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Please add the last two updates to the Windows version of Evernote to the list of unreliable releases.  I have not been able to sync for weeks.  Support acknowledges the bug and advises that I should watch for future updates and use the web application in the interim.  They closed my support ticket at the time they offered this advice.

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Thank you Scott,

 

I believe that this is a very fair and balanced overview. Very well written. I never thought I would say this myself, but my confidence in the technical aspects of Evernote is on rather shaky ground. 

 

Additionally, in my case, I would like to see included in the release notes absolutely all feature cuts/ changes - no matter how small. It's great to see a list of the new features when installing a new update - but I find it frustrating that we are not given a heads up as to significant features that are cut ... such as the inability to now share notes notebooks via email. Not necessarily a train smash - but I had to do quite a bit of tinkering and hitting of all the buttons to discover that it is only possible through Work Chat now - and all that to give an answer to a forum question. It would be truly awesome to get the entire rundown - not just the parts that Evernote wants us to focus on. How difficult is that? Just a little more transparency EDIT: [pretty please]. 

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Excellent points.  I don't know if Windows users have had as many bugs as Mac users but I don't care for any of the interface updates.  I just want the bugs fixed that compromise stability. I've gone from being a loyal Evernote user to someone who searches every month for the next Evernote killer so I can switch to something more reliable.

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Ah I suppose another important note is, of course I cannot speak to Windows and Android experience.

 

For the most part, the Windows client seems to be fine for me. Just some very frustrating user experiences in the forum of all tags disappearing when just one is deleted. Other than that, it seems that the recent Mac 6.0/ 6.0.1 seems to have taken on more of a Windows color scheme/ semblance. At a superficial glance. Yosemite aside... is this part of a platform-wide standardization? 

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Ah I suppose another important note is, of course I cannot speak to Windows and Android experience.

 

I've encountered quite a few frustrations with the Windows client over the past year.  Sync problems, Not Responding problems, scalability problems.

 

I've seen several power users drop out of this forum completely. I don't believe Evernote reads each and every forum message. I question their future plans. I am actively moving my data to other services. 

 

I've reached the point where I no longer care about Evernote's future.

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What's going on, Evernote? Really, what is going on with you folks down in Redwood City?

 

It was almost a year go that Jason Kincaid posted

http://jasonkincaid.net/2014/01/evernote-the-bug-ridden-elephant/

 

and since Libin responded, in which he emphasized the already existing renewed commitment to quality and care that extended back to November 2013:

http://blog.evernote.com/blog/2014/01/04/on-software-quality/

 

Over the summer of 2014 (and sporadically, prior that) many of us former "evangelists" LOUDLY raised our own concerns about the quality of the software and customer support as we had observed and experienced it over the previous year or so. We voiced our concerns directly to Evernote staff through private channels, then added our voices when the other members of the forum raised their own concerns:

https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/66103-power-user-discontent-best-alternatives-to-en/

 

A year after Evernote's rededication to software quality and testing, where are we now?

 

There have been some significant improvements that I think users benefit from a great deal. A few include:

  • Sync being faster on ALL clients, MUCH faster. This is much appreciated.
  • The text editor, at least on the desktop, has been improved with some of the major issues users complained about being ironed out (e.g., some table quirks and image resizing). 
  • The web clippers got a makeover and some significant refinement all around the board. While there were some mixed reviews about the changes, I think in general the consensus was positive. 

 

There have been some rather trivial improvements to the service as well. Namely:

  • some of the various limits have been increased, so users can share and clip more and bigger things across all subscription levels.
  • Context is an interesting feature and clearly benefits some users even at this early stage. It also generates revenue for Evernote which isn't a bad thing either. 
  • Work Chat seems like it could be a productivity booster for small organizations that collaborate using Evernote.

 

Most importantly, there have also been some significant problems this year that hit much more at the heart of the user experience and Evernote's reputation. These issues, from the outside, seem to suggest longstanding, persistent systemic issues at Evernote. I won't rehash the various issues that plagued users earlier this year, there were plenty (and a quick search of this forum will reveal them anyway). Let us instead start this summer. 

 

Support

This summer and fall saw the retraction of support for free users. This is not, in itself, unreasonable. It seemed to be motivated by a desire to improve the level of support for paying customers while working with finite resources and a burgeoning user base. How this change was executed, however, was problematic. Support for free users for most issues was scaled back and eventually fully retracted without official announcement. Existing tickets submitted by free users before the change was made "official" (exactly when this was is hard to determine) were simply closed, and free users continued to be allowed to submit tickets for weeks after support was revoked. There was a rocky transitional period in which free users with legitimate support requests (e.g., failed iTunes upgrades) were being rejected; the knowledge base lagged (and is still lagging) behind and lacks the requisite detail and robustness to allow self-support; the KB continued to direct all users to support, even though it wasn't universally available; major software and service issues created problems for all users, and free users were not supported. 

 

After several months of rockiness, the support expectation for free users has successfully been mitigated and the triaging of support tickets seems to have improved, as there seem to be many fewer false rejections on the forums. However, there seems to be no shortage of premium and business users waiting 3 or more business days to receive their initial human response. This doesn't seem to suggest any improvement over the situation before, when free users received support too. So all of the disruption and change led to what appears to be no noticeable improvement in support for premium users. 

