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windows 8 Evernote interface with Windows 8

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Hi, The Evernote interface with Windows 8 is awful. I cannot see the notebooks or notes as easily as I did in version 4.5.10. What can I do? The app is terrible, nothing like as user-friendly.

I was told by customer suport that I could try downloading the version for Windows 7 & previous but that it might well crash. Any ideas please?

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Just closing out both threads you've posted on, but yes you can download both versions (Desktop and Windows Store App). Both should work just fine, I run both

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Have to say I'm not crazy about the interface on win 8. I'm trying to use it on a tablet (Asus VIVO RT), and the list of notebooks on the left side consumes a lot of screen real estate for no value (while I'm taking notes). It's MUCH better on the Android (B&N Nook Color), because you get the full screen when you are taking notes. Having extra capability is nice when you have a huge screen, but it's a problem with the smaller screens. I usually take notes on the tab, then go into the desktop version to add tags, etc. At least give us the option of collapsing the notebook list on the left.

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Have to say I'm not crazy about the interface on win 8. I'm trying to use it on a tablet (Asus VIVO RT), and the list of notebooks on the left side consumes a lot of screen real estate for no value (while I'm taking notes). It's MUCH better on the Android (B&N Nook Color), because you get the full screen when you are taking notes. Having extra capability is nice when you have a huge screen, but it's a problem with the smaller screens. I usually take notes on the tab, then go into the desktop version to add tags, etc. At least give us the option of collapsing the notebook list on the left.

Are you referring to the Windows Desktop app on a tablet?

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I am struggling with the RT interface.

My notes are organised in lots of heirarchical tags, and a handful of notebooks. The notebooks are things like inbox, todo, current, archive, reference - broad categories of notes. The tags really do all the origanisation.

Here's what I am finding with the interface

The default view (All Notes) gives me just about 10 tiles with what appear to be some randomly selected notes in them. I can't see where these notes are from or what they relate to, there is no reference to the notebook or tag(s) they belong to. My notes contain both my business and personal life - and I don't want personal notes in plain view when at work. I see no way of customising what I am seeing here, and this in itself renders the interface unusable for me.

OK, lets look at notebooks then. No problem, I only have 7, all displayed OK. The tiles could be bigger though, and they are a bit washed out. However, I don't organise my notes using notebooks primarily so this view is of little use to me.

On to tags. Ouch. I have to scroll this A LOT as I have load of them., probably 100+. Swiping through them is slow and glitchy, the screen goes blank for seconds if I swipe too fast. There are so many I can't find the wood for the trees, so maybe I should try expand/collapse. Ok, now I see 7 top level tags, but the note counts are worryingly low, I guess because all my notes are tucked up neatly in sub tags. I want to look at my Business notes, so I tap the relevant tile. Ooops, I see that stray note I haven't organised into a subtag yet. No sign of the subtags though, so how do I get to those notes? I go back and expand again. Now I'm back in scrolling hell and can't find it. Unusable. I want to tap a tag and see its subtags, and any notes at that level.

In the normal PC interface I would select a notebook to get the broad category of notes (work, home etc) then expand and select from the tree of tags in the left panel. I'm guessing there is no way I can slice my notes this way on the Metro interface, it's either tags on notebooks, with the usability problems notes above.

Where are my searches? I have saved searches to zoom in on say my todo list for a particular client. I do work for several clients and need to be able to filter down to just what I need to be working on for each client when I am working on their account. This is often when I am on site at the client, so I sure as hell don't want anything relating to other clients sprayed all over my screen, which is what All Notes gives me. I can control this in the PC client, but this interface puts me openly in breach of several client confidentially agreements I have. It's not just clunky, it is a legal liability for me.

I have to wonder if anyone has actually done any useability testing on his interface, as frankly it is SO not ready for market yet.

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Because you only see 10 tile son the Notes screen, it seems like you're not fully sync'd. You can try the suggestions in this thread: http://discussion.evernote.com/topic/31260-having-sync-issues-read-this/

If you want, you can also join our Beta and see if the latest beta fixes it for you. Just post to: Our latest fix should be published publicly soon, we're trying to confirm that it solves the issue adequately.

