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I hate the new Evernote but I like these things about it

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I am a long-time user of Evernote and a Premium subscriber. I didn't like the direction Evernote was going and I feel they have made some mistakes.

My major mistake was trying to replace HoudahSpot, Day One journal and Things with Evernote and to do it on both Windows and Mac.  I admit to expecting too much from Evernote and I own up to my error.  I found out that I rarely used the Windows Evernote.  I am a Mac guy.

I went to an expensive Evernote alternative (I will call it MyAlt) available only on the Mac. What a disaster.  I found out how much I missed my first "wife" after several months with the second.

First, no product I have found has as good a web clipper as Evernote.  In my opinion, there is no web clipper better than Evernote's and there is no one in second place.  Evernote should sell theirs under subscription, support all the major note taking apps, support an open standard (of their creation) and get rich without having to endure all the complaints about their slow Electron client.   

The alternative product "MyAlt" I left Evernote for has a web clipper that is no where as easy to use and reliable as the web clipper in Evernote.  It's terrible.  Evernote's web clipper knows what do when clipping a GMail, a Youtube video or a regular web page.  I had no idea their web clipper was this good until I tried a bunch of others.  When I clipped with with the "MyAlt" clipper I had to go and check in the "MyAlt" client if the page got fully clipped or should I try one the other 8 clipping options and clip again.  I couldn't trust the "MyAlt" clipper.

I cannot say enough good things about the Evernote web clipper.  I hope they consider productizing it and I would pay $20 a year for it, maybe more.  When asked why their web clipper isn't as good as Evernote's, the "MyAlt" developers use the excuse that Evernote has 40 developers on their Web Clipper team.  Add a product management team and productize the Evernote clipper.  Companies like "MyAlt" might just concede the web clipper business to you and your customers will adore you.

Second, Evernote's sync is reliable and easy to set up.  I could not get MyAlt to synchronize with my iPad after trying three types of their synchronization.  I was frustrated when I would clip something on the web on my Mac but couldn't find it in a search on my iPad.  I found it on my iPhone but now I don't trust MyAlt.  That never happened with Evernote.

I never gave a thought about the Evernote sync until I switched to an unreliable, hard-to-configure alternative.  You don't know what you got till it's gone.

Third, Evernote has a clean, simple user interface on the Mac and on my iPhone.  I will not go into what I don't like about the "MyAlt" interface except to say that until Evernote version 10, I never was confused about how to do anything in Evernote.

Fourth, Evernote makes the data you put in Evernote accessible should you decide to leave.   This is the reason I don't consider Apple Notes.  No exit strategy and they only really support Safari, a browser I do not use for a variety of reasons.

Even though I paid over $100 for "MyAlt" I may be coming back to Evernote.  I never thought I would say that.  I will use Evernote for what it is good for: data collection.  I have already gone back to Day One for journaling and I notice my journal entries are longer and I now enjoy journaling more.  I never left Things for my GTD work, as I feel it is the best GTD app for me.  HoudahSpot finds my files in a flash and I don't have to put them into Evernote to search them.  I still like to put PDF documentation in Evernote so I don't have to suffer the PDF viewer in Dropbox and I find putting documentation in Evernote is a really good use of the app.

You have to leave to find out what was good about what you left, and be humble enough to admit it.


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I think I'm in a pretty similar boat as far as platforms and software. I use Evernote, Day One, and Things and I also use Evernote on a Windows machine -- but not near as much as I use it on my Mac. 

Here is my breakdown of usage in time spent on Evernote on different platforms:

  • MacOS - 80%
  • iPhone - 8%
  • iPad - 5%
  • Windows - 5%
  • Web - 2%

That said, I love the v10 Evernote experience on my Windows machine now vs how it was before. It was so different from the Mac version that it was pretty jarring to go from Mac to Windows. Now it's seamless (except for having to remember some different keyboard shortcuts, but Cmd or Ctrl Slash FTW!).