 

Software

Most recently, a series of very poorly executed releases have taken place, namely Penultimate 6 and Evernote for Mac 6 (also the Web Beta, but that's a bit of a strange case). 

Penultimate 6 was "publicly" beta tested for at least a couple of weeks, but despite this, the launch was extremely rocky, including reports of data loss, data being moved around, severe usability issues, and other obvious omissions and outright bugs, much of which was noted by Evernote staff. 6.0.1 was released within a week, but this should have been the 6.0 release. If only a week of work was required to address some of the most pressing issues, why wasn't the release a week later? Why wasn't beta testing extended by a week? How much more could have been done if you had taken an extra two weeks to polish things?

 

Evernote 6 was released without any public beta. I am leaving out the aesthetics of the new version here, it has been debated elsewhere in all its subjective glory. My focus here is on honest-to-goodness functional bugs. Evernote 6.0 and 6.0.1 (frustratingly co-existing depending on how a user acquired it) presented numerous, seemingly widespread bugs that would have easily be caught in a brief beta period. Some low hanging fruit include:

  • the title reverting to "untitled" upon printing
  • Column headers  looking sloppy (and unreadable) because they accidentally displaying list contents when lists scrolled
  • Note contents not appearing, or appearing slowly, or appearing sporadically
  • Sporadic reports of data loss, corruption, or other similar things. 
  • Continuation of the general trend of (re)moving features and changing workflows abruptly and without clear documentation. 

 

We have received some interesting new features that are geared towards a very specific target user. I am thinking of Work Chat and Context here. Yet, we continue to see immensely buggy releases that are, by Evernote's own admission, half baked, and  long-standing issues go un-addressed.

 

Summary

Support was shaken up dramatically and there has been no significant improvement as far as I can see.

Despite a year of committing to improved software and service quality, there have been at least two major releases ridden with bugs and other very serious issues. This has included such foot-shooting as releasing major updates without public beta testing. 

Lots of new shiny features accompanied by a general failure to address longstanding issues and improve on fundamental elements of the applications and service.

In a year since Evernote's commitment to quality, we have seen repeated failures to actually demonstrate that commitment. Repeated, obvious failures. In general this comes across as though Evernote is rushing or being outright careless with their releases.

 

While I am still an avid user, I have become very cautious about the extent to which I rely on Evernote for most things and the integrity of what I store within Evernote. I have become more diligent about keeping critical documents duplicated elsewhere, and I no longer rely on Evernote for offline access to my travel documents. The number of bugs I have personally experienced (and I have experienced very few of the bugs that I see reported around here), and the reports of bugs on various online communities, have also meant that I no longer unequivocally recommend Evernote to my family, friends, and colleagues. The issues and struggles I have experienced and observed others experience, and the rapid pace at which features come, go, or are fundamentally changed, has made Evernote a bit of a liability with which I'd rather not become implicated by recommending its use.

 

Additional Notes

  • All of what I have written here is based on anecdotal evidence, largely from what I have observed in the years I have participated in this forum and been an Evernote user. Evernote will have far more valid and reliable data about how often many of these problems occur, how long users are waiting for a response from support, etc. So my observations here must be taken with a grain of salt. They may not accurately reflect the reality of the broader user base. 
  • While I see Evernote as a "liability", what I mean more than anything is that Evernote has shifted from being something I feel very secure and comfortable using as a repository for my important information, to being something that I feel now carries a much larger element of risk of loss. In other words, I feel less secure and less comfortable now, than in the past, (as opposed to feeling outrightly insecure and outrightly uncomfortable)
  •  Much of what I am discussing here isn't exactly related to whether Evernote listens or not. Evernote clearly does listen to its users. I have no doubt in my mind that most of what users are saying is heard by Evernote staff, and that many of these things are taken account of. Developing software and services is always a balancing act between the goals and vision of the company, and the perceived expectations of users. This post is not about whether Evernote is listening to preferences about colour or a linux client. 

 

Evernote, what's going on? We've seen new shiny features and minor qualitative improvements (mostly with sync), but we are persistently presented with a slew of new bugs and various other issues. What we haven't seen is a marked improvement in overall quality in a year where overall quality was your explicitly stated goal.

 

Scott, while I applaud your post, as you mentioned, we (former evangelists) raised concerns in the (now defunct) SSZ & got no reply of substance.  Various concerns have been raised in multiple threads on the public board...with no reply of substance.  Customer service for both premium & free users used to be exceptional.  Now, it rivals U.S. government agencies.  EN has lost two former power users/evangelists (I am one of them) who used to be very vocal/prolific/ardent supporters of Evernote and contributed much help on the boards.  Perhaps a year or two from now, we will look foolish b/c EN may have a vision that we cannot see & they will be even more wildly successful than they have been in the past.  But from where I sit, a tool that I have loved & supported for many years & used many times pretty much every hour of every day no longer works for me & I'm in the process of migrating to Onenote.  (I never thought I'd live to see that day...)  So my take is that Evernote has royally effed up since early 2014.  It's like an addict...they need to hit rock bottom before they realize that everything they touch no longer turns to gold.  And to date, they have not hit rock bottom.

