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I've been using Evernote for 10 years. I am very disappointed at the huge drop in customer communications over the last three years. Remember the good old days when Evernote actively communicated with their customers? They participated in the user forum. They shared monthly podcasts. They handled questions and answers. And most importantly, they kept us up to date on issues and problems. Now, we have to rely on comments from other users and questionable 3rd-party customer support. It is sad to compare then vs now. For example: Community Chat with Phil, Dave & Andrew (2012) Apologies for the delay here. The transcript took a little longer to push out than I'd have liked, simply because I wanted to reorder the conversation for clarity. Reproduced below: 041212 “Podcast” Community Chat Transcript - Green denotes an Evernote Employee. Discussion has been reordered to make things a little more sensible. We had a few spots where an extra long response may have been clipped a bit by the system, apologies for that.gbarry - thanks for everyone who's popped in thus far. We've opened the doors a little early to let users trickle in, and will start around 12:30PSTgbarry - looks like we have both Phil and Andrew in here, want to welcome you both to the chat, and welcome our users who were able to make it as wellgbarry - we know it's a work day for many of you, and appreciate taking the time to chat with usAndrew Sinkov - Hi everyone!gbarry - And it looks like we have Dave as well!engberg - Howdy!Phil Libin - holajoelhwilliams - Hello Phil!engberg - In answer to your (implied) first question: lunch today at Evernote was sushiPhil Libin - not great sushigbarry - just ok sushi?engberg - Jiro doesn't dream of California rollsgbarry - did I just hear a Snow Crash reference?engberg - close. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1772925/bluesky_ca - I saw that documentary at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.gbarry - alright, getting down to business. We've brought Phil, Dave, and Andrew out of their busy schedules to answer user questions about the direction of Evernote, questions you have about individual products, the recent NYT article, anything brought up on the podcast, etc.jgerl - How are things progressing in AustinPhil Libin - the Evernote Austin team is really coming together nicely - tons of work going into Skitch on every platformengberg - The new version of Skitch for the Mac is nice. It has a much cleaner integration to put your work into Evernote.bluesky_ca - For those of us who aren't familiar with the NYT article, can you recap it?billy - Is there anything you discussed in the NYT article on your company culture that didn't make it through the final editorial process?Andrew Sinkov - @bluesky_ca The article was all about corporate culture and Phil's management style. It's a great read: www.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/business/phil-libin-of-evernote-on-its-unusual-corporate-culture.htmlbluesky_ca - Thanks!joelhwilliams - Q: what percentage of your users has 20k notes or more (or even 15 k or 10k) and are you seeing the users accounts bog down at this level? Our account feels very sluggish and is almost unusable on iphone/ipadengberg - @joelhwilliams - the majority of our users have fewer than 10k notes, but a number of people at Evernote (like Phil) have a lot more than thatengberg - the performance of large accounts varies a bit by platform, and varies a lot by what type of data you haveengberg - e.g. big notes with tons of PDFs may take longer to search just because there's more textengberg - we're working with each client to specifically test variations of large accounts better and better with each release, to make sure we don't miss problems that crop up with specific features or content characteristics mcd78 - How are Due Dates coming alongPhil Libin - @mcd78 We're putting in a lot of work on reminders / due dates / to-do lists. Aiming for a release this year, but don't have the specifics nailed down yet. Boeshans - Tell me about work on a fix / patch for opening a PDF sent over from livescribe and being able to hear the audio. This is with the Windows version of Evernote. 3D parsing error now occurs.heather - @Boeshans The 3D parsing error is an issue with certain versions of Adobe - http://forums.adobe....message/4325449 . We're working with Livescribe to see if there's anything we can do to keep the error from appearing within Evernote.joelhwilliams - Q: follow up on my podcast question re: "Offline Tags" - I tweeted Phil to better explain what I meant by requesting Offline Tags (the iphone/ipad feature, not to be confused with "Local Folders") - have you given that any more thought? Folders are not as functional as tags and I would give up use of folders completely except I require the "offline notebook" feature of the ipad app for working in rural areas with no wifi/3g service.GrumpyMonkey - Hi everyone. I enjoyed the NYT article. It's always good to see Evernote in the news!GrumpyMonkey - I see that Joel has brought up one of my