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Wanderling Reborn

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Posts posted by Wanderling Reborn

  1. I wonder if 200 million is the number of active users, or total number of accounts. I know that in the past 12 years, I’ve created at least 4 separate accounts that I can recall - tried once, forgot about it, then a year later created a new account.. then created another with work email... then created a new one when I ran into issues and wanted to start from scratch...

     I suspect that the actual number of active users is more like half of that. 

    • Like 1
  2. H

    On 1/5/2021 at 8:38 AM, nonobio said:


    I use Evernote since a lot of years now and it is my most used app daily for both all my personal and professional stuff. I have about 25.000 notes and thousand of tags.

    Before v10, i was quite happy with it, at least on Windows, but i had sometimes, and more and more often, slowdowns and lags.

    On Android it was more complicated : the application was often slow and i had often synchronisation conflict with my desktop app. So i wasn't using it when i could avoid. For instance, when i had something to add to Evernote when i was on mobile, i used my Todo app (Microsoft) to quickly add my note, and then, i copied it to an Evernote note when i was on my desktop. But i used a lot the capture web function on Android.

    Anyway, i was thinking that maybe i could take a look on an alternative.., but never really did. When Evernote increased theirs prices, i was ok with this because i thought it was necessary to help Evernote developement. I tried the free alternative OneNote but it missed on essential feature for me : tags ! Am i right ? There isn't tags on OneNote ?!

    And now, v10 is here. I was excited to try it to see if all my issues could be gone...., but.. :( : i created a topic Just installed Evernote 10 : scared where i list some of essential features missing :


    Since this message, i am waiting each new version to see if missing features or bug will be resolved. But i also often discover new missings :( .

    And as if it wasn't enought, the new Evernote Android doesn't work anymore for me : i can't capture anymore ! I haven't all my notebooks synchronized and so it says "Loading" where i should choose the destination notebook. I can't use it anymore !

    So : i have a v10 desktop version i can't use daily (i use legacy for the moment) and Android version that can't capture anymore.

    Yes i should ask support for my issue on Android (maybe i will) but since last weeks, i have the feeling to not use a product but to help or work to devellop an unfinished product.

    In my other post, some users tried to rassure me about v10 future, but i actually more than ever thinking to switch.

    But is there really serious alternative ?

    For my use, these are the important features i need :

    • A Windows application with ability to open notes in separate windows
    • An Android application : at least to be able to capture web content
    • Offline use
    • A Chrome extension to capture web content, and if possible with choice like : capture page, article, selection, etc.
    • Tags : i have some thousands of tags. I would like to be able to add one or more tags on notes and on web capture, search in all my tags, filter by tags (if possible with filter like the one in v6)
    • Reminders
    • Ability to add images to note, and it could be great to have option to compress images
    • Checkbox (like v6, with shortcut and not tranformed in checklist when i hit enter ! )
    • Internal links between notes
    • Keyboard shortcuts
    • Texte encryption
    • Drag and drop from browser URL
    • export or backup feature
    • and mostly : faster and more stable than Evernote if possible ! even on Android...
    • and i almost forgot : a way to import all my Evernote notes ! ;)

    Does it exist or is Evernote always (even in v10) the best note application with theses features ?

    Thanks :)

    There are tags in any application with search. They are plaintext tags. Use any uncommon letter combination before your tag, and you’re all set.

    e.g. qqAct for action, qqCar for cars, qqFollowUp, qqTax, qqUtilities etc. Then make a search for “qq” and get a list of all tagged records, or search for a particular tag. An added advantage is that these tags can be added both to the note title  and to the individual text lines. And they can be used across multiple apps - you can tag an email, a note, a spreadsheet, and find all records using Windows Search or Spotlight.

    This way, you can use tags in any app or service, and they will be useful even after you move the data to another service.

    • Like 1
  3. Both @Vidalia and @isthisme are absolutely correct.

    Yes, the ideal best way is to have your data reside in individual files in common document formats, and use the built in OCR capabilities that most cloud storage providers offer.

    I’ve done this for a couple years. Yet I am coming back to using a note / data management wrapper, for the simple reason that there’s just no good fast common format notetaker for mobile that has things like quick new note, auto save, handwriting recognition, or OCR in embedded PDFs or images. When I need to quickly snap a few photos, mark them up, and save a note that I will later edit on my Windows laptop, Word for iOS takes too long because I have to name and save the file - it’s a word processor, not a notetaker - and Notability is great except for the later editing part. Really, Evernote / Onenote / what have you are mainly needed due to mobile - at least in my view. If I was only using the laptop, Word would suffice just fine.

