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Free plan allows to have only 1 notebook and 50 notes


Oleg UA

Idea

Hello, starting from yesterday I started to get an error that my current plan allows only 1 notebook and 50 notes although the Free plan should have higher limits and I already have about 20 notebooks and 100+ notes.

Getting the same error on mobile and web clients trying to create a new notebook or a note.

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I am also the same victim. I found a temporary solution.
Please return the Evernote web version to an older version on your profile screen.
You will then be able to add notes and move notes. However, since the number of notes does not match, it is safer to edit using the app.

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7 hours ago, mika1151 said:

I am also the same victim. I found a temporary solution.
Please return the Evernote web version to an older version on your profile screen.
You will then be able to add notes and move notes. However, since the number of notes does not match, it is safer to edit using the app.

This really works, thanks for the tip!

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  • Evernote Expert

I think this is a trial with some Free users.

If the trial is successful then expect that the announcement will be made. Otherwise expect a different outcome with slightly different limits.

But as fellow users we are more or less on the dark.

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What is pretty save to tell is that there will be changes to the Free plan.

Nobody using it today for any serious endeavor should rely on a continued use under today's conditions. BS is cutting some old rope, like the grandfathered subscriptions that are discontinued as the renewal comes up, and moves them to a Personal plan subscription , including a new price.

The Free plan is obviously under consideration - so anybody should make plans for the time when the Plans conditions will change. Since there is no subscription period paid in advance, the terms of the plan can be changed for all users on a relatively short notice.

From what I see, I don't think it will be possible in the future to use a Free plan for a longer period of time, or anything more than a test drive. I do think that sharing from a subscription to a Free user will still remain a viable usage, but this is an opinion, not assured.

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It is bad they do such things w/o announcements. There would be no question if such new limits were described somewhere. But they change the rules on the fly and I would not even use the paid plans because there is no guarantee they won't cut the limits for them at some time.

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With the paid plan you and the company offering the service have a legally binding contract. During the subscription period features can only be changed in a favorable way (like adding new features).

Sure the plans can change, but only when the subscription is up for renewal. There are customer rights that need to be observed.

A user of the Free plan is exactly that: A user. He is protected by law (can take his data and leave, data protection, privacy), but has no contract, which means the company can change the plans rules without waiting for a subscription to expire. That’s the difference between being a user, and being a customer.

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2 hours ago, PinkElephant said:

Thanks for the tip - I wouldn’t trust the old editor to properly work any more. EN warns it may malfunction since last year.

Agreed, but at least this allows me to create new notes.

Although I am not sure I will continue using Evernote unless they bring back the old limits. Will look for an alternative...

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I just found this thread, and I am surprised to find very limited information about restrictions introduced at the time of the last price hike; I think storage limits and device limits are perfectly reasonable, but I think it is very against the spirit of EN to obliterate the basic function of note-taking.  When I reverted to the free version, which I used until I became a paid subscriber in 2018, I could not create a single note, and was bombarded with UPGRADE pop-ups. Then I find I cannot even access the web client on a synced OR unsynced device.  It's a big FU to offer a functional basic version for years and then force a rather costly upgrade to continue even using the service at all.  I hope they turn this around; the program simply is not high functioning enough to justify having only premium subscriptions.

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How do you „justify“ a big number of users who don’t pay, never contribute and still expect the app and the set er to be up and running 24/7 ?

How do you justify this waste of resources when the app can hardly carry the subscribers (Don’t know, but that’s your argument) ?

Correct, you can’t.

Time for a change. If you want to continue using EN, subscribe. Else you need to find another solution for your free note taking.

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Umm. There are a ton of apps that have usable free and paid versions and don't double the lowest paid price in one year at the same time as basically eliminating the free version.  Like I said, I became a paid subscriber, and wish that Evernote would have a more basic paid plan, such as saying, in order to continue using Evernote for note taking and individual organizing -- very light demands from the company's resources. It's mean to kick off free users; SO MANY APPS still have free versions with limits that are not subsequently taken away.  Plus it's dumb because the current free version won't attract new users because it is so limited people won't get to play around to see if it works for them.