Tags:

We'll be adding in the ability to expand and collapse individual hierarchies soon. We're running into technical limitations at the moment. Out of curiousity, do you find it (potentially) more useful to have the entire page to show tags, rather than when they were a subsection of the left panel? I don't have over 100 tags, but enough to want the extra space. Wanted to get your opinion

Filtering by Notebooks & Tags & saved searches.

Duly noted. These are features that we've been looking into for advanced users such as yourself.

Thanks for posting

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I can see more than 10 notes if I scroll, but my concern is lack of control over what those 10 notes display. Sub-tags I personal would prefer as tiles in the main body, first before actual notes, but can see that might be annoying for folks who don't store notes under "fully qualified" tags. Maybe put sub tags in the menu at the top alongside All Notes, Notebooks, Tags? And add a breadcrumb so higher level tags can be recalled?

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I'm sorry, I don't fully follow. You would like a page dedicated to subtags?

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I have to say that I agree with all the criticism of the new Evernote for W8. The new format makes it almost impossible to use Evernote. I don't understand why Evernote would complicate their product by making it so difficult to use. However, my experience so far with Windows 8 is that every element of it is poorly designed. Example: I can't use my HP printer or Fujitsu ScanSnap any more, have to buy new ones. I never expected to be so disrupted, including with my Evernote notes. Sorry to be so blunt.

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Also, dlu, you wrote, "you can download both versions (Desktop and Windows Store App). Both should work just fine, I run both." Why, now, would I want to run both? One was fine before. It's like the new W8 - they don't know which version to make me go with, so they make me go with both, neither of which is that good. Folks, should I just waste the $800 I just spent on a new PC and buy a Mac?

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I have to say that I agree with all the criticism of the new Evernote for W8. The new format makes it almost impossible to use Evernote. I don't understand why Evernote would complicate their product by making it so difficult to use. However, my experience so far with Windows 8 is that every element of it is poorly designed. Example: I can't use my HP printer or Fujitsu ScanSnap any more, have to buy new ones. I never expected to be so disrupted, including with my Evernote notes. Sorry to be so blunt.

Could you elaborate? I've had a hard time following some of the criticism. Is it the layout or something else?

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Also, dlu, you wrote, "you can download both versions (Desktop and Windows Store App). Both should work just fine, I run both." Why, now, would I want to run both? One was fine before. It's like the new W8 - they don't know which version to make me go with, so they make me go with both, neither of which is that good. Folks, should I just waste the $800 I just spent on a new PC and buy a Mac?

The desktop version is optimized for the desktop environment. It lets you open up multiple single note windows, responds if you drag and drop files into Evernote, etc. The Windows Store app takes advantage of the "modern experience" uses things like the new Search & Share contracts. The desktop version is also more optimized for mouse and keyboard, where as the Windows Store app is built touch first.

If you are planning to use the desktop environment with mouse and keyboard, you can stick with the desktop version. If you're running Windows RT on a tablet, you'll use the Windows Store version. If you're going to flip between the two environments, you can use both.

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Because you only see 10 tile son the Notes screen, it seems like you're not fully sync'd. You can try the suggestions in this thread: http://discussion.ev...sues-read-this/

If you want, you can also join our Beta and see if the latest beta fixes it for you. Just post to: http://discussion.ev...rs/page__st__40 Our latest fix should be published publicly soon, we're trying to confirm that it solves the issue adequately.

Tags:

We'll be adding in the ability to expand and collapse individual hierarchies soon. We're running into technical limitations at the moment. Out of curiousity, do you find it (potentially) more useful to have the entire page to show tags, rather than when they were a subsection of the left panel? I don't have over 100 tags, but enough to want the extra space. Wanted to get your opinion

Filtering by Notebooks & Tags & saved searches.

Duly noted. These are features that we've been looking into for advanced users such as yourself.