  4. 3 minutes ago, s2sailor said:

    I think those that made heavy use of tag hierarchy in Evernote, and want to maintain that, will have more of a challenge finding an app replacement without some restructuring first.

    Those who want a direct replacement of Evernote, should stick with Evernote. The same goes for pretty much any other note taker save for uncategorized plaintext notes. 

    • Like 2
  5. 16 hours ago, TechPerplexed said:

    Not to mention it was basically shoved down people's throats because it was preinstalled and unremovable on every Android phone I had back then.

    In fact the reason I had Premium until last month is because I factory reset my old Note 4 about two years ago and after installation received 120 points for signing in to Evernote, which turned out to be one additional year of Premium.

    Well, back around 2009 I actually actively went out of my way to get Evernote working on my Windows Mobile phone - with no shoving. Back then, it was probably the only really useful service of its kind, and after a while I did not mind paying what then was a reasonable subscription fee. OneNote back then sucked even on Windows Mobile, and the only other service I kind of liked was Springpad, but they didn’t last. EN certainly had momentum. 

  6. 51 minutes ago, TaskClone said:

    I agree, but I think the pivot has been harder for Evernote than others.  Evernote gave away so much for so long.  Others also had a clearer strategy to go after enterprise so they could give away more at the personal tier to get adoption rates up. 

    I remember when Mailchimp decided to essentially ditch the transactional aspect of their business and go up-market.  They initially grandfathered clients, then decided that wasn't enough revenue and stopped the grandfathering.  What a debacle.  Probably better for their profit margins, but they lost lots of loyal long-term clients (including us). I'm sure they knew their demand curve quite well and didn't care.  It was a business decision and I was disappointed, but I run a business, so I get it.  Poor communication is usually the kicker that hurts most.

    I just compared Evernote's pricing to Dropbox's.  Dropbox is more expensive.  I know people don't usually compare the two, but look at the feature set.  This is why I say their real issue is an identity issue.  At the end of the day, for the mid-level managers, freelancers and small business owners that use Evernote, is their $100 a year worth of value?  Think of the opportunity cost of that money.  Where that $100 would go otherwise.  For those who use Evernote for more than a note-taker, the answer is most likely going to be yes.  

    As for competitors, first Evernote has to iron out the bugs/glitches and demonstrate there is a future.  Once that is done, there is plenty of market for them and others based on simple user preferences.  They've survived Microsoft offering a feature-equal, free product that is on many of their customers' computers for free.  Look at the task app market (the other market I'm in).  There are literally dozens of quite similar players with no one winning on features alone.  Everybody's productivity seems fiercely personal.  

    As you say though, "Time will tell".

    But most people don't see Evernote as a Dropbox, they see it as a note taking / information organizing tool. And looking at Dropbox... I can get the entire Office suite (Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Outlook) + 1TB of storage for $50 a year under MS' HUP that most people whose employers use O365 would be eligible for. Dropbox has something like 15 mln paid users and its revenue growth is slowing down and about half that of MS (with about 200 mln paid O365 accounts) and both are way behind Google.  Dropbox has the same issue as EN, it doesn't have good conversion rates from free to paid (IIRC theirs was something like 3%) and is overpriced.

    I also doubt that the majority of paid Premium EN users are "mid-level managers, freelancers and small business owners". Some of them are, of course, but the majority are just private individuals getting EN for themselves. EN business plan was not exactly a shining success, to date.

    Them surviving MS' free offering is due to timing. During the high point of Evernote (2009 to 2013 or so) Onenote was not a serious competitor - it was forgotten by MS' own marketing, obscure, and unavailable outside of Windows (or available in a severely crippled form). Back then, Evernote was the name everyone talked about, it got tremendous exposure, and built a large user base. I bet that the majority of current paid users had first started with Evernote five or more years ago. By the time MS' got more serious about Onenote (which they still don't market too well), Evernote has already grabbed its chunk of loyal user base. And once you really get used to a specific product, it's easier to pay what was then a reasonable subscription price, than to change to something completely different with its own share of issues. I agree, nobody's winning on features alone, but it's hard for EN to win on features + price without making that combination far more appealing.

    • Like 1
  7. 2 hours ago, TaskClone said:

    I agree with this assessment.  I think Evernote has never solved its identity crisis.  It needs to do that for business adoption and broader paid consumer success.  Being a Swiss Army Knife has not been a good marketing strategy.  As much as SaaS companies want to go enterprise like Asana has done, you have to articulate solving a clear business need better than alternatives.  Evernote doesn't do that.  Neither does OneNote.  Their core value proposition is much more personal than business.  There's a business connection, but it's indirect for most.  

