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crazylegsmurphy

other Ya...Evernote is kinda terrible...

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Despite my very vocal criticism of the Evernote pricing plan, I hesitantly purchased the premium service the other day.

Yesterday, I was driving from Alberta to BC because I am looking for a new home. After driving 13 or so hours I stopped in line at the ferry terminal to wait for the next sailing. I figured this was a good opportunity to open Evernote and review some important travel, and house information I had added prior to leaving the house.

This was my first real test of Evernote, and I was interested to see how it would work. Guess what....it didn't, at all. I opened up the app only to be faced with a repeated, "unable to sync" error message. After trying multiple times, I searched the web for reasons. It was suggested I delete the app, reinstall it, and sync again.

So, despite it cutting into my limited data plan, I reinstalled the app, and logged in. Error!

Now, none of my notes were available at all. I couldn't sync, I couldn't access them, I was stuck. All the important information I needed was unavailable to me. I was very upset and so I wrote support for some "premium" help.

Later on that day, I read on BBC News that Nevernote suffered a denial of service attack. No, I didn't get an email, or a in app message, or anything...I had to read about this from a British news source.

Needless to say, I wasn't able to access the important info, and had to call a friend, long distance, to boot up my home PC and email me the info. A day later I get an email from support saying, "ya, sorry about that, we suggest you use a desktop browser."

Yup, use my PC,mat home, instead of the mobile app, and the offline service I payed for. Well, turns out it wouldn't have helped, you know why? Well, you see, the fine print with this "premium" feature of being able to read notes offline, is that you have to choose which notes sync offline. Yup, that is right, you can't just add a new note, run out the door and have access to your notes like any normal app would allow, you have to manually open the app at home, sync it, then manually choose to save that note to your device.

This is the "premium" feature you pay $45 per year for.....per.....year.

So, not only was I unable to access my important information online, or offline, but the solution was to use my "desktop browser" until further notice.....right.

This is I addition to the plethora of other shortcomings I've found with this app. For example:

- my girlfriends shared tags don't sync to my device.

- the app deleted the tags I've added (thanks for wasting my time there)

- the formatting of notes on the mobile browser is terrible

- you can't format many of the desktop notes unless you manually export and tweak the XML file

- you can't choose which thumbnail to use on your notes

- you can't resize your images (premium feature is more space....hmmmmm)

- the card view is cluttered with text you can't get rid of

- collaborated notes often have conflict errors

- no contacts, so you have to manually type in your contacts email each time you share

My girlfriend got 30 free points for reporting a bug fix, and 120 points as a promotion from her carrier. I was unable to access my notes, lost data reinstalling the app, incurred long distance charges having to call a friend (inconveniencing my friend), lost my tags, and all I got was a, "sorry buddy, not our fault!" A day later.

I am writing this for anyone who is thinking of getting the premium service. My advice is don't. It simply isn't worth it considering the hassle it takes to use the features. "Premium" support is seemingly not much better than regular support, and the collaboration/sharing isn't really well done. I am actively looking for another service and will be refunding the balance of my premium account as soon as I find something that works better.

I know some of you are saying to yourself that I am overreacting, but let's be honest, $45/y for the premium service is just not cool. There are so many great services out there that charge nothing, or way less for much better features. I realize DDoS attacks are not the norm, and are beyond Nevernotes control, but a company who has this many users should have taken precautions before this happened. And, when it did happen, they should have been a little more willing to ease the frustrations of their paying customers, than to simply say, "sorry" and suggest they use the desktop browser until some unforeseen time.

This customer is not having a great user experience so far. If it weren't $45/y, I would probably just chalk it up to another company not ready for prime time, but 45/y is a very questionable cost considering the alternatives out there, and what they offer.

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Hi - you clearly had a bad experience,  but mainly what you seemed to run into was a learning curve,  not a defective product.

  1. In any normal situation you would have been able to connect to a data network and download your notes. 
  2. The fact that Evernote had a DDOS attack was unfortunate and all over G+, Twitter, LinkedIn and various other places - Evernote themselves couldn't comment because a "denial of service" attack does exactly what it says on the can - they were totally off the air.
  3. Uninstall/ reinstall probably failed because Evernote were unavailable - again a one-off event
  4. You don't 'pay for' an offline service,  and Evernote don't (can't) guarantee one.  If there's an outage,  it's broke.
  5. There's no 'fine print' about offline searchable notebooks,  and it's trivial to arrange it once you know you need one.  Learning curve.
  6. You have a shopping list of dislikes about both the desktop and mobile services which (as a premium member) you can raise with support via chat or email,  or here in the forum.  You did mention "manually export and tweak the XML file" in there somewhere - but please don't,  I think you'd be really disappointed.
  7. Your support request looks like it was dealt with pretty quickly,  which is part of what you paid for - as a free member you'd probably wait a few days,  especially after a major outage.  The quality of support is supposed to be the same.
  8. 45$ is a very small price to pay for premium,  but if you're unhappy with the price please do talk to support - they can downgrade your account and you may even get a refund.
  9. As to that being a "questionnable cost considering the alternatives" - please do let us know which one you're moving your account to.

