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Found 5 results

  1. I have listened to, I think, every podcast that Evernote has produced since the beginning. I have always enjoyed them and gleaned useful tidbits about how to use Evernote and what their future plans were going to be. This latest podcast really made me scratch my head. This is the first time that I really felt like I wasn't on board with what they were talking about. I think the latest podcast explains a lot of the problems that Evernote has been experiencing lately. They were explaining some of the new direction of the company that they rolled out at the Evernote conference. Apparently, skeuomorphism is out. Any remnants of it must be removed from their product. I don't really have a strong opinion either way on the matter as far as the UI goes. If someone wants leather stitched lining on their computer calendar or, as Apple did up until recently, little remnants of torn away paper on the top of their calendar, that's fine with me. As the podcast went on though, they went on to something which I think is actually a bad idea. Phil Libin is apparently on the warpath against 'Cognitive Skeuomorphism.' He seems to think that any productivity or application paradigm that has it's basis in actual physical media is not efficient or elegant. Digital applications should discard many of the old concepts and paradigms of physical media. They pointed out how file cabinets, documents, files, even inboxes when used in digital applications or software is 'Cognitive Skeuomorphism.' They lost me there. These things were developed and have been used for many decades because they work. People understand these concepts and have developed workflows that use them. They are efficient conceptual patterns to organize and do productive work. I didn't get the impression from listening to the podcast that they were pointing out anything fundamentally wrong about these things but merely that since we are more advanced now and using digital applications, we should find new paradigms because we can. It all seemed very elitist and condescending to the average user who just wants to have his files, inboxes and documents without worrying about 'Cognitive Skeuomorphism' or being forced in to new work flows or patterns without a good reason. I was thinking that if they had thought this much about it, there must be some compelling new ways to approach old problems and to break free of all our old cognitive skeuomorphisms. What have they come up with as they push forward in to this new age? They devoted months of developers time and countless hours to come up with ---- Work Chat! They took Evernote and bolted on a 90's era Internet Messenger client. Not exactly cutting edge, new wave thinking. Work chat feels like they had a problem. They wanted to monetize Evernote more, attract more business paying clients and keep them in Evernote. They wanted to turn Evernote from a Remember Everything, intelligent application that stored everything and could recall it easily into a "Work Space." Unfortunately, this is not what Evernote was originally designed to do. Redesigning and repurposing the already existing client, servers and databased to pursue this new goal is difficult and ultimately will never be as good as other applications already out there which do it much better. They talked about how difficult it was to get this Work Chat client working and being able to scale to millions of users. I thought to myself, that's interesting that they are focusing so much on getting scalability working for Work Chat when they can't even solve the scalability problems for users with large databases of notes, which is supposed to be the fundamental purpose of Evernote. I also thought it was a little humorous when they said early in the podcast that they had banned PowerPoint at Evernote headquarters. Later in the podcast, Phil was musing about how great Presentation mode is because when he walks around the office, he sees everyone using it. That tends to happen when you ban the other application that does this well. (Presentation mode has it's uses but doesn't really compare to power point). They also were singing the praises of Context on the podcast. In the first half of the podcast, they extolled the virtues of the clean, uncluttered workspace. They said how pointless it was to have buttons and distractions around the interface that were not frequently used. They seemed to assume that everyone agrees with them and wants to have a clear, white blank interface to type in. Maybe there are some people out there who like having ready access to many options and buttons and their list of notes displayed are not distracted by them? The ironic thing is that Context is distracting for me and I can't figure out why anyone would want Evernote mining their notes and coming up with searches for information that I haven't asked for. I don't need to see a "Linked In" box for everyone mentioned in my note. I think it's usually superfluous and if I really wanted the information it's only a google search away. They kept saying how Evernote wants us to "work better" and that Context will enable us to do this. Even if Context worked 100% as advertised, I see it as marginally useful at best and distracting waste of space at worst. Context is a basically re-packaged 'Related Notes.' I have used Evernote every day for the