Thanks for posting

Looking forward to Win8/RT client getting richer feature sets: Rich formatting and the ability to filter based on tags would be my top priorities. If you need beta testers - happy to oblige. Done that for Google, SpringPad, ToodleDo and GQueues.

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You can filter by tags in the latest version. Select a tag or two and on the bottom bar you can tap on View Notes

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You can filter by tags in the latest version. Select a tag or two and on the bottom bar you can tap on View Notes

Thanks for your quick reply. Perhaps I'm not understanding... I'm on Windows 8 RT (Surface), I can select specific notebooks, or a specific tags, but I don't see a way to select one or two of each. Typically, I only want to see items with a specific tag within a given notebook. There's no bottom bar menu to select tags. From within a given notebook, the bottom menu is: "Sort", "Sync", "New Photo" and "New Note". The top bar in the same view is "All Notes", "Notebooks" and "Tags". Please let me know if I'm missing something... for example, motivated by your email I just learned that you can select multiple tags (I didn't know that you could press Enter to get back to the notebook).

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You're correct that you can't filter by a notebook and then a tag. But if you're on the tags page, you can sort of tug on a tag to select it. You'll then see the overlapping tags highlighted. You can select a second, and third, etc tag. Then when you select view notes, you'll filter by all tags selected.

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I'll start by saying I like Evernote enough to pay for Premium. However that is on my Mac and my iPad, I have introduced loads of people to it on these platforms. Then my wife asked me if I could install it on her laptop. What have you guys done - what were you thinking? Her laptop runs Windows 8, Evernote only seems to install a crippled version, that is almost impossible to use, leveraging off the frankly poor W8 Metro interface. Please tell me there is an alternative version of Evernote that I can install for her - and if there is, then please tell me where I can find it, as I only seem to be able to see this awful version. I have to say that if you redesigned my Mac and iPad versions to look like the W8 version I would cancel my Premium subscription immediately I hate it that much!

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I'll start by saying I like Evernote enough to pay for Premium. However that is on my Mac and my iPad, I have introduced loads of people to it on these platforms. Then my wife asked me if I could install it on her laptop. What have you guys done - what were you thinking? Her laptop runs Windows 8, Evernote only seems to install a crippled version, that is almost impossible to use, leveraging off the frankly poor W8 Metro interface. Please tell me there is an alternative version of Evernote that I can install for her - and if there is, then please tell me where I can find it, as I only seem to be able to see this awful version. I have to say that if you redesigned my Mac and iPad versions to look like the W8 version I would cancel my Premium subscription immediately I hate it that much!

Please read the second post in this topic (Evernote staffer dlu is the author). 

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Her laptop runs Windows 8, Evernote only seems to install a crippled version, that is almost impossible to use, leveraging off the frankly poor W8 Metro interface. ... have to say that if you redesigned my Mac and iPad versions to look like the W8 version I would cancel my Premium subscription immediately I hate it that much!

Please read the second post in this topic (Evernote staffer dlu is the author). 

 

Firstly, if you are using a Surface RT there is no second choice - you have to use the pretty-but-embarrassingly-unusable/broken Metro version.

 

Secondly, Windows Store is the gateway to software for a lot of people and that is going to rapidly increase, especially if they are also iPhone users used to getting software through Apple's store. If they see a version available there then they are far more likely to install that than a desktop version.

 

I am dismayed at the apparently low priority that has been given to fixing the Metro version.

 

Opero's critique was a brilliant story illustrating how this UI makes Evernote unusable for him/her (I'm going to pick "her" for ease of writing). My interpretation of the points in her story:

  1. For reasons of legal confidentiality she must have certainty that only a specified subset of notes is visible.
  2. A method of grouping that works in all other versions uses the combination of notebook and tag to restrict the notes.
  3. The current search on Metro means any attempt to use tags to restrict notes can find notes outside a current notebook.
  4. The UI is very difficult to use if you have many tags.
  5. It is apparently impossible to suppress the random display of notes on the home screen of the app.

I haven't been able to even get betas to finish sync without crashing so am not able to verify much of this but even with the 1,227 notes downloaded so far and 80 or so tags, I concur that the front screen design is overloaded. It's superficially attractive but any attempt to use shows that it doesn't scale.