I'm genuinely sorry you had a bad time,  and if you have any remaining issues,  please come back here,  or go to support for some help.  With such a long list it's not practical to start giving you any sensible suggestions - if you feed 'em to us one at a time we'll do our best...

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Look, sorry that you seemed to have made some bad assumptions about how Evernote's offline notebooks work (it's notebooks, not notes, that are designated on the device as offline, btw) and got caught up in the DDOS, a rare thing, but if you're truly unhappy with the service, then you should ask for a refund and get on with using whatever alternatives suit your needs.

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This customer is not having a great user experience so far. If it weren't $45/y, I would probably just chalk it up to another company not ready for prime time, but 45/y is a very questionable cost considering the alternatives out there, and what they offer.

You say "considering the alternatives and what they offer". What similar service have you found that has a better offer than Evernote?

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The thing I always want to ask, when people gripe about the nominal fee of $45/year for Evernote premium is...  How would you feel if you spent months/years on developing a project & didn't get paid? 

 

Sure, there are a lot of free or 99 cent apps out there.  I even use one (Toodledo for my lists) & have used it for several years.  But there have been a couple of years when I've had the paid version b/c I wanted to utilize some of the pay features.  I didn't complain about it.  And if they decided tomorrow to start charging all users, I'd either pony up (b/c it's suited my needs for many years - thank you to them for that!) or find another option.  But let's put on our big boy pants & think about this for a minute.  If you find an app/service that suits your needs, don't you WANT the dev to charge for it?  Because if they don't, they won't have money to pay rent, buy food, books for their kids, etc & will have to find a job doing something else.  Of course, if the app/service doesn't meet your needs, then why complain about the price, since it's not a viable option for you anyway? 

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Burgers,

I am a graphic/web designer. I started out as a make-up artist for film and TV. I have published a comic book, and ran a business that sent emergency alerts to parents when schools and busses were closed. I know a little something about developing projects, and struggling to find a fair, yet successful way to monetize it.

The thing is, I'm not saying they shouldn't charge for it. I am saying that the features they're offering, at the price they're offering, is in my opinion, beyond reasonable. It very much feels like they developed the software, then thought, "how can we charge people for this?"

It doesn't feel like the features are giving additional value for those who enjoy the app and find it useful, it feels more like they're denying basic functionality to users in an attempt to suck cash out of them. Not only that, but aside from the increased cost of server space, the additional features are one time unlocks on the software that don't seem to require at tonal resources to run.

So, for someone like me, who might need to view offline messages once in a blue moon when I can't get service, and wants to collaborate with his girlfriend on a grocery list, we both have to shell out $45/y for the ability to do it. Sure, one of us can pay, and just share with the other in one direction, but it just feels awkward.

As I also mentioned, paying $45/y to read my messages offline, isn't exactly convenient. It's not like the app suddenly unlocks and allows me by default, to see my offline notes (then choose to not sync some), it requires me to take additional steps to make it work. For example, I am ordering food for the office at lunch. I take everyone's order, and run out the door. I arrive at the currywurst shop under the bridge, and open my app to start reading off orders. Well, unfortunately, because I didn't think to manually go to settings, navigate to premium, navigate to the offline sync Mose and hit the switch, I am now unable to view my note offline. Sure, Nevernote allows me to technically sync offline notes, but in reality the user experience is unnatural and time consuming.

As I delve further and further into the app, the justification for the $45/y becomes harder and harder to swallow. So many features are missing (that have a lot of support, but are ignored). The functionality that does exist is basic at best, and useless at worst. The additional space given is laughable compared to Onenote's 5 GB, nor do they allow Dropbox support for those who are paying for that service already.

The collaboration is clunky and time consuming. It doesn't seem to sync tags across users. The "search within notes" is a feature that should just exist for all users because user experience should come first, not coaxing people to shell out a subscription through inconvenience.

As you can see, the list goes on. In addition, the support email I got back today said they were taking additional steps to assure DDoS attacks don't happen again. This wasn't the first time sometime like this has happened, and yet they only now decided to take additional steps? Like DDoS attacks aren't common on the internets?

I have said before, I have no issues paying for services that enrich my life and make it easier. I have said before that I am subscribed to multiple services (Netflix, Office 365, Adobe, Spotify, PIA) because they offer great value for the price. Evernote has always, from that first time I was denied reading my own shopping list in the store, has felt like they are suckering me out of my money by denying basic features. Instead of offering additional benefits for the money in a reasonable way that reflects the actual costs, they created a high price point, so only those who don't have any issue paying more for this one app over a few years, than the cost of an entire Windows OS upgrade.

If they had just offered a reasonable price plan, that felt like I was gaining great extras, I would probably have no issues. But, as it stands, I payed the $45 just to get it working, but will, without a doubt have my eyes on any and all up and coming software that offers the same, for what I feel is a more fair cost. I currently pay for OneNote, which is arguably better in most ways, but I can't convince my girlfriend to switch, or I would have jumped ship despite its shortcomings.

My hope is that as Evernote moves forward, they understand that customers don't want to feel like they "must" upgrade to get a working product. Most want to use a product, enjoy it, and want to support it, then have realistic options to do so through additional features. Here are a few I think would work nicely.

