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PeteDressler

Help to Convince my company to use Evernote to unify our data

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Hey everyone! I am looking for some advice from those of you that have gone through what we are currently doing. We are looking to move all of our data to a unified note system. I have proposed Evernote (based on my personal experience using Evernote for years), while other have proposed competitors such as OneNote. My question to all of you is: How can I convince my company to choose Evernote over the competition? What strategies have you used in your implementation?

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An accurate response would require understanding of your corporate security needs, customization requirements,  and whether real-time collaboration is required.

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Thats for the speedy reply jbenson! Currently we are using an intranet Wiki, but it is too difficult for many users to update. Security wise, in the beginning we would just need everyone to be able to view and edit everything. Eventually, I could see the need for read only, and shared between certain users only. Customization wise, template would be ideal, but I know that isn't in the cards with EN. We are a software company and one of our options is just to make our own, but we are weighing the costs of that versus 10/user per month indefinitely. I personally believe that the basic functionality and design of EN is perfect as long as the securities will be there when we need it. I think that we will most likely need moderators to make sure everything is tagged properly and in a basic format. 

 

Real time collaboration is an area that we have never had before with the wiki. As long as I dont bring this up in a meeting, we should be good, haha. Seriously though, as long as a document can be viewed while someone else is editing, we dont need to edit at the same time. Are there any sync issues in this situation?

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We're in a similar boat and have a small team (4 people) evaluating EV for Business. We've had sharing and permissions problems that i'm yet to conclude so the testing is ongoing... good luck. Leo.

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Evernote Business was released 16 months ago.
I wonder if it is considered a success.

Over the past 4 months, the EN Biz forum has not been terribly active. (less than 2 posts/day)
 

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Seems like Business was contributing 9% in December and the Market 30% of revenue - http://techcrunch.com/2013/12/10/evernotes-market-for-physical-goods-now-accounts-for-30-of-its-monthly-sales/

I'd guess that breaking $1m in revenue in 5 months as Business did or 1 month like Market could also be deemed to be pretty good.

You can't judge success purely on the number of forum posts.

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Seems as if the lack of forum posts might even indicate things are going well. People are more inclined to post in a forum when they are having trouble than when things are going well. 

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We had been using EVERNOTE premium to run a small construction company.  It worked pretty dang well.  

 

When the Evernote BUSINESS option came out I (made the company) jump on it.  For some reason I believed EN would have it all well  thought.  Unfortunately, after seven months trying to get EN Biz up and functioning on a limited scale, I have found only personal frustration and absolutely dumb limitations of EN Biz.  It is as if Evernote's understanding of the usefulness of Evernote extends no further than using it to collect recipes, neat pictures and useful code.

 

For example, this morning I am trying to copy or move ( I'll take either) a number of notes from a folder that EN generated ( for some unknown reason) and named "Unsynced Notes".  After trying to dragging/dropping them to move them; then right hand click to move; then right hand click to copy...I find that the files -once seemingly moved/copied -- immediately revert back to the "Unsynced Notes" folder ( yes...multiple iterations of sync'd interspersed between these move/copy efforts).  I know.  It does not sound like big thing.  BUT, it IS emblematic of the numerous inconvenient/dumb/non-nonsensical issues that you WILL encounter once you transition to EN BIZ ( and you will find out at a less than conveninet time)

 

Another example, also from this morning...In order to "manage" TAGS in BIZ, you must use the EN WEB interface.  Once you go to the manage TAG tab, you will have a list of TAGS that you can, delete or re-name.  BUT...it will not let you just "edit" the TAG.  NO,  you will be required to RE-TYPE THE ENTIRE TAG...hopefully you will get it right(otherwise you will have to re-type again). Again..not a big deal, perhaps...unless you have a BUNCH of TAGS that you really are trying to "manage".

 

OH...and we recently went thru about four weeks of back and forth with EVERNOTE online tech support as we tried to get all Notebooks to sync  ( For the love of god, do not try to move very many notebooks or files at any given time without multiple syncs in between, else you will find that EN can not longer keep track of them).  

 

NO.  EVERNOTE Biz DOES NOT OFFER a pay option that would allow a business to pay money to actually obtain quick one on one assistance.  You will go thru multiple rounds of canned responses that are non-responsive to the information that you provide to EN...before, at some point, actually getting someone to take some useful steps to respond/help.

