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Note to Evernote CEO: Your future is in the users hands!



There is a lot of press in recent months focusing on Evernote's demise. I am sure some of it is speculation and based on limited financial reporting.

Evernote's has lost its leadership as the 'Remember Everything' best in class' digital company.  Paid subscribers are your revenue stream, and I can say for several years the new releases of products and enhancements to existing ones is why I renewed my subscription. What changed was the constant technical issues that arose in the core products (e.g., Evernote for Windows, iOS).

I am an optimist and believe that you can regain what you lost. However, it will take the courage to stop making assumptions about what users need.   My needs have changed since 2012, and I am looking for solutions that improve my productivity as well as simplify my life.

A good place to start is to inform us about what you are thinking, and you will receive great ideas.  Be willing to show some courage by communicating and help set our expectations.  If you do this, your paid base of users will grow.


Rob Kemp

Ps  You have an opportunity in the Windows 10 market.  Pull the current Evernote Touch app and reintroduce it when you are ready for prime time.  Enhance Evernote for Windows 10 so it has the same quality features and performance as Evernote for MAC OS X.


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I've been a user on and off since 2008 and a paying member for maybe six months and have passed the point where I hope the company will listen to its users. The years of ignoring calls for subfolders, arrogantly insisting that the user use the product the way the company demands rather than implement a simple feature, left me always on the hunt for a replacement.  The snarky replies and actual suggestions that users may want to use a different product had me just about convinced.  Then came the joke that is the new web version, which abandons just about everything I liked about the product, evidently created to address an epidemic of folks being "distracted" by the content of their screen. Screens keep growing in size and resolution while products like Evernote reduce what content can be shown on the screen regardless of size. I'm in the process of moving all my content, actually importing it into three different products so that I can compare my experience with each before making a decision.  That's the level of dedication I have to ditching Evernote.

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Where do these people come from? It's foolishness to take a layout that is optimized for a 15-inch desktop screen, and replace it with a layout optimized for a 3-inch smartphone screen.  What really bugs me is that even though my profile is set to use the "old" version, the "new" version pops up on occasion. Also, I'm constantly reminded that the "new" version is wonderful and I should use it now. Well, I have tried it several times and I don't like it.  And yes, I do use Evernote on my smartphone and I think the layout there is just peachy fine....for a smartphone.  Now some grown-up person at Evernote needs to take control of the situation and tell the 3-inch people to leave the 15-inch layout alone, and quit bugging us about how wonderful it is to give up the functionality that a 15-inch layout provides.

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 In fairness, Evernote isn't alone. Swiping changed everything.  It had such an impact that a large chunk of the designing population has simply disregarded the desktop computer as being irrelevant to their concerns.  They prefer designing for tablets and phones.  

It's the same issue with scroll bars.  Why, as monitors have continually increased in size and resolution, has the width of scrollbars the past few years begun to shrink more and more, to the point that they are almost useless?  Did the public have a sudden consensus that they didn't want to be able to grab the scroll bar without having to concentrate closely on it in order to hit a spot within the 6 to 15 pixels they have for a target?  No. Graphic designers find scroll bars unsightly.  Can one good argument be made that this change is intended to benefit the user?  Even Microsoft, once requiring that certain standards be maintained, such as a menu at the top of the screen that had to start with "File/Edit/View" back in the age when one had to learn an entirely new interface with each new program - even they actually hide things like scroll bars now. A user must move the mouse to the right of the screen, and if there is more content to display, a scroll bar will fade into view.  If not, you just wasted time and added to your carpel tunnel issues by having to play hide and seek. It's idiocy.

I've yet to walk in to a corporate office and see hundreds of people using tablets to do their work, but we're designing "mobile first" regardless, because aesthetics now trumps all other concerns. So, hats off to Evernote. The new web layout is impressive. Obviously a lot of work went into it. It's sleek, and yes, very nice for use on a phone. But I don't do the majority of my work on a phone, so goodbye Evernote.

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You are absolutely right about it being an industry wide problem.  I'm seeing far too often to one degree or another.  The question I have is simple, would you rather watch the super bowl on your smartphone, or a 48" TV?  Size does matter.  Mobile devices are great and I would hate to have to deal with the same layout on my mobile that I have on my desktop, but the converse is also true.  The point is that I don't like my mobile device because of the screen layout, I like it because it's mobile.  The small limited screen layout is something I put up with because it's better on a mobile device.  There is a reason that I don't use my mobile device at work where I have the luxury of dual 21" monitors.

This is the same sort of reason why Windows 8 was an utter failure.  How someone doesn't understand this is beyond me.

As long as they don't abandon the old version I'll probably stay with Evernote, but I'm not adverse to looking at alternatives.  When you are selling a service you never want to give your customers a reason to look elsewhere.

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I agree that the mindset of developers is 'mobile first'. That is a huge mistake given most people work with laptops, desktops and large monitors.better performance

Evernote has developed better apps in the OS X and iOS area with the result being better performance and superior functionality.

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