- Collaborate with family or coworkers (more than one)

- additional space

- upload files such as PDFs

- use location based reminders

- annotate notes

- presentation mode (I am personally not sure the clerk at the grocery store cares how nice my grocery list is)

I dunno, just features that feel like features, not unlocking functionality that really doesn't work well anyway.

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Look, sorry that you seemed to have made some bad assumptions about how Evernote's offline notebooks work (it's notebooks, not notes, that are designated on the device as offline, btw) and got caught up in the DDOS, a rare thing, but if you're truly unhappy with the service, then you should ask for a refund and get on with using whatever alternatives suit your needs.

Is it really that odd to assume that offline mode means that if you create a note, you can view it offline in case of limited connectivity?

The use case scenario for automatically viewing an offline note, seems much more feasible than the idea that you would create an entire notebook full of notes, then manually have to decide which ones to download. Notebooks are dynamic, things can be added, moved and removed all the time. The information in the notes is what is important to people.

Having to manually download an entire travel notebook, just so you can view your Flight information in the event the wifi at the airport in France is too expensive, is ridiculous. That is such a backwards and unintuitive way for offline mode to work.

To me, offline mode should mean that when I create a new note, the software syncs that note and makes it available offline just in case. It is a pretty standard thing for people to be caught without service, so having notes right there makes sense. If the user then chooses to not fill up the device with old notes, they can choose to not sync them to the device.

My use case was a perfect example of why notes should be available offline automatically. Never, ever let your users be caught in a situation in which they can't access their important data. Be proactive in being a reliable service that people count on and trust. Give them as much as you can so they feel Evernote has their back, and will never let them down.

Evernote failed me in two ways when I was trusting it to work. It cost me time, and it cost me money.

I will be asking for a refund when I can find something that works, and when I can convince my girlfriend to switch.

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Sorry to hear that you had an unsatisfactory experience with your EN account.

A few things come to mind:

 

1. EN is very easy to use but there is still a learning curve for the beginner.

Just with any software, you should try to understand how it works, and get some "feel" for it in different situations.

2. Don't assume EN works in offline mode just the same as in online mode

3. "Tweaking notes" with your own XML attempts is not a good idea.

4. "Hacking" or a DOS attack are VERY rare for EN (at least the user is shielded from its consequences) but they do happen

 

If you work with EN for some more time and get the "feel" for it, you will have a good chance to see how it can work really well for you (millions of users have done just hat).

This forum is providing many tipps and hints on how to make it work for you.

 

If, however, you come to the conclusion that EN is not for you, you are free to choose an app that suits your needs better.

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  1. In any normal situation you would have been able to connect to a data network and download your notes. 
    Unless, you are like me in which you are in another country on a pay as you go that runs out of data. Or you're someone who goes into a tunnel, a basement, a concrete store, or stray too far from the reception area. I get that in a normal situation this would have been the most likely outcome, but when it doesn't work, it doesn't make it any less annoying. My hosting service guarantees 99.9% uptime! and they back that up with free months if it happens to to down. To me, that is service.
  2. The fact that Evernote had a DDOS attack was unfortunate and all over G+, Twitter, LinkedIn and various other places - Evernote themselves couldn't comment because a "denial of service" attack does exactly what it says on the can - they were totally off the air.
When an app fails, my first instinct isn't to log into twitter, LinkedIn, or G+ In the chances it might be some big news story. And if it does happen to happen, I expect support to have much better answers than, "please use a PC browser until...
You don't 'pay for' an offline service,  and Evernote don't (can't) guarantee one.  If there's an outage,  it's broke.
There's no 'fine print' about offline searchable notebooks,  and it's trivial to arrange it once you know you need one.  Learning curve.
I pay to be able to view my notes offline. The problem is that what you call a learning curve, I call unintuitive and bad design. There isn't even a quick, "save note offline" button on the note, you have to navigate through settings menus to download a notebook....not a note,mouth a bunch of other notes you might not even need. I've outlined a few times why this system is not designed with the user in mind.
You have a shopping list of dislikes about both the desktop and mobile services which (as a premium member) you can raise with support via chat or email,  or here in the forum. 
Here I am, on the forum. I'm not going to have a casual chat with them about these things so they can say, "Thanks for the suggestions, we will consider them." As they have done on the numerous posts requesting changes and reporting issues.
You did mention "manually export and tweak the XML file" in there somewhere - but please don't,  I think you'd be really disappointed.
 
