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NightStalker

Configurable Toolbar on Mac - a dedicated thread!

Idea

This issue has been a thorn in the side of many for years now. So I thought that rather than keep banging on about it in various different threads, none of which are specifically about this problem, I'd start a thread dedicated to it.

 

The ability to configure toolbars on almost every app that runs on a Mac has been a standard feature of Mac OS X for as long as that OS has existed. Those who have used Macs for longer than me can possibly recall if it was present in OSs before OS X.

 

But Evernote, for some reason that I have never been able to figure out, bucks the system and insists on having a non-configurable toolbar. And I have never received an answer from any Evernote employee as to "WHY?"

 

On my Macs, ranging from Macbooks to iMacs, so from 15" up to 27", the toolbar is largely empty (a victim of Evernote's unhealthy obsession with "unclutter"). But not only is it largely empty, it contains buttons that I will NEVER use and don't want there (such as the "New Chat" button), and it does NOT contain buttons that I DO want on there (such as "Email Note" and "Print").

 

So, could somebody from Evernote PLEASE explain just WHY the toolbar is not configurable, when it is a virtual standard feature of Mac OS X? Why was that decision made in the first place?

 

And could somebody from Evernote PLEASE consider changing this ridiculous situation? What on earth is the use of having toolbar buttons that I would never use, while not being able to put buttons on there that I WOULD use? And of course, everyone is different - we need the ability to customise that toolbar for the way each of us uses Evernote.

 

While I accept that those who post here on the forum would be only a tiny handful compared to the total Evernote user base, we are fairly power users, and loyal Evernoters. And you can't just assume that the other 99.9% who do not post would have views that differ from those who do.

 

So, if anyone else feels the same way, please convey your thoughts on this thread, and for Evernote employees who read this thread, please PLEASE tell the powers-that-be that we want our configurable toolbar back.

 

Oh, and the ability to get rid of buttons such as the "Chat" button on the iOS version (iPad) would also be nice, if we turn Chat off in a setting (that isn't there, but should be).

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I agree with you NightStalker, Evernote should provide us with fully configurable toolbars, as well of more options/preferences so each of us can better tune Evernote to suit our needs and workflows.

 

As to "why" they don't, I don't really know, but maybe this is a clue.

Here's a statement made by Evernote CEO Phil Libin made to TheGuardian in July 2012:

 

 

"When you're in a design session, if the answer is 'make that configurable, put in a preference for this', that's almost always not the right answer. It's the lazy way out: you're leaving it up to the user to do the work of figuring things out."

 

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Indeed, JM - as a user, I WANT to "do the work of figuring things out" - to suit the way I work. It is not the "lazy way out".

 

That's where I think Libin has it oh so wrong - he is dumbing everyone down. If his logic is correct, then Apple and almost every other provider of apps has it wrong, while he is right.

 

I've messaged GBarry to see if he would consider pinning this thread so that it doesn't simply get pushed down the list, and that way we can try to get discussion on this topic all in the one place.

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Haven't heard back about pinning this topic, yet. Not sure of timezone differences though...

 

Is it considered bad form to bump this back up the list, rather than let it slide down into oblivion, do you think?

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re bumping: Yes, it is bad form; explicitly so. #5 in the forum rules: https://discussion.evernote.com/index.php?app=forums&module=extras&section=boardrules

 

Geoff's pretty receptive to requests, but I have to ask -- while agreeing that this would be useful for Mac folks -- why you think that this request is any more important than any other? Shall we pin the Linux client request topic? The nested notebooks topic? These are both pretty popular subjects. How many requests should we keep pinned?

 

Usually, if a topic is popular, it gets regular responses, and so stays visible. Beyond that, a forum user needs to rely on search; there are only so many topics that be displayed on the front page, after all, and natural forum input ought to be respected. I think that that's partly behind the "no bumping" rule. Obviously, Geoff gets final say, though.

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Morning Jeff - and fair comment about pinning etc. And I didn't know that bumping was a specific no-no. Apologies for that blooper.

 

My concern was (and still is) that so many people post to the forum simply by creating a new post, and hence a new thread, with such alarming rapidity that an individual thread just slides down and off the page onto the next page. And if most people are like me, I never scroll to page 2 (same with Google searches - if it ain't on page 1, I just don't see it). I'd also venture to suggest that most people don't use the search function, judging by the number of posters who start new threads all on topics which are covered in other threads.

 

The main reason I started this one was that many people - including moi - have brought up this thorny issue of the non-configurable toolbar on the Mac in numerous different conversations on different threads, none of which was specifically about this issue. So I thought it worthwhile to gather comments in one thread focussing on it.

 

My bottom-line question though is why the toolbar on the Mac client remains non-configurable? The point being, that in earlier versions of Evernote, it WAS configurable, but for some misguided reason that ability was removed. Maybe if it was reintroduced, there would be far less complaints about Chat buttons that people don't use, etc, ? ;)

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No problem -- you asked, and were respectful about it all so fair play as far as I'm concerned.

 

One thing that we used to do with the disparate conversations was to merge them, together. That might be something to ask Geoff, if he doesn't go for the pinning thing.

 

Obviously I cannot answer the configurability issue, and every time I mention that the Windows toolbar is configurable, I get hissed at by black-turtleneck types... :)

 

Your post did get me thinking about whether there ought to be a feature request specific area of the forums. I could see it being useful to keep those separate from the garden-variety how-do-I? and Evernote-won't-sync! types of questions. I'll have to think on that some more, and maybe put a request up.

