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Leaving Evernote - what alternative notes recommended?


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Looking for a simple notepad that updates and is easy to use, like Evernote used to be.

Just need something that works with Android and has an app for Windows. Tried a few but not as good as Legacy Evernote.

Still able to use Legacy on Windows, but not on Android. 

Something that I can use on both platforms that updates and is easy to use.

Any recommendations?

 


 

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In truth I think it's much better to do your own homework and not rely on a company's forum to ask what competitive product their users recommend.

That said, I left Evernote for Joplin 1.5 years ago and never looked back. I just visit this forum every now and then to watch the belly aching.

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There's plenty of discussion here,  but AFAICS very little agreement about what is the 'best' replacement.  @TechPerplexed is right though - what's right for one may not be right for another.  Google Keep might be an easy off-the-shelf replacement,  or for a technical bespoke database try Notion.  Most of the options have a free trial level so it's easy to look around...

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I'm trying NOTION now and I must say it is really good!

If I install APK legacy what about security - isn't there some risk that it could compromise the security of my phone?

I know some people have used it but I'm somewhat nervous.

 

I'm going to try LEGACY for a week, it looks promising.

thanks


 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, t8769 said:

I'm trying NOTION now and I must say it is really good!

If I install APK legacy what about security - isn't there some risk that it could compromise the security of my phone?

I know some people have used it but I'm somewhat nervous.

 

I'm going to try LEGACY for a week, it looks promising.

thanks

Google strongly advises against installing apps from anywhere other than the play store - but then they control both the OS and the store so would prefer to dissuade users from looking elsewhere...  and Google have had to remove popular apps from the play store because they have been found to contain malware - so they're not infallible either!  There is a slight risk if you install a third-party APK,  but if you choose one that has been used by others, you can be reassured that no-one has found any drawbacks... yet.  It's up to you to judge whether the reward is worth any risk.  But do backup your contacts and pictures,  and remember to block updates from the play store when you install.

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Here are some notes I took on NoteJoy when I tried it out back in December:

It has promise, but it's just not as good as Evernote. I don't think I'd even use it if I didn't have Evernote. Hrm - yeah - it's not even close.
 
Pros - compared to Evernote:
  • It's probably faster. Evernote is such a dog at the moment.
  • I like how you can PIN a note to the top. (But, bummer, looks like the pins don't work for tags)
  • Better shared editing.
  • There is some coloring in the code blocks -- even though it uses it's own coloring scheme.
  • I really like the tagging better, but I wish they showed you a list of tags somewhere. How do you know what tags it has unless you do Ctrl-F and look for hashes.
  • I like the Cmd-J that the Mac Evernote used to have. (7/19/21 update -- and Evernote has that now)
 
Cons - compared to Evernote:
  • The UI is not near as good or as clean.
    • They hyperlinks don't look good. Wow -- Evernote really does have good styling.
    • The whole thing seems kind of random -- like what a programmer would make without a designer involved.
  • No tables.
  • You are already used to Evernote and it's ecosystem.
  • The Editor just isn't as good overall for working with content.
  • No concept of update or insert date time.
  • Left Side bar is not as good.
  • Note side bar is not as good.
  • Not near as popular as Evernote -- Evernote is more likely to have long term success.
  • Mobile app probably isn't as good -- but I haven't downloaded it to try it.

 

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Here are my thoughts on Notion back when I tried it in May of last year:

Man - I tried using this today and it is so tedious. I think I like the free-flowness of Evernote way, way better.
 
5/28 - It literally gives me such a headache to try and work with this app. Tedious is definitely the right for it.
 
---
Of course - Your Mileage May Vary -- but I've tried the following different note taking apps to replace Evernote: Notion, NoteJoy, OneNote, Joplin, Dendron, Rome, Nimbus, Craft, Apple Notes and Bear.
 
The reason I started looking around was because v10 changed my work flow a little and it just seemed to be too slow.
 
I think a lot of people have frustration with Evernote because v10 drastically changed things and we, as people, don't like change when it's forced on us. We are ok with change if it's something we choose. So then we go looking for something else because even though the other things are different, it's something we choose.
 