    I think they needed the revenue enhancement for more than chasing business expansion though.  I think they needed it to justify the investments that are paying for the work they're doing now.  Everyone knew they needed to give away less and earn more.  Evernote was the poster child for that.  The way it was done just left an awful taste for many.  I also thought they would take a more gradual approach over a few years that coincided with feature improvements, but seemed the urgency was too great.

    You’re probably correct.

    At any rate, the right thing to do would be to grandfather the existing paid accounts into the old pricing structure, at least for a couple of years, while simultaneously removing features in the free Basic plan and introducing Plus and Premium at new prices. But it may be indeed that the urgency to show immediate cash flow improvement was just too great.

    I still think that Evernote, in its current form, with its current pricing structure, and given the competition, is not well positioned to grow their paid user base. Time will tell.

  8. 26 minutes ago, TaskClone said:

    They don't have many luxuries.  Like a parent that is willing to spend money for years with no direct return.  Like an in-built ecosystem.  Like an R&D division (the Azure cloud and Graph API)  that adds handwriting recognition, integration with Outlook and other features built for other purposes, but easily added to OneNote.  Like sales and support teams with existing relationships with enterprise and now SMB clients.  

    What Evernote should have to compete with this is the ability to focus and iterate quickly.  That competitive advantage has not been there for years.  We'll see if recent changes fix that.

    MS has recently taken their eye off of crushing EN entirely, focusing rather on the more lucrative effort to embed themselves in verticals (education) and use OneNote like Teams; to sell more Business Office 365 subscriptions.  MS has no problem with oligopolies anyway.  

    MS never had a plan to crush EN entirely. Actually, they never had a plan for Onenote at all, until recently. Onenote was their red-haired stepchild, never really receiving  the marketing attention that other products were getting. For a decade, it would be automatically installed on millions of desktops, yet most of these users didn't know what it was, why it existed, what it could be used for. Heck, most probably didn't even know they had it. The push to promote the use of Onenote is just a few years old, and even now, MS is still very bad at marketing it. 

    As to oligopoly - Evernote still seems to think they are a monopoly, judging by their pricing plan. Either that, or they are deliberately giving up on attracting new paid users in order to maximize current revenue, even if it's not a sustainable long term plan.

  9. Not sure about Scanner Pro, but Genius Scan allows you to pre-set encryption password for a scanned PDF. So I can quickly scan a document and automatically send it to a cloud location or service already encrypted and password protected. I am sure that there's many other apps with similar capabilities. And the beauty is that I don't have to be in any particular physical location to use it.

  10. 18 hours ago, TaskClone said:

    Can't really disagree with that.  If you're going to punch me in the gut, tell me first.  I won't want to hear it, but it's better than the alternative.  

    I'm on the developer side and I guarantee you every time Evernote or OneNote sneeze, we catch a cold.  Right now, syncing doesn't work the same with their new apps.  It sucks and impacts our bottom line.  However, OneNote is no better.  They made a change and now their API delays indexing (i.e. recognizing) notes created within the last 30 minutes.  Imagine creating a note and the service that looks for that note can't find it for 30 minutes.

    Trust me, I feel the pain as none of this stuff gets communicated and half the time they wouldn't know unless we told them.  My primary point is that I've seen this so much, it's to be expected (not necessarily accepted).

    Again, Evernote is not the only company that does this.  After their layoffs, I expected this sort of cost cutting to focus on what they considered "core".  They also suffer from this thing in tech where if you let anyone know what's coming, you've somehow worsened your competitive position.  Shock and awe is preferred over predictable releases of known priorities and known tradeoffs.  That's unfortunate, but not surprising.

    I will say, it seems like some last minute changes were made before release.  The syncing issues we face now did not occur on earlier builds that we beta-tested.  Something happened along the way.


    Evernote however doesn't have a luxury of doing this with a free product that's preinstalled by default on tens of millions computers running MS Office, thus already getting a massive exposure advantage from the start. Especially now that MS is making a major push tp promote Onenote to educational institutions, which means millions of students would be required to use it (and develop attachment to it via learned habits). 

    Evernote's paying user base is heavily composed of people who joined it many years ago, when it was all the rage and the major player in then still underserved market. Things have been quite a bit different for quite a while now. 

    • Like 1
  11. 5 hours ago, TaskClone said:

    Interesting.  Which wrong turn was that?

    Nearly doubling the price without adding any features, making Evernote the most expensive of all competing apps in the market, while already having problems attracting new paying customers. At the same time, they announced the change in their strategy - the new emphasis on expanding into business market as opposed to consumer market. 