 

I know back in 2008, when EN the Windows only app converted to Evernote the service, a lot of former users predicted the demise of Evernote the service.  They were clearly wrong.  Perhaps I am wrong.  Only time will tell.  Until then...I have cancelled my two premium accounts & am not looking back.  As I have posted many times on this board to others...if the Evernote of today does not work for you, then you need to find another app that better suits your needs. 

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This is an excellent analysis of the current situation and I completely agree with it.

 

Thank you very much, Scott.

 

I would like to add one aspect. Phil Libin has recently stated that he thinks the price for a premium account might be wrong and that is was not changed for a long time and that it will change soon. For some countries the future price will be higher for some less.

 

I would agree with him and I would pay more for a service like the one Evernote provides if it was reliable and gave me the confidence that I can manage my life's data for a long time. But with the quality problems and frequent exchange of functionality you describe it will be difficult for Evernote to present good reasons for a price increase.

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Scott, while I applaud your post, as you mentioned, we (former evangelists) raised concerns in the (now defunct) SSZ & got no reply of substance.  Various concerns have been raised in multiple threads on the public board...with no reply of substance.  Customer service for both premium & free users used to be exceptional.  Now, it rivals U.S. government agencies.  EN has lost two former power users/evangelists (I am one of them) who used to be very vocal/prolific/ardent supporters of Evernote and contributed much help on the boards.  Perhaps a year or two from now, we will look foolish b/c EN may have a vision that we cannot see & they will be even more wildly successful than they have been in the past.  But from where I sit, a tool that I have loved & supported for many years & used many times pretty much every hour of every day no longer works for me & I'm in the process of migrating to Onenote.  (I never thought I'd live to see that day...)  So my take is that Evernote has royally effed up since early 2014.  It's like an addict...they need to hit rock bottom before they realize that everything they touch no longer turns to gold.  And to date, they have not hit rock bottom.

 

I know back in 2008, when EN the Windows only app converted to Evernote the service, a lot of former users predicted the demise of Evernote the service.  They were clearly wrong.  Perhaps I am wrong.  Only time will tell.  Until then...I have cancelled my two premium accounts & am not looking back.  As I have posted many times on this board to others...if the Evernote of today does not work for you, then you need to find another app that better suits your needs. 

 

Indeed I realize that a great deal of what I have written here are identical to the sentiments that we expressed earlier this year. In some respects it seems a little silly to even be uttering them again. If the first round of concerns (the first "intervention" to prolong your addict metaphor) wasn't effective, then what good could come from rehashing it 6 months later. 

 

However, it is telling that the exact sentiments are just as applicable now as they were 6 months, or 12 months ago. Things have changed a great deal in that time, but they haven't really improved. 

----

Unrelated to BnF's post:

 

I should add one commendation, which is that Evernote is making very clear attempts to reach out to their users. A modest increase in staff participation in the forums, and the recent Mac Webinar are examples of that. While the exact impact of those initiatives could be debated (I think they are mildly positive), they at least indicate some early attempts at engaging users and creating a bit more of a dialogue.

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I would agree with him and I would pay more for a service like the one Evernote provides if it was reliable and gave me the confidence that I can manage my life's data for a long time. But with the quality problems and frequent exchange of functionality you describe it will be difficult for Evernote to present good reasons for a price increase.

This is a good point and I share these feelings. It is hard to feel inclined to sign up for a year of Evernote (regardless of the price), if the reliability isn't consistently and exceptionally high. Moreover, I'm not sure how much I would want to commit to a product/service that, within a year, might have morphed into something that no longer services my needs. 

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Don't you think that Evernote has itself in a catch-22 situation when it comes to hearing their user base and doing anything significant about it? They have to be committed to their new vision. It would be silly to recant mid-stride. They simply have to follow through. 

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Don't you think that Evernote has itself in a catch-22 situation when it comes to hearing their user base and doing anything significant about it? They have to be committed to their new vision. It would be silly to recant mid-stride. They simply have to follow through. 

Definitely you can't recant mid-stride. I think much of my point is that Evernote has failed to fully think through the strides they do make. If you watch where you walk, you trip a whole lot less and have a whole lot less apologizing to do!

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This is an excellent analysis of the current situation and I completely agree with it.

 

Thank you very much, Scott.

 

I would like to add one aspect. Phil Libin has recently stated that he thinks the price for a premium account might be wrong and that is was not changed for a long time and that it will change soon. For some countries the future price will be higher for some less.

 

I would agree with him and I would pay more for a service like the one Evernote provides if it was reliable and gave me the confidence that I can manage my life's data for a long time. But with the quality problems and frequent exchange of functionality you describe it will be difficult for Evernote to present good reasons for a price increase.

ABSOLUTELY AGREE!!!

