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Some more whining about Evernote

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Hi all!

Almost all posts complaining about Evernote begin with the date the forum members started using the notepad. Ok, I've been using EN since 2011. In that time, I've gone from notes like "oh, gotta remember to have a glass of beer on Friday" to databases, task schedulers, and a kanban board in a spreadsheet. I now have about 60,000 notes and about 1,000 tags. Yes, I'm a skilled user. I'm a journalist, writer, media strategist, and due to the invasion of f*ng russia in Ukraine, I'm also a volunteer. 

And no, I'm not going to leave Evernote. At least, it seems very challenging with my data baggage.

But I'm genuinely trying to see if EN can be useful to me in 2024?

Let's take a look. EN is still a great knowledge base solution with great search. Good text editor. And of course, has a great web clipper. And let's not forget about AI, I believe Evernote + AI = the right direction for the company and users.

What's bad (from my perspective)? Very slow with my volume of notes. The program regularly freezes when moving to another note or notepad. (yes, yes, I periodically contact tech support). Unlike a smartphone, you can't select the number of notebooks to load on a PC.  (That is, I always have minus 100 gb of disk space.) There is no color coding of notes in the list. I'm a visual person and I'm more comfortable navigating by color to quickly find the note I need. I get by with emoji in the header or tags, but would like a full-fledged solution. I know the issue of color highlighting is relevant to many users. Mass editing of notes is limited to 100 notes. No tool to find duplicate notes. Unable to change the image in the preview. It is impossible to quickly make notes into a mini-article (or a set of articles). It is impossible to integrate other services into EN. Yes, many will say "why do you need that?" and they'd be right, but I'm noticing more and more often that I use Notion to create a media plan or wiki because it's just more convenient there. And faster.

Yes, I'm a skilled user and I can do something similar in EN as well. But I find myself in a dilemma. Either I'm building the knowledge ecosystem in Evernote with my own hands for a long time. Which in a moment can be destroyed with the next update, as in the case of Legacy. Or I have to use two or three other apps. Which is inconvenient and expensive, especially with everything that is going on in the world and Ukraine. You know, when a rocket flies over your head, you would rather buy bandages at the nearest pharmacy than pay for another service that "increases productivity. 

So I have a question for everyone. Is Evernote in 2024 a data storage and processing product or a productivity app? Because the company obviously can't implement both. I would like Evernote to be a niche product about data, about information, because there are not that many convenient services. Or, if they claim productivity, let them implement it to the fullest extent, so that users do not have to look for other products. Damn, they doubled the price, but they still haven't explained what product they're creating and for whom.

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40 minutes ago, Vitaliy Grinchuk said:

No tool to find duplicate notes. Unable to change the image in the preview. It is impossible to quickly make notes into a mini-article (or a set of articles)

These are useful things, although I don't fully understand the last one, but were any of them available in legacy?


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21 minutes ago, Vitaliy Grinchuk said:

<<...a set of articles...>> For example, in Notion, you can quickly design a research or a short wiki on a project and send it to the customer. It's very convenient.

You can obviously share individual notes online to anybody with the link. You could create a table of contents note to these individual notes but the links need to be to the share url not the web link version of the internal link. This can't be done in bulk so It would therefore be tedious to do this for more than a few links. Notion obviously does a much better job of this!


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It is pretty easy to set up a notebook with relevant notes. You can easily share it - but only to known recipients, not as a open link.

In a professional project this is usually no problem, since you know the participants, and have the emails of all involved.

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5 hours ago, Vitaliy Grinchuk said:

So I have a question for everyone. Is Evernote in 2024 a data storage and processing product or a productivity app?

The short answer is no one here knows. We can all guess and comment and it could make for an interesting discussion, but as users, that is all we can do. Also, since it was recently purchased by Bending Spoons, what it was, and what it may become, could well be different.

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38 minutes ago, Vitaliy Grinchuk said:

Is Evernote in 2024 a data storage and processing product or a productivity app? Because the company obviously can't implement both.

A lot of factors influence Evernote's development, and one of the most important (despite the cries of "they never listen") has been,  and still is,  feature  requests from users.  There's a lot of pressure for Evernote to be a one-stop-shop with word-processing layout,  calendar level time management,  and task management abilities.  Until v10 Evernote also had the overhead that it was being developed for several different operaing systems and probably hundreds of different screen sizes.  So Evernote is a result of decisions made by several different committees at different times.

Hopefully the new owners will bring a little discipline to the table and point the app in a clearer direction;  but I'd say they need at least a year before they can make any major decisions.  Meantime Evernote is what it is.  As to your concerns...

It is possible to use a symlink to base the database on an external drive - your 100GB if diskspace is probably on the low side and won't help with speed;  an external SSD could be very helpful.

