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Evernote Blog on Sync Promotes Misconception


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  • Level 5*

I have to admit I was shocked to see this graphic in the recent Evernote Blog, "What’s Evernote Sync, Anyway?"

 

Graphic from Evernote Blog:

 

EN-Sync-EN-Blog-Original.gif

 

I sure Evernote knows this is incorrect.  The devices do NOT sync directly to each other, as the graphic clearly shows.

 

A better graphic would have been:

 

EN-Sync-EN-Blog-Rev-Cloud.gif

 

 

I have seen this misconception stated many times on this forum.  Evernote had an opportunity to clarify this in an blog specifically about syncing.  Yes, in the text at the bottom of the blog, they do state "Once you’ve created a new note, let it upload to our servers and download to your other devices (you can speed up the process by manually syncing)", which is correct.

 

But what do you think most people who didn't know will remember, the graphic or the text?

Something about a picture worth a 1,000 words. . .  :-)

 

Also, this is a bit picky, but pretty much everybody today refers to services provided by the Internet as the "Cloud".  Why Evernote chose to use "service" instead of "cloud" is curious, to say the least.

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  • Level 5*

I think it was written well, and the Evernote "service" seems preferable to the "cloud," but I agree that the graphic could be improved. My suggestion (as a Windows, Android, and Apple user) would also be to use less obviously Apple products in the images as well.

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  • Level 5

The graphic is the first thing most users will notice.

Many will skip all the supporting text after digesting the info presented in the graphic.

And regarding text, I was surprised to see the text comment: "Evernote is constantly syncing all of your notes to our service."  

 

Constantly?... I don't think so. Every 30 minutes (or 15 minutes) is not "constantly". People who believe that text statement will end up with notes in their "Conflicting Changes" notebooks.
 

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  • Level 5*

Good point JB. It is not syncing constantly. In addition, it confusingly says that notes are "beamed from one device to the next," when I think it would be far more accurate to say they are "regularly syncing to the service so that your notes are updated and available without the hassle of saving or carrying around thumb drives."

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  • Level 5*

IMO, two points about syncing to the EN Cloud they should have made:

  1. Since ALL* your Notes are sync'd to the EN Cloud, you don't have to worry about losing or destroying your device.  When you get a replacement device, just install EN and sync, and behold, all your Notes appear (well, it may take some time :( )
  2. Since all of your devices sync'd to the Cloud, you don't have to worry if one of your devices is unavailable.  ALL* your Notes are available on ALL of your devices.

* except those designated as "local" on the desktop versions.  This also assumes that any new Notes your created on your device were sync'd to the Cloud.

 

BTW, who knows what "service" means?  Whereas "Cloud" is generally well understood (IMO).

 

Frankly, it is this powerful syncing on just about all devices that makes Evernote stand apart from all others.

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  • 3 months later...
  • Level 5*

Evernote has repeated the same misinformation in yet another blog:

 

REF:  http://blog.evernote.com/blog/2014/02/23/quick-tip-sync/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EvernoteBlog+%28Evernote+Blog%29

 

 

 

Sync means your stuff is everywhere you have Evernote. Instantly.

It’s easy to access your content across all the places you’ve installed Evernote.

The photo you snapped on your mobile device is accessible on your desktop. The document you attached to a note is also available on your tablet.

Sync also means that when you make an update in Evernote in one place, you’ll see it reflected everywhere else.

 

Again, this is highly MISLEADING and may actually cause users to not have the Notes available they expect.

For example, the blog directly suggest that, IF I sync new notes on EN Mac, they are INSTANTLY available on my other devices, like my iPhone and iPad.  This is just NOT CORRECT.  So, if I get on a plane without syncing my iPhone/iPad, I will NOT actually have the new notes from my Mac.

 

SYNC on one device results ONLY in the sync of that device with the Evernote Cloud. Other devices ARE NOT automatically sync’d, and certainly the new Notes you just sync’d are NOT available INSTANTLY on any other device.
Evernote should redraw their diagram to show sync of each device to the EN Cloud, not to each other.