past 5 years and I can't think of one time that I actually saw something in 'Related Notes' while I was working and clicked on it. If I'm searching for something, that's what the search box is for. The one thing Context does do is provide revenue stream for Evernote because I'm sure the WSJ is paying for the privilege of their articles showing up in my Evernote client. Listening to Andrew Sinkov's presentation at the evernote conference and his desire to 'bend the universe,' it seems like Evernote's braintrust has been bored and doesn't want to just be an excellent storehouse for information and data retrieval that synced across multiple platforms and devices. Which they were very good at. They wanted to do something exciting like becoming a collaborative tool for businesses. As has been pointed out elsewhere in the forums, they could have done this more gradually and introduced another client for this purpose that integrated well with the core application. I really appreciated that in the past Evernote focused on doing the core services well and did not want to venture out in to tasks and services that they were not good at. They developed a robust API and actively encouraged developers to broaden the features and capabilities of the core Evernote application. This allowed them to focus laser-like on their original purpose of storing and retrieving and cataloging a user's information. Adobe has done this well over the years. They have maintained the features of the Adobe Photoshop application for many, many years. They have added on features but have not deprecated or removed features. Microsoft does a lot of things wrong but they certainly understand the importance of backward compatibility and stability in their applications especially when it comes to businesses. The longer that an application is out there and being used by businesses and individuals, the more critical it is not to break workflows. Not to arbitrarily remove features. Evernote must think that it is still a start up company that can ignore the needs of it's users and make fundamental course changes abruptly and without preparing users for the changes or providing ways for them to maintain their previous work flows. Anyway, that's enough of a rant. I have been a big Evernote fan for years and have introduced many people to it. I am saddened to see the new directions they are taking and feel like it will be detrimental to the company in the long run when they lose focus on what made them successful. Evernote for now is unique in the features and advantages that it offers and this makes it difficult to switch. I never really considered moving to another platform until the past few months. I'm hopeful they'll have a change of heart and return to their roots and make Evernote better and more reliable than ever. I hope they will listen to the feedback of users about their design changes that are causing more turmoil than needed and provide a stable client and interface. They should enable users to maintain their work flows and configure their clients to the way they want to use them. Serving the customers needs, not your own, and recognizing the difference, is the foundation of a solid company. ----- As a side note, I'm not sure when this podcast was recorded, but it would have been nice for them to at least acknowledge some of their missteps recently, especially with the Penultimate app (I think the infinite scrolling with out pages is attributable to the new war against 'Cognitive Skeuomorphism') and the new Mac user interface and at least briefly discuss their response to it.
  2. ScottLougheed

    What's going on?

    What's going on, Evernote? Really, what is going on with you folks down in Redwood City? It was almost a year go that Jason Kincaid posted http://jasonkincaid.net/2014/01/evernote-the-bug-ridden-elephant/ and since Libin responded, in which he emphasized the already existing renewed commitment to quality and care that extended back to November 2013: http://blog.evernote.com/blog/2014/01/04/on-software-quality/ Over the summer of 2014 (and sporadically, prior that) many of us former "evangelists" LOUDLY raised our own concerns about the quality of the software and customer support as we had observed and experienced it over the previous year or so. We voiced our concerns directly to Evernote staff through private channels, then added our voices when the other members of the forum raised their own concerns: https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/66103-power-user-discontent-best-alternatives-to-en/ A year after Evernote's rededication to software quality and testing, where are we now? There have been some significant improvements that I think users benefit from a great deal. A few include: Sync being faster on ALL clients, MUCH faster. This is much appreciated.The text editor, at least on the desktop, has been improved with some of the major issues users complained about being ironed out (e.g., some table quirks and image resizing). The web clippers got a makeover and some significant refinement all around the board. While there were some mixed reviews about the changes, I think in general the consensus was positive. There have been some rather trivial improvements to the service as well. Namely: some of the various limits have been increased, so users can share and clip more and bigger things across all subscription