My leaving Evernote has nothing to do with the current price or any impending price increase be it real or perceived.  For ME...although EN comped me the equivalent of a year or four of premium service, I was ultimately paying for two premium EN accounts.  $90 USD per year.  BECAUSE...Evernote could not handle my one, large account, once it was in the >30,000 notes range.  But I (then) believed in the company & the people and "assumed" this was a core feature that would be addressed.  I was wrong.  (Please note, you heard it here first.)  From all indications I have seen, Evernote is NOT addressing the scalability problem they have.  And they do indeed have a scalability problem. 

 

OneNote 365 costs me $99 USD per year.  I used Onenote before I used Evernote.  I have at least a few posts on the public boards that I do not think the two apps are competitors.  I still think that way.  I used ON (occasionally) for brainstorming & EN (daily) for notes that can stand on their own merit such as contact info, bookmarks, code snippets, yada, yada, yada.  Even today, ON falls short for my use compared to Evernote...when it (Evernote) worked for me But although Evernote claims/claimED to want to be a 100 year company, they clearly cannot handle large databases, which is why Evernote no longer works for me.  (For those of you who are unfamiliar with my travails, please search the board on 'duet'.) 

 

SO...word to the wise from someone who has BTDTWTTS...Evernote is amazingly awesome...as long as you don't want to remember too many things.

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Don't you think that Evernote has itself in a catch-22 situation when it comes to hearing their user base and doing anything significant about it? They have to be committed to their new vision. It would be silly to recant mid-stride. They simply have to follow through. 

 

 

I disagree.  IMO, if/when you've totally effed up, you need to own it. 

 

Evernote not only continues to release apps that are (apparently) causing data loss (you can read the posts just as well as I can) and not address issues that were presented to them at least two/three years ago such as scalability. 

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Don't you think that Evernote has itself in a catch-22 situation when it comes to hearing their user base and doing anything significant about it? They have to be committed to their new vision. It would be silly to recant mid-stride. They simply have to follow through. 

 

 

I disagree.  IMO, if/when you've totally effed up, you need to own it. 

 

Evernote not only continues to release apps that are (apparently) causing data loss (you can read the posts just as well as I can) and not address issues that were presented to them at least two/three years ago such as scalability. 

 

 

I agree with you BnF... just saying that they've gotten themselves into a pickle. Evernote can't have it's cake and eat it (to further prolong the addict metaphor).

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thank you scott, for writing an open letter expressing the concerns that many of us have about systemic issues. my hope is that evernote employees will read this and do what they can to fix it, but, more importantly, that those in managerial positions will take note and reflect on what has obviously gone wrong over a long period. and, here we are not talking about genuinely subjective disagreements that might be had among intelligent people about design, colors, and so forth. these are fundamental, systemic problems resulting in customer confusion, disillusionment, and data loss in many cases.

let's look at where we stand today. roughly a year after the very public and widely welcomed apology by phil, we have what appear to be three apps that are destroying data. penultimate users, despite evernote claims to the contrary, have lost (or still cannot find) their data. ios users are now complaining about data loss. and, mac users have been hit with data loss as well. it is now not unexpected that anyone using evernote in the appleverse will run into data loss (lost or destroyed?) any day without recourse to customer support (even paying members seem to be in a long queue).

this isn't to point the finger at any one person or team of people. that wouldn't be fair, because this is obviously a systemic problem. we've had data loss issues for years. and we have been pleading for more opportunities to volunteer our time to enter the development cycles earlier into order to be guinea pigs that can catch poor design decisions earlier and hopefully come across devastating bugs before they hit everyone in the public releases. over time, i think we actually have had less involvement and it has come at later dates, sometimes only hours before a release already submitted to apple. maybe this would be ok with an indie developer and a few thousand users. what has changed now, to my eyes, is that we have many tens of millions more folks, and they are without access to customer support, updated information, or (in bad cases) any hope of getting their data back.

things are dysfunctional. it's not one person's problem, but the dynamic among people.i doubt the solution is as simple as firing this person or apologizing. something more fundamental, and probably painful is needed. and, it will involve time. instead of a major release every few months and updates every week, evernote may need to wait weeks, months, or even years before it releases expertly designed, thoroughly tested, and flawlessly performing apps. they can't expect anymore to have the new app out on release day with its awesome interface, but unstable functionality, because it was pushed out the door without a beta. in short, there needs to be the attitude that it doesn't go out the door unless it is perfect.

i am sure many people will scoff at the idea of expecting an app in this day and age to work flawlessly. they'll tell me that bugs are inevitable, and broken stuff is the price you pay for living on the bleeding edge. ok. maybe my standards for a lifetime of memories and irreplacible data are too high. but, at the very least, there ought to be a zero tolerance policy for data loss. sure, i know there already is -- no one at evernote goes around high fiving other developers when they wipe out someone's stuff. but, this has to be put into practice, and i think a beta-less release, for example, is almost certainly going to fail the test. i am sure there are entirely rational and reasonable decisions being made within evernote about internal deadlines. but, they are wrong. another way has to be found, and i suspect it will mean giving up the timing of releases with this or that critical thingy, and a commitment to quality instead. the core features: data integrity, security, and sync ought to be rock solid. a complaint or even confusion about any of these ought to be exceedingly rare.

as scott said, what's the harm in waiting a couple more weeks?