A lot of people may find something that works better for them and good for them. A lot of people (like me) will end up sticking with Evernote and getting used to the change. And I actually prefer v10 now. I still have a wishlist of things I wish Evernote would do, but it just works so much better for me then anything else I've tried.
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Thanks for the report.

There is no replacement in general - everything depends on your use cases. When you came from EN, usually your use cases are supported by EN. You will have to balance your needs with the ability of other apps to support your requirements.

I run v10 and legacy side by side, and catch myself in using v10 more and more.

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I run Legacy  on Windows, which is good, and V10 on Android, which is a catastrophe and almost unusable.

Slow, complicated, often broken.

Will probably move to NoteJoy

 

thank you

 

 

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Change in general isn't my issue between Legacy / v10. There are things I like, but they're mostly visual (so not what I would consider essential). My problem is that search in v10 doesn't find all my notes and many of my internal links because these horrible click here, then click again things that are painful to use. I'm a heavy linker. Those are structural, functional, issues (so, to me, essential).

I'm about to try v10 again after several months of ignoring it, but the new price plans and lack of updated search in what used to be the pro plan are highly disappointing.

The latest android version - I let my phone auto-update, so whatever version it allows - is painful to use.

Of course, people need to evaluate potential options themselves, but it's nice to see a short list of options with people's impressions of them. That gives others a starting place to experiment.

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I was able to get a link to a copy of the legacy android app from EN tech support.
It is from Play Store, so I assume it is safe, they say it is.

It works beautifully.

Quick, simple, easy to use and stable.
No delays, no bugs, no complicated features, no annoying blue edit box, nothing.

I am free, at last, of that dreaded update.

 

 

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2 hours ago, gazumped said:

...Any chance you can share the link?

Watch the flood gates on this one now where Evernote start seeing devices eligible to run the latest v10 suddenly start using the legacy version. 😄

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trying hard to use EN  & web clipper

it's a process..  

concerns:  scanning to EN   (without buying a scanner {mentioned in Sarna's Dummies book) 

                    Printing to EN     

                     & MORE

JT

   

 

 

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8 hours ago, gazumped said:

...Any chance you can share the link?

Sorry I can't, I got it from TechSupport, but they asked me not to share it. 

 

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26 minutes ago, t8769 said:

Sorry I can't, I got it from TechSupport, but they asked me not to share it. 

 

No problem - as @PinkElephant pointed out,  we already have a couple of addresses;  was just looking for confirmation that they're still good!  :)

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Yes SWAT turned up this morning, with guns and armoured cars. It was very exciting.

Glad you could find legacy.

Mine works great.

 

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On 7/17/2021 at 11:32 PM, TechPerplexed said:

I left Evernote for Joplin 1.5 years ago and never looked back. I just visit this forum every now and then...

So, basically looking back.

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If you're comfortable with Markdown, Joplin is a solid solution.

I run the legacy Evernote on Android and Mac and honestly nothing beats those two apps. But, looking to the future direction of En, v10 has been out long enough now that's there's no reason for it to suck so bad still. If that's how En is going to build software, then it just isn't going to work for me.

I've been running En (the legacy version) in combination with nvAlt for lightweight markdown-based note taking for several years now. I don't love having two systems, but I do love the flexibility. 

Jumping to Joplin basically allows me to do both in one place. The experience isn't as smooth as legacy En, but it's a whole lot better than v10.

The one thing that still keeps me around En is the doc scanner mode on mobile. I use it all the time to capture my notes and whiteboards in a clean format. I hate straight photo captures of stuff like that. I'll have to get over it eventually -- you can't have it all.

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11 minutes ago, David Holman said:

If you're comfortable with Markdown

I'm comfortable with editing Markdown and HTML code   
I don't want to see the code in my general use of notes

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I have no expectation about how long legacy will be around.

One theory is that OS updates will kill it eventually.

Another is that EN will modify the database one day, and poff, it stops working.

I think legacy will die of old age, and because there are too many new features users don’t want to be without.

Currently it is still good to have it around, but since import folders were introduced, I can now do without if necessary. RIP !