I just recently updated to Evernote Personal (I was a plus user until not too long ago). And I think the Evernote Tasks are pretty useful (and hoping for improved features), but I'm still using mostly Things for tracking tasks... but I think I'm transitioning away from it. I've already paid for Things and I'm used to it and it works for me, so I'm in no hurry. Once Things 4 comes out though and it's another $100 for all three platforms -- I probably won't be doing upgrading to Things 4.

I thought about moving to Evernote for Journaling from Day One, but I'm grandfathered in on the Plus plan of Day One. The Plus plan was a one time fee and so I don't have to pay monthly/yearly for it. If somehow the Day One Plus broke significantly I think I could move to Evernote for journaling.

I like the direction that Evernote is headed. With this unified code base (and unified UI look) it seems like they are better positioned to make more (and consistent) feature updates -- and that's what we've seen so far. EN still some v10 issues to work out -- but things are definitely much improved from a year ago and getting better all the time.

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  • Level 5*
54 minutes ago, Ted said:

My major mistake was trying to replace HoudahSpot, Day One journal and Things with Evernote and to do it on both Windows and Mac.  I admit to expecting too much from Evernote and I own up to my error.

Just curious about your replacement of Day One and Things   
Can you expand on the issues
For sure, dedicated apps will have extended feature-sets, but I'm happy with my use of Evernote for these functions       
I prefer to keep all my notes in one place

I use the Evernote Legacy product on a Mac integrated with scripting (Applescript)

My journaling consists of a daily dashboard/journal/planner note generated each morning,   
and separate notes entered throughout the day   
My task management consists of task notes (one per task) and filtered note lists

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Thanks for posting your insight.

The observations about EN „from the outside“ are very interesting, especially compared to many postings here that only reflect minor details from an inside view. Most of them miss the bigger picture.

I agree to the observation that a very reduced, lean but mighty task manager like Things 3 is the superior tool for GTD management. EN is very good in collecting information, but Things is a far better tool to take action.

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6 hours ago, DTLow said:

Just curious about your replacement of Day One and Things   
Can you expand on the issues
For sure, dedicated apps will have extended feature-sets, but I'm happy with my use of Evernote for these functions       
I prefer to keep all my notes in one place

My dissatisfaction with Evernote, especially v.10, grew when I wanted, like you to keep my notes all in one place.  I discovered Evernote Legacy and used it for months.   I wish there was a way to have a legacy iPhone app.

Its hard to put my finger on the "one" issue.

I very much dislike Evernote trying to get me to change to a monthly plan.  I am already paying them annually.  They seem to not care that I have been a paying customer since 2007 and it feels like they are taking away features.  It was this impression that made me start looking for an Evernote replacement.

Evernote "feels" sluggish to me, and Day One feels nimble and quick.  Day One even has a beautiful font that I copied over and used while I was attempting to get used to journaling in Evernote.  Like others in this forum, I am grandfathered into the Plus license of Day One and I am making the most of it.

I have no use for the new "features" they are adding and are aggressively marketing in Evernote. I have no use for team features.  I used to be able to scan a document with my iPhone with a single press of the Evernote icon.  I used to be able to start a note with the cursor in the title field.  I have decided that the Windows client is unimportant to me.  I don't use Evernote for tasks or reminders.  Why do tasks and reminders take any screen real estate whatsoever for users like me?  I liked the old Evernote app for the iPhone.  I do not care for the "filtered Notes widget' and don't like having to make an extra keystroke or touch to go to Notes.  Is it me or does the iPhone Evernote seem very slow now and crashes a lot?  What is a Calendar doing in a note taking app?  I have a Calendar app already.

It is the clean, quick interface of Day One that I like.  Its just a personal taste.  I never liked journaling in Evernote and it was so wonderful to go back to Day One.

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The monthly option was always the base plan. You can continue to pay yearly, 59.99$/€ for Personal which is as before 20% less (based on the yearly price) if you pay yearly.

All the rest depends on your personal preferences. New users will not even see a difference (because they can’t compare), and many existing and new users embrace the new features. If it’s not for you, don’t use it. If you don’t like it, switch.

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