 

If I can find the time I'm going to try writing a basic Evernote client for Metro just to try to understand the issues involved. I don't know why this is so difficult - is it inherently a problem with the C# SDK, the WinRT environment or just a problem with this particular program?

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Her laptop runs Windows 8, Evernote only seems to install a crippled version, that is almost impossible to use, leveraging off the frankly poor W8 Metro interface. ... have to say that if you redesigned my Mac and iPad versions to look like the W8 version I would cancel my Premium subscription immediately I hate it that much!

Please read the second post in this topic (Evernote staffer dlu is the author).
Firstly, if you are using a Surface RT there is no second choice - you have to use the pretty-but-embarrassingly-unusable/broken Metro version.
That's a fair point -- Geoff W didn't specify which Win 8 they were using; I should have been more specific.

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That's a fair point -- Geoff W didn't specify which Win 8 they were using; I should have been more specific.

 

 

Actually, he said "leveraging off the frankly poor W8 Metro interface". I think "Metro" is going to stick for a lot of us compared to "Windows Store App" ;)  

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After years of struggling with the cumbersome OneNote, I was convinced by a friend to try Evernote. She has a desktop version and I have a new PC that runs Windows 8 touch. I have to say that I am extremely disappointed. If the designers of Evernote are trying to lure new users with the Windows 8 touch version of this product, they have failed miserably! This product is NOT user-friendly. Answers to questions are nearly impossible to find! The forums are nearly useless unless you know precisely which key terms to search for when you have a question. Otherwise you spend hours browsing forum topics that you don't care about. In addition, the main feature I wanted was the ability to stack notebooks! I wasted 3 hours trying to figure out the most basic of operations, only to find out the the Windows 8 touch version doesn't offer that feature! You can't even copy and paste an image from the web, let alone stack notebooks with this version. If I wanted to save images from the web into individuals files which then have to be uploaded into the program...I would just use a Word doc. Honestly, the interface is so incomprehensible that it isn't worth figuring out, and the functionality is just worthless. 

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I have found similar issues with many Windows 8 App Store app, unfortunately. FYI, in the new Windows 8.1 (and I think in old RT), you can select an image in the web by "pressing on it" and selecting copy. If you have the web page and Evernote open side-by-side then you can just "press" a location in the note and hit paste. Otherwise, all these gripes are completely legitimate. It looks like you cannot even insert a check box in a todo list. What's up with that? The Modern (or Metro or RT or whatever) interface offers so many positives if developers could just design to that language without losing so much functionality. Here's to hoping things improve.
 

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I think that my post belongs here. I have both the desktop version and the metro version. The desktop version is much more powerful. I don't care for the metro version at this time.

 

I would like to suggest a few things for the desktop version. Make it more friendly to a touch interface. These could be simple things that will allow Window 8 users something to work with until the metro version progresses.

 

1. Allow touch to scroll up and down. Long notes require the use of the scroll bar. It is basically impossible to touch that scroll bar on high resolution screens such as 1080p ones. I have to use my stylus to scroll.

2. Make the icons somewhat bigger for touch.

 

One thing to possibly think about is to have an option in Evernote for touch devices. That way only the UI changes for people who want these features. It would also be nice to see a program like Penultimate so we have true stylus support.

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1. Allow touch to scroll up and down. Long notes require the use of the scroll bar. It is basically impossible to touch that scroll bar on high resolution screens such as 1080p ones. I have to use my stylus to scroll.

2. Make the icons somewhat bigger for touch.

 

Yes please, a thousand times this. Please enable touch scrolling in the desktop version. The scroll bars are so tiny that they're almost impossible to hit on Tablet PCs. This makes editing longer notes a real pain. As it stands now I'm pretty much stranded - the touch app crashes so often that it's unusable and the desktop app (which I prefer anyway) is horrible to work with. I became a huge Evernote fan on my Mac but the current Windows situation is disappointing. Enabling touch scrolling would go a long way to rectify that.

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