favorite topics! Offline tags. I sure would like to see these.GrumpyMonkey - I am especially interested in plans you might have to improve the iPad app. I mentioned a few things I would like to see in the thread on the forum, but could you share with us some ideas you are kicking around for improving it?Boeshans - Thanks Heather.engberg - Re: offline tags - thanks for the feedback on this. So far, we've been cautious about this, primarily for UI reasons. You can only have 250 notebooks, and it's clear which note is in which notebook. You can have 10,000 tags, and they obviously overlap quite a bit. So it's a bit more of a challenge to present that in a clean UI that's not confusing (e.g. so you can see which of your 9000 tags is already selectedengberg - (but it's still something we're considering)GrumpyMonkey - Thanks Dave. I am glad to hear it is being considered. I think one of the issues some of us have with the iPad app is the lack of a list view. Perhaps a list view would help with this problem of displaying so much information at once. Related to this, it is frequently requested that we can get lists of things, like tags, notebooks, shared notes, etc. Perhaps incorporating the ability to generate a note with a list of X into the app would solve the problem.robfuzz - I have an aesthetic question about Evernote for iOS. When you redesigned it some time ago you changed the color scheme within the app from green to blue. The green elephant icon is so well known and it seems you like to use green with your other apps. When I open Evernote though on my phone it’s like I'm entering another app. If there were some green in there, say you changed the + add button to green, it would feel more connected. Nitpitcky I know but it’s been on my mind.Andrew Sinkov - @robfuzz That's a good point. Our goal, first and foremost, is to create the best user experience. We are actually working on some pretty major UI updates on various platforms. Stay tuned.robfuzz - Thanks Andrew for commenting. I look forward to the UI updates (esp the green ones!)mcd78 - Thanks Phil, are you guys going to develop an separate app for this stuff (Since you acquire the Egretlist guys) or build it into the main EN app?Phil Libin - @mcd78 to-do lists, due dates, reminders, etc. will be in the main Evernote apps since that's core "productivity" functionality. We may also come out with individual, light-weight apps, to experiment with creative UX ideas, but not at the expense of keeping those features out of the main apps.GrumpyMonkey - Thanks Phil. That is good to hear about those features coming to the main app.joelhwilliams - thanks @engberg - I'm having trouble like freezing while trying to scrolling through folders to get to the folder I need & freezing in a search, so for instance I can't cancel a search I start if i forgot to switch from default "all notebooks" to "this notebook" (wish I could switch that default)gbarry - FYI, if you do have very specific support questions, please send them to our support queue: https://www.evernote...ontact/support/joelhwilliams - thanks @gbarry - I think I've mentioned the "offline tags" in a support conversation before, but I'd love to hear the "C Suite" thoughts on the idea - esp. after being left hanging in the podcast since "offline notebooks" were confused with "local notebooks"emtunc - Hello and good day to all. Can we please have an update for the Evernote application for the BlackBerry PlayBook? The EN application has not been working for nearly 2 months now so I hope for some good news concerning this. The PlayBook has great hardware, very portable and cheap hence why I am pushing for bulk orders for an educational institute. However for this to go through we will need a working, supported Evernote application!engberg - @emctunc - I hadn't heard that the playbook app wasn't working at all. The last I heard, it was working correctly. We'll have to look into that.emtunc - @engberg I believe a forum mod commented on the topic in the BB forums quite a while back now - if you could take a look and update the thread in that forum I (and many others) would be grateful!gbarry - yes, you can direct an Playbook questions offline to me in the forum. It's definitely something we're working on.mdalves - Springpad launched a new version yesterday and media consider it as a mix of Evernote and Pinterest. What's your perception about this? May it affect the Evernote future developments?engberg - @mdalves - Springpad's a neat application, but I haven't tried the latest. It looks like they're going in more of a Pinterest direction, which is definitely a hot area right nowengberg - we tend to focus more on your own use of your own memories rather than social discussion boards, but it's interestingspg SCOTT - Q: What is the point of the author field? As far as I can tell it is filled in when notes are emailed in, but is otherwise unused. I had an idea of using it as a special field since it accepts strings (perhaps a date - until something better arises).rkapurple - Q: on the back of GrumpyMonkey - what's the latest timeframe from adding ability to 