levels.Context is an interesting feature and clearly benefits some users even at this early stage. It also generates revenue for Evernote which isn't a bad thing either. Work Chat seems like it could be a productivity booster for small organizations that collaborate using Evernote. Most importantly, there have also been some significant problems this year that hit much more at the heart of the user experience and Evernote's reputation. These issues, from the outside, seem to suggest longstanding, persistent systemic issues at Evernote. I won't rehash the various issues that plagued users earlier this year, there were plenty (and a quick search of this forum will reveal them anyway). Let us instead start this summer. Support This summer and fall saw the retraction of support for free users. This is not, in itself, unreasonable. It seemed to be motivated by a desire to improve the level of support for paying customers while working with finite resources and a burgeoning user base. How this change was executed, however, was problematic. Support for free users for most issues was scaled back and eventually fully retracted without official announcement. Existing tickets submitted by free users before the change was made "official" (exactly when this was is hard to determine) were simply closed, and free users continued to be allowed to submit tickets for weeks after support was revoked. There was a rocky transitional period in which free users with legitimate support requests (e.g., failed iTunes upgrades) were being rejected; the knowledge base lagged (and is still lagging) behind and lacks the requisite detail and robustness to allow self-support; the KB continued to direct all users to support, even though it wasn't universally available; major software and service issues created problems for all users, and free users were not supported. After several months of rockiness, the support expectation for free users has successfully been mitigated and the triaging of support tickets seems to have improved, as there seem to be many fewer false rejections on the forums. However, there seems to be no shortage of premium and business users waiting 3 or more business days to receive their initial human response. This doesn't seem to suggest any improvement over the situation before, when free users received support too. So all of the disruption and change led to what appears to be no noticeable improvement in support for premium users. Software Most recently, a series of very poorly executed releases have taken place, namely Penultimate 6 and Evernote for Mac 6 (also the Web Beta, but that's a bit of a strange case). Penultimate 6 was "publicly" beta tested for at least a couple of weeks, but despite this, the launch was extremely rocky, including reports of data loss, data being moved around, severe usability issues, and other obvious omissions and outright bugs, much of which was noted by Evernote staff. 6.0.1 was released within a week, but this should have been the 6.0 release. If only a week of work was required to address some of the most pressing issues, why wasn't the release a week later? Why wasn't beta testing extended by a week? How much more could have been done if you had taken an extra two weeks to polish things? Evernote 6 was released without any public beta. I am leaving out the aesthetics of the new version here, it has been debated elsewhere in all its subjective glory. My focus here is on honest-to-goodness functional bugs. Evernote 6.0 and 6.0.1 (frustratingly co-existing depending on how a user acquired it) presented numerous, seemingly widespread bugs that would have easily be caught in a brief beta period. Some low hanging fruit include: the title reverting to "untitled" upon printingColumn headers looking sloppy (and unreadable) because they accidentally displaying list contents when lists scrolledNote contents not appearing, or appearing slowly, or appearing sporadicallySporadic reports of data loss, corruption, or other similar things. Continuation of the general trend of (re)moving features and changing workflows abruptly and without clear documentation. We have received some interesting new features that are geared towards a very specific target user. I am thinking of Work Chat and Context here. Yet, we continue to see immensely buggy releases that are, by Evernote's own admission, half baked, and long-standing issues go un-addressed. Summary Support was shaken up dramatically and there has been no significant improvement as far as I can see. Despite a year of committing to improved software and service quality, there have been at least two major releases ridden with bugs and other very serious issues. This has included such foot-shooting as releasing major updates without public beta testing. Lots of new shiny features accompanied by a general failure to address longstanding issues and improve on fundamental elements of the applications and service. In a year since Evernote's commitment to quality, we have seen repeated failures to actually demonstrate that commitment. Repeated, obvious failures. In general this comes across as though Evernote is rushing or being outright careless with their releases. While I am still an avid user, I have become very cautious about the extent to which I rely on Evernote for most things and the integrity of what I store within Evernote. I have become more diligent about