 

That said, I am a VERY GIGANTICALLY BIG FAN of Evernote...but, I would not recommend EVERNOTE BUSINESS to a friend at this time.

 

You might want to try using Premium...in which case, it works great...provided everyone using it understands how to use it and how you have things structured.

 

Good luck.

 

 

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At this point, as a collaborative tool, I couldn't recommend Evernote.  The big problem we are having is sharing of stacks and notebooks.

 

1. You can't share stacks--to me a big drawback in any organization (again, this is not for personal use)

2. Your only option is share separate notebooks.  This might or might not work for you.  We had a case this week where we wanted to share 10 notebooks with a colleague.  In order to do that, we would have share each notebook separately---a royal pain in the neck.

 

If Evernote would address these issues, I could wholeheartedly recommend it as a business tool

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By the way, don't confuse my restating of some numbers as support for Evernote as a business solution. I use Evernote a lot, personally and for work but I wouldn't even suggest using it in a multi-user environment. It lacks true collaboration and is actually quite expensive when compared with more fully featured solutions like Atlassian's Confluence.

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By the way, don't confuse my restating of some numbers as support for Evernote as a business solution. I use Evernote a lot, personally and for work but I wouldn't even suggest using it in a multi-user environment. It lacks true collaboration and is actually quite expensive when compared with more fully featured solutions like Atlassian's Confluence.

 

I think it depends on how you are using it. My opinion (as a non-business person) would be that (like any new tech) a test run through some test cases in your business (not you Metrodon, but the non-specific sense of "you") will go a long ways towards helping you to understand if it is an appropriate solution for your use case. I can imagine a lot of situations in which Evernote would be ideal, especially with the "right" third-party app. For example:

https://blog.evernote.com/blog/2013/12/27/how-to-collaborate-on-documents-with-evernote/

 

Again, though, I want to stress that test the water before jumping in head first will probably produce better results. My sense is that Evernote works especially well for small business solutions, and the larger your organization is, the more likely you will need to use something with more business-oriented features.

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If you want to work with an Evernote employee on any questions you have, may I suggest pinging our contact us page on the Evernote Business site: http://evernote.com/business/contact-us/

 

That form will route you over to the Business team which can answer any specific deployment questions you may have.

 

Over the past 4 months, the EN Biz forum has not been terribly active. (less than 2 posts/day)
 

 

I wouldn't necessarily use this as a metric for success. Business customers receive priority support, and will often have questions that probably shouldn't be floated in a public forum. Just sayin. :)

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I wouldn't necessarily use this as a metric for success. Business customers receive priority support, and will often have questions that probably shouldn't be floated in a public forum. Just sayin. :)

 

 

I don't mean to be contrary, but I think it important to note that while it may be "priority support" that is available to Evernote Biz customers, it is still likely to span the course several hours between each "priority support" e-mail exchange.  Evernote Biz customers will NOT be getting straight thru to a support rep when they need it.  If there is more than a simple issue at hand, the "priority support" experience for a Evernote Biz customer can span into days.

 

Just sayin.  :)  

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We had been using EVERNOTE premium to run a small construction company.  It worked pretty dang well.  

 

When the Evernote BUSINESS option came out I (made the company) jump on it.  For some reason I believed EN would have it all well  thought.  Unfortunately, after seven months trying to get EN Biz up and functioning on a limited scale, I have found only personal frustration and absolutely dumb limitations of EN Biz.  It is as if Evernote's understanding of the usefulness of Evernote extends no further than using it to collect recipes, neat pictures and useful code.

 

^^^  This ^^^.  In fact, a shared Premium account would work much better in some ways, for very small firms that don't have any security requirements, and don't need to know who made what entry.

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How can I convince my company to choose Evernote over the competition?

 

By not letting anyone actually use it prior to getting them to pay for it.  :D

 

I have proposed Evernote (based on my personal experience using Evernote for years)

 

OK, but I'd strongly advise not to let your personal experience drive what you are recommending for the company.  I use EN personally with good results.  I set up business accounts twice and canceled them.  Not ready for prime time.

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Hi Pete,

 

I think the suggestion that you test the business version first is a good one.

