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Automatic conflict resolution and sharing notes

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This is a question about how you handle Conflict Management and sharing note content with others.  I hope this kind of question is in the right place, if not - please reply with appropriate location.  


I'm the CTO of a software company and I use Evernote to store all my business ideas, development plans, suggestions and research information - and I share a lot of this with my teams.
Conflicts in notes are hard to solve - first you have to know you've got conflicts, which isn't always obvious - then you have to manually look at both copies of the note to work out what changed.  
I'm writing a conflict management solution will identify which notes have conflicts, and resolve these in most cases automatically, allowing you to preview the resolution before accepting it.
The other part of my project is related to sharing. If you share notes with other Evernote users, you may have noticed that it's somewhat time consuming to tell people which notes have changed.
From within the desktop Evernote client, the best one can do is to send an email to all users you are sharing a note with to inform them something was modified - it's a very manual process, and you have to remember to do it.
My sharing solution would automatically send a change notification to the users you are sharing notes with. The users on the receiving end will have the choice to receive and email, twitter or Facebook notification. In addition; the notification sent to users will contain a summary of the actual content that has been added, modified or deleted - turning Evernote into a fantastic platform for keeping people up to date with lots changes over time.
I would appreciate knowing if you would use such a product, would you please be able to take another 2 minutes to answer the following questions?  Simply reply to this post in this forum with answers to the following 5 questions.
1. Do you wish there was a better way to resolve conflicts in an Evernote note? (yes/no)
2. Do you wish there was a better way to share changes you make to your Evernote notes with those you are sharing them with? (yes/no)
3. What do you think such a solution is worth paying for - if offered as a subscription based service:
  • 15 - 20 p/month
  • 10 - 15 p/month
  • 5 - 10 p/month
  • Nothing
4. What Evernote intergrations are you using already - mark all that apply:
  • Hojoki
  • Zapier
  • Other (please provide it's name): _______________________
5. Why do you use the product indicated in question (4) above:
  • ___________________________________________________
If you wish to ask me any questions or provide further feedback, I can be reached via email at: 
     john <underscore> clayton <at> me <dot> com
Sincerely and with thanks, 
John Clayton 


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  • Level 5*

Hi John. Thanks for providing more details about your proposed service.

As I said in response to your other survey, I rarely encounter conflicts, so I would only be able to use this a handful of times each year.

In addition, I won't even subscribe to an app I use a lot like Word (Microsoft now wants $10 per month from me for the rest of my life), and I think I only subscribe now to one or two services.

Finally, the subscription rates you suggested all cost more than Evernote itself, right? Is that 15-20 pounds!? I'd recommend a one-time fee instead.

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  • 2 weeks later...

John, I think this is a great idea. I agree with you that the way Evernote handles conflicts is pretty weak. I have enough issues with conflicts just using different computers for my own notes- shared notes get even worse, obviously. and it gets worse when you. I think this is due mainly to the fact that there is no revision control mechanism whatsoever. And yes, the fact that you can't even diff the conflicting files is also somewhat asinine. I would pay 50¢ per month to deal with this, sure, but if there was some sort of RCS within Evernote that would be more valuable. Of course that be a more lofty undertaking but if you kept a condensed history in a special folder in Evernote it would probably be feasible. I would pay a buck or two a month for that.

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  • 4 months later...
I'd pay the ten pence a month. But keep in mind I'm in the Philippines so our economy here is a bit low compared to where I used to be in the U.S. ... Year ago when I was a wealthier man in the U.S. I would have paid double my offer right now. But, when pricing, I hope you will keep in mind those of us not making so much due to local economies :-) ... A sliding scale perhaps, or a type of donation-ware.


And let me add that I'd be willing to pay that fee on a yearly basis after I had used the product a few months just to be sure it was everything that I was hoping for.

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Sorry if the low price is a bit surprising to you. I checked out the reply from a couple others you have gotten feedback from as well and it looked like the consensus was a comparison of the price of Evernote itself on a monthly basis, vs the price of an addon feature like the one you are considering. Most of the users (as I've read over a couple of comments) seem to only run into the conflict problem once or twice a month. So that is the startup value your proposal is brining to them.


Though I am not considering the auto notification feature that you are outlining in your proposal. That last feature would be a bit more value to those who are trying to communicate with a team. Not a useful feature for a guy like myself who is just keeping individual notes for little ol'me. I understand that at the low price you are initially seeing here that it may not be worth your time and effort to do this for others.


However, if you are already going to do it for yourself, and looking at the number of users of Evernote (nearly 680,000 downloads of only the Android App), that could still be noticeable pocket change. If only a tenth of those Android App users applied for a monthly service like yours, then that would be over $12,000US per month (at 10pence) if I have my math right.

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Yes - I was surprised at the price, and I thought it worth clarifying.


Thanks for taking the time to reply in length, I enjoyed reading your post.  It would be 6,800 per month with 10 cents or pence at a take up rate of 10%.   Where did you get the Android download stats from?  I'm interested in getting more numbers to clarify my existing revenue predictions for any kind of service based on Evernote. 


This is a good kind of pocket change too of course - I wouldn't sniff at it!  I won't be kicking off a business for the "conflicting notes" problem just yet though as right now I'm super busy building "Informant", which is another set of ideas I've had re: GTD + Evernote - and I needed the solution myself so ended up putting all the effort into building the web service infra, writing the back end code, setting up a website, defining free vs pro etc first. 


Thanks, take care



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1) Got the stats from the Google PlayStore. Though on second thought, I realize those downloads (Android App only) could easily be divided into one half or even one third. So many people have more than one Android device. But of course Android is only one piece of the Evernote world.


2) $6,800 per month is the first number I got but then I read (in Yahoo answers) that there were two (2) U.S. pennies per pence so I doubled my figure to a "over" 12,000. Not really familiar with the currency over there though.


3) Informant seems interesting so I signed up. I'm assuming that all of this coding goodness happens on the Evernote servers. If that is the case then, in the intro page it says "Don't have evernote, if not download and install now on your computer" ... could be confusing for newbies. I went ahead even though I use the web version on my Linux computer and only have it download on my Android phone.


4) I got the three notebooks as indicated by the "signup_summary" screenshot. But I didn't get the "Task Stack" so I'll submit this post for now and assume that I'll need to manually create the task stack. If I have any other question/comments about Informant, I'll post them to that products facebook page.

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1) PlayStore - aha, yeah, that makes sense.  Good point about multiple devices per person too. 


2) Fair enough - makes sense both ways. 


3) Great!  I had a mini "yeah, of course! duh!" moment when I read your feedback about the installation of Evernote.  I've changed the wording to simply imply that you need an Evernote account - it doesn't matter if it's Desktop/Mobile etc.  Makes more sense.  I also found out how to create Stacks programmatically so have added this one to my list of tweaks to do before the beta really goes live, and before I start blogging/tweeting etc about it in earnest. 


I wanted to ask about the impression I created between Informant & Evernote.  Informant is not actually that visible - about the most "in your face" it gets is it's settings/control panel website.  Everything else either happens in the background on the Informant server sitting in a data-center in the USA or within Evernote itself (eg. notes, todo tick boxes etc).  Would there be a better way to present the difference or dividing line between Evernote and Informant? 


Thank you - I appreciate that you spent some time looking at Informant.  If you've other insights - I'm keen to hear them, and it'd be great to have those on Facebook too.   

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