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Don't you think that Evernote has itself in a catch-22 situation when it comes to hearing their user base and doing anything significant about it? They have to be committed to their new vision. It would be silly to recant mid-stride. They simply have to follow through. 

 

 

I disagree.  IMO, if/when you've totally effed up, you need to own it. 

 

Evernote not only continues to release apps that are (apparently) causing data loss (you can read the posts just as well as I can) and not address issues that were presented to them at least two/three years ago such as scalability. 

 

Some staff have owned it, but they've owned it again, and again, and again. Libin "owned it" in January, Jamie Hull just "owned it" this past week regarding Penultimate. I'm sure there have been other more minor instances that have come and gone in the 10 intervening months. It's the number of times there have been obvious errors, obvious carelessness, obvious mis-steps, obvious failures, that is concerning. Apologies are fine until the 10th one.

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I just found this blog post: http://siliconangle.com/blog/2014/11/24/evernote-i-love-you-but-you-annoy-me/. It somehow fits well into this post.

Great find. 

From the article:

 

 

I really need versioning, locking, group editing with tracked changes, none of which are mentioned on the Evernote Business page, which really doesn’t say much at all if you look at it.

See, this is exactly what I am talking about. These are some really critical enhancements to the core functionality of Evernote that I think would be immensely welcomed by swaths of Evernote users in many niches, whether they be business users, freelancers, or arts & crafts enthusiasts. 

 

Then again, presumably Evernote's got the data, I assume they've done the research, they know what's better for their business than I do. I, and the author of the article Stuhrer linked to, represent but a niche of our own which might be a rather limited and perhaps negligible segment of users. 

 

But again, I should remind myself that I didn't intend this post to be an "Evernote does/doesn't listen" post. This was a post about bugs, and explicitly not about features, per se. 

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Don't you think that Evernote has itself in a catch-22 situation when it comes to hearing their user base and doing anything significant about it? They have to be committed to their new vision. It would be silly to recant mid-stride. They simply have to follow through. 

 

 

I disagree.  IMO, if/when you've totally effed up, you need to own it. 

 

Evernote not only continues to release apps that are (apparently) causing data loss (you can read the posts just as well as I can) and not address issues that were presented to them at least two/three years ago such as scalability. 

 

Some staff have owned it, but they've owned it again, and again, and again. Libin "owned it" in January, Jamie Hull just "owned it" this past week regarding Penultimate. I'm sure there have been other more minor instances that have come and gone in the 10 intervening months. It's the number of times there have been obvious errors, obvious carelessness, obvious mis-steps, obvious failures, that is concerning. Apologies are fine until the 10th one.

 

 

I am not so benevolent.  10 times is about seven times too many. Actually, when it comes to data loss. the second   first time is one too many. 

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I am not so benevolent.  10 times is about seven times too many. Actually, when it comes to data loss. the second   first time is one too many.

And...unfortunately (sorry), I see this as yet another thread that ends up flapping in the wind.

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this isn't to point the finger at any one person or team of people. that wouldn't be fair, because this is obviously a systemic problem. we've had data loss issues for years. and we have been pleading for more opportunities to volunteer our time to enter the development cycles earlier into order to be guinea pigs that can catch poor design decisions earlier and hopefully come across devastating bugs before they hit everyone in the public releases. over time, i think we actually have had less involvement and it has come at later dates, sometimes only hours before a release already submitted to apple. maybe this would be ok with an indie developer and a few thousand users. what has changed now, to my eyes, is that we have many tens of millions more folks, and they are without access to customer support, updated information, or (in bad cases) any hope of getting their data back.

things are dysfunctional. it's not one person's problem, but the dynamic among people.i doubt the solution is as simple as firing this person or apologizing. something more fundamental, and probably painful is needed. and, it will involve time. instead of a major release every few months and updates every week, evernote may need to wait weeks, months, or even years before it releases expertly designed, thoroughly tested, and flawlessly performing apps. they can't expect anymore to have the new app out on release day with its awesome interface, but unstable functionality, because it was pushed out the door without a beta. in short, there needs to be the attitude that it doesn't go out the door unless it is perfect.

 

Precisely. I've seen a lot of new staff faces on these forums so there has certainly been some shuffling going on in the last 12 months. Clearly this is not an issue related to individuals. There is piles of talent in those Evernote offices. 

Also, piles of stupid mistakes. PILES. 

i am sure many people will scoff at the idea of expecting an app in this day and age to work flawlessly. they'll tell me that bugs are inevitable, and broken stuff is the price you pay for living on the bleeding edge. ok. maybe my standards for a lifetime of memories and irreplacible data are too high. but, at the very least, there ought to be a zero tolerance policy for data loss. sure, i know there already is -- no one at evernote goes around high fiving other developers when they wipe out someone's stuff. but, this has to be put into practice, and i think a beta-less release, for example, is almost certainly going to fail the test. i am sure there are entirely rational and reasonable decisions being made within evernote about internal deadlines. but, they are wrong. another way has to be found, and i suspect it will mean giving up the timing of releases with this or that critical thingy, and a commitment to quality instead. the core features: data integrity, security, and sync ought to be rock solid. a complaint or even confusion about any of these ought to be exceedingly rare.

as scott said, what's the harm in waiting a couple more weeks?