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Based on my experience building software products, the new app is a dead end. It will eventually lead to a painful rewrite and probably user suffering. Despite over a decade of EN use, I'd rather not sign up for that.

It's worth noting here for those who haven't dug into it …
Joplin is open source and supports user generated plug ins. Some of those are really quite fantastic productivity wins.
Between the plug-ins and the customizability, it's a treat to use and gets better with time.

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56 minutes ago, David Holman said:

Based on my experience building software products,  the new app is a dead end.

Funny,  Evernote are using a package that promotes itself as "Building cross-platform desktop apps with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS" for the specific purpose of centralising their coding to allow more frequent updates - which has been borne out by the 2-weekly releases that keep on hitting the streets and their quick response to (some) bugs.  It is the same package that supports Joplin - though they've been around longer in this context,  so have more bells & whistles.

 

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1 hour ago, David Holman said:

the new app is a dead end

And what's your opinion for the Legacy app?   
(I use the Legacy product on a Mac)

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40 minutes ago, gazumped said:

Funny,  Evernote are using a package that promotes itself as "Building cross-platform desktop apps with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS" for the specific purpose of centralising their coding to allow more frequent updates - which has been borne out by the 2-weekly releases that keep on hitting the streets and their quick response to (some) bugs.  It is the same package that supports Joplin - though they've been around longer in this context,  so have more bells & whistles.

 

Yes, funny enough many used to be really weary of Electron (? I believe that's what the package you referred to is called) and look down on any software based of that. At first I was nervous moving to Joplin for that reason alone.

Luckily Joplin has been behaving smooth as butter for me, and now Evernote (with an infinitely larger budget and user base) had moved to it as well.

We're living in interesting times indeed 😅

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@DTLow The legacy app was well done for it's time, as the performance demonstrates. But it was platform-specific, hence Evernote's [perfectly reasonable] desire to kill it off.

@TechPerplexed Any good product person saw what Electron meant for the market -- it was a fundamental shift to the platform-agnostic future. It's a beautiful thing, but not for the faint of heart once you get into complex applications. You need a really good software architect to keep it from crumbling under its own weight.

EN screwed this one up. I took it as a good time to get out of cloud dependence and move to a local-first solution (eg Joplin or Obsidian). I cancelled my paid subscription to EN as soon as I could after v10 came out.

I just haven't found a good camera scanner yet. And I do miss the excellent OCR search of my whiteboards. But honestly I don't need it with my extensive tagging system.

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Can anyone tell me how to stop EN from updating, and to allow all other apps to update.

I have to manually update to stop EN from updating 

 

thanks

 

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2 hours ago, t8769 said:

Can anyone tell me how to stop EN from updating, and to allow all other apps to update.

I have to manually update to stop EN from updating 

Hi.  If we're talking about Evernote 8.13 here,  it should be as simple as going to the Play store,  finding the Evernote app and clicking the three-dots menu.  Untick "auto update" and you are golden... theoretically.  (Different Android versions seem to have different ways into Play store so YMMV)

If something bad happens we can point you to a source for the original APK so you can reinstall.

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Did you get to the specific Evernote app update page?  A button there should say 'installed' 'open' or 'download' or 'update' or some such.  The three dots menu there should give you options which relate to that app alone.  This is my setup - 

20210730_122942.thumb.jpg.91d77471dae2190cfd8d5ccddb3315e9.jpg

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1 hour ago, t8769 said:

Yes, but how do I stop updates for this app, but not for other apps?

I'd like to automatically update all others.

The window that I showed you above is specifically for Evernote only.  Auto update is unticked for Evernote on my tablet.  All my other apps are continuing to update normally.

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Given the current rollout of functions and backend adaptions, I don’t think it is a good idea not to update the EN client(s). A v10 client is an unfinished piece of software, and only updates close the gap.

Not updating cuts the flow of bug fixes as well.

Anybody can do as he wants - but this strategy spells trouble. I am pretty sure of it.

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3 minutes ago, PinkElephant said:

I don’t think it is a good idea not to update the EN client(s).

This was all about installing Evernote Android 8.13 and preventing it from being updated to v10. 

I agree with you that all v10 versions need as much updating as they can get!

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