    I suspected back then that the pricing change was an effort to maximize current revenue at the expense of those existing users that were deeply committed to Evernote, even if this meant not attracting as many new users willing to try the service, in order to use the new revenue to finance the business-oriented expansion. I, and quite a few other users on this forum, believed that to be a mistake -  it would have been extremely hard to break into an already saturated segment, the competition for business accounts is much harsher than in consumer space, and even if they could land major corporate contracts, Evernote doesn't seem able to provide the level of support these kinds of accounts require. 

    I believe that the time proved us right - their business expansion did not really happen. In the meantime, they got hooked on that extra cash coming from their longtime loyal paying users that were willing to pay the highest prices in this market segment, and they can't risk reversing their pricing strategy to make the service more appealing and more competitive to bring in new users.  They are stuck. 

    • Like 2
  12. 7 minutes ago, Kolmir said:

    Just a short story.

    About a month ago my MS Outlook for Mac asked me if I would like to see a shiny new revolutionary version.

    I clicked yes, and in few seconds I sow a nice rework - fast, good UX, maybe a bit too shiny, but working stable.

    However, after some time I discovered, that some advanced functionality isn't available yet. But information about lacking functionality wasn't kept in secret. There was a clear message from app about this and that they are working on this. Moreover, there was an option (button) to return to the old app included in the message box. I clicked and in few second I was in my old app - with all my customization, old list of read/unread messages, etc. Everything was as I left them an hour earlier. Moreover, my old app is still officially supported until next year at least. And I can switch between new/old with just one click.

    This was a good example how things should be done:

    • a real choice and transparency about it
    • an easy way back without suffering
    • a full support
    • there is a community BackLog where people you can vote on features and company stuffy really engage and comment about progress and future release date


    To be fair, while MS does give plenty of warning, and usually provide a very generous grandfathering period, they still don’t listen to their customers any more than Evernote does. Although they did reverse the course on retiring Onenote desktop, but I suspect it was due to the corporate pushback. 

    IMHO, to understand that V10 rollout, the very first thing to consider is the CEO tenure... he was hired almost exactly two years prior to v10 release. A new CEO hired to fix things at a struggling company gets a free reign in his 1st year, and all of the issues can still be blamed on his predecessors or pains of enacting change. He must however show results by the end of his 2nd year, if he wants to prove that he was the right choice. I think that’s where the rush to roll it out before the end of the year came from.

    • Like 3
  13. 22 hours ago, TaskClone said:

    Oh the drama! 

    • ...  This will allow greater focus on the new paying customers that can be brought in.


    I'd love to hear about the wunderweapon that they have in their secret arsenal that will bring the new paying customers into the most expensive service on the market that still, in 2021, doesn't support some fairly common features that their free or cheaper competition provides. (E.g. encryption). 

    They had long term problems doing that with their "legacy" product, that honestly was more featured and less buggy. 

    2 hours ago, TaskClone said:

    Evernote is smart enough to know that as long as it's viewed as "note-taking" software, it's future is limited.  They have fought against that label for a long time and I would guess that most of their best customers don't think of it as just note-taking software. I don't.

    Agreed. They are a content / data management service with notetaking features. They are not a notetaker (not the best one, anyway) and they are not a business suite, regardless of how badly they want to become one. As such, they are still competing against a host of free, freemium, and paid offerings, most of which are way cheaper and just as feature full (lacking in some areas and winning in others). They are losing long term members who were deeply attached to the service and willing to pay the price for it. Time will tell if they will attract enough new paid members to make up for this. Personally, I think they took a wrong turn a few years ago.

    • Like 1
  14. 1 hour ago, tavor said:

    Anchors, outline mode, internal note links. This category of features has been highly requested for many years. Amazing that at the end of 2020, EN still does not have it.

    It's one of the key reasons I'm experimenting with Joplin (along with no local notebooks and no zero knowledge encryption). The built-in editor has a TOC function that checks for markdown headers in the note and builds a TOC at the top of the note, which gets updated as headers are added or deleted. A convenient way to navigate long notes. Another option is using an external editor like Typora, which has outline view - there's a left pane that shows all your headers in an outline format, very much like the TOC in Joplin's native editor, except the outline view, when enabled, is always onscreen. So you can click around to your different headers, while in the native editor, you have to get back to the top of the screen (CTRL+Home or CMD+Home) to access TOC.

    Onenote has that functionality, FWIW.

