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We'd like your feedback about making lists in Evernote and other apps

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On 2016年8月18日 at 9:59 PM, Franci McFarland said:


The Evernote User Experience Research team would like your input! Would you take this short survey to tell us how you use bullet lists, numbered lists, and checklists in Evernote or other text editors / word processing apps?


Many thanks!

Approx. time to complete = 3 minutes

Thanks for asking our opinions, but.... My answer to #14:


You don't need a survey here. Just choose the most popular list-making apps (Wunderlist, Keep, Any.do?) and incorporate their features into Evernote if you want to satisfy customers -- it's been eight years now, and we still have bugs in the basic lists -- lists that aren't even remotely as capable as competitors' ones. Frankly, I'd be happy if basic bullet lists worked correctly. I'd like to see improvements, but I am seven years past expecting any, so I think rather than throwing even more money at the intractable problem (lists have been "fixed before" and I can live with the poorly performing bullets), you would be better off tackling more pressing issues such as developing better encryption options (encrypted notebooks) and adding selective sync to the desktop versions. These last two are critical, in my opinion, while the lists are not, especially at this point.


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Yeah. I don't think they should be out there re-inventing the wheel on this one. A lot of other smart folks have poured tons of effort into getting lists right -- they're all about lists. Take a look at them, develop similar features that work properly in Evernote, and we'll all be happy. But, like I said, a basic bullet list that works would be nice. In other words, fixing the existing stuff would probably be the best use of existing resources.

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One thing I really miss from Springpad was how they handled different Note Types. I wish Evernote would incorporate Checklist Notes, List Notes, etc. A Checklist Note, in Springpad, used to have very specific functions. Each line had a checkbox to the left. You could rearrange them. Completed ones dropped to the bottom (I think; if they didn't actually do that, it'd be cool if Evernote's did), stuff like that. OneNote on mobile also does a good job of this, mostly. The implementation is cumbersome but I like the attempt. 

EDIT: Another great example is Google Keep. Images added to show what I mean.



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In Note Everything Plus one can make a "Durable Checklist" which can be over and over by simply resetting the checked items to again have empty boxes. How hard could this be?

I have Evernote and Note Everything on both my Android phone and tablet. Having to have both of these programs is ridiculous.

I wrote about this a number of years ago. So far nothing.


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+1 for taking a look at Workflowy. I think the real issue with Evernote lists is the inability to re-order and structure lists once they're made. Workflowy and OneNote both make it easy to re-structure lists. Really glad that you guys are looking at this feature as it is the main reason I'm considering abandoning my paid Evernote subscription and moving to OneNote.

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Survey no longer taking responses.

My truth is Evernote is stuck between being a 1) word processor and a 2) "productivity app".  It can become both, but right now it's mostly not great at either.  It's great at storage and retrieval of ideas.  

IMHO, you don't want to become great at either if it means sacrificing the core storage/retrieval functions.  

Understand that people use lists to keep track of things over time that change.  This means they need to reorder, sort, prioritize, date, assign other people and generally categorize these items.  But currently, these are not "items" at all in Evernote; they are random text.

Given that backdrop, here's what improvements could be made consistent with Evernote's current direction/vision:

  • First, make lists work at least as well as Google Docs lists on all platforms (including indenting them) - this is primarily an editor issue and needed just to keep credibility
  • Second, add a (ul/li) structure with closing tag to the ENML of todo items in your API to would allow each todo to be a separate item instead of random text after a checkbox.  From there, sorting or reordering should be trivial with javascript. 
  • Third, add an id to each todo (OneNote now does this).  This would allow connecting to your Reminders system as far as dates, linking and two-way status communication between todos in different notes.  At this stage, you'd probably put us (TaskClone) out of business, but it'd be better for the Evernote community.

If you don't want to change the structure of ENML, you're really limited to my first step.  I understand this is probably a HUGE investment to change that structure and deal with the loss of backward compatibility.  I assume that's why it hasn't been done.  Without this though, you are very limited in the productivity app space.

If you want to go further, you probably need to add database items for todos, but that's almost a separate app at this point.

Good luck.  I'm rooting for Evernote, but we're building out TaskClone for OneNote as clients have the same needs on that platform.


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