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How to sync more quickly between iOS, Mac App, and Web?


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Hi, I have been a 10 year power user paid subscriber but the new version of Evernote is killing me. Syncing has been terrible. I use Evernote on my iPhone, native Mac App, and the Web App, going back and forth, and they are always getting out of sync. Almost once a day a conflict note is generated. When I open one of the apps, I have to wait several minutes or fiddle around before it will sync. It's extremely frustrating and I lose an enormous amount of work daily because of it.

This help video demonstrates that updates are sync'd instantly when you make them. This is absolutely NOT my experience. About 15 minutes ago I made a change to a note on the Mac App. I have the same note open in Evernote Web and am still waiting for it to update. Nothing. (Update: 20 minutes later the web app said "There's been an error syncing your note. Please reload." All changes on the web version were blown away. This is awful.)

For some reason the "sync now" functionality was removed from Mac, and very hidden on the iOS app. I'm having to resort to using Notion for some of my notes, which I really don't want to do, but there's just no way around it. On Notion the second I open any of my notes, it updates to the latest version instantly. I need Evernote to go back to doing this like it used to before the new version update.

I am on all the latest versions, have fast internet (100 Mbps+), etc

Is there any way to get syncing to happen faster?

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  • BriceEvernote changed the title to How to sync more quickly between iOS, Mac App, and Web?
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18 hours ago, BriceEvernote said:

I have the same note open in Evernote Web and am still waiting for it to update.

Ironically,  if you're actively watching for the web version to change,  you're probably slowing down the sync process.  When you first open a connection on the web client it will 'phone home' to check for updated versions.  After that it will check at intervals.  Better to stick to one device as far as possible though - other apps use a 'live' connection to the note,  while Evernote just phones home periodically to update changes.  Don't know which is better for most users,  but this is what we have at the moment. 

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@BriceEvernote

Thanks for reaching out!

I was able to locate your support ticket, and I've expedited the priority on it.

Given the nature of the issue, our support team will be best equipped to provide further assistance.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

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I have this same issue almost daily, although I don’t use the web client. I see it between my Mac and IOS devices, and it often results in multiple conflicting copies of the same note. I even see conflicts when I edit a note on my ipad, move to another app, and then come back to evernote — and yes, my other devices are offline. I filed yet another support case about this today. 

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On 7/27/2021 at 1:04 PM, Evernote Veteran said:

I have this same issue almost daily, although I don’t use the web client. I see it between my Mac and IOS devices, and it often results in multiple conflicting copies of the same note. 

Exactly the same as me. I go back and forth between phone and mac every few minutes and conflicts are created constantly if I don't force a sync (quit and reopen on Mac, scroll to notes and pull down on iOS - huge pain).

PinkElephant, how quickly are you going back and forth between Mac and iOS? Can you describe your behavior/setup in more detail?

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6 hours ago, BriceEvernote said:

I go back and forth between phone and mac every few minutes

It makes sense to use one device for as long as possible.  Devices sync back to the server to send and receive changes,  so it's essential that edits on one device are synced back to the server every time you change to another,  and that new device needs to sync to receive the changes before more work is done - otherwise,  as you've found,  bad things happen.  Information sent across the net is also not guaranteed to be instant - connection issues between devices and networks and occasional network problems can get in the way - none of which is under Evernote's control.  Bouncing back and forth is just asking for problems.

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I rarely use several clients for active work in parallel. What I do is work on one client, and use another one for retrieval of information.

On iOS there can only be one note open at a time - so a typical situation is working on something on the iPad, looking up notes on the iPhone. Or working on the Mac, and since there are no tabs looking things up on the iPhone.

EN is not designed to work simultaneously on one note from different clients. Be it several users on shared notes, be it one user with several clients. There are other software packages where this was designed into the software - typically by breaking it internally down into many little chunks of information, and allowing different clients to modify a single chunk in parallel with others working on other chucks. In EN the note is treated as the smallest unit.

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3 hours ago, PinkElephant said:

EN is not designed to work simultaneously on one note from different clients

This is the exact use case that now has been broken for me, and hence the original question of how to sync faster. I use Getting Things Done and have a single Capture note for thoughts. If I’m on my laptop, I capture thoughts in that GTD note in the Mac client. If I’m out and about, I capture thoughts in that same GTD note in the iOS client.

This used to work fine when it was easy to just click “Sync” every time. But now with the new Mac version there is no sync button at all. On iOS you have to go through the multi step process of hamburger menu > Notes > Swipe down. So conflicts get generated, notes end up in “View only state”, things get lost. It’s infuriating.

I don’t understand why they got rid of manual sync functionality for the people who wanted it. As I said, I’ve been a paid EN user for 10 years, but the world has changed. The user expectation for note taking now in 2021, whether it’s Google docs, Notion, or quip, is that syncing is instant. If EN can’t deliver instant because of their infrastructure, fine, but then why not give control to us to click sync? Why actively take it away?

It sounds like the answer to my question is: there are workaround to sync like force quit and open, but generally, no, there is no way to sync faster.

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There are a lot of users who agree that there should be a sync button on the client, me too. 

As long as there is none, we only can handle clients in a way to avoid touching a note in a second client as long as it is still open in another. Usually it will do to simply open another note in the first client, if you don‘t want to close the client.

When you edit a note, there will be a notice „All changes have been synced“ or similar at the bottom right of the EN window. This means all changes have synced to the server - from my experience this usually works. My problems were that sporadically changes took minutes, up to an hour to sync from the server to the other clients.

On mobile you have the „sync now“ option in the apps settings - I would like to have the same on the desktop clients, forcing both an up- and a downsync when clicked.

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