'create' note links in iOS clients? mentioned by Phil in the last podcast.engberg – I sent an email to our product manager for Playbook to clarify, thanksBasieBand - I still have problems with portrait photos appearing as landscape when taken with iPhone and added to Evernote.heather - @BasieBand Evernote does not support EXIF data at the present time - your phone is "virtually" creating a portrait image out of a landscape one. We *may* add support for this in the future, but each platform reads EXIF information differently.emtunc - Q: Are there plans to add offline storage to the PlayBook app? This is something on a lot of people's wish-listengberg - @emtunc - building a client to perform full synchronization turns out to be a really hard problem. When we've done that in the past (e.g. iOS), it's been about as much work as the rest of the application combined. So we're definitely considering it, but I don't think it's something that we're planning to release soon due to the level of effortbluesky_ca - Is the "favorites" notebook going to show up back at the top of the list of notebooks on the iOS? How come there's no "favorites" notebook in the PC desktop version?mcd78 - Awesome Phil, look forward to it.saybar - thanks for the great product! Do you have any plans to increase security - for example, notifications of failed logins or email confirm for logins from new devices?GrumpyMonkey - I know I have already asked a bunch of questions, but perhaps I can throw some more out there in a big message:GrumpyMonkey - 1. Why was the search explanation bar removed from the Mac app? Any chance of getting it back?GrumpyMonkey - 2. Any chance of getting a "save and continue" button on the ipad, or saving after each keystroke (as some other apps do)? It's always a worry on the iPad about losing data if an app crashes.joelhwilliams - thanks for the "offline tag" reply @engberg - I can see the UI issue with scrolling through 10000 tags - it would just be a hugely useful approach to be able to eliminate notebooks all together and use only tags - a note being able to be associated with only one notebook is exactly my problem - I have information that needs to be associated with multiple projects (more than one client may want the same kitchen sink, for instance) and tags simplify that for me.Dave B. - I am very interested in the ability to encrypt an entire note, including any attachments. The ability to encrypt selected bits of text is fine for some things, but there are others -- tax records, for example -- which I'd love to keep in Evernote, but would prefer to not have to put in an encrypted 7-zip file first. I realize I'd lose the ability to search the content of encrypted notes, bug tags would be sufficient for my needs when needing to locate the relevant notes.thesab - Will the Due Date field/functionality be generic enough to be used as Source Date for a note? It's the one thing that prevents me from using Evernote efficiently as a information archive.mdalves - + 1 for a way to lock individual notes.billy - Everyone who read the article got a kick out of the robot. Phil, do you like communicating like that when you're out of the office?GrumpyMonkey - @Geoff. Thanks for commenting on the search explanation bar. Look forward to the community discussion.emtunc - @engberg Thanks for the reply - are we talking months, late this year or hard to tell?heather - @emtunc We like to take our time to do things right.gbarry - @emtunc and we don't necessarily give release dates.emtunc - Thanks @heather and @gbarry - I hope to see something soon!emtunc - More importantly, a working app!shalinigupta -Are there plans to further expand social media sharing options - possibly to LinkedIn? Path? YouTube? etc?Andrew Sinkov - @shalinigupta Evernote is fundamentally about private information, but the ability to selectively share across social networks that you value is important. We're exploring options to allow for that.shalinigupta - thanks!joelhwilliams - did I see mention of "favorites"? the ability to "favorite" a note is one I've found very useful in Dropbox that I'd love to see in Evernotejoelhwilliams - and what was the mention of "templates" in iOS? have I missed something? I use iOS but haven't noticed templatesheather - @joelhwilliams "favorites" are a legacy feature on the iPhone clientjoelhwilliams - thanks @heatherrobfuzz - Could you please offer some larger type sizes for notes in Evernote iOS? The type especially in Evernote for iPhone is very small! In general I'm not sure why the font styles and sizes you choose in Evernote for Desktop don't carry over to the iOS counterparts.engberg - @robfuzz - notes can actually have text with a huge variety of sizes (under the covers), but we know that that can result in some inconsistencies in displays of different resolutionsengberg - which is a little bit of a tough balance, since if the "default" text size on iOS was a lot bigger, than clipped notes would look a lot worse since most web clips assume a certain screen sizeengberg - so we're doing some tweaking to try to come up with more elegant heuristicsalexk7110 - Any