 

Indeed no software is flawless or 100% free of bugs, but you have to aim for flawless and demonstrate that you made the attempt to reach that level of perfection. Protracted beta periods, or their complete absence, does not demonstrate this. No longer is Evernote the startup who can have growing pains as an excuse. Regardless of how amazing work chat and context may be, if the threat of data loss looms, nobody is going to give a da mn. 

 

Further, it is fine to deny that data loss is occurring, but if your users are confused about where their data now resides, well, that's a whole new problem that needs addressing. Just because the data are not lost does not mean everything is a-ok. 

 

 

 

 

 

Don't you think that Evernote has itself in a catch-22 situation when it comes to hearing their user base and doing anything significant about it? They have to be committed to their new vision. It would be silly to recant mid-stride. They simply have to follow through. 

 

 

I disagree.  IMO, if/when you've totally effed up, you need to own it. 

 

Evernote not only continues to release apps that are (apparently) causing data loss (you can read the posts just as well as I can) and not address issues that were presented to them at least two/three years ago such as scalability. 

 

Some staff have owned it, but they've owned it again, and again, and again. Libin "owned it" in January, Jamie Hull just "owned it" this past week regarding Penultimate. I'm sure there have been other more minor instances that have come and gone in the 10 intervening months. It's the number of times there have been obvious errors, obvious carelessness, obvious mis-steps, obvious failures, that is concerning. Apologies are fine until the 10th one.

 

 

I am not so benevolent.  10 times is about seven times too many. Actually, when it comes to data loss. the second   first time is one too many. 

 

Yes, you are very right about that. I was picking big numbers for the sake of it. Really an apology for something with a reasonably obvious resolution should only have to be uttered once. 

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I guess I'm the idiot.

yes, you are :)

but, so am i. i've been writing the same posts for years, i think, though i have certainly gotten grumpier and more blunt in my criticism over time. i've been trying to tone down my criticism of design decisions and business directions - the fact that we don't see eye-to-eye doesn't mean my criticisms are the best for evernote or the users. in this criticism of systemic dysfunctionality, though, i think i am on more solid ground. the new direction evernote is heading does not appeal much to me, either, but i'd at least like to be confident that the apps will not mangle my data.

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Good points all! Special thanks to Scott Lougheed, Grumpy Monkey, BNF and Frank.

Despite everything so eloquently pointed out here, I am, for reasons I won't bore you with, still hoping to try Premium. In the PM to GBarry that I'm waiting for a reply, one of the concerns I'm hoping is about data loss of pre-existing notes one I do sign on for Premium, as I have seen several users reporting losing their pre-upgrade to Premium notes. Another problem I mentioned was the slow response time to Premium users who are trying to reach Tech Support.

Like others, I don't believe the problem lies at the staff level. This is something the executive branch needs to deal with. Even if it does mean halting or reversing their current course of business decisions.

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been using evernote some time, just had my first problem with the latest release, and it came out with all guns blazing.

 

after creating a few notes, now the bodies of all my notes are invisible, or gone. I don't know, I can't read them anymore.

 

I know I should be polite and all that but - WTF??????  I hope I didn't just lose years of work, please tell me that's not the case, pretty please????

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Did in understand it right, that Evenote on Windows doesnt snychronize with the web? Because thats now the case with my evernote. It doesnt snych, and there is no errormassage!

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Did in understand it right, that Evenote on Windows doesnt snychronize with the web? Because thats now the case with my evernote. It doesnt snych, and there is no errormassage!

That is not the case. If you are experiencing sync issues, its because there's some sort of problem. 

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Did in understand it right, that Evenote on Windows doesnt snychronize with the web? Because thats now the case with my evernote. It doesnt snych, and there is no errormassage!

 

Could this be the reason: https://discussion.e...23421&hl=poodle?

 

Ty, i´ve done everthing, but it doesnt work. It looks like the synchronization works, because the is no errormassage, but it dosnt synchronize my webclips, and it dosn´t synchronize my desktop with my webevernote. Any other ideas?

Ty

Zoty

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Did in understand it right, that Evenote on Windows doesnt snychronize with the web? Because thats now the case with my evernote. It doesnt snych, and there is no errormassage!

 

Could this be the reason: https://discussion.e...23421&hl=poodle?

 

Ty, i´ve done everthing, but it doesnt work. It looks like the synchronization works, because the is no errormassage, but it dosnt synchronize my webclips, and it dosn´t synchronize my desktop with my webevernote. Any other ideas?

Ty

Zoty

 

are you totally sure that you have logged into the exact same evernote account in all locations?

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Did in understand it right, that Evenote on Windows doesnt snychronize with the web? Because thats now the case with my evernote. It doesnt snych, and there is no errormassage!

 

Could this be the reason: https://discussion.e...23421&hl=poodle?