I'm a web designer, so for my this isn't an issue. In fact, it was the onto way I could force Evernote to display tables that didn't look like they were designed in MS Word on Windows 3.1. I was able to have much better control, and was even able to create a few recipie templates that look much nicer than the standard Evernote editor could do.
Your support request looks like it was dealt with pretty quickly,  which is part of what you paid for - as a free member you'd probably wait a few days,  especially after a major outage.  The quality of support is supposed to be the same. 
That's great....but a day later, or a week later to tell me to use a PC browser is isn't really helpful either way. The Monet had passed, I had to solve the up issue without Evernote.
45$ is a very small price to pay for premium,  but if you're unhappy with the price please do talk to support - they can downgrade your account and you may even get a refund.] 
I think $45/year is not a small price. If it was just $45, I might chalk it up to a bad software purchase, and it would be the first time, but yearly? This sin going to start adding up every year. There comes a point when this software alone will cost more than the purchase of upgrading an entire operating system. To me, that seems a bit odd.
As to that being a "questionnable cost considering the alternatives" - please do let us know which one you're moving your account to.
I am already paying for OneNote which comes in the entire Office 365 suite, for a year. It is also free, requiring a MS account. Unfortunately my girlfriend is committed, so I am stuck for now. When she arrives here in a week, we will be testing some of the other software out there..she probably won't change, but at least she promised to look.
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I have to admit that I find these long drawn out Evernote suicide notes rather dull. You are more than welcome to voice your opinions, but if you are so unhappy I really just don't get why you don't just move on.

 

Yeah, your girlfriend likes Evernote - that doesn't mean you have to.

 

Maybe you should change your girlfriend?

 

Yeah, you think $45 is a lot to pay for a feature that you think should be free. Well, the people who build the service, the apps and everything else don't agree (at the moment) - now that might change at some point in the future or it might not. When you choose a tool, I always suggest you choose it because of the way it is now, not because the way you want it to be.

 

 

Good luck in your search for a more fully featured, reliable and better value service.

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As I noted in your other thread, I don't think you really want to be convinced of Evernote's value. This thread has reinforced that conclusion. And that's ok. Different people like different things. But, those of use who like it are a)probably not going to be convinced by you that Evernote is a bad product and b)not really required to justify Evernote's business model.

Evernote appears to be causing you way too much anxiety. Continuing to use it sounds like a very bad idea for you. Seems as if it's time to tell your girlfriend she has to chose between you and Evernote. ;-)

Lots of people (I'm not one of them) seem to like OneNote and it's much more cross platform than it used to be.

Best of luck.

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Yawn.

I'm so sorry that my opinion is boring you. I know that listening to the thoughts of new users cuts into your time as an Nevernote Evangelist. It must take a lot of work to write 12,514 posts about how integral it is to your life.

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Yawn.

I'm so sorry that my opinion is boring you. I know that listening to the thoughts of new users cuts into your time as an Nevernote Evangelist. It must take a lot of work to write 12,514 posts about how integral it is to your life.

 

Actually, a lot of her posts are for helping people who are trying to learn how to use Evernote better. That doesn't seem to be the case with you, but believe me, she's helped out a lot of Evernote users.

Flip side is that she's not precluded from voicing her opinion, just as you are doing. If you'd had Evernote usage questions, she'd have probably been among the first to try to help answer them.

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As I noted in your other thread, I don't think you really want to be convinced of Evernote's value. This thread has reinforced that conclusion. And that's ok. Different people like different things. But, those of use who like it are a)probably not going to be convinced by you that Evernote is a bad product and b)not really required to justify Evernote's business model.

Evernote appears to be causing you why too much anxiety. Continuing to use it sounds like a very bad idea for you. Seems as if it's time to tell your girlfriend she has to chose between you and Evernote. ;-)

Lots of people (I'm not one of them) seem to like OneNote and it's much more cross platform than it used to be.

Best of luck.

It's not that I don't want to be convinced. It is that I'm not.

This isn't some personal vendetta against Evernote. I am simply one user that isn't as keen on drinking the Evernote Koop-aid as so many people seem to on the internet. I realize that coming onto the forums where the Evernote Evangelists spend their time isn't going to result in a lot of changed opinions. My hopes are that perhaps my opinions will prompt others to voice their opinions.

There were a lot of is Springpad users who had chosen that (and other software) as a direct result of how overhyped we felt Evernote was. The fact that Springpad never gave us the option to financially support it, is actually quite annoying for many of the users. When they closed down, they gave us two options, backup our data to HTML, or to Evernote.

People like me, who actively chose against this overpriced service were now in a position where years of our life were being transferee into a service we had been actively avoiding.

Now, after becoming a "premium" member, I am seeing how right I was to avoid it. The problem is that people are so used to Evernote's business model, that they seem to forget that it really isn't that good. Evernote enjoys the luxury of being one of the most recommended note apps, not because it is all that amazing, but because other than OneNote, the competition out there is severely limited.

I tried OneNote and it is honestly a thousand times better than Evernote. The only thing that is dissuading me from using it is that the web clipper is terrible, and in don't like the way they present the data. Other than that, the feature set, the integration, the freedom of that software blows Evernote out of the water...and it is free.

Either way, for me, it isn't about being convinced. The reality is that Evernote is overpriced and the functionality they push as "premium features" are really just a thinly veiled attempt to push the freemium model on users. For those who are interested, there is a YouTube series called, "Extra Credits" and one episode talks about the right way to do a freemium model. Sure, they're taking about games, but the concept is the same.

The main idea is that a company should attempt to make the users feel good about paying money. The freemium games that create price walls, are generally loathed by people. They initially look successful because people pay of them, but don't have long term sustainability. Evernote is like that.

What Evernote has done, is created software that is free to play, but the features that actually make it fully functional are locked until you pay a freemium subscription of $45/y. The features aren't really features, or fun, useful additions for those who need them, they are basic functionality that users quickly hit a wall with when using it. This forces users to choose between paying a subscription for some reason, or trying to find work arounds.