    • Like 1
  15. 9 minutes ago, DTLow said:

    No one is locked in

    With Evernote's export feature, it's easy to exit with our data

    I wasn't talking about data. The data may not be locked in, but devoted users are. They won't find another Evernote to switch to. They have years of habits, established workflow, and it will be irreplaceable. Their devotion is not boundless, of course, but strong enough that they will continue paying for years to come. So if $8 per month is the only rate, they will pay $8. I bet the majority of these users would pay $15.

  16. 35 minutes ago, tavor said:

    Current Premium users are willing to pay $8/mo over current Basic. Per my plan, EN takes current Basic and removes device limit and maybe 1 more feature (along with development focus on daily users, not on socks and mugs and bags or on new colors), then charge ~2/mo for it. They're not going to lose many Premium members to paid Basic given they're currently paying $8/mo over free current Basic.

    What they stand to gain is the large number of daily users who are currently Basic users upgrading to new Basic. Per my earlier post, they can offer free trial Basic for 6mo or 1yr, and if they start the clock at the same time for existing users, they can't really cry foul because they'll have plenty of advance notice.

    And for new users who are prospective daily users, 6mo or 1yr trial is long enough for them to make a decision. And it's longer than many of the competitors are offering.

    For the 80% of non-daily users and prospective non-daily users, these people generally aren't paying under the existing scheme and won't pay under my proposed scheme. They need a different product - maybe multiple products, built off the same core Evernote product with extensions that support the uses of the different types of non-daily users. E.g., if someone uses EN just for recipes, rework the UI to customize the note experience into a digital recipe book experience - free trial and $6/yr after that. Similar for other categories of non-daily users.

    There is no future for a be everything to everyone in one note app anymore, like there was years ago. Too much competition, and they're busy carving out sections of the note app userbase. Look at how Obsidian and Roam are picking off the research segment. Evernote could have built this in years ago, but they were so busy with growing userbase, and what did they get for it? Many millions of very low intensity note takers who are never going to pay for the app as it currently exists; again ~80% are non-daily users for a product that is designed for daily use.

    These people are paying $8 over Basic because they are locked in and have no choice. 

    Who do you think will pick that $2 plan ? If new users, it needs to be at the very least attractive enough to compete with gazillion of free and cheap plans offered by Notion, Onenote, Bear, SimpleNote, Keep, Apple Notes, etc. etc. etc. And this means it will look attractive enough to a large percentage of current Premium users as well.

    Or, they make it restrictive, along the lines of what you proposed. Which will still not entice too many new users from outside of Evernote, maybe convert some existing Basic users, with the possibility of some Premium users still downgrading because they mainly need multi device access.

    I am not going to post pros and cons and prices on this forum, this would look like promoting competing services. But I do suggest you look at pricing plans vs features of competitors. Evernote is easily the most expensive of the bunch. They are not growing - probably slowly shrinking - but they have a somewhat secure revenue source from people who are married to their service. So, do they endanger their existing captive golden egg paying user base for a pie in the sky ? That's the big question.

  17. 15 minutes ago, tavor said:

    Right, the bulk of the revenues likely comes from the ~20% of users who are daily users. The group they have ignored for years. So many highly requested features have languished in limbo, some for 8, 9, 10 years - some are almost as old as Evernote itself. It was one thing to ignore these users' requests back in the first 5-7 years of EN's existence, as there was little in the way of serious competition. Back then when people were contemplating leaving, there was OneNote (with all the drawbacks it had back then) and DevonThink for those content to stay in Apple's walled garden, and that was about it.

    Different game today with so many competitors. They cannot afford to continue to ignore their daily users, at least not while they are charging one of the highest prices in the note app market. Now that the product is Electron-ized, we'll see where they focus their attention - is it to build deeper interactions with their daily users, or try to grow the userbase by bringing in people who've tried the product and left or people new to note apps. Or as our last couple of posts have suggested - maybe split their offerings - a more feature-rich but more complex app for daily users, and a lighter, simpler product for casual note takers - i.e., the 80% who aren't daily users.

    A point on daily users - there are many daily users who aren't on Premium; I'd guess the majority of daily users are on Basic. I think EN can convert a good chunk of these people with (1) a renewed focus on building useful features, and unlike the article's notion, EN knows exactly where to start - the miles long list of highly requested features, and (2) a paid Basic or Plus (whatever you want to call it, but I'm thinking something like Basic Legacy with no device limits and maybe 1 or 2 other features) for ~$25/year.

    The problem is the current pricing. It pretty much holds them hostage and severely limits what they can do as a company.

