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TechPerplexed

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TechPerplexed last won the day on December 22 2019

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  1. Thanks @PinkElephant Let's say "until we meet again" then. Just because I'm trading the seemingly sleeping elephant for a recently roaring mouse doesn't mean things are permanent. Or that I can't check in and report back some day. And everybody, thanks for the insights and critical notes (no pun intended) - it certainly helped with the decision making process.
  2. Eh, this is just a friendly discussion, so thanks for all that @Dave-in-Decatur I don't feel it's my "duty" to defend Joplin, so I fully respect your reservations about it without offering any counter arguments in return. What is important for one, is definitely not a priority for another and vice versa. Having my data safe is EXTREMELY important to me, so I definitely make sure I create regular backups as well as make sure it actually syncs, but personally I don't feel that Joplin is any less reliable than Evernote in that regard. Still, those are valid concerns so I felt (hope) that I left an honest pro/con list for both products so people can make up their mind. As for Evernote's improved editor - I shall believe it when I see it, and yes I will probably keep an eye on the (lack of?) developments in that regard
  3. Well, I made my decision. Without further ado, let me tell you who the winner is: Joplin. Yes, after more than twelve years of using Evernote (eight of which as a pro user), I have finally found the alternative I was looking for. This was not an easy choice, and hopefully my list of pros and cons may help others choose if Evernote is still the app they prefer, or if they feel (like I do) that it's getting too expensive and too long in the tooth, with no clear path to future improvements - other than vague promises. Evernote Pros: Established company, not likely to abandon the product altogether. No need to set up a sync service, everything is stored on Evernote servers. Apps look slightly more polished. Inline PDF and note thumbnails in the note list (visually more attractive, easier to find content by browsing). Due to Evernote's popularity, most other applications offer ENEX import. Cons: No significant innovation for several years now. Awful editor that hasn't noticeably improved in well over a decade (proof in point: this merged thread is from 2014 and the first page mentions the very basic editor that hasn't been improved upon since 2007 - it's 2020 in some areas now). Sudden price hikes with nothing visible in return. No encryption, employees and bots are able to view your content at will. Stale community without any meaningful company input. Dedicated ideas forum section of which exactly none have been implemented, despite some having thousands of votes/replies. Main 2019 innovations: logo went from green to white, price hike, repeat of 20xx-2018 promises of "doing better soon". What are those 250 employees busy with all day long? Joplin Pros: On par with the Evernote app which is more than a decade older and had hundreds more employees work on it. Actively maintained and supported, with continuous interacting between the developers and its lively community. FREE (donation based really). Rock solid performance, redundant failsafe measures for lost content. App available for Mac, Windows, iOS, Linux, Android, web. Unlimited nested notebooks/subnotebooks in addition to tags. Steadily improved and new features added since the initial release three years ago. The past year alone: note history, (dark) themes, note count, math equations, export to markdown/html/PDF, sidebar column resizing, full text search, external editor support, and a web clipper... with no indication of slowing down just yet (another beta with additional features just came out yesterday). Pipeline: automatic (incremental) backups, emailing of notes, note sharing, wysiwyg editor. Seamlessly switch between markdown or html, depending on the content. The developer(s) actually LISTEN to the users - and come back with clear answers (ranging from "no, this is not planned any time soon but feel free to request/create a plug-in" to "sure, great idea, keep an eye on this space"). Full control over your content, since it's 100% self hosted on your own cloud service of choice. End to end encryption, nobody has access to your content but you. ALL your data is stored by YOU, so even if the developer(s) stop with the project, no content is lost including the ability to sync. All notes including attachments are fully exportable in several formats, including markdown, html and PDF. No worries about being locked in! Open source, so it's possible to add the features you need/want with coding skills. Surprisingly, the web clipper is better than the Evernote one. Cons: Currently only one active core developer - if he falls away, the project might stall from further updates/improvements. The markdown editor with separate view feels a little "geeky". No merging of notes (other than copy/paste). No undo of editing on Android - yet (but devs are aware of it and looking for solutions). No attachments larger than 10MB supported on Android yet (but devs are actively seeking a solution). Final words Although I didn't plan to make my choice this soon, it felt right to start the new decade with a new product. So, after much consideration, I just cancelled my renewal to Evernote... which felt a bit final but what it really means is that I have eleven months left to change my mind Well, I am pretty sure won't happen (but if it does, I promise to report that here). If you don't hear from me again (collective sigh of relief), you can safely conclude that I found my "permanent forever app" in Joplin. I wish you guys all the best and who knows, till we meet again!
