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DaJoLo

When will Evernote's improvements roll out?

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Dear Evernote

As a premium customer I am increasingly frustrated by the very slow rate of much needed software revisions. The browser app is particularly bad but overall the editing tools across the platform are woeful (improvements to these I think are much requested). 

I have watched the videos on your website which are full of promises but there's (a) no obvious action hitting customers and (b) no regular updates as to what is happening and when. There are now new alternatives available and Evernote should fbe bothered about that. I am content to stay for now but increasingly fed up waiting for software improvements that seem to have been in the pipeline for years not just months. 

I am now investing time in learning how to use Notion - it too has many flaws but it also has some features that Evernote might look at. On balance Notion is not yet ready enough  to make me switch. However, although I would rather not discard my investment of effort and time in using Evernote this may change. 

At the very least Evernote might look for ways to improve its comms with customers and to keep refreshing its info on its website, while notifying us of new items (I for one would opt in to email updates). You can't rely on the same website promises for more than a few weeks or months. At least give us the feeling that something is developing/changing.

My request to Evernote is (a) DO SOMETHING quickly to improve your software (if I have to use that horrible browser app much longer I will almost certainly quit; and the ridiculous server lag/data refresh bottleneck on the WIndows app is driving me mad ... ); (b) do try to keep us better informed about developments and forthcoming updates  - even small interim updates are a good way to keep us happy (well, me anyway) with a few small but obvious changes.

Even being part of the Beta program seems to make no difference and there does not appear to be a systematic approach to gathering feedback from users (if there is one it is not very visible to me).

Hopefully you have some encouraging news in your response. :-)

Thanks

Yours in supportive but frustrated spirit ...

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I was just browsing the forums looking for any sign of whether some new behind-the-scenes videos or blog posts would be launching soon. Hopefully someone in the know replies to this thread...

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Still a slow pace but there's currently a public beta (web) available to all users

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Hi Paul A

Thanks for that info but I can't seem to find it. When I go to evernote.com in my browser and log in at the evernote home page I am taken straight to the app. So, not sure how to download the beta.

Any advice appreciated ...

... 5 minutes later!

Aha! I just realised that I am still using the 'classic' web app rather than the new one - after switching I find I am now in the beta. Duh!  🍩

Mind you I was using the new version some time ago but switched back to classic for reasons I now forget (I guess the new version as it was then didn't seem to work very well). I'll stick with it for now. 

But I am also concerned about the weaknesses of the Windows desktop app. I have the latest version of that but  do you know if there is a new beta version available?

Thanks again for the heads up.

 

 

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58 minutes ago, DaJoLo said:

But I am also concerned about the weaknesses of the Windows desktop app. I have the latest version of that but  do you know if there is a new beta version available?

The Windows beta has always been easily available to anyone: Tools / Options  / General  / "Enable beta features and updates".  The most recent beta  or public release is usually announced in the Windows Product Feedback / Feature Request subforum: https://discussion.evernote.com/forum/224-evernote-for-windows/

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On 10/10/2019 at 3:46 PM, DaJoLo said:

Dear Evernote

As a premium customer I am increasingly frustrated by the very slow rate of much needed software revisions. The browser app is particularly bad but overall the editing tools across the platform are woeful (improvements to these I think are much requested). 

I have watched the videos on your website which are full of promises but there's (a) no obvious action hitting customers and (b) no regular updates as to what is happening and when. There are now new alternatives available and Evernote should fbe bothered about that. I am content to stay for now but increasingly fed up waiting for software improvements that seem to have been in the pipeline for years not just months. 

I am now investing time in learning how to use Notion - it too has many flaws but it also has some features that Evernote might look at. On balance Notion is not yet ready enough  to make me switch. However, although I would rather not discard my investment of effort and time in using Evernote this may change. 

At the very least Evernote might look for ways to improve its comms with customers and to keep refreshing its info on its website, while notifying us of new items (I for one would opt in to email updates). You can't rely on the same website promises for more than a few weeks or months. At least give us the feeling that something is developing/changing.

My request to Evernote is (a) DO SOMETHING quickly to improve your software (if I have to use that horrible browser app much longer I will almost certainly quit; and the ridiculous server lag/data refresh bottleneck on the WIndows app is driving me mad ... ); (b) do try to keep us better informed about developments and forthcoming updates  - even small interim updates are a good way to keep us happy (well, me anyway) with a few small but obvious changes.

Even being part of the Beta program seems to make no difference and there does not appear to be a systematic approach to gathering feedback from users (if there is one it is not very visible to me).

Hopefully you have some encouraging news in your response. 🙂

Thanks

Yours in supportive but frustrated spirit ...