Look at this forum, and other forums on the net. People are often trying to find way around the subscription. From sharing accounts, to using third party programs. Many people, including myself, seem to begrudgingly pay for the service, not because it is amazing and makes us feel good, but because there is no alternative. Even look at this "points" system. It is an attempt to get more users on the freemium model by making their users advertise the product for them through social means. The users aren't recommending the product because it is amazing, they're doing it because it gets them points, which they can use to avoid paying the high fee.

Evernote knows the pice is high, but they're betting on a percentage of the users paying for it. The more they can convince to try the software, the more will hit the wall and be persuaded to pay the subscription, all the whole holding the carrot of free points in front of their faces, to ease the cost of the high subscription.

This model is freemium at its worst. So many games do this same stuff where they put up walls to continuing, and if you just spam your friends, or pay $9.99 for the ability to build your farm, you can continue.

I realize there are some that don't care about $45/y and, "it's less than the price of a latte" but for many of us, it isn't about th price of a latte, it is the principal about companies charging an arbitrary yearly cost, for functionality that has been arbitrarily locked, just so they can have an excuse to monetize it. This kind of business model doesn't sit well with a lot of people, and it is very clear based on the number of people that are desperately hoping for the nex "Evernote killer."

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Yawn.

I'm so sorry that my opinion is boring you. I know that listening to the thoughts of new users cuts into your time as an Nevernote Evangelist. It must take a lot of work to write 12,514 posts about how integral it is to your life.

Actually, a lot of her posts are for helping people who are trying to learn how to use Evernote better. That doesn't seem to be the case with you, but believe me, she's helped out a lot of Evernote users.

Flip side is that she's not precluded from voicing her opinion, just as you are doing. If you'd had Evernote usage questions, she'd have probably been among the first to try to help answer them.

Yes, but some people aren't at that point. Some people are still trying to figure out why the basic functionality that is being paid for is pnt all that good. When I brought up that the offline note functionality is flawed, people said, "oh, that is just a learning curve."

Of course it is a learning curve. It doesn't mean it is a good system. I'm not incapable of learning how it works,I just don't think it works well. In addition, I would love to hear the Evernote evangelists take on how to force Evernote to sync tags across users,mor how to add contacts. I would love to hear their expert advice as to how to format tables without resorting to manually editing the XML. I would appreciate them telling me how to fix the bug that deletes tags, or how to resize images in the app without resorting to using third party software.

There are a lot of questions that I would appreciate these experts helping me figure out. Unfortunately, many of them are not solvable because the software is incapable of doing it. Instead of admitting this, and adding their voice to the others who may be concerned that the amount we are being charged isn't lining up with the functionality, they simply evangelize and brush it off with nonsense like, "it's less than the price of a latte."

As the title of my thread says, Evernote is...kind of terrible. It has a long way to go, and the reputation of the buggy, bloated elephant is not unfounded. This software needs a lot of work, and unless these evangelists are willing to step outside of their rose colored glasses, and try to see it from the perspective of new users, it will continue to be a frustrating, and costly experience for some.

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I really do try to avoid these threads as, like others have said, it only fuels the fire, but I think you might benefit from realizing some things.
 

It's not that I don't want to be convinced. It is that I'm not.

This isn't some personal vendetta against Evernote. I am simply one user that isn't as keen on drinking the Evernote Koop-aid as so many people seem to on the internet. I realize that coming onto the forums where the Evernote Evangelists spend their time isn't going to result in a lot of changed opinions. My hopes are that perhaps my opinions will prompt others to voice their opinions.


You'll forgive us for assuming it's a "personal vendetta", but this statement doesn't exactly speak in your favor. Calling it Nevernote in your first post, and insinuating that we "drink the Evernote Koop-aid" does not suggest that you're here for open discourse. People usually try to avoid insulting everyone if they want them to perhaps sway to their side.
 

There were a lot of is Springpad users who had chosen that (and other software) as a direct result of how overhyped we felt Evernote was. The fact that Springpad never gave us the option to financially support it, is actually quite annoying for many of the users. When they closed down, they gave us two options, backup our data to HTML, or to Evernote.

People like me, who actively chose against this overpriced service were now in a position where years of our life were being transferee into a service we had been actively avoiding.

Now, after becoming a "premium" member, I am seeing how right I was to avoid it. The problem is that people are so used to Evernote's business model, that they seem to forget that it really isn't that good. Evernote enjoys the luxury of being one of the most recommended note apps, not because it is all that amazing, but because other than OneNote, the competition out there is severely limited.


I was also a Springpad user, and I think you need to accept that everyone has different opinions. Your posts suggest you're trying to understand why people like Evernote, without really giving it a go. I've used Evernote since 2009 and Springpad since 2011, and I can tell you that MY experience was that Springpad was lackluster, a bit sloppy, and missing a lot of finesse that kept it from ever achieving "capable app" status. The clipper was pretty bad (only about every other movie I'd clip from IMDb, one of the services they touted, would actually load film data), the note formatting left a LOT to be desired (you complain about the appearance of tables in Evernote, but at least we can USE tables -- Springpad had no such option), and it did NOT encourage heavy notekeeping. When you couldn't sort your Notebook view to anything other than a huge grid of notebooks, when tags were notebook specific (requiring one to recreate tags over and over again), no feasible offline use and shoddy syncing, and more... Springpad doesn't encourage anyone to take itself seriously, and I'm not surprised it shut down. I was even featured on the Springpad blog because I used to use it for design inspiration, I was that heavy of a Springpad user. I've not touched it in months because it was just too frustrating.
 