Also, Evernote has had millions of paid users for many years, they just didn't turn into a dominant work-force system or introduce anything ingenious enough to stamp out competitors.  I don't know how much they were making made before Bending Spoons took over, but it was a profitable company, in the range of hundreds of millions in annual revenue.

I am not saying Evernote needs to even keep having a free version.  They could charge everyone something for all I care, just keep it relatively affordable within the subscription economy, where the only services you pay over $10 a month for are great video content or storage system/integrative software that we use for important stuff. I'd gladly pay something, but since I don't need Evernote, I was paying because I liked the vibe and design, and wanted to support the company.

The last hike was a money grab, it's pretty plain.  Bending Spoons bought it because they could afford to acquire a littler company and see if they could make some quick profits before really improving the product.  Look I still love the program, I just want something that I can afford.

 

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If there is "a ton of free apps" in the field, there is no need for yet another one.

Beside this it is simply a question of the value point. EN is price wise  in the upper segment of the note app market. This is a promise and an obligation - they need to deliver the value for the users that are willing to pay a priority price for a product that supports their use cases.

Hope they get their act together - I am currently unhappy about releases that very obviously are pushed out without ANY QA function checking them, and a support that more or less has vanished. I understand they switched the teams over - but from a user perspective things need to work.

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55 minutes ago, JuliaL said:

I don't know how much they were making made before Bending Spoons took over, but it was a profitable company, in the range of hundreds of millions in annual revenue.

My understanding is precisely that it wasn't profitable and hence part of the reason that it was sold. Hundreds of million in revenue doesn't matter if your cost of doing business exceeds that. 

It doesn't matter how many users you attract if not enough of them convert to paying and there is no other way to make money on free accounts (no ads or selling your data, like some other companies do).

It seems like Bending Spoons has done a lot to lower expenditures (reduced staff) while also increasing the cost of subscriptions and trying to get more to pay.

Guess we'll see how this strategy plays out for the long term viability of the app.

Either way -- I'm good. I get great value out of Evernote now and so I stay -- as a paid subscriber. If I ever feel that I'm not getting that value, I switch to something else that I like that provides better value.

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23 hours ago, JuliaL said:

When I reverted to the free version, which I used until I became a paid subscriber in 2018, I could not create a single note, and was bombarded with UPGRADE pop-ups. Then I find I cannot even access the web client on a synced OR unsynced device.  It's a big FU to offer a functional basic version for years and then force a rather costly upgrade to continue even using the service at all.

I just want to focus on this. If you've got more than 50 notes, correct, you can't create more. But you can continue to edit and add to existing notes, delete notes to make room for more, etc., IOW, you can continue to use the service to this limited extent. If you can't access the Web client, that may be because you have 2 devices connected already and need to revoke one of them.

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Thanks LVL 5, I figured out you are correct in this, and I feel like I can keep using Evernote as the file cabinet it is for me, by deleting or editing old notes.  I might as well export them into a database and just use it as reference for the dear departed days when I was in a groove as a personal paid subscriber.

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21 hours ago, Boot17 said:

My understanding is precisely that it wasn't profitable and hence part of the reason that it was sold. Hundreds of million in revenue doesn't matter if your cost of doing business exceeds that. 

It doesn't matter how many users you attract if not enough of them convert to paying and there is no other way to make money on free accounts (no ads or selling your data, like some other companies do).

It seems like Bending Spoons has done a lot to lower expenditures (reduced staff) while also increasing the cost of subscriptions and trying to get more to pay.

Guess we'll see how this strategy plays out for the long term viability of the app.

Either way -- I'm good. I get great value out of Evernote now and so I stay -- as a paid subscriber. If I ever feel that I'm not getting that value, I switch to something else that I like that provides better value.

It's not that it wasn't profitable, it just wasn't profitable enough to justify its existence to the VCs that poured in money for it to take over workforce organizing.  I think your point is valid -- if you don't like it, switch.  I get it.  It went the way of the Silicon Valley, and I think that way sucks, that's all. I don't like the standard being grow, grow, grow, or just die.

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A plan where the price is zero, and any service is offered IS by definition unprofitable. Worse, it’s burning money.

There is no „profitable enough“, it’s a loss engine.

The only argument may be „We spend X and win Y new users, so the price of winning a user is X/Y.“

Obviously this equation only showed that other methods of attracting new users are more efficient.

