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crane

(Archived) Comments on New 542 Release

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So, new windows desktop release. How exciting. Nice to see that at least the attributes can be filtered based on the notebook you're in.

However,

* still can't filter saved searches based on the notebook

* still can't manually sort tags or saved searches

* still can't have over 32 saved searches (are you guys insane or what?)

* still can't put saved searches in with tags

* still can't do a saved search on something like "@next"

* still can only do the intersection of tags, e.g., tag A AND tag B. No tag A OR tag B. No negation.

* doesn't seem to be any way of combining selection of tags and saved searches, e.g., find all notes tagged with A, which have a checkbox (well, without creating a new saved search - but wait, I can't do that because there's a limit of only 32 saved searches.)

To be honest, I'm starting to feel as if I'm wasting my time with this beta. This software cannot replace the functionality that's so important to me from 2.2. It's pretty, yes, but there's more to life than looks.

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To be honest, I'm starting to feel as if I'm wasting my time with this beta.

+1, sadly.

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To be honest, I'm starting to feel as if I'm wasting my time with this beta.

+1, sadly.

+2, alas. I keep poking at it and thinking about it and playing with it, but I want to be able to actually USE it. :)

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+3...no, wait. +1

I'm not so much concerned about the inability to use the product on a regular basis. It's in beta, after all. It's more the direction that the beta is taking is bothering me. Still, we're not to the release candidate yet, so there's still time to make our opinions known and potentially change the direction of this particular ship.

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+2

You only get ONE vote, Marc!

Gotta keep our eyes on Marc, always trying to stuff the ballot box. :)

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To be honest, I'm starting to feel as if I'm wasting my time with this beta.

+1, sadly.

+2, alas. I keep poking at it and thinking about it and playing with it, but I want to be able to actually USE it. :)

Marc,

This is certainly disheartening, after all the help and advice you have given me with EN 2.2. I haven't bothered with this beta yet; after seeing that it appears Evernote has completely changed directions and is becoming primarily a Web-based, "Shared-content" type application, I immediately decided that I would just stick with EN 2.2 for as long as possible.

I have absolutely NO interest in using a Web-based program for my notes, web clipping, etc. My notes are for the most part personal data and thus must remain completely in my control. If they are to be stored on a server and accessed via the Internet, well, that can only occur if it were MY server and only I had access. But this is not the case with EN 3. Protestations aside, each and every application I have seen that is or becomes web-based is that way because users are strogly encouraged to "share" their content. This is why I don't use web apps like LiveJournal. LiveJournal offers online journals that can be shared or private; you can set the default to be "Private", but when using an alternate input method, like posting to it via email, the entries tended to end up as "Public", despite what my default setting was.

There obviously is an impetus to make as much of the uploaded data "Shared" or "Public" as possible. There must be a bigger revenue potential in it - that's all that I can gather. But for me, the possibility of having my personal data exposed on the Web for all to see is too great a liability!

I see where "local" databases - or is it Notebooks? - have been added, but from reading the posts about it the local option seems to be somewhat limited in use. Either way, as long as EN 3 is primarily web-based I will stick with EN 2.2 - until it will no longer work. And if I see that coming ahead of time, I will be migrating all my data to another notes application. Sadly...

Thank you.

Jim

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+2, alas. I keep poking at it and thinking about it and playing with it, but I want to be able to actually USE it. :(

Marc,

This is certainly disheartening, after all the help and advice you have given me with EN 2.2. I haven't bothered with this beta yet; after seeing that it appears Evernote has completely changed directions and is becoming primarily a Web-based, "Shared-content" type application, I immediately decided that I would just stick with EN 2.2 for as long as possible.

Jim

Jim,

Let us keep perspective, please. This is, after all, early Beta code. We do not yet have anything even approaching the (eventual) version of EN 3 that is to fully replace EN 2.2.

My method for "Beta Testing" EverNote code, as I have had the privilege of doing since the early EN 1.* code, is to simply USE it hard, in everyday use, with the full expectation that all the documented features work and that all the features are documented. I pound the living s**t out of EverNote, every day. When I get some new Beta code, I make a careful backup of my working EN databases and then load the new code. I understand that if I run into a total disaster, I may lose a few days worth of notes. So be it (such is the life of a Beta tester).