  4. Not by choice Still happy with Joplin - will post some additional insights in the coming weeks - and also my final decision whether I moved across or not, which at this point is not yet a given. I have given up on Notion though, since I found it sort of hard to make friends with the block based approach. I blame it on the simplicity of my brain
  5. "YOUR" single dev? Now, now, tsk tsk, let's not resort to that type of dialogue But seriously, you bring up an excellent point of course. I seem to recall that this is almost the single most asked question in this very forum... "what if Evernote goes belly up?" And as a regular, you also know the answer that is INVARIABLY given (and I paraphrase) "that is a non issue, because the data is portable". With Joplin, your data is equally exportable. Even then, I could choose not to move away and continue with the current version. The app is mine and even if the developer packs it in, no one will uninstall it from my computer. It just wouldn't be updated - unless (worst case) I fork the Github project and learn the ins and outs myself. Best case, someone who is a skilled programmer would pick up the pieces and further develop the product. The data is mine. Again, the developer disappearing won't make my notes vanish. They're still there - offline on my PC, offline on my Android AND online in Dropbox (encrypted). The only guarantee we DON'T have is further updates from that developer who won the lottery, but then again, we don't have the guarantee that Evernote will continue to develop either. If I were to be facetious, I could bring up the fact that Evernote has seemingly been stagnant for years (I still hate the editor), almost the opposite of innovation. Still, it's arguments like these that make folk think and decide what is best for them. As you may recall, it's the very reason that I instantly dismissed Zoho because my notes are NOT portable, nor offline. So thank you for bringing it up and forcing me to think
  6. When we got married first thing I did was kicked my husband out of the kitchen, so that is a non issue here All jokes aside, that is why I included the missing features that I personally am not interested in, but obviously for others such a thing would be a dealbreaker. To me, the biggest potential dealbreaker could be the missing visual clues (thumbnails, PDF preview). Still, my money is on that single Joplin dev adding the feature before Evernote adds any of the missing ones! 😁 Here is where Evernote is definitely the prettier one. Joplin: vs Evernote:
  7. Hahaha well to come back to what you said yesterday, about running shoes and lions at your heels, sometimes a little kitten can be dangerous too. I'm still toying with Joplin, and with a risk of sounding repetitive and boring, I find it absolutely incredible that one person has managed to create such a sound product. In terms of development time and resources the product should truly be just a kitten (or even mouse), yet it offers almost everything Evernote has. In random order: Notebooks and sub-notebooks (unlimited nesting with Joplin) Tags Desktop and mobile apps (Joplin offers Linux + terminal in addition to Windows/Mac) Device syncing (Joplin is self hosted in either Dropbox, OneDrive, NextCloud, WebDAV, etc) Web clipping Note importing Note history (basically unlimited revisions with Joplin) Attachments Note sorting Notifications/reminders Checklists Note searching Note exporting Rock solid performance Then Joplin adds some features that Evernote does NOT have: Markdown as well as html source formatting End to end encryption External note editor Free and open source, no paywall A forum and bug tracker platform, both in which the developer actively participates Of course there are a few things missing (and some of these I miss rather a lot): Note merging Import from folder Visual representation of note list (thumbnails) Inline PDF OCR of PDF, handwriting and scans (plus search) Trash can For completeness' sake, Evernote has these features which I personally have no interest in but are missing in Joplin (or so I believe): Emailing to note Sharing/collaborating Web client Document scanning Fully hosted by the company, no need to provide own cloud server AI content suggestions (I personally hate that, but...) Finally, though in awe with what he accomplished, it also scares me a little that it is a one person project. At least Evernote has a huge team and when one employee leaves, no one will notice. If the one Joplin dev falls away, the project stops dead turkey. Yes, I know someone can fork the source and continue to develop/support, but there are no guarantees that this will actually happen. And so ends 2019... with lots to contemplate and decide in the coming year
  8. In my own defence, I did not create the thread to point out to the world that Evernote has done me wrong. And the reason why I respectfully requested for the thread (MY thread, not this entire monstrosity) not to erupt in arguments was because I respect the fact that others may have a different viewpoint and all should be openly discussable (is that a word?) It just so happens that some necromancer moderator merged the thread with one entirely different one (and almost six years old at that) just because it had a similar sounding title. I guess that when people with more than 17,000 posts are automatically given those type of privileges, common sense rules no longer necessarily prevail. I have never participated in a forum before where resurrecting ancient dead threads wasn't frowned upon, let alone enforced. I cannot be held responsible for things people said before me in a thread I knew nothing about. That said, agree with you on almost every count