Or more simple: Those freeloaders who exploited the model to its extremes without ever thinking about upgrading destroyed the feasibility of the old Free model. When there is no conversion, the equation goes south.

The model died from being too useful. THIS has now been corrected; for good or bad time will tell.

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Dude! A basic free version is the foundation of app culture -- "freeloaders" as you say help spread the reach of the program, THAT is the business model! -- they are the ones who spread the word about the app and help get it good enough to start selling.  Dropbox didn't take away the free version they offered us in the beginning when they grew into the giant it is now, they actually thank their original free users and adopters. 

Once it's adopted, it gets paid users, of which Evernote had MILLIONS.  I dont know exactly what the margins were, but it is not loss versus profit.  It is a matter of whether the RATE of profit is enough for continued investment and stockshares.  It's brutal, and I am not blaming the EN founders for selling, but Bending Spoons is a leader in this rat race.  Cutting costs and increasing profits is the engine of capitalism, I know that.  But there are lots of more independent companies in tech that appreciate the value of having a good service for a fair price.  EN was one of those.  The paid version was worth it for me -- once it went up, it wasn't, at least for now.  I think it is bad for the company and morale (vis a vis PAID SUBSCRIBERS like me)  to then jack up the price and force you out of the free version you had before, instead of just losing the bennies of paid plans.

 

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10 hours ago, JuliaL said:

"freeloaders" as you say help spread the reach of the program

We see this time and again from people who made professional-level use of a free product and justify it by saying they recommended it to everyone they know. But they never say in what terms they did this. "Hey, I discovered this great free app. You ought to use and pay for it!" Really?

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I just found out when I opened my Evernote app using the free plan on my work computer. That shows you how often I use Evernote. I guess it's time to finally make the move to OneNote which my IT department has been pushing for a while. I've been using Evernote since around 2008 and the free plan was perfect since I didn't have to go through the motions of getting a purchase order from my finance people.

The one notebook with fifty notes limit is way too restrictive and seems to show that the current owners of Evernote are desperate and are trying to force users into their overpriced plans.

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1 hour ago, Scotto said:

The one notebook with fifty notes limit is way too restrictive and seems to show that the current owners of Evernote are desperate and are trying to force users into their overpriced plans.

The new free plan is meant to be a trial only, not useable day to day.  The current owners realized that the old free program was costing them money and hurting the business.  I’m sure they would be happy if you signed on to a new plan, but leaving is also a win for them.

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I had a paid personal plan for my private Evernote account since 2008 but I downgraded to the free plan a few years ago when they doubled the price and I realized I didn't need the extra features. I'd be willing to pay for a basic personal plan that didn't have bells and whistles I don't ever use (like team and task features I don't need). It was too much hassle to get my company to pay for an account for work when they are pushing me towards OneNote anyway. Now I will have to.

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You can leave your notes in Evernote as an archive.  You will be able to read and edit them, just not add to them.  Personally, I would want all my notes in one place for searching, but leaving what you have as an archive is an option.  Just FYI, migrating to OneNote is trickier than to some other applications.  It has been done successfully, but look around the forum for hints.  OneNote does not have a built-in Evernote importer.

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migrating to OneNote is trickier than to some other applications

Yah, I'm not looking forward to that. I've always thought OneNote had a pretty goofy skeuomorphic interface.

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4 hours ago, Scotto said:

I had a paid personal plan for my private Evernote account since 2008 but I downgraded to the free plan a few years ago when they doubled the price and I realized I didn't need the extra features. I'd be willing to pay for a basic personal plan that didn't have bells and whistles I don't ever use (like team and task features I don't need). It was too much hassle to get my company to pay for an account for work when they are pushing me towards OneNote anyway. Now I will have to.

Take a scroll through this thread if you haven't. You're not the only one who wants a low-cost basic plan. It'd be nice, but imagine the food fight over what constitutes "basic."

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An individual basic plan without team features, calendars and task management would fit the bill for lots of us. I already have Fantastical and Things. Just the notebooks please.

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You can float more ideas. The likely answer (beside not getting an answer at all) is no.

They will not strip down the app to convert it into a software buffet, where anybody can pick chunks and use them stand alone. The effort to bring this into the clients would by far exceeding any income.

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