I should also talk about what I do not do when I test Beta code. I have a long history of architecting, designing, writing, testing, and applying code. In particular, I have worked on "Tiger Teams", teams of people whose goal in life is to break code (and not to be gentle or polite about it). One of the things that formal software testers do is to map out a long list of features and capabilities, and then design a set of tests to stress and break those features and capabilities. I don't do that with EverNote Beta code.

Instead, when I am beating on EverNote Beta code, I simply USE EverNote. I use a broad range of EverNote's features, with special stress on what I call "The Essence of EverNote": self-assigning categories; a hierarchical category tree; and the category intersection panel. I also bring notes into EverNote by nearly all the documented methods, and I output notes in nearly every possible fashion (including exporting partial or whole databases for consumption by other EverNote users).

On an average day, I add at least 25 new clippings to EverNote, and frequently as many as 100. I also regularly prune (delete) notes that I decide I do not need or that I think are superseded by other notes. So I churn my databases quite a bit. I also edit at least 100 notes per day, usually more.

On any given day (I've counted) I send out at least several dozen EverNote notes as e-mail messages, and frequently as many as 100. I get requests for information all the time, and frequently I have some related information sitting in one or more of my EverNote databases. Just about weekly I get requests for someone for information about topic XYZ, and then we start corresponding and it turns out that they also are seeking information about topics ABC and PDQ. So I send out even more notes. All this traffic usually results in people requesting "related" information, so I fire up the EN Classic (2.2) Category Intersection Panel and go looking to see whether I actually have any such related data. Frequently I discover that I do, so I start building many new Automatic Keyword Categories to tag that data in ways I had not thought of previously. I start building new category trees to hold the new categories, indexed into the data (notes, mainly web clippings) to organize what I have. Then I fire up some focused Google searches on the web and on my hard drive to see what else I can find.

That probably sounds pretty abstract, so let me give you a real-life concrete example from the past few weeks. I was asked to provide whatever material I had on fMRI brain scans to a psycho-therapist (PhD) in Minneapolis, my old stomping ground. I have known this therapist since I was a teenager, and she is a close friend of my family. My mother (also a PhD psycho-therapist) was having lunch with her friend, and pulled out a color printout of an EverNote note I had sent her. The EverNote printout had pictures of fMRI brain scans, showing which region of the brain light up when used in a specific fashion. The friend grabbed the printout of the EverNote note out of mother's hand and demanded to know where to get such information. Within a few hours the Supreme Mother In Chief (I bet I'm not the only one in the world who has a Supreme Mother In Chief :P ) had tasked me to pass along whatever material I have on fMRI brain scans and behavior. I had several hundred EverNote notes on the subject (with text, graphics, source URLs, and related links). I began dispatching EverNote notes via e-mail.

Within a few weeks the therapist began passing along additional requests for related information. One request was for the brain region which controls the sucking reflex in human infants. I had no idea whether I had anything about that, so I started running searches on my EverNote databases and probing the Category Intersection Panel. I built a few new Automatic Keyword Categories to see what I had and what I could pass along. I ran Google Desktop Search on both my multiple EverNote databases and on the files on my hard drive. Within a few hours I had dug up the material she was looking for.

The requests for information and relationships kept pouring in. It turns out that she works with Minneapolis and St. Paul parents who have adopted orphans from Russian orphanages. There is absolutely no documentation of what happened to these children before their adoption and transport to the US. Some of these kids (from toddlers to teenagers) exhibit bizarre developmental disorders. So the therapist is looking for information on brain scans showing whether these kids have physical brain damage (trauma, neglect, abuse, or whatever) or whether they have properly functioning neurology and only have to be treated behaviorally. I was able to pull out an article talking about the specific fMRI results for children who had been neglected or abused. There are good fMRI brain scanning resources at the University of Minnesota (my Alma Mater), but the neurologists are not necessarily trained in behavior or childhood developmental disorders and don't necessarily know what to look for. I think you see where I am leading.