    When you look at the prices that their competition charges, the current Premium plan is too high. Long term users will pay it to keep thousands of notes and workflow they came to depend on over the years, but most people who are not already deeply invested into the service will just shrug and move on. To attract new users, they must make a compelling value proposition - but this is a Catch-22. If it’s too attractive, the current paying users may switch over to the new cheaper plan, and they lose the revenue they came to depend on, with no guarantees of more paying customers. If it’s not attractive enough, they’re back to square one, with slow attrition of old paid customers and no new ones. I don’t have a solution for this.

  18. 36 minutes ago, tavor said:

    The surveys were interesting, but the insights these guys are offering are mediocre at best. This was written in 2019 and one of the authors had this gem:

    They were so proud of this insight, they set it apart from the rest of the text and bolded it. Longtime users will remember that EN did this color refresh a few years ago. For the power users, which I assume has high correlation with what the surveys refer to as "daily users" (and whom the authors say EN should focus on - which I agree with), this went over like a lead balloon. Of the many dozens of highly requested features that we've been waiting years for, a different green and grey color scheme was nowhere to be found.

    Other similar "insights" in this article. These guys must churn pieces like this out b/c they really didn't put much thought into it.

    But surveys are interesting and do highlight the challenge EN faces. For a daily user like me, it's easy to forget that daily users are actually a small minority. Makes me think that either the other 80% of users needs a different product, or the 20% of daily users need a different product. Because there's no way both camps are optimized by the same product.

    I actually read his statement as saying that Evernote needs to visually rebrand itself to appeal to broad new audience. A fresh new look. Which is probably true. Just changing colors would not do it. Pretty much everyone even remotely interested had already tried the service and most moved on. To make them interested again, something needs to change. But it was the data in that article that I mainly pointed to.

    However, this would not fix the pricing predicament that they put themselves in.  They are charging premium prices compared to the rest of competitors, yet they are not seen as a premium product, or even a top suggested product. On the other hand, they have a fairly sizable core group of dedicated legacy users who are now, I suspect, the main revenue source. They can’t attract new users without reimagining the service and dropping prices, and they can’t drastically revamp the service and drop prices without both pissing off the core users and losing revenue. I think you are right, it’s almost like they need to split into two separate products.

  19. 5 hours ago, AlbertR said:

    Regarding "Keep Basic's existing features and time limit it."

    Why "time limiting"? Often beginners are threatend with such hard boundary and have the feeling that they cannot agree to start paying without having tested all the features. But there is no time to check all the stuff because playing around with such an application is not their first job...

    What about "
    Offer all features and transfer limit it."?

    OK, most basic users do not hit transfer boundaries as long as they're reset every month. But I'm sure EN can gather statistics over longer periods to settle up reasonable limits. If a new user hat time enough to figure out the main value, he/she will honour this dispite fancy UIs and trendy approaches to All-in-One apps (that will never come 😉)

    But biting around a "transfer" limit: If some suggests other nice limits (except time), this would be OK. Main thing is to convince newbies without time pressure. 

    This is indeed the main thing. Evernote failed to convince newbies to buy a paid subscription when it was a cool, industry-defining service that everyone was talking about and with very little competition and low subscription price. Now that it’s an old dinosaur brand in a market filled with shiny new toys, with a restrictive free plan and jacked up price... this is an even tougher task than the one they couldn’t pull off years ago.

    I’ve kept repeating myself for years here...

    • Jacking up prices while severely limiting the free plan turned away new potential users and greatly contributed to Evernote brand stagnation. It may have not been a mistake, but rather a deliberate last ditch attempt to buy time and temporarily increase revenue at the expense of loyal core user base, giving up on attracting new users in hope that this is all temporary and the redesign will fix everything (and the conversion rates were low anyway).
    • Venturing into business space was a mistake. Evernote had, predictably, failed to make a dent in the market. They are at their core a consumer company, not a business company. This cost them wasted effort and misdirected funding.
    • They think of themselves as a unicorn, but to the average new user they are a dinosaur. Most people coming to this market today were in elementary school when Evernote was famous. They lack things that many modern users consider basic - handwriting, for one. Full note encryption. Some modern apps lack features too - but they benefit from still being new and cool and talked about. (Notion, I am looking at you...)

    If I knew how to fix it, I’d be running companies instead of managing projects. Personally, I think they are way overpriced, for starters. Just compare EN pricing and included features with most competition. But they may have put themselves in a situation where they just can’t cut prices without sinking, not unless they secure major new funding. Time will tell...

  20. 1 hour ago, tavor said:

    Fanboyism? Me? Nah, I've been very critical of EN as my post history would make evident. We'll have to agree to disagree on where EN Basic Legacy stands among the competition. I've looked around and to my mind, EN Basic is right up there with the best note taking apps.