  9. Exactly! Plus you want to feel "good" about the product, the company and even (to a much lesser degree but also not entirely unimportant) the community it attracts. For years I felt good about Evernote. I gladly paid $45 a year, even though at that time I didn't need to because the free product offered everything I needed as a light user. It was only after they pulled several no-nos almost simultaneously that I lost the love, and with it the desire to stay loyal to a product I no longer believed in. Of course the worst offender being the very steep price hike without any apologies or improvements in return - but there was also this absolutely awful forum where you can't open your mouth with (I hope) constructive criticism without being blasted by the same few resident regulars who call your posts "boohoo" messages and other put downs. I read what you said above, @PinkElephant that you feel that Evernote is heading in the right direction and I desperately want to believe you - but what I SAW this past year is a new logo that looks exactly like the old one and another price hike. As I said above, it is hard to believe that one man could create a product (Joplin) that almost matches Evernote that is a decade older and had hundreds of developers... I just can't imagine why it takes so long to implement a few improvements everyone seems to be asking for. But then again it's refreshing to see posts like yours that offer an alternative viewpoint. and how knows in another 3 years I'll be posting here again having to eat my words about leaving Edit: merged with a topic from 2014? Seriously??? That is some crazy insane moderating right there... 🙄 But I guess it proves my point on the speed with which Evernote innovates its product that those ancient posts are still considered relevant today! 😛
  10. Yeah, the usual suspects are already posting the usual replies. No wonder people consider this a toxic environment (not referring to you, PinkElephant!) I AM discussing Evernote and its service/product. In fact a quick count tells me I actually mentioned the word "Evernote" 22 times in my initial post here. Also, I had placed the poster above me on ignore years ago, so how come their post is now showing? Ah well, never mind... I shall ignore them the way they can't ignore me from now on
  11. Thanks PinkElephant, I did indeed forget to mention DevonThink but I guess you answered it: it's Mac only. I'm not prepared to move platforms just for my note keeping habits - but thanks for adding that
  12. I have been a premium Evernote user since around 2012 - not because I needed the features, but because I wanted to support an awesome company. Well, for several reasons I don't consider Evernote awesome any longer. Yes, this is debatable (I respectfully request this thread NOT to explode in an argument!). But to me, the straw that broke the camel's back was Evernote increasing the price for premium, crippling free features, not grandfathering long loyal customers and not innovating whatsoever (again! let's not argue over this, this is just the way I feel). Ever since 2016 I have been searching for an alternative that, in order of importance: can import Evernote notes + attachments without a huge amount of effort offers an easy way to migrate away, in case #3 - #7 don't apply any longer is more in line with the max amount I'd be prepared to pay ($3-4/month) has all the features I consider vital in Evernote (sync between devices, web clipping, attachments, online backup, easy search, note versions) has most of the features I consider awesome in Evernote (OCR, inline PDF, nested notebooks/categories) is actively developing/improving the product and offers additional features that I consider a modern must (e.g. Markdown, end to end encryption) has an open minded community without a lot of rabid zealots who vehemently defend anything the product does (or doesn't) do It turns out finding that product is a lot more difficult than I anticipated! Here my findings so far: OneNote: this was the first I tried, of course. I can be brief about that, I hate it. It's convoluted, ugly, crazy in its many versions, plus the editor is even worse than Evernote's, if possible. I imported Evernote (#1) and it's free (#3), but I haven't tested it long enough to comment on the other bullet points because I can't live with it... at all. Dropbox Paper: it looks lovely and seems very versatile, but alas, it doesn't do #1 (import from Evernote), so that was the end of my experiments. Zoho Notebook: Imported my notes from Evernote (#1) without a hitch and their helpdesk/support forum is very nice (#7), and of course it's free (#3). It seems to have most of #4 and #5 and they seem keen to develop new features (#6). However, once you use Zoho, you are locked in (#2). So although it's a lovely product, I can't live with a product that doesn't offer a way to export, so out the door it went. Google Keep: I like it very much, it's cute and whimsical, but hardly