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Now that WOULD be a good idea, Jeff. A lot of feature requests (or complaints about specific features) are scattered through so many different threads, many of which are actually about something else such as the ones you mention for example. A Feature Request area would serve to focus on those things.

 

Oh, and by the way - I hate black turtle necks...  :P  (Yes, I do know you were kidding) :rolleyes:

 

And I'd better shut up, as I'm cluttering up my own thread!

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I just upgraded, and the search entry disappeared because of 'New Chat'.

BAD user experience.

 

I have to drag the window to about 2/3 of the screen width before search appears.

BAD user experience.

 
I can use the keyboard shortcut, but I can't see what I'm typing!

BAD user experience.

 

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@NS:  I totally agree with you.

 

EN Win has a configurable toolbar, so why not EN Mac???

 

So everyone can see what we're talking about, here's a screenshot of EN Win:

 

EN-Win-572-Toolbar.gif

 

This issue has been a thorn in the side of many for years now. So I thought that rather than keep banging on about it in various different threads, none of which are specifically about this problem, I'd start a thread dedicated to it.

 

The ability to configure toolbars on almost every app that runs on a Mac has been a standard feature of Mac OS X for as long as that OS has existed. Those who have used Macs for longer than me can possibly recall if it was present in OSs before OS X.

 

But Evernote, for some reason that I have never been able to figure out, bucks the system and insists on having a non-configurable toolbar. And I have never received an answer from any Evernote employee as to "WHY?"

 

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Oh, wouldn't it be nice to see that sort of array of buttons that we could drag on and off the Mac EN toolbar.

 

And of course, it would be even nicer if they were in actual (gulp) colour....

 

With all those bland grey icons, there is no way that they could be recognized by appearance alone - they NEED the text label. Which begs the question - why have an icon at all if it's not to make things easier to recognize at a glance without having to read the whole thing?

 

The main advantage of having icons there at all is that they can be in colour, so that specific shapes AND colours can be associated with specific functions. And then we can turn off the text labels once we've got used to the icons.

 

And it's interesting that Apple's own apps, like Pages, Numbers, Keynote all still use coloured icons for that very reason - at least on my Mavericks they do. Don't know about on Yosemite, as I'm not going there.

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Your post did get me thinking about whether there ought to be a feature request specific area of the forums. I could see it being useful to keep those separate from the garden-variety how-do-I? and Evernote-won't-sync! types of questions. I'll have to think on that some more, and maybe put a request up.

 

Great idea, especially if you allow members to vote - therefore helping Evernote Dev/Mgt to see which has the most crowd support.

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I generally don't like the design of Evernote for Yosemite, but...I can live with it. I have now made it all more simple so Evernote looks like a lightweight app again. Somehow, removing the sidebar and toolbar made Evernote for Yosemite work more neatly for me, as I really stumble over these kind of things. Ofcourse I made some trade-offs: aesthetics vs. functionality (which I now all solve through the menu bar).

 

The main problem is by far the toolbar though. I'm sorry to say, but it's kind of hideous. Especially as there are buttons that I do - and will - never use, just like you. Being able to customise the toolbar like in most apps for Mac would solve all of these problems at once. Big +1 for this thread.

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Am I missing something here... Customisable Toolbar is available but no real beneficial ways to customise it?  It used to be there and could be used effectively, now I am just confused.

 

Have you guys found ways to utilise the custom feature?

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Hi Phil,

 

I think I remember seeing SoftwareMarcus stating somewhere that making the toolbar customizable was just the first step, and that there would be more options to come.  Let's hope so.

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Reviving this thread.  If there's another one out there more recent, then by all means let me know.

I've been using Evernote for Windows while at work, and it may be my favorite implementation ever of Evernote.

Every time I use my Mac at home, I look at that toolbar and wish I could do more with it.  I don't have a large monitor and would love to collapse the left panel and have shortcuts in the toolbar.  Sure, I can collapse the left panel to just the icons, but then I lose shortcuts completely.  And then I get all frowny face.

I get that Mac development is not Windows development, and I'm not saying the apps should be identical on all platforms.  But it would be nice to see some of these features migrate across platforms.  Especially when Apple has a solid system for customizing toolbars.

 

Capture.PNG

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Bump-bumpedy bump bump bump.

Really would love to collapse that sidebar in the Mac client and have my shortcuts up in the toolbar.
There's so much wasted space up there.  That would be pretty killer.

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Still holding out hope that this will get implemented at some point.
I'm seriously thinking about a PC for my next computer since Evernote for Windows is more customizable.

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44 minutes ago, righteousdork said:

Still holding out hope that this will get implemented at some point.
I'm seriously thinking about a PC for my next computer since Evernote for Windows is more customizable.

If you have been on a Mac for a long time I suggest seeing if you can get your hands on a PC that would can put evernote on to test it out. Maybe a friend or family member has one you could use? 

A lot of the functions in my workflow are horrible on the windows platform and easy as all get out on the Mac. 

So for me the lack of that customization is minor compared to the extra steps to accomplish things on the windows platform. 

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I should have been more clear.  I use a PC everyday for work.  My Mac is my personal machine.  And I much prefer Evernote on Windows.  It's just better, in my opinion.  This is the conundrum for me.  I have no desire to run Windows on a personal machine, but Evernote is my #1 app.  So do I go where the better software is?  Or stick with Mac because I prefer the environment?  It's a tough call.

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4 hours ago, righteousdork said:

I'm seriously thinking about a PC for my next computer since Evernote for Windows is more customizable.

How to install Windows on a Mac

At one time I was running both versions of Evernote on my Mac.  I prefer the Mac platform for Evernote; I like the customization using the scripting level

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