EverNote Classic (EN 2.2) is without peer for this sort of a retroactive data mining and fishing expedition. I can find information in my own extensive EN databases, and I can mine my databases for information and relationships that I did not even know I had (the "Essence of EverNote"). It usually takes me just a few hours to find what I have, find what I did not know I had, and to start tracing out through the URLs in the materials I have to find the material that I did not have. All of the newly found material goes into my EN Classic (EN 2.2) databases. As I go along I usually just export the necessary material into a new, special-purpose EN database, and then work with that database.

Sorry for the long real-life "How I Use EverNote 2.2 to Help Make the World a Better Place" story, let us now get back to the discussion of beta testing EN Lite (EN 3 beta).

If I could, I would just move my working EN Classic databases into EN3b and continue doing what I do (using EverNote hard every day, all day). But I can't. Not won't, can't. EN Lite has database size limitations (one of my EN Classic databases is up over 500MB these days). EN Lite only has 32 (or so) "Saved Searches", whereas I need hundreds in any one database, even in my highly focused special-purpose databases. EN Classic lets me build a stand-alone special-purpose database, and then see only the category tree for that one database. EN Lite puts all my notes into a single database, and does not (yet) let me look just at one notebook's notes and only at the tags associated with that one notebook. I have security concerns about EN's web servers, as some of my databases contain privileged information.

So, EN Lite has neat new multi-platform capabilities (which I think are great) and neat new capture tools on my SmartPhone. EN3b is, in my opinion, a technology demonstrator to show what the new EN 3 can do. I think that is great, particularly given all the platforms the EN Development Team is addressing. They need lots of help to beat on the EN software on all the different platforms, and to test how the different platforms play together. I am happy to assist with that aspect of the EN3b Beta Test effort (and I will continue to do so).

But what I REALLY want to do is to slam my EN Classic databases, with 10,000+ notes and with 1,000+ self-assigning categories (EN Classic's Automatic Keyword Categories, EN Lite's Saved Searches) and hammer away in the EN Lite code. But I can't. So I'm frustrated. I want to take the shiny new Formula One race car with the green paint job and the elephant logo decals out for a qualifying lap on the Formula One race track, but all I can use right now is a Toyota Prius with bald tires. The Prius gets great gas milage and can run on many different kinds of race tracks, but it can't yet do what I want to do: open the throttle and start turning laps at 200+ mph.

So I am chomping at the bit for the far more fully-capable version of EN 3,the full EN 2.2 replacement, so I can finally stop calling it EverNote Lite and start calling it EverNote.

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Thanks Marc for your extensive reply! And please don't apologize for your "long real-life "How I Use EverNote 2.2 to Help Make the World a Better Place" story"; I found it immensely interesting!

I guess when I saw the initial comments in this thread, commenting on the loss of functionality when compared to EN 2.2's features, and then especially when I saw your comment expressing agreement, I just started pouring out my tirade of woe! You see, I feel so strongly about putting my personal data online, especially with just the degree of encryption I saw mentioned in a post by one of the EN admins or mods, that I don't even feel comfortable enough to participate in the beta this time. Because that would either require me to expose my data, or pack that all away and create a lot of bogus data just for the purpose of testing. And while I certainly do not use Evernote 2.2 nearly as extensively as you apparently do (then again, who else in the world does?!), I do use it enough that it would hurt to not have it available for the beta's duration. (I don't know it is possible to run EN 2.2 at the same time as EN 3 Beta.)

Anyway, thanks for the treasure trove of info in your reply!

Thank you.

Jim

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Thank you Marc for the perfect summing up of the Beta. I too along with, I suspect many many others feel this lack of basic category/Tag functionality to be very frustrating. How can we test it when the vehicle only has three wheels!

I am just beginning to worry that Evernote is taking the wrong direction and leaving many loyal old users behind!

I wonder if any of the Evernote team can give us a "road map" of where this beta is headed especially with regard to inclusion of Evernote 2.2 category features.

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I'm trying to resign myself to the fact that EN3 is a different piece of software than 2.2. It's hard. I really like the EN product line (consider me a rabid fan) but this new one just isn't cutting it in terms of performance. I love the fact that I can sync easily between computers and the web. I love the power that seems to be hiding in the saved searches (many times I've wished for the ability to create autocategories that filtered on more than one thing), but I keep finding myself hobbled when I try to use it.

