the minimum of interruption.

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1 hour ago, Adam_A said:

DEVONthink looks intimidating.....  @Gavin Gough how was the import process and what issues did you encounter pulling in the .enex files?

For anyone interested, I just concluded a trial of Nimbus Note.  It has some good features but OMG are the desktop and iOS apps a mess.

I have an ongoing experiment with Obsidian now and generally like the wiki-esq linking scheme.  However, the way it deals with attachments I don't think is going to work for me.  Besides not having a iOS app which is critical to my life.

I looked at DEVONthink a while back, and I think it is a great solution depending on your needs.  If I were on a Mac, only I would have switched.  There is a little learning curve, but it is not bad.  I tested it with one of my larger notebooks of about 7000 notes, and it appeared to import correctly, or at least as well as my limited checking could tell.

It is good to be looking at a plan B and prepare, but I would suggest waiting a few months to see how v10 shapes up and get a better sense of the direction Evernote is planning.

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17 minutes ago, s2sailor said:

I looked at DEVONthink a while back, and I think it is a great solution depending on your needs.  If I were on a Mac, only I would have switched.  There is a little learning curve, but it is not bad.  I tested it with one of my larger notebooks of about 7000 notes, and it appeared to import correctly, or at least as well as my limited checking could tell.

It is good to be looking at a plan B and prepare, but I would suggest waiting a few months to see how v10 shapes up and get a better sense of the direction Evernote is planning.

I agree - DEVONthink is great on desktop (only), because there you're able to use OS-built-in RTF capabilities to create (nice) notes - no way to do it on a mobile device, since iOS doesn't provide a good RTF capability. Tags, Tag Filter, Labels, Smart Groups, Automation, Metadata, millions of billions of ways to get things done - I like Evernote more - simple + powerful, focused, multi platform.

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What about switching to OneNote? It seems to check all the boxes for me except for its PDF annotation because it imports each page as an image instead of the original file. It stinks... but so does the new EN annotation on both Mac and iOS. 

Any suggestions about how to use a good PDF annotation app with the iOS version of OneNote?

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10 minutes ago, Stoppa said:

Any suggestions about how to use a good PDF annotation app with the iOS version of OneNote?

Maybe you should ask this in a OneNote Forum ...

Personally I like GoodNotes 5 for handwritten annotation, and PDF Expert for the hard stuff. EN annotation for pdfs still works for me, even when there are some things missing compared to the versions before.

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On 10/14/2020 at 7:57 AM, s2sailor said:

It is good to be looking at a plan B and prepare, but I would suggest waiting a few months to see how v10 shapes up and get a better sense of the direction Evernote is planning.

Agreed, there is no necessity to make any decisions now   
Switch to the legacy version if you don't want to participate in the v10 experience

The most important Plan B step is to make sure we can export our data   
This is covered with Evernote

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13 minutes ago, PinkElephant said:

Maybe you should ask this in a OneNote Forum ...

Personally I like GoodNotes 5 for handwritten annotation, and PDF Expert for the hard stuff. EN annotation for pdfs still works for me, even when there are some things missing compared to the versions before.

Fair enough. I'll find a more appropriate forum for that question.

How does the GoodNotes and PDF Expert work with Evernote? Do they save as normal EN attachments or are they stored elsewhere? The EN annotation on the app and Mac don't work at all for me. I can't zoom, scroll, move around et.c

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1 minute ago, PinkElephant said:

Wow, I am going to sell T-Shirts: „I survived the EVERNOTE v10 experience“. 

Anybody wants to order .... ?

I have a generic "Chicken Little was wrong" t-shirt

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@Stoppa GoodNotes only syncs into iCloud. So as long as something is active, it stays outside of EN.

When a note taking session can be closed, I export is as a pdf. What is nice: GN5 makes handwriting fully searchable (even MY handwriting), and the search index is exported together with the notes in a pdf. The pdf can be imported into an EN note, and is searchable there. This means even handwritten notes will be found, just as if they were typed.

PDF Expert used to be able to open a pdf that was shared from EN. You could then annotate or even edit it (the full version is a complete pdf editor, that allows to really modify the pdf content, not only annotate it). When you closed the tab in PDF Expert, it synced back into EN with the changes.

In iOS, this is not working any longer. After editing, you need to share the pdf into a new note, and this needed all the tagging and other stuff already done to the note containing the original. Not good !

On the Mac, I can’t tell, because I have not installed v10 on my Mac, and I am not planning to do so for the next future. The legacy app works fine for me, thank you ...

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OneNote is not near EN replacement. Used it for a while as it was connected to O365 subscription and give him a serious trial. Problems that i had with syncing, not managing to open or find notes, bugs, no taging system, rigid possibilities of sharing or nonexisting share of only one notebook, totaly different versions for mac na win.

So, all in all, looks nice on surface, totally different case when you use it a lot.

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On 10/16/2020 at 1:42 AM, DTLow said:

Agreed, there is no necessity to make any decisions now   
Switch to the legacy version if you don't want to participate in the v10 experience

The most important Plan B step is to make sure we can export our data   
This is covered with Evernote

Well, that’s true when you don’t have to endure the V10 experience on iOS. On iOS there is no way back. I would stay if we could use V8 for a while still.

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