 

Ty, i´ve done everthing, but it doesnt work. It looks like the synchronization works, because the is no errormassage, but it dosnt synchronize my webclips, and it dosn´t synchronize my desktop with my webevernote. Any other ideas?

Ty

Zoty

 

are you totally sure that you have logged into the exact same evernote account in all locations?

 

Ok, i found the problem! I have created an account on my desktop, and i wrote my e-mailadress wrong. I left out one letter from my name.Then i corrected my emailadress in the web, and the webclipper belongs now to the account with the correct e-mail. IT seems now, that i have to accounts. How can i solve the problem? I just want one acount, with my correct e-mailadress! 

Ty for your help!

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Ah I suppose another important note is, of course I cannot speak to Windows and Android experience.

Windows user here, I tried the upgrades 5 and 6, Went back to 4.6.7.8409 and loving it!!

David in Wichita

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Ok, i found the problem! I have created an account on my desktop, and i wrote my e-mailadress wrong. I left out one letter from my name.Then i corrected my emailadress in the web, and the webclipper belongs now to the account with the correct e-mail. IT seems now, that i have to accounts. How can i solve the problem? I just want one acount, with my correct e-mailadress! 

Ty for your help!

 

If you're on a desktop, the Export/Import ENEX format may be OK, *but*, you need to remember that notebooks are not saved in the ENEX format, so if you want to retain your notebook structure, you will need to export individual notebooks to separate ENEX files, and import those.

 

A different solution that might be easier is just to share notebooks from the old account (the one you want to delete) with the new one, and copy notes from there into the new account.

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Ty everybody. Erverything works now, and i can start now with this little fantastic tool. I was afraid, that i have to switch to one note. But i get a lot of fast and good responses. Thank you so much!!!

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Ok, i found the problem! I have created an account on my desktop, and i wrote my e-mailadress wrong. I left out one letter from my name.Then i corrected my emailadress in the web, and the webclipper belongs now to the account with the correct e-mail. IT seems now, that i have to accounts. How can i solve the problem? I just want one acount, with my correct e-mailadress! 

Ty for your help!

 

 

 

I don't see how you have 2 accounts if you simply corrected/ changed your email account on the Web client. This would not clone/ duplicate an account. Unless you're not telling us that you in fact created 2 separate accounts in distinct sign-up processes. If you did not sign up twice, as a first measure, I would suggest signing out of the desktop client and signing in again. 

 

Posts #34 and #36 are 2 options -  if in fact you do have 2 separate accounts.

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Evernote isn't even taking my payment, and after 4 days, they have not responded ot my support ticket, and they STILL aren't taking payments!

 

The entire Internet will hear what's up with Evernote by the end of this weekend unless my payment magically takes.

 

Dora

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Evernote isn't even taking my payment, and after 4 days, they have not responded ot my support ticket, and they STILL aren't taking payments!

 

The entire Internet will hear what's up with Evernote by the end of this weekend unless my payment magically takes.

 

Dora

The entire internet...??? Wow....

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Evernote isn't even taking my payment, and after 4 days, they have not responded ot my support ticket, and they STILL aren't taking payments!

 

The entire Internet will hear what's up with Evernote by the end of this weekend unless my payment magically takes.

 

Dora

The entire internet...??? Wow....

 

 

At least 4 complaint posts and new topics in the space of a few minutes (on different threads) is a bit much @villandra. You're only potentially stressing out forum members. That's about it. I doubt you're turning Evernote's world upside down. 

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Just to get back on topic - Scott's original post in this thread could be summarized in that EN improved post Kincaid inspired issues such as sync, brought new shiny features, but are still failing for some on data integrity.

I can attest to major change in sync. As a 2008 original user the Kincaid episode highlighted that us early adopters were still on old original servers. EN fixed that. Sync is has been superb since.

Data integrity: I haven't experienced that and I won't because I regularly export entire notebooks and archive. I'm ok doing that because they were contaminating my searches which are 99% focused on last few months. (I'm a heavy user of detailed search operators btw).

The larger issue for EN is the one highlighted by BNF. EN is not scalable. A 100 year company cannot expect to sync between a hard drive and the cloud.

There needs to be a way to isolate recent stuff, which can be sync'd to hard drive, yet maintain the ancient history stuff in the cloud. And of course all has to be searchable.

In some respects the iOS EN could be the forbearer of future EN. That is to say 100% in the cloud with option to sync certain notebooks locally. This model is used in different ways by bitcasa and iCloud. This will also solve sync issues. And yes the security folks can create a new thread on that aspect.

I would speculate the reason we are seeing new shiny improvements to web version point to increasing cloud focus. Anything less cannot be sustainable and moving to ON unfortunately won't solve that long term dilemma.

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The larger issue for EN is the one highlighted by BNF. EN is not scalable. A 100 year company cannot expect to sync between a hard drive and the cloud.

There needs to be a way to isolate recent stuff, which can be sync'd to hard drive, yet maintain the ancient history stuff in the cloud. And of course all has to be searchable.

In some respects the iOS EN could be the forbearer of future EN. That is to say 100% in the cloud with option to sync certain notebooks locally. This model is used in different ways by bitcasa and iCloud. This will also solve sync issues. And yes the security folks can create a new thread on that aspect.