Can't agree more with what DaJoLo says. The Safari 13 plug-in issue is a fiasco, an initial fix was promised this week and has not arrived. I am a long term Evernote user but am seriously considering moving to Apple Notes if things do not get any better. Come on Evernote.... you are better than this!

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Bingo! Thanks Jefito - not obvious until one asks!

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A shout out for the Windows web clipper: I find it's a pretty good tool; I have several topic notebooks and plenty of tags and the clipper seems to have a good try and identifying a notebook and even a suitable tag. Quite often it is very helpful.

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Quote

seriously considering moving to Apple Notes if things do not get any better

Tried to switch to Apple Sotes.  Works well in theory and has many features that offer welcome integration and improved workflow on apple devices.  However, sync between devices, especially in shared folders, is often problematic so I'm back with Evernote for now.

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The article linked by Dave-in-Decatur is not very comforting. It makes out that everyone is working flat out but *still* no updates and *still* no hint from Evernote about forthcoming releases and still I keep finding annoying little 'features'. The post does not even make clear which editor it refers to .... (web or desktop) ... I also note that the post shows plenty of staff with nice working facilities - smiling happy faces, so at least evernote staff are content ... but ...

An annoying feature:

Why can't I search for a # character? No mention of this anywhere in help that I can find; no list of reserved characters.

I have tried to enrich my tagging by adding my own tags to the text of a specific item  using the established convention of a hash - e.g. #australia

But if I search for #australia Evernote ignores the hash and throws up all articles containing 'australia'

So annoying!

Quotes around the search term don't help.

Later: Aha! Just found this discussion on the issue ... from 2017!!! Does *anything* ever get fixed or at least get a company response? https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/104935-allow-searches-of-special-characters/ 

Seems that other users do something similar - i.e. include additional tags in their items - and they have the same issue. There's been plenty of time to sort this one out but there's no explanation anywhere that I can find as to why it has not been addressed, or if it will be! The use of the underscore is mentioned as a workable alternative to the hash and seems to work all right for me so I'll try it, but the hash is preferred just because it has become conventional (UX and all that) ...

General whinge: I seem to have reached a critical mass with the amount of content in my evernote collection. I need better tools (desktop editor for example, in addition to hashtag search) but they aren't there. It seems I am not the only one to hit this wall yet nothing really changes ... (and some issues seem to be hanging around from years back)

All this chasing 'features' costs time that I can ill afford - for goodness sake *please* fix things / improve things *AND* create some sort of 'official' noticeboard at the top of this forum where issues are clearly addressed with timelines for action or reasons for not following up or sensible workarounds (e.g. the use of underscore instead of hash which I discovered from the post above - not nice but workable). It's called communication.

It's not at all clear that Evernote ever reads any of these forum posts ...

Sign off: I am still with you evernote, but more frustrated than ever ... thanks for reading (if you do!)

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This is a user forum - EN staff may show by, but they mostly keep to the background.

Just one figure to show the size of the issue: I have read there are 100.000 users registered for the EN beta program. This is 100.000 users with 100.000 use cases, configurations, other SW they use etc. If you multiply this with all users, you go into the millions.

If I understand your issue, you have decided to use a specific way of creating your tags (with a „#“), and have a problem with the search logic. 

Now I see 2 methods to solve this:

  • Wait for EN to alter the search logic, which is probably a major operation. Search is one of the most powerful items, many users have saved searches on their accounts etc. If it is altered, the new search has to work with these saved searches, or the outcry will be massive.
  • Change the logic you created yourself for your tags, by using a tagging method that complies to the EN search possibilities and (dis-)abilities.

The first can be an ever rising source of frustration, the second you can influence yourself.

Using a desktop client, you can easily retag all notes with new tags. You click on a tag, choose all notes with this tag, create a new tag and assign it to all of them in one go. The new tags should avoid the problematic #-character and conserve your tagging logic. After you worked through all tags, all notes should now have 2 tags for each tag you want, one new and one old (with the „#“-character). When you now delete the #-tags, your notes will be left with the new tags.

Regarding the other question In this thread, EN communicated to sort out the internal complexity of the platform and its clients before rolling out new features. This is under way, participation is possible through the betas. Most new features will be available and tested first on the web client. To participate, one must be on the new or beta client (bottom right corner), not on the „classic editor“.

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Thanks for your helpful reply. I didn't quite make my tagging issue clear but I've got over it now and moved on!  (I was really talking about add text tags to a document to give an indivdiual document unique tags ...)

