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A New Former User

ios Update 6.0 = arrogant and user-unfriendly

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Longtime and now former Evernote and Penultimate user, first time forum poster. I’ll try to make this count, since I only get 5 posts as a “new” user.

 
Why am I motivated to write? Today I got the first email from Evernote that I can recall. Evernote was trying to sell me a subscription to the Wall Street Journal (along with helpful “linked” text from places like Fast Company and LinkedIn — looks like the greatest business tech hits of the web bubble and an invitation to plagiarism). Ironic timing, since on Friday, my husband lost several years’ worth of notes to the Penultimate update. Looking at the App Store ratings and forum posts, there were many unhappy people, not a few of whom had lost data. I had already been in the transition to Notability (where I can keep my data on my system and sync to multiple cloud options), so quickly went to Evernote to grab my data. How nice! I discovered that my multiple Penultimate notes were all one big blob and my landscape pages near unreadable. I mentioned to my husband that his notes may have been transferred. Nope — since he was a Penultimate user from before the Evernote purchase, and never got into the whole Evernote ecosystem, he was SOL.
 
I have just finished reading the helpful FAQs about the new Penultimate version. Among other things, someone in development/design/marketing has decided what tools users need (and what tools users don’t). They’ve also decided that organization by pages isn’t cool, nor is landscape. Why did I write in landscape? Because I have hand pain holding a tablet; the Apple iPad cover forms a nice stand that uses (gasp!) landscape. Landscape is also good for drawings — oops, sorry, Penultimate is for text. Not using it right again. If I want drawings or landscape, I should be using another Evernote(™) product. Oops — really, I should be using someone else’s product.
 
What gets me is the arrogance. Perhaps someone decided that the only people who use Penultimate are those making “forget ye not” scribblings or putting together a nifty scrapbook (no offense meant to those who do those things). Maybe those who use Penultimate as a valuable business and school tool are using it wrong in the first place by doing that, because it’s not seen as a “serious” product. That would fit in well with the idea that those who use landscape, write too slowly or too quickly, make “pages” and “books” the organizing factor, use DropBox syncing, or find useful any number of other outdated ideas are using it wrong — You know something? Who cares why someone used Penultimate. That scrapbook, reminder, or personal journal was important, as were the business meetings, engineering drawings, and class notes. People liked Penultimate because, just like that obsolete paper, it could be whatever they needed. Above all, I see incredible arrogance in thinking that an unannounced update which can possibly (likely) destroy data and dramatically rethinks the paradigm (I gag a bit that the word fits) needs no user notice or warning. 
 
Maybe Evernote is a big enough product that it’s nothing to discard users who won’t get on board with the vision. It doesn’t really matter to me now, since I’m done with that vision. I’ve unsubscribed to your junk email, removed all my notes from your products, and removed your products from my systems (no, I don’t want a contact from retention — you aren’t the cable company with the only choice in town). My husband has done the same. It will take a bit of time to adjust to new software, but will be worth the effort to know that I’m using a product where I control what I create, rather than am beholden to where and when the software company chooses for me to access it. When I can’t trust data storage, then that product is useless. Apparently others feel the same. There are now 1023 App Store ratings for the new version, and 894 of those earn only 1 star. I hope the 25 people who love the new product worth a 5-star review are eager to purchase all the add-ons, since that is the audience Evernote is seeking. Given that the products grew because of word of mouth, perhaps showing users that you don’t care a rat’s %## about their opinions is going to bite back.
 
Keep your software. Keep your ads. Keep your vision. Enjoy being the hot product of 2011.
 
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please hear this plea...

We  (all the people who keep posting about how they do not like penultimate) would really like the older version back. There is no other app like it, we like the look and feel of a real notebook, and do not like the new version. 

Please don't post a FAQ on how to use it. Simply give us the old version back. Or make it available in addition to the new one. Let the new one be the paid version. Just give us the one we know and love. 

By the way... I haven't started posted until you changed the app, so yes, that is saying something. 

I hope you listen to this suggestion, thanks!

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To your CEO:

Your silence on the fix for this mess is inexcusable. Your corporation has demonstrated poor values. All it takes is you to say: We screwed up. We are sorry. We are working to give you 5.x back until 6.x is fully functional. We will provide free customer support to help fix it.

If you do that, you retain credibility and your customer base. If you don't, you are a goner in a competitive market.

Show some guts and do the right thing.

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To your CEO:

Your silence on the fix for this mess is inexcusable. Your corporation has demonstrated poor values. All it takes is you to say: We screwed up. We are sorry. We are working to give you 5.x back until 6.x is fully functional. We will provide free customer support to help fix it.

If you do that, you retain credibility and your customer base. If you don't, you are a goner in a competitive market.

Show some guts and do the right thing.

 

Phil Libin, Evernote's CEO hasn't exactly been silent:

https://twitter.com/plibin/status/534378189934440449

 

That being said, he hasn't been specific about how they are going to respond in practice, but he has not been "silent". 

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To your CEO:

Your silence on the fix for this mess is inexcusable. Your corporation has demonstrated poor values. All it takes is you to say: We screwed up. We are sorry. We are working to give you 5.x back until 6.x is fully functional. We will provide free customer support to help fix it.

If you do that, you retain credibility and your customer base. If you don't, you are a goner in a competitive market.

Show some guts and do the right thing.

 

Phil Libin, Evernote's CEO hasn't exactly been silent:

https://twitter.com/plibin/status/534378189934440449

 

That being said, he hasn't been specific about how they are going to respond in practice, but he has not been "silent". 

 

 

OK, you win.  He answered somewhere where I wasn't expecting him to answer.   I would think that he would either post something on his main website or on this forum, where people are looking for responses.   I suppose I should not only have ESP to understand the unintuitive commands on an app released with no documentation, but I should use that same ESP to know that I should check for progress reports on Twitter.   

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Because, like, a Penultimate or Evernote forum, support page, web page, or even email blast (which they seem to do just fine when they are trying to sell something) would be impossible. <sarcasm> Twitter is the obvious place to look. Not using Twitter as one's main form of communication is as outdated as notebooks and paper! </sarcasm> 

 

One tweet and we're supposed to feel all warm and wanted. Really? 

 

Yes, I've also seen you post the same Twitter link on several other threads. I, the person who started this thread, don't really appreciate the spammy response, since I can read and have seen it already.

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Please bring back landscape. I have 32 notes in landscape and now, every time I want to add to them or do more work in landscape mode, I have to play with rotation lock, which if I try to do from dragging up the bottom menu, ends up making marks on my note.  If this had been part of the original Penultimate product, I never would have stuck with it. Thanks.

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