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kyniver

Feature Request: Better Note Taking - Improving the core of Evernote

Idea

Fundamentally, Evernote is a note-taking app. That is, it's for writing stuff down quickly and ensuring this tedious process is as enjoyable as possible. I feel the note taking experience is what set Evernote apart in the beginning, but over time, it has now been pushed to the back and forgotten. 

To be frank, the experience of writing notes in Evernote is generations behind other note-taking apps. Bear and Ulysses are two great examples of an experience of note taking that is enjoyable and intuitive. A big reason for this is that they allow for preset text styling using H1, H2, H3, etc. 

Having this alone will drastically make the experience better on Evernote. I'm sick of highlighting text, navigating to colours and font size, etc. to change headings. Then having to go through that all again for the next heading. 

Feature Request: I would seriously love font styling on the Evernote app.

 

 

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1 hour ago, kyniver said:

Fundamentally, Evernote is a note-taking app. That is, it's for writing stuff down quickly

I'd agree with this, but then you go into a request for word processing functions.

"headings" seems inconsistent with note-taking ... writing things down quickly

I'm more interested in Evernote as a filing solution. I turn to dedicated word processing apps for my serious writing

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Personally, I would welcome adding features such as styles, markdown support and collapsible sections.  I see no inconsistency at all.  I don't think anyone is asking for an MS Word replacement and I'm sure many do use EN to write more than the occasional scrap of information.  Why arbitrarily hold EN back?  They should strive to provide a better editor experience. I've up voted.

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Styles,  colours,  outline text,  markdown - all much requested and all actively being worked on (search 'common editor' for background) but...

1 hour ago, kyniver said:

Fundamentally, Evernote is a note-taking app.

<sigh>

Evernote's entire marketing department must be revolving in their recliners.  At least you didn't say '...just a note-taking app'  :D

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21 hours ago, s2sailor said:

Why arbitrarily hold EN back?

I up-voted the request.  Addirional editing features would be a benefit
I did not intend to indicate "holding EN back"

My comment on consistency was in the OP starting the request with "Fundamentally, Evernote is a note-taking app...writing stuff down quickly"

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21 hours ago, DTLow said:

I'd agree with this, but then you go into a request for word processing functions.

"headings" seems inconsistent with note-taking ... writing things down quickly

I'm more interested in Evernote as a filing solution. I turn to dedicated word processing apps for my serious writing

It seems like your definiton of note-taking is more suitable for "scribbling".

Note-taking is about condensing information for easy access/understanding/recall. A big part of making it easy to access/understand/recall is the structure of a note. Structure includes outlining, headers etc. Evernote seems to think so as well, since they have emphazised Evernote as your second brain, and not as a collection of Post-its.

It is obvious that Evernote isn't prioritizing such features, and that is of course Evernote's business choice. I'm sure Evernote has its good reasons for why they chose to prioritize the way they do. But there is no reason to try and rationalize that choice by saying that adding headers is not a part of note-taking.

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1 hour ago, gustavgi said:

It is obvious that Evernote isn't prioritizing such features

Not sure it's 'obvious' what Evernote is doing - they had a lot of criticism over a long period for 'choosing' to ignore complaints about bullets,  indents and general paragraph basics.  Turned out they couldn't realistically improve such features on an OS-by-OS basis -  impractical amounts of overlapping development  work were required. 

What they did,  over a couple of years,  was to develop the 'common editor' and integrate that into all their apps.  A huge amount of work - but all 'under the hood' to allow them to make more cosmetic changes more quickly in the future.  Since the team don't generally share updates and progress reports it wasn't apparent that anything was actually happening.

Some fixes just take an extra character or an extra line in the code,  so are 'easy' to apply - subject to finding the right place to make changes,  testing out what else happens after the change is made (i.e. your 'fix' isn't making a bad situation worse),  and then including the change in the next release.

Others - like the text style example - mean physically replacing big chunks of the existing app with something completely new.  The company may have spent thousands of hours getting to the current setup,  and have -so far- fixed all the bugs that have come to light over a period of years.  Rewriting that sort of code from scratch is not something you'd do lightly or quickly

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14 minutes ago, gazumped said:

Not sure it's 'obvious' what Evernote is doing - they had a lot of criticism over a long period for 'choosing' to ignore complaints about bullets,  indents and general paragraph basics.  Turned out they couldn't realistically improve such features on an OS-by-OS basis -  impractical amounts of overlapping development  work were required. 

What they did,  over a couple of years,  was to develop the 'common editor' and integrate that into all their apps.  A huge amount of work - but all 'under the hood' to allow them to make more cosmetic changes more quickly in the future.  Since the team don't generally share updates and progress reports it wasn't apparent that anything was actually happening.

Some fixes just take an extra character or an extra line in the code,  so are 'easy' to apply - subject to finding the right place to make changes,  testing out what else happens after the change is made (i.e. your 'fix' isn't making a bad situation worse),  and then including the change in the next release.