I surely appreciate the scale of the issue regarding tracking of forums posts but I guess I am griefing about (a) long delays between updates and (b) the question of how the user finds out what's in the timeline. That could be fairly simply handled by a regular sticky post at the top of the forum or maybe an opt-in newsletter. Such an approach would satisfy occasional moaners (but avid users) like me who just want to be made to feel that there are changes a-coming ... it's a psychology thing ...

I note that the web app has a simple feedback form but there doesn't seem to be the equivalent for the desktop app (at least, I cant find it!). That might be useful.

Yes I know how to manage my tags although what would be really good here is a search/replace tool for changing tags (I have a large tag list and so it's not a 5 minute job to edit them though I have done so from time to time). ... that's not a feature request! just thinking out loud. 😉

Yes, I'm a beta user for the web app and also for the desktop app. The desktop app had an update a while back but nothing for some time; perhaps this where a bit of psychology might work - more frequent updates, even for small relatively changes, can create an atmosphere of activity and responsiveness.

Anyway must get back to work! ... Cheers.

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3 hours ago, DaJoLo said:

I surely appreciate the scale of the issue regarding tracking of forums posts but I guess I am griefing about (a) long delays between updates and (b) the question of how the user finds out what's in the timeline. That could be fairly simply handled by a regular sticky post at the top of the forum or maybe an opt-in newsletter. Such an approach would satisfy occasional moaners (but avid users) like me who just want to be made to feel that there are changes a-coming ... it's a psychology thing ...

@DaJoLo, I appreciate your persistence and relatively calm approach (believe me, I have seen some REAL whinging around here!). WRT the above-quoted, are there other large or large-ish software companies that post such timelines on their updates, i.e., list specific features being worked on with specific expected arrival dates (if that's what you're requesting)? I tend to doubt it, because it simply would create more anguish than it would solve. E.g.:

  • Timeline of coming updates posted. 5 minutes later, thousands of outcries about why particular features are not higher on the list, or are not on the list at all, because the software is completely useless without them.
  • Timeline of coming updates posted. 5 minutes later, thousands of outcries about why some features are even on the list, since nobody wants them.
  • Timeline of coming updates posted. A programmer gets the flu or goes on parental leave. The timeline of whatever they're working on is borked. Outcries ensue.
  • Timeline of coming updates posted. Apple or Windows or Android issues an update of their own. Half the timeline is borked, the other half becomes completely impossible. Outcries ensue, since obviously this is all Evernote's fault.

No, I don't blame Evernote a bit for not posting their internal timeline.

I do agree that a feedback form for the desktop app, like the one for the beta Web interface, would be great. I'm not sure about frequent updates for minor fixes. That's kind of what's happening with Android. The release notes (which have gotten unbearably cutesy) say, "Whee! We flattened a bunch of bugs!" Maybe so, but still not the ones that, in my humble opinion, most need flattening. Frequent updates are more aggravating than helpful, psychologically, at least in my psychology, which could always be called into question itself.

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All fair enough ... I'm just seeing it from my point of view ... but yes the world of software users is a big place with too many lemons in it!

Thanks for the reply - it's appreciated

 

😉

 

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On 10/21/2019 at 6:30 AM, DaJoLo said:

... The post does not even make clear which editor it refers to .... (web or desktop) ... 

Just thought I'd chime in and let you know that with the new editor, there is no difference! The exact same editor is planned to be rolled out across web, desktop, and mobile applications.

It's easier to iterate and test on the web so that's where they started, but now that it's in reasonably good shape it supposedly will start showing up in new beta releases for the various applications. Hopefully soon, although I have not seen any timeline except that they have started recruiting for the beta programs...

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18 minutes ago, Paul A. said:

but now that it's in reasonably good shape

I took a look at the beta on the web platform.

It is not "in reasonable good shape".  Many features are missing.

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... which conforms with the announcement that they will test features on the Web client, not necessarily already fully integrated into the complete package.

I found for example the tags moved from the top to the bottom of the note screen, and did not like it. They will continue to throw changes on us, and will hopefully eliminate those that get negative feedback.

IMHO it makes perfectly sense to run these tests on a platform that is not installed, but will download each time from the server.

Just make sure anybody finds the „back to classic editor“ -button before starting to post a new thread here. Most of the comments are in the „not very nice“-category.

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1 hour ago, DTLow said:

I took a look at the beta on the web platform.

It is not "in reasonable good shape".  Many features are missing.

It's missing some old features, but it also has NEW features, so win some, lose some? Hopefully most if not all of the missing features will be added in time. Regardless, all indications are that Evernote considers it currently in good enough shape to begin putting it into beta versions of the apps for testing...