To be honest, I find the interface slightly counter-intuitive. Clicking on different things in the left panel seems to do different things. For instance, clicking on a notebook toggles it (we're looking at Notebook A or we're looking at All notebooks). Clicking on a tag does something different. Clicking on a saved search something different again. I'm struggling with trying to *find* stuff, e.g., all notes in recipes that are tagged with butter that have blah blah blah. I'm not even convinced that some of my queries can be done. And, I hate having to jump between tags/attributes/saved searches.

The power in EN2.2 was in the autocategories. Another thread has a discussing about searching vs. organizing. If I have my autocategories set up the way I want; I don't have to do more organizing - notes show up where they're supposed to. However, for me, getting my automacategories means that they're mingled with static tags, in a hierarchy that I design, and can make use of things like "@". What's the point of having a "@waiting" saved search if it won't find "@waiting"? Sigh.

Anyway, I'd love to see a roadmap about what we can expect in the future. My fear is that we're not going to like what's missing from the roadmap :P

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Add my voice to the list of the disillusioned. I use Evernote more than any other program (with the possible exception of my Web browser), and I have grown to depend very heavily on autocategories, cross-linking, etc.

I take marcclarke's point that this is an early beta, and that some of the missing features may reappear later on, but the hints we have been getting lately from the EN team are not encouraging. I remarked on this forum a long time ago that I was annoyed by the constant references to photographing wine labels, and it turns out that this silly-sounding example was an accurate prediction of EN's future: I see now that, while the most experienced users of EN are expressing despair at the deficiencies of the beta, bloggers everywhere are getting excited about recording those labels on their EN Web accounts. Oh dear. It appears that an exceptionally good note-taking program (the best I have ever seen, in fact) is about to be sacrificed for some Web 2.0 fantasy.

I don't want to share my (undoubtedly cool and awesome) wine labels with the world. I want to take notes on a big scale and (like marcclarke) organize, mine, and use that huge body of information for real purposes. EN2.2 made it possible for me to do that; EN3 (so far, at least) does not.

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(I don't know it is possible to run EN 2.2 at the same time as EN 3 Beta.)

Jim

Jim,

Yes, it is indeed possible to run EN 2.2 and EN3b side-by-side. I have both installed and operational on my Windows XP Home laptop. The only place I run into a minor conflict is that the IE 7 right-click menu web clipper is not selectable, if EN3b is running the IE 7 right-click menu's clipper sends to EN3b with no option to send to EN 2.2. In that case, I copy-and-paste to EN 2.2.

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Jim,

I should also have said something about how I use EN Classic (2.2) in conjunction with Google Desktop Search and Google Web Search when I am sent off on one of these fishing expeditions. I start by running GDS on my machine, searching the contents of my EverNote Classic databases and all the files on my hard drive. I have thousands of files in Adobe PDF form on my hard drive. The EN 2.2 integration with GDS lets me look at all the material I already have, and then instantly continue my probe out onto the web.

As I find new, relevant material on the web, I clip it to my EN Classic database(s). Once I do that, the EN Classic Category Intersection Panel (CIP) and the EN Classic Automatic Keyword Categories (AKC) let me see how the newly collected clippings bind to the data that I already have (and I frequently discover relationships in the CIP that I would not have thought to look for).

As my Google web searches start to yield results, I bring those same search terms back into GDS on my hard drive and EN 2.2 databases. My problem is frequently that I don't know what to look for or how to look for it, even though I frequently do have some of the material I seek on my laptop.

So I tend to iteratively loop through local searches, web searches, new EN Classic AKCs, the EN Classic CIP, more local searches, and so on.

EN Lite (EN 3b) does not have GDS integration (yet), so I can't USE it for my heavy-duty data quests. :P

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Thanks for the info, Marc. Google Desktop just hasn't worked for me. I had it installed a few years ago and it did work well for a while but over time its inability to remove deleted files from the archive - as well as its inability to locate moved files - along with the number of "misplaced" file locations, became way too numerous to be effective.