Others - like the text style example - mean physically replacing big chunks of the existing app with something completely new.  The company may have spent thousands of hours getting to the current setup,  and have -so far- fixed all the bugs that have come to light over a period of years.  Rewriting that sort of code from scratch is not something you'd do lightly or quickly

Well Evernote did and still do implement features on a platform-by-platform basis. And since that is impractical, I would say that it is pretty obvious from your text that they moving in the direction of prioritizing homogeneity, development effectiveness and stability, instead of just trying to rush new features to the platforms. And like I said, Evernote probably have good reasons for the priorities. And most people would probably agree that this type of long term strategy is the way to go. Hopefully we will see faster implementations of new features in the future as a result of this strategy.

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For a note-taking app, the editor is the probably the weakest part of Evernote and has been for a long time, across all platforms. Hell, even the editor on these forums is better than the one in the app.

Yes, they have been working on the "common editor" for years but we are yet to see the fruits of their labour. By the time they actually release it, their editor will be lagging behind most modern editors again and we will be in the same situation that we are currently in.

To be frank, we as customers shouldn't have to care with how complex it is to develop a better editor for Evernote. It's Evernote's job to improve it — they get paid to do it and it should be done in a reasonable time frame. But it's clear from the length of time they're taking to actually implement it, a better editor is not at all a priority for them, even though this is one of the most frequently brought up topics on these forums.

We shouldn't have to "vote" on the forum to get a better editor. It's the core of the app and they should be actively and frequently be improving on it. It's unacceptable that they've been taking years to develop it and it still hasn't been released.

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44 minutes ago, lonewolf said:

For a note-taking app, the editor is the probably the weakest part of Evernote

I find the editor adequate for notes; for word processing, I use dedicated apps

I welcome any addition to the editing features, but I don't find them necessary for my use of Evernote
 

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On 3/15/2017 at 9:50 AM, kyniver said:

I'm sick of highlighting text, navigating to colours and font size, etc. to change headings. Then having to go through that all again for the next heading. 

Feature Request: I would seriously love font styling on the Evernote app.

For a note taking app, I would think that outline mode/collapsible text is far more important than further work on font styling, all of which is already available albeit not in the manner the OP would like.

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12 minutes ago, tavor said:

I would think that outline mode/collapsible text is far more important

Regarding voting

We don't get to down vote feature requests
You can find an existing request or start a new one

Also we only get to add/subtract our vote; we don't get to indicate importance
I just add my vote to any requests that I would benefit from

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1 hour ago, DTLow said:

I find the editor adequate for notes; for word processing, I use dedicated apps

I welcome any addition to the editing features, but I don't find them necessary for my use of Evernote
 

If it's adequate for your use-case, that's fine — for you.

For me, and judging by the forums, for a lot of other people, it is not adequate. I don't want to have to use another app to compose or edit a "serious", well constructed note and then have to copy and paste it back into Evernote. This should be possible in Evernote itself — it is a note-taking app after all.

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1 hour ago, lonewolf said:

I don't want to have to use another app to compose or edit a "serious", well constructed note and then have to copy and paste it back into Evernote.

I don't "copy and paste it back into Evernote"

I have no problem with my "well constructed" document existing as an note attachment in Word/Pages format.  I  usually convert to PDF format when I'm done with editing

In addition to not needing the extra copy/paste work, I find the EN doesn't support all the word processing features; as  per this feature request we're posting in (header styles)

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36 minutes ago, DTLow said:

I don't "copy and paste it back into Evernote"

I have no problem with my "well constructed" document existing as an note attachment in Word/Pages format.  I  usually convert to PDF format when I'm done with editing

Like I said, that is your use-case and I'm glad it works for you.

I use it for taking notes. That is what this thread is discussing — requesting that Evernote improve their editor so that we don't have to use other apps to create and edit well constructed and formatted notes.

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2 hours ago, tavor said:

I would think that outline mode/collapsible text is far more important ...

This one is pretty high on my list as well.  There are several different feature requests out there for this.  I've up voted every one I could find. :)

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+1 on this. And I realise this has been proposed ad nauseum, but a distraction free write mode would be spectacularly useful. I used to use the web app on full screen for this purpose, but the new update (while very pretty) messed up the margins. Am I alone in not wanting to write on the whole screen, and needing my text centered?

 

 

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The best solution, and one very workable for me, is to use Magnet which allows me to create 2 or more non-collapsing windows. I then use one window for Evernote and its superior note-taking and capturing facility and use the second window for my writing app, either MS Word or Scrivener. YMMV, but it works for me.

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6 hours ago, lometogo said:

The best solution, and one very workable for me, is to use Magnet ... I then use one window for Evernote and its superior note-taking and capturing facility and use the second window for my writing app, either MS Word or Scrivener. 

Why is Magnet the best solution for the "Better Note Taking" request?

I'm cool with using a dedicated writing app for notes requiring extended features.

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