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... best I can tell there haven't been any changes in these prototypes for a while, and it has been very quiet.  Just cranked up the Windows preview and it is in the same not so good shape as the last time I took it for a spin.  In fact I was waiting for a note to display as I was typing this and it just crashed.  Hard to run a test on something that doesn't work.  But tags at the bottom and PDFs not rendering in line and it being slower than molasses on a pump handle in January make it something I would not be looking forward to using in any case.  Hopefully the delay is fixing these and the other issues detailed in the appropriate forum threads.

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3 possible explanations:

  • Testing is over, coding is moving on
  • Priorities were shifted (who said Safari & Webclipper ?)
  • Everybody’s on the beach ...

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4th possibility, course correction. 

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... to where ?

A course needs a goal - at least if it is not the result of one beer too much 😉

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Away from or redesigning some of the changes in the previews that aren’t working so well or have received less than positive feedback.  The where functionally has always been ENs secret.  Previews opened the kimono a bit. A good thing. 

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Depends on what is under the kimono ....

Regarding the place of the tags, I hoped they would move it back to the top, but it still was at the page bottom when I last used the web client. Probably they want to get a unified page layout for desktop and mobile - but I do not like to have control fields at the top and at the bottom of a note window.

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4 hours ago, PinkElephant said:

Depends on what is under the kimono ....

Regarding the place of the tags, I hoped they would move it back to the top, but it still was at the page bottom when I last used the web client. Probably they want to get a unified page layout for desktop and mobile - but I do not like to have control fields at the top and at the bottom of a note window.

Ditto.

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I agree - tag field should be at the top

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New search in online Beta

Issue!

It works well BUT I have made esxtneisve use of a colon separator as part of my tagging (it allows a crude sort of hierarchy).

e.g.
surveillance: classrooms
surveillance: facial recognition
algorithms: bias

etc.

It was never obvious that I should not do this and Evernote never blocked the use of the colon in tags. So I have *lots* of tags structured like this.

But the new Search does not allow me to search for a tag+colon,

e.g. if I search for 'surveillance:' EN does not filter tags constructed like that ... it just doesn't work properly.

image.png.1c54158da096c0651a2193d1bba56875.png

Compared with the search term without a colon (but note also that under 'Add filter' it does not show all the tags that include the colon, it only shows one, but I have a dozen!).

image.thumb.png.f8488adbc0eeafb30fab86ab7037c6bf.png

 

The colon is obviously problematic for EN but my tag list is too big to change them all now! Easier for EN to allow the colon (and other) additional characters as part of tags , unless there is a *very* good reason for not allowing them ... it's only a string! (See my remarks in other posts querying that a hash symbol cannot be used as part of a string )

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On 10/28/2019 at 4:42 PM, DaJoLo said:

It was never obvious that I should not do this and Evernote never blocked the use of the colon in tags. So I have *lots* of tags structured like this.

But the new Search does not allow me to search for a tag+colon,

e.g. if I search for 'surveillance:' EN does not filter tags constructed like that ... it just doesn't work properly.

image.png.1c54158da096c0651a2193d1bba56875.png

@DaJoLo Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I raised the issue with our search team yesterday and they jumped right on it. They told me this morning that this should hopefully be fixed already. Can you please validate and let me know if it is working for you? Also, please continue to send us any feedback you have. We very much appreciate it.

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Hi

Thanks for the update.

On this particular example search works much better, See image:

image.png.7c3e8e6dcd1362edbf4e04991c90e593.png

The only interesting detail is that I must have fifty tags like 'surveillance:' followed another keyword or phrase. (My convention is colon always has a space after it ...)

Of course, it would be horrendous for search to pull all of them up and anyway I should attempt to qualify the search term 'surveillance: with a following space and letter etc.

See next image for example:

image.png.e8c98241439f0a1a1bfb81f6239385ca.png

The only (minor) puzzle is that what is retrieved by search seems somewhat arbitrary. But that is not unreasonable otherwise the list would be way too long and therefore cumbsersome.

It is certainly an improvement and although arbitrary it is a much more helpful retrieval as it greatly aids refinement; I can simply add/edit the search term to narrow things down/

Thanks

Note: I am also using the feedback form on the beta editor drop down button to send comments. I am signed in to the online editor with the same email as for this forum so shouldn't be hard to track .. but note my comments are sometimes not correct! (No surprise there ..)

 Overall the search tool is working well.

 

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@DaJoLo Glad to hear the search results are improved and working. I'm not too familiar with the new Search, but I believe they are using some algorithms to determine relevance of the search suggestions. So I would hope that if you had anything other search keywords beyond the tag name, it would try to find the tags on the notes most relevant to the additional search term.

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