keeping critical documents duplicated elsewhere, and I no longer rely on Evernote for offline access to my travel documents. The number of bugs I have personally experienced (and I have experienced very few of the bugs that I see reported around here), and the reports of bugs on various online communities, have also meant that I no longer unequivocally recommend Evernote to my family, friends, and colleagues. The issues and struggles I have experienced and observed others experience, and the rapid pace at which features come, go, or are fundamentally changed, has made Evernote a bit of a liability with which I'd rather not become implicated by recommending its use. Additional Notes All of what I have written here is based on anecdotal evidence, largely from what I have observed in the years I have participated in this forum and been an Evernote user. Evernote will have far more valid and reliable data about how often many of these problems occur, how long users are waiting for a response from support, etc. So my observations here must be taken with a grain of salt. They may not accurately reflect the reality of the broader user base. While I see Evernote as a "liability", what I mean more than anything is that Evernote has shifted from being something I feel very secure and comfortable using as a repository for my important information, to being something that I feel now carries a much larger element of risk of loss. In other words, I feel less secure and less comfortable now, than in the past, (as opposed to feeling outrightly insecure and outrightly uncomfortable) Much of what I am discussing here isn't exactly related to whether Evernote listens or not. Evernote clearly does listen to its users. I have no doubt in my mind that most of what users are saying is heard by Evernote staff, and that many of these things are taken account of. Developing software and services is always a balancing act between the goals and vision of the company, and the perceived expectations of users. This post is not about whether Evernote is listening to preferences about colour or a linux client. Evernote, what's going on? We've seen new shiny features and minor qualitative improvements (mostly with sync), but we are persistently presented with a slew of new bugs and various other issues. What we haven't seen is a marked improvement in overall quality in a year where overall quality was your explicitly stated goal.
  3. I have been an Evernote Premium member for 2 and a half years, and recently I noted some changes of this application. Let say Evernote Food, in which I used to used almost every day, had uploading issues since iOS 8. The staff just said they are looking into the problems and have not had any bug fix update for almost two months, i.e. the app has become useless. Most ridiculously, Evernote didn't further communicate with us here, didn't say how they will treat the app (say shutting down Evernote Food) but they spoke it to media instead... (see here: The company will also stop investing in existing consumer products, including Evernote Food.) Hello is another example however the feature has already been replaced by its own Evernote app. I understand that the company has to earn money, and at least, they have to look for funding more effectively to enhance sustainability. Just like Google, in which the company has a lot of products, but in one day they stop some applications... But the problem is, some services in Evernote have been gone so quietly. Some users paid for it but may not feel secure when using Evernote. I like Evernote and think it's not only a note-taking app, but a space for me to figure out what I should do in the future. Thus I had more and more memories in the Evernote cloud. I know that Evernote will change continuously, but at the same time begin to feel insecure about its series of policies, especially something without being told... Maybe Evernote will one day give up the consumer market and just focus on the business one...
  4. In the conference, Libin mentioned in passing the four things that supposed to replaced the old archaic systems we use today. It was writing, organizing, (I think), finding, and presenting? Anyone recalls? In the video this part starts with "everybody writes," and then he continues. I'm sitting at a Starbucks with a crappy WiFi and I can't view the video. Can anyone tell me quick? I want to write a post about it. The man has a vision, but he doesn't know how to communicate some of his ideas. Part of it is because people need more breadcrumbs to get to the points he's trying to make, and at other times he just seem to swallow his words and feel nervous about his unsuccessful jokes. I'm not mocking the man, talking in front of an audience is hard! And he strikes me as an introvert. Anyway, if anyone has any idea what I'm talking about, please help out!
  5. Blossom

    REQUEST: Zoom

    Hi there, I am using a Mac as it has superior accessibility features (I have a visual impairment) However, I am shocked to find out that Evernote does not appear to have a simple zoom function? Or am I missing something? Is it really impossible to zoom into notes? If this is the case, could you please add a 2x, 4x, 8x, 10x, ...... zoom function? If I am missing something, please point me towards where I can find the zoom option. Thanks & cheers.
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