 

I was one of the early users of business and after a few hiccups have found it a very useful tool. It is important to look at the limitations of the software and work out if you can adapt it for your needs. Of course it is not the all singing all dancing software that some may want. It will not have 'all' the features that 'everyone' wants, but if you make your use case fit, you will, I am sure be delighted.

 

A lot of you will know, that for me, one of my largest uses for Evernote is as a diary. It works so well keeping up on tasks that I feel it could be sold for that use alone. Couple that to the storage of data which becomes - as you know - accessible from anywhere and it becomes an awesome part of our daily routine. 

 

I had someone new join us recently and he is already chomping at the bit to get using Evernote. 

 

As mentioned and again as I am sure you are aware it does not allow two people to work on a Note at the same time. That's fine, because you know it, all you have to do is change how you work. Whilst this may not be what you are looking to use Evernote for, here is how I get over one such case.

 

When I am out, I still want to know what enquiries come into the office. We create a new Note within our 'Diary - 2014 Notebook' every time this happens. I may then have to work on that Note during the day, contacting the customer or supplier etc. I can simply create another Note for all my additional information, letting the office type anything they want into the original Note and of course seeing what I have done on my Note. On my return to the office I will just merge the Notes. Usually manually, within a few seconds whilst catching up with what the office has been up to! It is a routine and it works. You will just work your own routines out.

 

In your shoes, I would start with a two or three user licence and get it up and running with all the routines and method of your way of working sorted. Then get it out to the rest of the company.

 

Best regards

 

Chris

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All,

 

I am overwhelmed with number responses I got on this forum. I wanted to first say thank you to everyone that joined in on the conversation and added their personal experiences. We have step forward in the planning cycle and have since attended the group Windows webinar last week. I have two more weeks to determine my strategy and implementation plan, but I now have information that will help with that. Chris, your plan to start with a small number of users sounds like the way to go. I was originally just thinking that we would start will all users and have everyone build data, but I now think that would be a terrible idea. In building the data with a small group we can outline the structure that we will need and will give everyone access to useful data when we launch. We may even want to roll it out department by department.

 

I am worried about some of the struggles, and I now believe that our real issue is that everyone wants the information in one place, but few want to build that data. This is why I am persistent on Evernote. As all of us know, creating data in EN is easy and what makes it easier is that it is available everywhere and on every device.

 

For those of you that did run into issues, can you elaborate on what happened, how it was corrected, or why it was a deal breaker? I think it will help me as well as any other potential users to plan around the issues in advance.

 

Again thank you all for contributing! This is one of the reasons I love EN, the community is amazing and always extremely helpful!

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For those of you that did run into issues, can you elaborate on what happened, how it was corrected, or why it was a deal breaker? I think it will help me as well as any other potential users to plan around the issues in advance.

 

1. Can't share stacks.  let's suppose you create a stack:

Project A

  • Pictures
  • Notes
  • Proposals

You can't share the stack, only the individual notebooks.  And the person who it is shared with can't even see what projects it belongs to!  Sure there are workarounds, but to not even be able to have a single level of hierarchical structure for business is a huge issue, and workaround require time and effort, which is what software should not be adding.

 

2. Admins can't rename notebooks.  Let's say you create a notebook and share it.  Now it needs to be renamed (for all users), a not uncommon occurrence.  Can't do it.  Been this way for a year.  Reeediculous.

 

3. Lack of understanding of business needs by EN, they just don't get it.  Final straw for us when when 5.0 came out and they had decided to mix all business and personal notes together.  They fixed it after people went nuts, but that really needed that to be explained to them?

 

4. EdH has detailed major ongoing and as yet still unfixed issues with tags in the business forum.  I suggest reading through that forum and the threads there for more info.

 

5. No acknowledgement of issues nor feedback with business users that made me want to trust them with anything for my business.  #2 is a primary example, this is a massive issue and a year later no fix?   This is the type of massive issue that should have been fixed within a month.  That someone comes on the forum and claims it's a "feature" because "it might confuse an employee if they look for a notebook and now it's got a different name" just reinforces that they've got kids developing the product that have no understanding of business needs.

 

I gave it two tries, I continue to see nothing that compares for personal use, for business use it was a massive disappointment.

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And just to be clear, I'm not saying don't do it.  Maybe it will meet your needs fine.  However I believe these are issues that people should be aware of before signing up for a business account.