plans for autocomplete of advanced search terms on desktop ?engberg - @alexk7110 - we're working on a number of changes to the desktop UI, and I think that autocomplete is definitely something in that categoryengberg - I think the details are still in flux, but we want to make it much easier to enter content and search on the desktopalexk7110 - Once looking for eg. Tag:blah the blah part could be autocompleteengberg - @alexk7110 - that's a good example of where we'd like to do more autocomplete. we do some of that on some of our platforms, but autocomplete hasn't appeared as much on the desktop clientsGrumpyMonkey - I am piggy-backing on the question I asked earlier about future plans for the iPad. From the forum: "the ipad app is easily one of the best productivity apps available in the apple marketplace. Yet, I feel like it is only scratching the surface of what is possible with the device. What I’d like to see is an app that stands on its own (no need for us to fire up the computer to add note links) and provides all of the major features along with a stunningly well-designed UI.gbarry - Seeing some good questions around security, which we've been pretty clear on in various forum posts. I'll search around for those and direct users to them at a later time.gbarry - @GM: feature parity is definitely a major focus for every appgbarry - we've had some great internal discussions, often kicked off by forum users, on changes and adjustments we can make to the UImdalves - I'd like to have categorization and sorting options in the Trunk.engberg - @mdalves - thanks, we definitely plan to revamp the UI in the trunk to let you (e.g.) filter down to entries that are only on Androidengberg - that's been a bit of a gap for a while, and we're doing some overhauls, but it's taking a bit longer than we expectedmdalves - thanks @engberggbarry - @mdalves: the Trunk goes along with some of our other major web redesigns. I'm thinking most recently of the launch of http://dev.evernote.com/. We're working to overhaul, as Dave mentioned, major areas of our websitebluesky_ca - Maybe this is the wrong place for this question, but I don't understand offline notebooks. I have an iPod Touch (wifi only) and if I download and open a note while online, I can see it when I'm offline. What's the difference with that and offline notebooks (or where do I find that answer)?engberg - @bluesky_ca - if you mark a notebook as "offline", that will pull all of the contents of all of the notes down to your device so you know that you can see them when you don't have networkingengberg - whereas what you're seeing is more simple caching ... it may happen to have a copy because you looked at it latelyengberg - but that's not as reliable, and would be tedious to do that for hundreds of notes in a big nbbluesky_ca - Oh, ok, thanks!GrumpyMonkey - @bluesky. Notes sometimes get cached in local memory, but not permanently. Here is a link: https://support.ever...ernote-for-iPadjoelhwilliams - @bluesky_ca if you have a .pdf attached to a note that is NOT in an offline notebook and you're away from wifi/3g, you can see the note and that there is a .pdf attached, but you can't open the .pdf because it's not downloaded. with the note in an "offline notebook", you can open the .pdf because offline notebooks download the entire .pdf and store it for use offline instead of just downloading the thumbnailwhuber - Any chance you are bringing back template functionality like you had in version 1 and 2?Phil Libin - There are big iOS changes in the works, both for iPhone and iPad. Versions 4.3 will have the same general UI but be based on a completely overhauled code base and be much faster on almost all operations. The next version after that - 5.0 - will have big improvements to the UI and feature set. Both will be out in the next few months.GrumpyMonkey - @Phil Sounds exciting. Would you be willing to let us in on any details? For instance, what were some of the factors driving your decision to make the overhaul? What issues were you hoping to address?Phil Libin - @GrumpyMonkey Sure, we'll set up something to discuss the next wave of design improvements across all platforms. There are unified factors driving all of it.GrumpyMonkey - @Phil. Thanks a lot. Looking forward to it!JMichael - Do you have any near term plans to fix the big security hole with Trunk Apps -- The app has all permissions (read/edit all notes) even if it only need ADD Note permission?engberg - @JMichael - for each application, we can control which permissions they receive. We do work with the developers when they release the application to allow them to choose the "minimal" set that they believe they need for their app. However, sometimes they actually need more to fully perform the operations they need. For example, an app that allows you to create notes may need to be able to read your account to give you a list of destination Notebooksengberg - sometimes, the reason for those permissions isn't completely clear. Sort of like why it may not be clear why Evernote for (e.g.) Android asks to see your contact list. That’s needed if you