I tried OneNote and it is honestly a thousand times better than Evernote. The only thing that is dissuading me from using it is that the web clipper is terrible, and in don't like the way they present the data. Other than that, the feature set, the integration, the freedom of that software blows Evernote out of the water...and it is free.


It seems like you've also not really given OneNote a full go. When they came out with a Mac version, I did more than just create a couple of notes to give it a little try. I created hundreds of notes on a variety of subjects. I realized very quickly that your statement is factually incorrect. The feature set isn't consistent across versions (the Mac version doesn't sync tags, can't do audio and a slew of other features), the mobile version's severely cut down... Evernote at least realizes the basics -- it needs to be fully functional across versions. OneNote hasn't even managed this, so I'd argue to my grave that it blows Evernote out of the water. Of course, OneNote has its benefits... the open canvas note style is fantastic, and the theoretical ability to embed tags in note content is great... as long as you use Office 365 and Windows only.
 

Either way, for me, it isn't about being convinced. The reality is that Evernote is overpriced and the functionality they push as "premium features" are really just a thinly veiled attempt to push the freemium model on users. For those who are interested, there is a YouTube series called, "Extra Credits" and one episode talks about the right way to do a freemium model. Sure, they're taking about games, but the concept is the same.

The main idea is that a company should attempt to make the users feel good about paying money. The freemium games that create price walls, are generally loathed by people. They initially look successful because people pay of them, but don't have long term sustainability. Evernote is like that.

What Evernote has done, is created software that is free to play, but the features that actually make it fully functional are locked until you pay a freemium subscription of $45/y. The features aren't really features, or fun, useful additions for those who need them, they are basic functionality that users quickly hit a wall with when using it. This forces users to choose between paying a subscription for some reason, or trying to find work arounds.

Look at this forum, and other forums on the net. People are often trying to find way around the subscription. From sharing accounts, to using third party programs. Many people, including myself, seem to begrudgingly pay for the service, not because it is amazing and makes us feel good, but because there is no alternative.

I realize there are some that don't care about $45/y and, "it's less than the price of a latte" but for many of us, it isn't about th price of a latte, it is the principal about companies charging an arbitrary yearly cost, for functionality that has been arbitrarily locked, just so they can have an excuse to monetize it. This kind of business model doesn't sit well with a lot of people, and it is very clear based on the number of people that are desperately hoping for the nex "Evernote killer."


Ah, and now we hit the truth of the matter for you. You just don't like the payment model. That's okay, not everyone does. But, somewhere on this forum (I can't remember where, now, but it's around here somewhere), it's mentioned that Evernote actually has a much higher free to Premium turnover rate than most other apps in the same situation, suggesting that their payment model works just fine. No app is ever going to garner 100% love, though, and it's okay to not like the pricing model. To insinuate that an app should just charge a one-time fee over subscription-based plans is purely opinion however. I think it's perfectly fair to do the subscription model when we have potentially unlimited storage on Evernote's servers. I don't think it's a rip-off that Evernote be paid for this.

And RE: the offline notebooks issue you bring up: think about Evernote's purpose. Remember everything. Can you imagine the data charge or device storage that'd be taken up if suddenly a person's 5,000 notes were synced to their devices? It's not feasible, which means Evernote's method actually makes perfect sense.

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1) Lets be clear here that the "reality" is your opinion that Premium is not worth the money. It is also "reality" that in my opinion, Evernote IS worth the money. 

2) Evernote is, in large part, as free as OneNote. Most basic functionality is available for free with Evernote. The one exception, in my opinion, is offline access on mobile devices. I think it is debatable whether that counts as "basic functionality" or not, it is on the borderline in my opinion. 

3) Many of your complaints about Evernote's shortcomings have absolutely nothing to do with anything that any user is paying for. Tables, tag management, access to contacts, and so on, are all problems faced by both premium and free users. Because these are problems ALL users face, it is hard to make any claims about these problems and their relationship to the value of premium. They aren't isolated to premium subscribers, and you can't subscribe your way out of these problems either (with the exception of offline access on mobile, if that is assumed to be a basic functionality). 

 

4) Evernote's price point is fairly reasonable. See this post for more on my justification for that claim:

https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/60200-how-much-would-premium-subscribers-pay-if-non-related-and-very-expensive-market-items-stopped-production/?p=280977

 

5) Some of the things such as the way tags are managed, are by design (at least, for now), since Evernote wants to prevent someone you share a notebook with overwhelming your carefully structured tagging system. For example, my partner has a different way of using tags than I do, and I don't want to have to sift through that. 