    Who said anything about 30 days? It can be 6 months or even 1yr, which is more generous than most of the competition. Given that many competitors are offering shorter trials and apparently still drawing users, a 6mo or 1yr trial shouldn't be much of a deterrent to people trying Evernote. And then ~$25/year. 

    Again, what is your alternative? To keep Basic unchanged feature-wise and keep it free forever? How will they grow paid subs with most users content to stay on free Basic?

    This would indeed be a prize winning answer, wouldn't it ?

    As I said... go on Reddit (simply because it's arguably the biggest place where people are asking such questions, which is not tied to a specific OS or product) and make a search for "recommend notetaking" or "how you take notes". See what people have been recommending for the past few years. And how often Evernote is even mentioned. It's no longer the default name people think of, it's a blast from the past, something that was cool ten years ago.

    Raising prices did not fix the low user conversion rate, it only masked that problem by forcing more money out of the core group of Evernote faithful. Eliminating the free tier will likewise not force more people to convert to paid, it will just make potential new users even less likely to try it, many existing free users will quit altogether, and  the overall number of active accounts will go down. Venturing into business space was a mistake, and I called it out on this forum years ago. The % of business accounts is what now, mere 15% of revenue ? Jacking up prices the way they did was a mistake (I am not saying that they should not have restructured their pricing structure, but they did it wrong). I bet you that the majority of current paid users have joined the service before the price hike. Evernote must make itself cool and attractive again, and humbly accept that it's no longer a unicorn, but a dinosaur. 

  21. 32 minutes ago, tavor said:

    Not joking. In fact, eliminating free forever comports with your view on Evernote's growth trajectory. If the note taking space is well past its hype phase and is "as mundane as scan apps", then what is the point of keeping the current Basic level free forever? Free forever made sense in the rapid growth phase, especially if the view was the market potential is massive. But if it's a niche market, as you believe, how does offering a very feature-rich product for free with no time limit make any sense at all?

    EN Basic is arguably the second best note taking app in the entire space, right after EN Premium. At the very least, EN Basic is right up there with the best of the competition, nearly all of which are paid subscription services (exceptions that I'm aware of being OneNote if you are buying Office 365 regardless of whether ON is included, and Joplin; I don't consider Google Keep in the same category, that's just digital sticky notes).

    Having such a feature-rich product free forever does little to induce upgrading to Premium - most of the additional features in Premium are quite niche. EN realized this, which is why they started a few years ago to reduce Basic's feature set, and they went right for a broadly used feature - multiple devices, which they curtailed to 2 + web. And recently they pushed on the same lever, and limited multiple devices to 2 including web. Can't tighten down any more on this particular feature because syncing is a huge part of the appeal of a seamless note taking app, so you have to let users try this for free.

    If you agree with me that Premium's features, apart from multiple devices, are quite niche, which I suspect you do given that you view the whole note app category as niche, then adding more power user features into Premium isn't going to radically drive Basic users to upgrade. The other option is to reduce Basic's features. 

    What else can they take away from Basic while still giving users a compelling experience that would drive a good portion to pay? To me, the answer is obvious. Keep Basic's existing features and time limit it. 

    With that, I throw it back to you. What is EN's path forward in what you view as a relatively slow growth market, if they keep Basic free forever?

    Sorry, but the highlighted line is pure fanboyism. Go to a place like Reddit and see what people use and recommend for notetaking. Especially in the Apple and Windows ecosystems. Evernote is not anywhere near top. (Neither is Onenote, when it comes to Apple users). A lot of people prefer and recommend Notability, or Goodnotes, AppleNotes, Notion, Bear, etc. Evernote is rarely at the top of the list. Keep is limited but perfectly fine for people who don't need power user features. Which is, apparently, the majority of Evernote users. Onenote is slowly but surely taking up market share, especially as 2-in-1 laptops and Surfaces are getting more popular just as MS is finally making a major push into educational space (a decade late, but not too late this time). MS and Google pretty much own .edu, and this is translating into major exposure and user habit forming. Do you think Evernote can afford to limit their exposure right now ? 

    Without a Basic version, the number of people even trying Evernote out will dwindle quite drastically. And if Evernote has hard enough time  making people convert now, it will be even harder if these users are faced with having to make a commitment after a 30 day trial. Realize that a large percentage of current Basic users are not really using the service - they opened an account, played with it for a while, then pretty much abandoned it. They will not convert. This move would just result in less people even being willing to evaluate the service in first place. 