ever want to email a note to someone, so we can show a list of optionsJMichael - @engberg But that still allows the Trunk App to read all my Notes. When we install a Trunk App we should be able to limit its permissions in my Evernote account.Brallan - Nesting / Hierarchy..... ever in EN??Andrew Sinkov - @Brallan That was a popular request, so we made some changes a little while back. You can now visually organize your notebooks into Stacks, so you can have a collection of notebooks in a 'work' stacks or 'home' stacks. You can also organize tags hierarchically.Brallan - I am aware of stacks... so the answer (so far) is "no," -- I will probably look elsewhere - thanksrobfuzz - @engberg I didn't realize the notes you create yourself and the clipped content were connected in that way. There's no way to have the clipped content stay the default text size but self-created notes could have a choice of one size larger and it wouldn't affect clipped text?engberg - @robfuzz - if a note just has some text in it without explicitly including the font size, then each platform has a "default" font and size. On some (e.g. Windows) that's configurable, but not currently on ioswhuber - I read a while back that the IPhone / IPad apps offer the use of templates on their "new" tab. Are you going to offer this feature on Android and, most importantly to me, on Windows PC also, and when?Phil Libin - @whuber Templates are a long time in coming, but they'll be there.shalinigupta - Not sure if this is already possible but will UI enhancements include the ability to customize/personalize interface? For example if a university wanted to include their logo on each note, etc.Phil Libin - @shalingupta You can customize the welcome page that people in your organization will see when you invite them to a sponsored group, but you can't customize the main UI.engberg - @shalinigupta - we do have some customization in some of our apps (e.g. the toolbar on Mac), but we don't currently have "skinning" or "branding". We did a little testing of this on our web UI, but it's a bit more complicated on our desktop apps due to the competition for pixelsjoelhwilliams - In the Evernote Trunk, would you consider separating "Mobile" into platform - nothing more depressing than scrolling through the mobile apps to see what sounds like a cool third party app and finding it isn't available for your mobile platformAndrew Sinkov - @joelhwilliams Great point. We're working on a Trunk redesign that will make all of that much easier.emtunc - @engberg, will someone post us an update on the BB forum regarding the PlayBook app?gbarry - @emtunc: I'll definitely be in touch with an update on the Playbookthesab - Will shared notebooks get nested tags?emtunc - thank you gbarrybluesky_ca - I didn't realize that my notes were only downloaded "temporarily" in cache. If I upgraded to premium and used offline notebooks, would that impact the amount of memory/storage used on my iPod Touch?engberg - @bluesky - no, the caching memory space is independent of your account level. to be sure you have a copy of your notes, you'd upgrade and then use offline notebooks explicitlygbarry - alright, I think we're nearing the end of our time with Phil, Dave, and Andrewgbarry - they've already stayed past their time with us, so thank you all for taking the time to answer some user questionsmdalves - Thanks for your time.engberg - thanks!GrumpyMonkey - Thanks a lot!gbarry - a few of us will stick around to close out the threads and any remaining questionsspg SCOTT - Got one that was missed:What is the point of the author field? As far as I can tell it is filled in when notes are emailed in, but is otherwise unused. I had an idea of using it as a special field since it accepts strings (perhaps a date - until something better arises).Phil Libin - @spgSCOTT the author field is about to get a lot more useful, once our collaboration redesign is deployedJMichael - Will you be posting a transcript of this chat?GrumpyMonkey - @JM yes. I think that was mentioned earlier.gbarry - @jmichael: yesrobfuzz - thank you!Andrew Sinkov - Thanks everyone!Dave B. - Thanks for your time EN team!spg SCOTT - Thanks Phil, sounds goodPhil Libin - Thanks folks - happy to answer questions directly via email or tweet.
Do You Find Evernote to be a Polished Writing Tool? Evernote CEO Phil Libin was quoted today at the annual Evernote Conference as saying the following. From Evernote Unveils Evernote Context by TechCrunch: I guess this really caught me by surprise since I've seen nothing but complaints about the Evernote text editor. And, the response has often been that if you want a writing tool, or a word processing tool, then go somewhere else. The Evernote Editor seems OK for most note taking, but it doesn't even offer the basics of what one would need for writing and formatting serious documents, articles, etc.. I certainly wouldn't call it "polished". Far from it. Seems like if “Evernote wants to be the best place for writing”, it has a long ways to go. What's your opinion of Evernote as a writing tool? Please indicate the EN Client you use. I use EN Mac.