I recently installed it again on my desktop PC but it would not index past 72%, even after several reinstallations. Thinking maybe it was just a conflict on that PC, I tried again with my brand new Dell XPS M-1330 notebook PC - GDS was pre-installed but search indexing was not set-up. I configured it to index and got the same darned problem!! It stopped at 72%!! After several reinstallations on this PC it did finally get as high as 95%, but the index archive was actually too small to have that much data in it, and searches could not find most files. I don't know - I use Eset's NOD32 Anti-Virus on both computers so maybe there is a conflict there.

I am presently testing several other desktop search programs, including Archivarius, which looks promising.

Thanks again.

Jim

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I take marcclarke's point that this is an early beta, and that some of the missing features may reappear later on, but the hints we have been getting lately from the EN team are not encouraging. I remarked on this forum a long time ago that I was annoyed by the constant references to photographing wine labels, and it turns out that this silly-sounding example was an accurate prediction of EN's future: I see now that, while the most experienced users of EN are expressing despair at the deficiencies of the beta, bloggers everywhere are getting excited about recording those labels on their EN Web accounts. Oh dear. It appears that an exceptionally good note-taking program (the best I have ever seen, in fact) is about to be sacrificed for some Web 2.0 fantasy.

If Evernote are determined to follow the Web 2.0 route at the expense of Evernote Classic then maybe they should follow Treepad's example. That is to have different versions available to users for different purposes. http://www.treepad.com/featurechart/

However how would we faithful old users of Evernote Classic know how long our version would be supported with new releases/support etc. :?:

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First thanks to marcclarke for its long post about betatesting.

I think we all do the same: "use" the Beta and push it as far as possible. And Evernote Lite is ....Lite indeed.

Suggestion for Marc: I use the DTSearch program (incredibly good indexing and powerful search in ANY kind of docs). if your database is in English, you have no problem in using as-is..... In my case, as I use Spanish-French-English, I have first to export my EN to .mht, then actualize my indexes (30 secs) and then be able to do my searches with accents with no problems. The reason for the export is that the databases (and most file from the web) are keeping accents as the old DOS system (to give an idea): there is a vowel, you will use an accent x, so put it on that vowel... The .mht keeps the correct á à ê ë ü Ñ or ñ as shown.

It is not a cheap software, but to me is invaluable as lots of works (articles, pdf, etc...) are not kept in EN (although my comments, notes, clippings of interest are), and I have like 12 Gigs of them in good ol' folders.

With both systems I find anything (advanced boolean, proximity, fuzzy and so much more. And in three languages!

Might be of good use to you , Marc.

(Google Desktop looks like a trycicle compared to DTS)

This is not a publicity, it is my way of working:

Axon 2008 for creativity, thinking, beeing brain nut on a subject.

EN and DTS for notes and searching (still using Netsnippets for some long web articles i decide to keep and analyse later)

Word or Acrobat for writing

Excel for some stuff.

That is about all....

Regards

Tom

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Re hi

I am worried.... I cannot see where is that 542 new release.... got no advice and would love to keep up with the latest version.

Any place where to download it?

Regards

Tom

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FORGET ABOUT WHAT I SAID

I do have 550 installed..... dyscalculia attacked again....no need to answer to last post obviously.....

THanks

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I've been a user for exactly 24 hours now, and I have to say that it's been a strange experience coming to this forum. It's like my first trip to Bermuda, in 1972. To me it was wonderful, but I kept running into old-timers who were lamenting the loss of the "real" Bermuda, before it was spoiled. Now I find myself doing the same with the new kids.

I've been using Microsoft OneNote for several years, and my main problem with it has been the lack of cross-platform support. EverNote 3 is attractive to me because it promises to be as promiscuous as I am with regard to channels and platforms. I was able to learn its basics in a few minutes, and I have no interest in the lack of the complex strategies and capabilities that others are bemoaning. That said, I respect and sympathize with those who are facing the loss of a tool that's clearly performing a vital function for them.

If I were running this forum, I would set up different sub-forums for people like me who see this as a new product, and for veterans who are strongly interested in preserving the features of the earlier product. Otherwise, I'm going to keep feeling guilty about enjoying what seems to be a very useful piece of software.

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I hear you :)

But don't worry, you're not alone! I'm an EverNote old-timer (2005) but am moving all my EN2 notes to EN3, *tremendously* enjoying the program and the transparent sync.

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