 

Again, this is a more accurate picture:

 

EN-Sync-EN-Blog-Rev-Cloud.gif

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  • Level 5

 

 

I don't think the Evernote decision makers in the Marketing Department look at this forum for user feedback or suggestions.

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To me fair here.  Let's all get this right.  First your notes are saved on your device (hd), then they are synced with the EN servers, from there your various devices download the latest notes and changes. 

 

JMichael, you state:

--------------------

Again, this is highly MISLEADING and may actually cause users to not have the Notes available they expect.

For example, the blog directly suggest that, IF I sync new notes on EN Mac, they are INSTANTLY available on my other devices, like my iPhone and iPad.  This is just NOT CORRECT.

--------------------

JMichael, first your notes are saved to your device (HD) as I mentioned above.  They are then synced with the EN servers, which your various devices then have immediate access to and can download.  Whether or not your device can immediately sync with the EN servers, I don't know, but the data is immediately available for sync on the EN servers.  

 

Let me also add this:  since all notes are immediately saved to your HD (device), you have a backup of the latest notes, even if a sync with the EN servers fail.  

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  • Level 5*

It's a pretty bad depiction of what actually happens and is confusing to new users. The number of times I've read posts on here from people who expect their data to magically hop from one device to another when they haven't had a network connection etc...

 

Either the people writing it don't understand what actually happens or they are trying to simplify the process so much that they've missed out a key process.

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  • Evernote Staff

Good points everyone. I usually avoid inter-team nitpicking, but since we seem to be recycling this particular image, I've shot a note over to our marketing team and mentioned that it does perpetuate misconceptions about the sync process, and we should look at scooting this particular image over to the electronic dustbin.  We may replace it with something else, or remove it entirely. Thanks again.

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  • Level 5*

Good points everyone. I usually avoid inter-team nitpicking, but since we seem to be recycling this particular image, I've shot a note over to our marketing team and mentioned that it does perpetuate misconceptions about the sync process, and we should look at scooting this particular image over to the electronic dustbin.  We may replace it with something else, or remove it entirely. Thanks again.

 

Thanks for taking action on this issue, Geoff.  I don't see it as nitpicking at all.  Rather it is a good example of coordinating your teams.  I think it will be very helpful to your users to clear this up.  I see many posts in these forums where people are confused about the sync process.

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I have a problem with the proposed "cloud" diagram:

 

To me, the "cloud" diagram implies that each of my devices is synched to the Evernote Cloud, but not to each other. It specifically states that my devices are not synched to each other. Based on that diagram, I would expect to go to the Cloud and see one section for data from my laptop, a different section for data from my tablet, and a different section for data from my phone.

 

The existing diagram tells me that my data will be the same on each device. It may be oversimplifying the process, but to me it accurately communicates the important concept.

 

I submit that the end user is much more interested in the concept than the exact process.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Level 5*

Here's a great example of how users are confused about how sync works.

This is why we need a clear and accurate diagram of the sync process.

 

 

Since my computer crashed I've had to reinstall Windows 7 and just reinstalled Evernote as well.

 

How do I sync my notes from what is saved on the web to my new install that has nothing in it. I'm afraid if I hit "sync" the web notes will be replaced by my empty notes on my laptop.

 

I appreciate any help anyone can give me.

 

thanks

 

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  • Level 5*

 

Here's a great example of how users are confused about how sync works.

This is why we need a clear and accurate diagram of the sync process.

 

 

Since my computer crashed I've had to reinstall Windows 7 and just reinstalled Evernote as well.

 

How do I sync my notes from what is saved on the web to my new install that has nothing in it. I'm afraid if I hit "sync" the web notes will be replaced by my empty notes on my laptop.

 

I appreciate any help anyone can give me.

 

thanks

 

 

True. Knowing more about sync would help, and I have also recommended that Evernote explain it better, but I think the poster in this case understands that the notes are synced with the servers.

 

The concern here (very understandable) was about how Evernote handles a situation like this in which you have a new installation of the app. The fear would be that (like any app that syncs with the Web) you mistakenly sync and wipe out all of your data. It wouldn't hurt for Evernote to have a few sample scenarios to address this scenario as well.

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