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JMichaelTX

(Archived) HELP: Evernote Documentation Needs Urgent Attention

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For several years now users in these forums have been asking, even pleading, for better documentation of the main Evernote clients.

Today, I have ran into an example which provides a great example of this need.

In order to answer a question in these forums, and make sure I was correct, I needed to find:

What attachment file types are supported by Evernote?

I know in the beginning the file types were limited by the free accounts, but I thought (but was not sure) that this limitation had been removed recently.

So, how do I get an authoritative answer to this question?

Here is what I did, in order:

  1. Search EN KB for:

    1. attachments ===> no help
    2. attachment file type ===> no help
    3. file type ===> wrong EN Client
    4. Review Premium Account page ===> no help
    5. Review EN Getting Started page ===> no help
    6. Search Google for "evernote attachment file type" (without the quotes) ===> conflicting results


      Items 1-3 were of no help what-so-ever, except for 1.3 file type.
      However, the KB search for "file type" results were shown under a heading of "Windows Phone", so it was not clear what the file types were for other platforms.
      Item #4 (Google search) returned conflicting results:
      1. What attachment file formats does Evernote support?
      2. Evernote Removes File Type Restrictions for Free Accounts

Google #1 is a link to an Evernote KB Shared NB that stated the file types were limited for free uses

Google #2 is a link to an Evernote blog which states that Evernote now accepts all file types from all account types

Summary:

  1. From the Evernote home page, it very hard to even find the KB
  2. Searching the KB will likely not find the desired information:

    1. The Getting Started page is too hard to find
    2. Links to KB and Blogs are buried in the Getting Started page, and are too hard to find
    3. Although a link to Support it provided on the Home page, it is hard to see/find
      • It is buried in a bunch of other text in small grey text at the bottom of the page.

[*]The Evernote FAQ is out of date and contains errors

[*]User's Guides are hard to find, out of date, and contain errors

Conclusions:

  1. Evernote needs a complete overhaul of its documentation system
  2. Accessing HELP from the Evernote Home page should be very obvious (like putting "Help" as a link at the TOP of the page)
  3. Evernote needs an online, dynamic Users Guide and KB that is kept up to date as you make product releases.
  4. This Guide needs to be written to clearly identify which EN Clients support each feature described, and to clearly provide any differences in how the feature is implemented (If any)

A new Evernote user will likely not know the exact terms to search for
The KB is built with a very limited set of keywords
The results are reported with a header that shows the wrong EN Client

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You make some good points JM. I am a little bit embarrassed to say this, but for a long time I thought the Evernote homepage ended at the gray bar on the bottom that lists all of their products. On a 13" screen, that is all you can see. I didn't even know the KB existed until last year, and I still don't know how to get to it from the first page. Is the only way to go through "support"? It would be great if you could find things more easily, and as suggested before, the users here would love to contribute to a wiki support page or even provide instructional videos :)

As for your original search, I would have searched for "evernote file types." The third link I got was the shared notebook you mentioned. The explanation was a little confusing...

https://www.evernote.com/shard/s2/note/2d93b91e-dfc8-48d7-bb92-e7bac79a4875/ensupport/faq#b=c88dd0ac-32c1-4bc5-b3f4-50612072e0ad&n=2d93b91e-dfc8-48d7-bb92-e7bac79a4875

I didn't know it existed until today. LOL.

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I didn't even know the KB existed until last year, and I still don't know how to get to it from the first page. Is the only way to go through "support"?

I still don't know what the Knowledge Base is. I'm exaggerating far less than I wish I were.

I totally agree with JMichael. I've made this call before, specifically regarding the terrible (missing, inconsistent, and wrong) documentation of search grammar. Thanks for all the detail, JM, and for keeping this crusade going.

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Holy cow. I joined the notebook because I thought it might be cool to have that information at hand, and I realized the notes are from 4 years ago! Wow.

IDEA: We post questions on the forum, the best answer wins, and it gets copied and pasted into the shared notebook (by Geoff, if anyone at Evernote can remember the password to "ensupport"). Problem solved. And, if you slap a link to the shared notebook onto the homepage, even better :)

So, let's get this party started. What's the answer JM to the question: What attachment file formats does Evernote support? Here's mine.