That being said, many people here, and all evangelists here, have made posts expressing better or more nuanced tag-related features and better management of tags when sharing notebooks. So it isn't some kind of "blind evangelism" that is going on here. We are plenty critical of Evernote. 

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Ah, and now we hit the truth of the matter for you. You just don't like the payment model. That's okay, not everyone does. But, somewhere on this forum (I can't remember where, now, but it's around here somewhere), it's mentioned that Evernote actually has a much higher free to Premium turnover rate than most other apps in the same situation, suggesting that their payment model works just fine. No app is ever going to garner 100% love, though, and it's okay to not like the pricing model. To insinuate that an app should just charge a one-time fee over subscription-based plans is purely opinion however. I think it's perfectly fair to do the subscription model when we have potentially unlimited storage on Evernote's servers. I don't think it's a rip-off that Evernote be paid for this.

And RE: the offline notebooks issue you bring up: think about Evernote's purpose. Remember everything. Can you imagine the data charge or device storage that'd be taken up if suddenly a person's 5,000 notes were synced to their devices? It's not feasible, which means Evernote's method actually makes perfect sense.

I will try and address the rest later, but typing on this iPad is already time consuming enough.

As I mentioned, the "Extra Credits" episodes address this. They use examples like Zenga where they initially had a high rate of payments, but are now seriously struggling as other games have adjusted the model. I feel that Evernote will suffer this same fate once someone can come along that offers the same functionality, without the arbitrary functionality walls.

To your last point, that is just an excuse to justify the bad design. First, you can only store like one gigabyte as a premium user. My ipad is 32 gigs. Even if I used up my entire storage, I still wouldn't care. Even if my notes were 32 gigs worth, that is why the option to not sync should be available like it is now.

The system they have now, is only terrible because of the way it is implemented. It forces the user to take steps that should be done for them automatically, out of convenience. There are much better ways to design the option to save, or not save a note locally aside from requiring the user to navigate settings menus for each notebook.

Evernote's method makes no sense. When I write a new note using Apples note app, I don't have to worry that the note will be unavailable offline. As long as it has synced, it will be there, whether I have data or not. If I had to go in and manually choose to save each note, just in case I find myself without wifi/data, it would be frustrating and time consuming.

The default should be to sync notes and make them available offline. The user should then have additional options to selectively sync which notes they don't want taking up space. That gives the best freedom to users, and saves them from having to micromanage every note, just in case.

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1) 5) Some of the things such as the way tags are managed, are by design (at least, for now), since Evernote wants to prevent someone you share a notebook with overwhelming your carefully structured tagging system. For example, my partner has a different way of using tags than I do, and I don't want to have to sift through that.

That being said, many people here, and all evangelists here, have made posts expressing better or more nuanced tag-related features and better management of tags when sharing notebooks. So it isn't some kind of "blind evangelism" that is going on here. We are plenty critical of Evernote.

Yes, but because I have no option to do otherwise, all my girlfriends tags she's worked so hard on for our recipes have to be recreated by me manually (which I tried to do, and Evernote bugged out and deleted them). This is such a frock in' pain because her tags are different from mine, for collaborated notes.

So, she calls me up and says, "Babe, can you cook me something savoury tonight?" I look at Evernote, but because I didn't think to tag anything as savoury, I have no idea what to look for in our recipes. Of course, this is something she has done, but I can't access this on a collaborated note. So, I have to either email her and ask her to chose one, or I have to find an alternative.

There are so many use cases in which having separate tags for collaborated nots makes no sense at all. If I'm working on a project with some business partners, we should all have our own random tags for collaborated notes. If I say, "Please bring up all the notes with the tag, "June Release" but, they haven't created that same tag, it is super frustrating.

Speaking of this so called "premium collaboration" feature. Unless I am wrong, I just opened Evernote and went to "All Notes" to look for my girlfriends todo list of things she has to do before she moves to my country next week. Our collaborated notes don't show up there, only mine.

So I wasn't able to find her note. I had to manually navigate to shared notebooks,mother to the note to see if it was updated. I'm going to check again, but if this is the case....wow.... Naming this a "premium" collaboration is a real stretch.

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Sigh....really?

So ya.... Here is what happened. I wanted to view the status of my girlfriends collaborated note. I opened the app, and went to notes. I arranged it by "date modified" assuming it she had updated it, it would be at the top of my note grid. Not there. In face none of our collaborated notes are.

So, I manually go to the shared notebook, find the note and open it. "This note has been modified, tap to refresh." What? So, not only did Evernote fail to display the note, it didn't bother refreshing it for me?

Collaboration, I'm not sure that word means, what you think it means Evernote.

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1) 5) Some of the things such as the way tags are managed, are by design (at least, for now), since Evernote wants to prevent someone you share a notebook with overwhelming your carefully structured tagging system. For example, my partner has a different way of using tags than I do, and I don't want to have to sift through that.

That being said, many people here, and all evangelists here, have made posts expressing better or more nuanced tag-related features and better management of tags when sharing notebooks. So it isn't some kind of "blind evangelism" that is going on here. We are plenty critical of Evernote.

Yes, but because I have no option to do otherwise, all my girlfriends tags she's worked so hard on for our recipes have to be recreated by me manually (which I tried to do, and Evernote bugged out and deleted them). This is such a frock in' pain because her tags are different from mine, for collaborated notes.