a replacement for Evernote. I am currently using it for casual notes-on-the-fly, sort of a glorified post-it app. However, it doesn't import from Evernote (#1) and lacks most of the other features (#2, #4 to note) so it's going to stay a niche product for me. Notion: I spent quite a bit of time with Notion, desperately hoping that would be The One. It actually offers all of the features I mentioned above and then some, except... except. Two things are holding me back from moving across permanently: it is VERY slow on my Android machine, as in MOLASSES. There is no way you can quickly look up a note, or make some edits. I'm talking "go get yourself a cuppa and hopefully it'll be there when you come back" slow. Plus, I'm sorry to say, I can't seem to make friends with the blocks approach... so I reluctantly abandoned the app but will definitely keep an eye on further developments. Joplin: Now, here we're starting to talk. Honestly, this seems to be a very serious contender of Evernote... except it's still a little rough around the edges. It imported my Evernote notes without any hassle (#1) and I LOVE how it converted everything to Markdown. No more fugly web clippings... just clean and straightforward information now... I love it! You can export your notes in numerous ways (#2). It is free and open source, so #3 is n/a. As for #4: sync between devices, provided you use Dropbox or NextCloud, works like a charm! Web clipping works surprisingly well, the app supports any kind of attachments (your own Dropbox space is the limit), online backup, easy search and self defined note versions (default is up to 90 days). Moving on to #5: it has nested notebooks (nested in multiple levels), but, alas.... no OCR or inline PDF. It looks decidedly less polished than Evernote, and I'm missing the little thumbnail image and first few words of the note in the note list. They seem to be actively developing new features (#6) , though I'm a little concerned that there is only one person working on this (side note: it is INCREDIBLE how one person can create a similar product that Evernote needed HUNDREDS of employees and YEARS of development for!). And last but not least: they have an active forum with a pleasant atmosphere (no accusations of being a troll or in crowds constantly confirming to each other how awesome it is to use the product). Others: I haven't tried any iOS products such as Bear or Apple Notes, because I'm strictly a Windows/Android user. I probably missed some, such as SimpleNote, but then again I don't think that those offer the features I need (such as attachments) so they would be out anyway. Lastly: why not just downgrade Evernote to the free version? Well, for starters, I have a desktop, a tablet and a phone and I use all three equally much to consult my notes. And second, Evernote keeps crippling features for the free version more and more. Third, I'd like to be prepared. My premium subscription just renewed at the old price, but I saw on the front page of Evernote that it's now $9.99/month - a price I personally consider ludicrous for what I use EN for (friendly reminder: PLEASE do not counter with why YOU are prepared to pay $9.99/month because the product does what you want it to do, we're talking about what I consider too much here). So With that I conclude my lengthy discussion of why I'm definitely leaving Evernote and what alternatives I have considered over the past 3 years. TL:DR: I'm seriously considering Joplin. It has several great features that Evernote is missing (Markdown, end to end encryption, no features behind a paywall) but I will need to use it for a while to see if I can live with the few features it is still missing (OCR, inline PDF, import from folder, merge notes, thumbnail image on note list). If anyone has any suggestions of apps that aren't part of this list, I'm all ears. And secretly of course I hope Evernote hears my plea and becomes what I consider awesome again so that I won't have to leave them after all
  13. I too don't think it deserves to die. It could be such a marvellous application, but unfortunately (again, my personal opinion here!) I feel that the company has lost their way. They keep promising to do better, but they haven't even addressed the most basic flaws yet. Those are not flaws because I feel not listened to, they are actual, provable, reproducible bugs that have been around since I started to use the product... around 2012 or so. And here we are, in 2018, and all we are promised is the same elephant with softer lines, more shades of green and some typology. Yet my program keeps crashing on Windows 10 and I still can't format imported text to look semi decent. I'm sorry but if that is the best they have to offer, I don't hold much hope that the next generation of users who all seem to crave flashy, visual apps will look at Evernote twice - and the ones who still use it are the soon-to-be-extinct dinosaurs in the room (points to self). In other words, it doesn't deserve to die, but I'm pretty it's on its deathbed if things don't change. I'm not saying it will be gone before next summer, but I don't give it another 10 years if the next much-hyped rebranding is going to be an added tusk to the elephant, and the huge progress of changing it from grass green to lime green.
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