    • Like 1
  22. On 12/17/2020 at 10:56 AM, tavor said:

    That certainly has been the idea for over a decade. Has it worked? I look at the stepwise reduction of Basic's feature set as evidence that this hasn't been working, so now they are trying to push people into Premium. The next logical step, IMHO, is eliminating free forever. 

    Don't know if you're joking, but this would be a perfect suicide. If they have issues making people pay after using the service for a few years and realizing they need more features that they are willing to pay for, how are they hoping to make people pay without given them a chance to even get used to the service ? 


    On 12/23/2020 at 10:58 AM, Vidalia said:

    I think reading at most comments, it is pretty clear that as long as people continue to use proprietary format notes (e.g. EN, ON etc.) the problem will continue as product can change features, increase prices or introduce other limitations.

    The only way out is using a open source notes format like .TXT or .RTF or similar.

    So any app that uses a open note format, allows users to choose their own sync (e.g. Dropbox, Gdrive, Onedrive etc.) and offers a search across all notes mechanism it is a winner.

    Question is whether there is any such app. I think there are quire a few with plain text (which includes Markdown) notes but not sure about rich text notes.


    That's what I did with most of my notes and records, actually. After converting them from EN to ON and going with ON for a few years, I just converted them all again into a mix of HTML, PDF, and Word, relying on built-in indexing search in Onedrive to find what I am looking for. (My wife is still using Evernote and expects me to maintain her notes,  though ;) ) DOCX is now an open format and is actually more common than RTF.

    The only issue with this approach was taking notes on mobile devices (specifically iOS, as that's what our family uses). Taking a quick note in MS Word on the desktop is easy, but Word for iOS is not optimized for quick notetaking. I used Notability and had it set to auto save PDFs in Onedrive.  It looks like the new combined iOS MS Office app is actually designed for quick notetaking, but I haven't tried it yet.

  23. On 12/11/2020 at 2:08 PM, tavor said:

    Yes, EN is an old startup at this point, but your valuation assessment is totally off base, IMHO. Look at companies like Netflix and Amazon - they lost incredible amounts of money (EN losses are a drop in a bucket by comparison) year after year for many years, yet they were able to go public and reached stratospheric valuations.

    Again, look at the evidence. If power users were important to profitability and profitability was important to valuation, would EN management be making the decisions they are? If your answer is "no", then you need to change some of your assumptions.

    Not a fair comparison, IMHO. Both of these companies were market leaders (by a wide margin) in segments with broad appeal and a great earning potential (video streaming and e-commerce, respectively), growing revenue year by year, and spending much of it to achieve an even bigger market penetration and technological advantage over their rivals. They had the money to book profits, but decided to use these funds to expand even further instead.

    Evernote (and all of its rivals) are competing in a relatively small, niche market, with limited earnings potential (compared to the content delivery and e-commerce) and lots of competition, including free offerings from software behemoths like Google and MS. And this market (not just Evernote as a company, but the entire notetaking market) is well past its prime as far as the hype is concerned. It is no longer the shiny new technology that everyone talks about or wants to try, it's about as mundane as scan apps. 

    So, not the same thing at all.


    8 hours ago, gazumped said:



    I only bolded that bit because it seems to be the new fashion.  Why are we arguing hypotheticals?  AFAIK no-one who has had an account mysteriously deactivated has commented here as to the justification or otherwise for that action.  Evernote may have detected suspicious activity on the account,  received conflicting instructions,  or the accounts may have inadvertently been deactivated by the user.  The company aren't going to comment on individual cases,  and the users don't seem bothered,  so why labour the point for so long?

    Per Evernote's reply, it seems pretty clear that this is a known problem on their end. So not a hypothetical. 

    On 11/30/2020 at 5:19 PM, Shane D. said:

    Hi All,

    This is a known issue that has affected a small number of users.

    I'll be reaching out to you directly via DM with further information.



    Is this about the device limitation?  If so,  plIf you find the service useful and especially if you save 'essential information' there,  either pay for it,  or use one of the competitor services that aren't (yet) charging for access.ease get over it.  Evernote is not a charity.  You have 365/24/7 access to their server space and free storage space,  plus (nearly) all the features of the full software.  If you find the service useful and especially if you save 'essential information' there,  either pay for it,  or use one of the competitor services that aren't (yet) charging for access

    This issue impacted both paying and free users.

    This is not about device limitations. This is about data integrity. Device limitations and feature limitations are fine. Losing access to your data is not.


    If you find the service useful and especially if you save 'essential information' there,  either pay for it,  or use one of the competitor services that aren't (yet) charging for access.

    "We don't guarantee access to your data unless you pay up" is not a good message. However, I doubt that Evernote chose you as their spokesman. 

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