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Penultimate notes are View Only

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Software Versions:

System OS: MacOS 11.0.1 (Big Sur)

EverNote: v10.4.4 build 458493 public

Penultimate: 64-bit


Hi All

Been a happy EN since 2008 and everything has been working fine through multiple Mac, iPad and OS updates. I went paperless and switched to note taking on my iPad. Penultimate gives new notes a generic title (i.e. "Written MM/DD/YY, HH:MM") and I usually go in to EN and change the title to something searchable and add tags. This process has been working fine for years and I've had minimal complaints -- nothing that I couldn't workaround.

I just updated EN for Mac and synchronized some Penultimate Notes today. I was able to add tags as before but when I attempted to update the generic note title I couldn't do it. The note is marked as "View Only" and when I hover over that it states "You can't edit or share this note". I've tried to share the note to see if that would make a difference and can't find a way to revert back to the old functionality.

How can I update the titles of imported Penultimate notes? This has seriously broken my workflow - help!



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NVM. Found the solution....

As in previous versions of EN, you CAN not directly change the title of an imported Penultimate note. In the latest version (see original post above), you now change it by performing the following actions:

- Click the three dots (...) next to the Share button on the top right of the EN Mac client

- Select "Note Info" menu item

- Update the "Title" field of the "Note info" dialog box that appears

- Click "Save" and the title is updated

This is 3 steps too many compared to the old method. Can this be reverted back to the previous method?

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  • 8 months later...

My Penultimate Notes are now appearing in Evernote as View Only. This first started happening yesterday.

I have closed down the apps and re-opened. I waited overnight, but it is still happening today.

Is there a fix for this?


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  • 1 year later...
  • Level 5

Penultimate syncs the notes into the EN account, but it keeps the link to these notes. You still have them in the penultimate notebooks. What's required for this is a one way link.

Once EN would start to allow modifying it, it would require a 2 way sync to reflect all changes back into Penultimate. It seems this use case is not part of the setup. So it blocks editing access to notes under Penultimate control.

Penultimate initially was an independent app, acquired by EN quite a while ago. It was integrated somehow, and that was it , more or less. You can contact support - I personally doubt there is anybody left who would be able to touch this aged code. Even if I'm wrong on that, given the current priorities I am pretty sure nobody will be dedicated to such a task.

Personally I use GoodNotes 5, and there is a good selection of other handwriting apps available. Noteshelf even syncs directly into EN, but from what was posted in the forum, the user experience of this sync is lukewarm as well.

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Thanks for taking the time to explain. I didn't know how Penultimate worked previously.

Personally, I'd be fine with a 2-way sync where Penultimate (that is submitted to Evernote platform) confronts the modified-at time and simply replace its own notebook version with the EN one, if that's more recent.

However I see that Penultimate is pretty abandoned. I reported (1-2 years ago?) a bug about Penultimate (freshly installed) not allowing to create new notebooks because I already have more than 200 on Evernote side (but there is only the default one on Penultimate side). I see in the Apple Store that Penultimate was updated but apparently my bug report went ignored. 
Also I tried different features and the app is broken in too many aspects (bug-wise and usability-wise), hence I'm not able to use it even in case the sync would allow non-readonly notes.

I've tried Noteshelf yesterday, before giving up and trying Penultimate again.
They aren't in a better spot:

  • it crashed the first time I run it.
  • crashes about 20% of the times I use it
  • sync is broken-ish on Noteshelf side
    • it doesn't preserve a local version of notes synced to Evernote (so if I have no internet, there's no way I can modify a note that was available just before closing the app)
    • half of the times it gets stuck while downloading the notes from EN
  • synced notes are broken on Evernote side
    • after a sync I can see the note being created in Evernote app; unfortunately the content is displayed only the first time after being synced.
      If I come back to it later on, it shows nothing, there no content, apart for a pale blue background and the "View Only" tag. No app restart helped.
      • This happens to ALL the notes created with Noteshelf; other notes (manually added or sent from Apple Notes) are working flawlessly instead.
    • the thumbnail doesn't get updated when the content changes
    • the EN WebApp instead at least sees the updated thumbnail, but it still displays nothing as content of the note.
      • funny enough... the correct revision is present in the note History; it's the second-last-revision. Too bad that Evernote shows me the last-revision instead (the broken one, that I don't understand why is even created)

Their Evernote sync is so unreliable (sometimes it syncs, sometimes it doesn't).
I'll probably ask Apple Store for a refund of the 10 bucks it costs.

The sad thing is that I cannot find a working product among all the choices there are...
I dunno if I'm being particularly unlucky here.

Unfortunately Goodnotes doesn't allow to edit notes that were already synced. I tried that workflow in the past, but too often I find myself editing notes, once, twice, many times.

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  • Level 5

You can get a refund for any app from Apple, I think (not sure) within 2 (4 ?) weeks after the purchase. Since they need to follow local legislation, it may differ from region to region:


About syncing: The export from GoodNotes is final - it uses a pdf. What’s nice: GoodNotes makes handwritten notes searchable. You can export the search index with the pdf. Otherwise handwriting in a pdf will not be searchable in EN - it does the handwriting OCR for picture files only, not for pdf.

So I keep my notes in GoodNotes while they are still active, like in an ongoing project. Once the topic is closed, I export as a pdf into EN for archiving. Not ideal, but it works.

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If I'm understanding the above thread, there is no way to change the name of a Penultimate note in Evernote from "Written xx/xx/xxxx x:xxAM", correct?  If so, I'm not sure how the app is even usable with any kind of Evernote note organization system.  I'm open to any suggestions.  Thanks.


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