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(Archived) Evernote - Shared Notebooks - iMac -> MacBooks -> iPads





I'd be grateful if someone could give me a definitive answer to this. I and my wife both have Evernote accounts, mine is a Premium Account and my wife's is currently a Free Account. I have a number of notebooks, some are just mine and the majority of them are shared notebooks for all the household documentation, which obviously we both use.


I run Evernote on my iMac and my wife and I both have MacBooks running Evernote, my own notebooks and all the shared notebooks sync perfectly happily to both MacBooks and crucially all the documents (scans, pdfs, sound files etc.) all sync over to both MacBooks just fine without having to request that a particular note attachment be downloaded.


Now, enter an iPad. I've installed the latest version of Evernote on my wife's iPad and she can see her own notebooks and notes and the files attached to those notes fine without having to click to download each file individually. There is loads of storage space available on the iPad.


My query concerns the notes in the shared notebooks when looked at on her iPad. It seems that each shared notebook and the notes within can be seen but that files attached to those notes have to be selected for viewing rather than them having been automatically downloaded ready for use, as happens on the MacBooks. What I want to be able to have is all the notes and attachments available on the iPad rather than having to download them on an as required basis. The issue for me is that unless I can do this all the note attachments will be unavailable when away from wireless Internet, which is not at all ideal.


Any advice oh wise ones?


Many thanks,



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  • Level 5*

AFAIK on all the mobile clients which don't have local hard drives,  by default notes are downloaded only on demand.  You should be able to find an 'offline notebooks' setting however which will download all the contents of specified notebooks to local storage.  Be cautious though - it sounds like you have a lot of documentation,  and in my (Android) case I need to move files to a separate notebook and set that for offline access,  rather than fill up my entire storage with Evernotes.

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  • Level 5*

To allow this to happen, your wife would need a Premium account. She would then be able to select the Notebooks that she wants available all the time and make them "offline notebooks". This would download all the content to your device - storage space allowing.

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  • Level 5*

I'm afraid that the only notebooks regular account holders can download for offline viewing on the iPad are your own. Joined notebooks cannot be downloaded. I haven't tested it myself, but my memory is that joined Business notebooks can be downloaded. However, this would require a Business subscription.

For more on Evernote limits, including this one, see this post:


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  • Level 5*

Thanks for correcting me Grumps.


No worries. Glad to help. It is a an odd and unexpected limitation (in my opinion) that (as I have requested in the past) ought to be improved and documented. Also, as I note on my blog post, you cannot search all of your joined and shared notes at once (behavior that is different than the desktop app). 


Regarding documentation, it is exceedingly difficult to obtain information about Evernote products (witness the threads about the scanner, the stylus, and questions like this about the apps), and it is a real shame, because it generates a lot of (understandable) frustration from users who think it will do something, spend hours trying to get it all prepared, only to discover that some element is missing.


Or, designers actually have created a wonderful feature (the side list view in Windows and Mac) but it is hidden so that you have to know the secret shortcut to get it to appear. All of their work goes unrecognized and unused by most people. Popups in the app and the learning stuff are not (in my opinion) the first thing that needs to be done (actually, neither of these should ever be put in the app, in my opinion) -- basic documentation on the website is what I would like to see. Evernote spent millions of dollars to build the service, develop the apps, and maintain everything. Why not spend a few thousand extra dollars to document what they have done? Just a thought / documentation rant.


Anyhow, the workaround is frustrating, but not so difficult: create a dummy account you both access so that you can login to it. The problem, of course, is that you can only login to one account at a time on the iPad, so switching accounts is a pain. However, from the dummy account you can share notebooks with your individual accounts (call them "inbox 1" or "inbox 2") and you can still work inside your own accounts (to some degree) while using the dummy account.

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