"Evernote supports all file formats for both Free and Premium users. However, it only indexes the following file formats for search purposes: .GIF, .JPG, .PNG, .PDF and .TXT."

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@GM:

I agree with your answer with a slight modification:

"Evernote supports
attachments
with
all file
formats
types
for both
Free
and
Premium
users
accounts
. However, it only indexes the following file formats for search purposes: .GIF, .JPG, .PNG, .PDF and .TXT.
The total size of the Note including attachments must not exceed the
Note Size Limits
."

where Note Size Limits is a link to another KB article providing the limits.

All underlined words/phrases are links to other KB articles.

Indexed Keywords: attachments, file, type, format, image, GIF, JPG, PNG, PDF, TXT, text

See Also: OCR of Images and PDF attachments, Note Size Limits, Attachments, File Import, Search for Attachments

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Here is another thread documenting Evernote Documentation issues:

Search Operators - Missing or otherwise located

In addition to this there are numerous other issues with Search documentation that have been raised in other threads.

Is there anyone assigned in Evernote to take notice of these issues, and make changes to the documentation where appropriate?

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@JMichael - Indeed there is, and I've alerted them to this thread.

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JMichael, I was all set to dispute you. After all, how did I, or any of us, learn what we know now about EN? The truth of it is that the answer is elusive as you mention and that's for someone that knows their way around. For a new user, or worse yet, someone new to the Internet it becomes monumental. Therefore, I'll add my $0.02 to your post that indeed, good, complete, clear documentation is lacking. I know it's more fun to code and produce than to document but it is indeed an area where Evernote needs a boost and would make a big difference for users.

[but Evernote still rocks! :)]

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Just as an experiment, how about creating a shared notebook called: The Unofficial Guide to the Uses and Abuses of Evernote (UGUA).

JM's suggestion is our first one. When we get to ten, and if we like what is happening with it, I'll make it public on my website, Google will start indexing it, and we'll be good to go :)

https://www.evernote.com/pub/mayochristopher/unofficialguidetotheusesandabusesofevernote

Anyone up for answering the next question: What are the note size limits in Evernote?

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I would like to add my 2 cents that we are actively seeking someone to fill this role. We have the job posted http://evernote.theresumator.com/apply/uqngfc/Director-User-Education.html and we are currently reviewing and interviewing candidates as we speak. We do take documentation and knowledge seriously and we are currently seeking an experienced candidate to lead this role. Thanks everyone for bringing these issues to our attention again :) when this postion is filled expect to see some positive improvements around this area. Thanks for your continued support and patience.

Cheers,

Phil

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Just as an experiment, how about creating a shared notebook called: The Unofficial Guide to the Uses and Abuses of Evernote (UGUA).

JM's suggestion is our first one. When we get to ten, and if we like what is happening with it, I'll make it public on my website, Google will start indexing it, and we'll be good to go :)

https://www.evernote.com/pub/mayochristopher/unofficialguidetotheusesandabusesofevernote

Anyone up for answering the next question: What are the note size limits in Evernote?

10? Hah, I'm at 13 already :P

I have always felt that Evernote is the best way for this sort of thing, and Building a platform for sharing info is something that EN is very useful for.

The other thing is that EN keep making the rule (e.g. filetype limits) and then change the game (not that I am complaining :) ) so it is something that has to be kept up with. (which I guess is the original problem)

I have had a similar idea in the past, and (as I know some forum users know) have done the same within Evernote using info gathered mostly from the forum.

http://www.evernote.com/pub/spgscott/evernote-help

Some notes on the idea:

- Navigation is key. Just the list of notes is not enough for the typical user. They need the ability to navigate easily. (So far, I think I am doing ok...but as the list grows, I see trouble in the current system.

- Categories are important as well. I have tagged the notes, which was useful, however a recent change to the view removed that (I think I mentioned it somewhere in the forum) so another way of differentiating them is needed (at this point)

- Images - I think images are the easiest way to convey a message, so for me they are essential. Very often any FAQ/KB use text over images.

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Wow!

Now that is a response from Evernote. Excellent!

Now how about displaying photo notes the right way up? You shouldn't even need to hire anyone extra.

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Just to clarify what Phil said -

There *is* currently someone whose job it is to work on and track issues with the current documentation.

We're looking to hire a new tech writer, for additional documentation.

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