So, she calls me up and says, "Babe, can you cook me something savoury tonight?" I look at Evernote, but because I didn't think to tag anything as savoury, I have no idea what to look for in our recipes. Of course, this is something she has done, but I can't access this on a collaborated note. So, I have to either email her and ask her to chose one, or I have to find an alternative.

There are so many use cases in which having separate tags for collaborated nots makes no sense at all. If I'm working on a project with some business partners, we should all have our own random tags for collaborated notes. If I say, "Please bring up all the notes with the tag, "June Release" but, they haven't created that same tag, it is super frustrating.

Speaking of this so called "premium collaboration" feature. Unless I am wrong, I just opened Evernote and went to "All Notes" to look for my girlfriends todo list of things she has to do before she moves to my country next week. Our collaborated notes don't show up there, only mine.

So I wasn't able to find her note. I had to manually navigate to shared notebooks,mother to the note to see if it was updated. I'm going to check again, but if this is the case....wow.... Naming this a "premium" collaboration is a real stretch.

 

It sounds like there may be a problem with your shared notebooks. 

 

If your girlfriend has a notebook filled with recipes that she shares with you, the tags she has used in that notebook come along for the ride. Since you are the sharee, you can use ONLY those tags in that shared notebook. So if Savoury is a tag used in the recipe notebook, it should show up in searches, and you should be able to tag things with Savoury. If the tag "vegan" has NOT EVER been used by your GF, you cannot then go ahead and tag something in that notebook with "vegan". She'd have to use the tag on at least one note in that notebook before you, as the sharee, can use it too. 

 

So, if you AREN'T seeing the tags she has used in a shared notebook, there is a problem. 

 

If you are also unable to find NOTES that she has created in shared notebooks, that is also a problem. Perhaps she thinks the note is in a shared notebook when it isn't, or perhaps there has been an issue with the invitation and for some reason your access to shared notebooks and their contents and tags is out of whack. 

 

Have you attempted any troubleshooting at all? For example, if you have difficulty accessing shared content, one of the first things to try would be to have your GF (or whoever shared the notebook with you) revoke the share, and re-share. 

 

While feature requests and constructive criticisms are welcomed in this community, it sounds like Evernote just isn't for you, and that is fine

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Evernote's method makes no sense. When I write a new note using Apples note app, I don't have to worry that the note will be unavailable offline. As long as it has synced, it will be there, whether I have data or not. If I had to go in and manually choose to save each note, just in case I find myself without wifi/data, it would be frustrating and time consuming.

The default should be to sync notes and make them available offline. The user should then have additional options to selectively sync which notes they don't want taking up space. That gives the best freedom to users, and saves them from having to micromanage every note, just in case.

I disagree that it makes no sense -- it makes perfect sense. Apple's Notes app isn't the same demographic as Evernote. Evernote is meant to be a repository, where you can store anything, including files and media. Apple's Notes app is meant for quick notes and lists. The fact that Evernote Premium has a 1 gig/mo upload caps goes to show that Evernote's meant for a large haul, and I think you'll find that a lot of people who use it store a ton of stuff in it. 

 

Because they're NOT meant for the same thing, trying to use the same business model doesn't work. There's very low risk that one's Apple Notes take up a large chunk of space on one's device. Evernote, on the other hand... imagine someone who uploads 512MB/mo (half the Premium cap) and has had Evernote for, oh, 2 years. That's 12 GB of data, just for Evernote. Unfeasible! Evernote is meant for long-term storage and keeping of files and information, and having the default set to sync everything offline makes no sense whatsoever. Of course, there has been and probably will forever be discussion on the best way to implement offline notes/notebooks (I'm a fan of how Spotify handles it -- you can sync entire playlists to offline, or individual songs as well, and have somewhere in-app you can go to see all offline content), but there would be fire and pitchforks if Evernote were set to automatically sync everything to offline. Of course, myself -- I wouldn't say no to a toggle in the settings of "Sync All Notes Offline ← → Sync Manually Offline" or some such.

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As for this offline stuff, I have two dedicated offline notebooks that are ALWAYS set to be offline on my mobile devices. They are not part of any organizational structure. 

1) Shared "travel" notebook with my partner. This is set to be available offline on all of our devices. This is a temporary repository for travel documents for the current or upcoming trip.

2) personal "offline" notebook which is also a temporary repository for any documents I may need offline access to. This is typically travel documents for a current or upcoming trip that does not include my partner, but it could contain any note that I may need offline access to. 

 

Notes go into either of these notebooks only as needed. It is often travel but it could be anything, it could be my colleagues food truck orders, for example. Notes are tossed in and out of these notebooks very often. Since they are ALWAYS set to be offline accessible I never have to worry about the labour involved in toggling. 

 

So if you struggle with the complexities of going to settings>premium>offline notebooks and selecting the ones you want, perhaps my workflow would be helpful. I know it made things a lot easier for me because I frequently forgot to switch notebooks into "offline" mode, or a note I needed offline access to would be in a VERY large notebook that would overwhelm my device's storage if I made it available offline. This really streamlined the whole thing. 

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