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It is just wasting time to find out better service than Evernote but there are always few people who blame it without understanding it. So I suggest not to prepare to convince others but to let them to use as many service as possible. When they compare them, most of them will find Evernote the best. The most important point is that it is their choice, so they will be supportive when there are problems. 

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We are currently a 2-member EN Business user. Our experience is although EN is a product which we are paying for, all we get is syncing problems. I've had to delete the database twice and restart all over again!! Not good. 

 

Now the latest problem is the TAGs not syncing between the Desktop & Web. 

 

Business support claims to reply within 24 hours. Not true. Last reply I got to one of the tickets was after almost 36 hours. I've not come across a more frustrating software than EN. Pretty much ready to move over to Trello for our workflow.

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I'm a hyper active entrepreneur premium user of Evernote for my time management. and am using it more and more 

voice memos, business card scanner, to do lists, etc.  I'm not at all a process type person and I find it helps me get my ideas, notes  and to dos in one place.

 

I also use Basecamp for voluntary projects. Some companies I am a founder of use Trello, thought I am not a user, more an observer, Google docs.. 

 

I'm just becoming CEO of a medium sized - 100 headcount - company and there are various different places where old and new data are stored.  The company does systems integration as well as manufacturing. A very wide variety of data is stored in a variety of places 

 

Lotus Notes CRM

Financial Accounting BI ERP from Comarch

a Sharepoint Intranet.

and a legacy intranet. 

 Excels where people keep all kinds of records that are then not available 

staff members own note taking systems. from "e-mails to self," e-mails to other people. 

 

The system "works" in the sense that the company functions, yet I can see that there is a lack of integrity in some important data. 

 

I'm thinking of but a bit scared of imposing Evernote. It could well just become data dump number five, and get expensive with so many users. On the other hand I want to migrate from a situation where different people are keeping data in different places to a unified system.  I instinctively feel the current system is inefficient - without having raw data about the type of problems that are going to be solved with a unified system.  

 

I see this as a change management issue just as much as the technical one of choosing the right platform.

 

If I am going to put my leadership authority on the line persuading everyone that they should change the way they store data, I need to be sure that I am getting the company to follow me into a promised land of data efficiency  - rather than a Charge of the Light Brigade..  

 

I'm not really sure to start, do I need to start spending money?  Is this a good place to discuss bigger challenges that "Evernote or not Evernote" 

 

Atlasssian were mentioned on this thread. I've heard of some of their apps, and their pricing is OK., but they seem more focussed on the needs of developers. What I like about the tools for developers is how focussed developers are on processes, what worries me is that maybe you need a "Developer mind set" in order to get results.  

 

Is there a simple "bible of what data to keep where" At one level it seems clear

 

financial data in the accounting software with BI on top of that to extract data.

 

CRM for interactions with the clients (meetings, phone calls,written communicants, offers) with info on business done pulled in from accounting invoices,

in our case the CRM (Lotus) also handles things like a shared diary, who is in the office, and has a messaging App 

 

The intranet should be for internal company communication, news from departments, internal company procedures, shared document storage

 

So where would Evernote fit in?

Live projects - > 

meetings?  

 

The way I am using Evernote is as a kind of personal middleware between the company systems and my own brain. If I want to do something it goes into Evernote then whatever the action Item is - whether it is assigning a task to an employee, or writing a forum post, or sending a request to the IT dept, getting a new idea down, it goes to Evernote and I can later decide what priorities to give it. This is good because althoguht a huge number of my To Dos are related to the new job, I still have lots of other stuff to do my private life, non profits, family,  other businesses etc.    

 

It bothers me with respect to the CEO job as if I could enter the data direct into its systems, it would just be once... I would only have to decide once, not twice..  I sense that Evenote could become an invitation to procrastinate if I put stuff into Evernote (my long list of things to do) instead of taking decisions and being able to move on.

  

cheers

 

Richard

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Take a look at Confluence from Atlassian - it's a powerful wiki solution that will cover a lot of your requirements. I've found it to be incredibly reliable, their support is unbelievably good and they offer hosted or self-hosted solutions.

 

We use it at my company (less than 150 people) and I have also worked with some very large enterprise customers (thousands of employees at dozens of sites) who find it very effective.

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