I use one "trick" with Notebooks - every topic from Amazon to Zapier has it's own notebook and all my notes / emails / documents relating to that topic are in that one notebook.  The title of all my notes starts with a yyymmdd date - so go to Amazon notebook,  sort notes by title = a  summary of the latest activity in a few keystrokes.  There are overlaps sometimes - do my emails to an individual at company go under their name,  or the company?  Make a choice and keep that rule for all such conflicts: assign to company notebook,  add a tag for the name.  That saves me at least two levels of search.

With colours:  I also use emojii:  🔵● ○ 🔴🔵🟢🟡🟣🟤 🔸 🔹 💠 🔶 ㊙️and it's possible to have a Table of Contents list in one note,  export that to HTML and use that 'bookmark' list from outside Evernote to jump directly to any note in your list.

Mass editing - the limit should (I hope) disappear at some stage,  but meantime I use ta gs - process 100 notes,  add a temporary tag.  Search again with "-tag:<temp>" to exclude the 100,  repeat as necessary...

Duplicate notes - deal with if/when found;  there never has been a way to find them specifically in any version of Evernote.

...the change from Legacy to v10 was a one-off.  I think you can depend on there being no similar ground (or system-) breaking changes in future.  If you want to continue using Evernote,  then work-arounds and compromises will be the name of the game.

If you need any suggestions,  feel free to come back here - and good luck in all your activities!


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6 hours ago, Vitaliy Grinchuk said:

Is Evernote in 2024 a data storage and processing product or a productivity app?

I think its heading to be a productivity app and I hope it continues this path and I think it could be very powerful.

Evernote before V10 was really just a fancy note taker with great search and tagging. A lot of folks used this functionality to be productive, run their business, manage their clients... I did... but it was clunky and you would always need more than one app.

Since V10 I've dumped Trello and Todoist, save a few pennies from each and have my 'productivity' (whatever that is) running inside EN much easier than with Legacy.

Looking forward to what's in store over the next few years.

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On 7/9/2023 at 11:31 AM, Vitaliy Grinchuk said:

What I love about this forum is its objectivity. If you ask a question about what direction Evernote is developing, you're sure to find out how to properly share links)) 

First, I want to say that I truly empathize with your situation. If you're in the Ukraine, you're facing something I never have. Living through a war must be awful. Still, you seem to have some space in your life for a discussion like this, so I'd like to chime in.

As others have pointed out, you're getting irritated with users in a user forum for not having the kind of insight that only an executive-level person and Bending Spoons would be likely to have. How would any of us know what direction they're heading? How would any of us have access to any more information than you do? All any of us can know is what Bending Spoons has stated publicly.

The only thing I'll add is that you complained about something that you feel Evernote can't do, which opened up the topic, and others chimed in about what the tool can do in that regard. How is that not a useful discussion in a forum that is primarily intended to be a place where users provide information to other users? Even if it's not of interest to you, someone (like me) might find it worthwhile. 

You might find it less stressful to accept that in public forums where you're not an admin, you can initiate a conversation but not control it. And maybe also accept that even if certain responses aren't what you're looking for, they are nevertheless coming from people with good intentions who are trying to be helpful. 

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I guess I would add that none of the features the OP feels are necessary are of interest to me. Which isn't to say that one of us is wrong and the other right. But think about it: regardless of whether multiple users want certain features, the question is how many current and potential customers want them. Is it 20%? 40%? 80%? 

And let's say it was 40%. How many of those 40% would actually make buying decisions based on those features? How much would they be willing to pay? Would it be enough to justify the development costs to make them happen?

My point is that I know Evernote has deprecated certain features I loved, has not developed some I'd like, and is adding some I don't care about. I can't expect them to cater to me, and I can't assume that even if others agree with me that there are enough of us to justify the costs Evernote would incur. 

So I've decided to find the things Evernote can do that are useful to me and work around the things that are not. If the equation gets out of balance, I can leave for another solution. No bitterness, no rancor. It's all just business.

There are more important things in life. Like hoping that somehow, some way, the people of the Ukraine can know peace again. That is something I can't control. But for whatever it is worth, I pray for it.

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Joining in on this one.. 

I've played with lots of the competition, and nothing does it quite like Evernote. - My biggest moan at the moment is the Gmail plugin takes an age to load!

But.. The simplicity of a shared notebook, shared with my Wife doesn't exist anywhere else. - Yes, you can pay for 2 premium accounts, but her use isn't high enough. I create 98% of the content. 

I've just had a big notebook clean-up, exported a lot of legacy, deleted loads of old tags and I'm going to lean back into Evernote. Spoons, please don't let me regret this! ;)

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