 

Excellent points Colin. I would even settle for local cloud notebooks which cannot be searched elsewhere except on the web client. That would really put Evernote's money where their mouth is - considering that no one could possibly currently take full advantage of the 4 GB monthly premium upload limit over just a few consecutive months without their desktop clients freezing and becoming totally inoperable. 

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Indeed. It's sometimes referred to as "selective sync." Phil said it was inevitable in a podcast years ago. On this forum, one of the developers said a few years ago that they are aware of the problem with large databases and are working on a solution with selective sync. I believe them, of course, and appreciate the feedback, but we're coming up on 2015 and it still isn't here. Actually, ON and other apps do solve the problem, to some degree, because their databases can be relocated. Ours can't. I can search easily through terabytes of data on my external drive. Evernote can't, because I couldn't fit terabytes on my local drive, and even if I could, it probably wouldn't work, as BNF said. This problem has been here since the beginning. I'd really like to have seen it solved years ago :(

 

The technology is here to index stuff on other drives. It has been for a while. 

http://www.christopher-mayo.com/?p=2033

 

I'll concede that the cloud adds a layer of complexity, but it is on Evernote mobile, so it is not a new concept to them. It isn't as if we tripped over the problem this morning and they are scrambling to come up with a solution. It is a long-term problem, and due to the systemic dysfunctionality I mentioned before, it hasn't been addressed. Old problems drag on for years, new features are added, but fundamental issues that address the needs of long time users, and even new business users, are oddly left un-addressed. I'm sure there intentions are good, but most of us are not time lords who can exist anywhere in time and space. We live here and now, and we've got stuff to do, but Evernote isn't up to the task. It ought to be by now, but it isn't.

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@Colin:  Perhaps sync is better for you, but not for many others.  If you visit these forums often you will find many, many complaints about sync failures, across all platforms.

 

Data integrity -- The recently released EN Mac 6.0 AppStore causes many users to lose their Local Notebooks, and to have their Note Titles changed to "Untitled".  

 

To make matters worse, Evernote failed to pull the App Store version even though they knew it was causing loss of data for some users.

 

I can attest to major change in sync. As a 2008 original user the Kincaid episode highlighted that us early adopters were still on old original servers. EN fixed that. Sync is has been superb since.

Data integrity: I haven't experienced that and I won't because I regularly export entire notebooks and archive. I'm ok doing that because they were contaminating my searches which are 99% focused on last few months. (I'm a heavy user of detailed search operators btw).

 

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I can attest to major change in sync. As a 2008 original user the Kincaid episode highlighted that us early adopters were still on old original servers. EN fixed that. Sync is has been superb since.

Data integrity: I haven't experienced that and I won't because I regularly export entire notebooks and archive. I'm ok doing that because they were contaminating my searches which are 99% focused on last few months. (I'm a heavy user of detailed search operators btw).

 

 

Maybe there are users like you for whom sync is "superb" but this is definitely not the case for me and for many others who repeatedly report sync issues. I have different number of notes on different clients, and syncronization fails way too often. The day before yesterday it was unavailable for about 3 hours, yesterday for about 2 hours, today failed again in the morning. 

 

Which leads us to data integrity: nobody is protected against data loss if Evernote treats unsynchronized notes as non-existent. There are lots of reasons why a certain note hasn't been yet synchronized. People travel, you know. People go to remote places where internet is a luxury. I still feel pain for a woman whom I don't know personally, but read her story: she was on a one week sail in the middle of the sea when Evernote forced the password change (March 2013), and the whole diary of this amazing trip was lost. 

 

Recently, I lost the notes I made in a much shorter trip (circa 28 hours), because Penultimate developers decided to update it. Regular backups and notebook exports didn't help at all. 

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I've also had problems with sync failing using Evernote Windows.

I submitted a support request last week and a 2nd one yesterday.

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Indeed. It's sometimes referred to as "selective sync." Phil said it was inevitable in a podcast years ago. On this forum, one of the developers said a few years ago that they are aware of the problem with large databases and are working on a solution with selective sync. I believe them, of course, and appreciate the feedback, but we're coming up on 2015 and it still isn't here. Actually, ON and other apps do solve the problem, to some degree, because their databases can be relocated. Ours can't. I can search easily through terabytes of data on my external drive. Evernote can't, because I couldn't fit terabytes on my local drive, and even if I could, it probably wouldn't work, as BNF said. This problem has been here since the beginning. I'd really like to have seen it solved years ago :(

 

OK "Selective Sync" it is.  You are right, its not as if cloud is new, and that the solution isn't obvious.  Communication from EN on their actual future would be welcome.

 

With regard to others and their sync and data issues, those are real issues for those involved and I didn't mean to minimize them.  And yes I have lurked here for years, just to put at ease those who suggested I didn't (JM)

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Not sure I get it, is selective sync a solution or a band aid?  County boy here, but things sync correctly or they don't, index correctly or they don't, search correctly or they don't.  The more manipulating of structures the more the don't in one of the three is likely?  I'm missing something, so help please.

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Not sure I get it, is selective sync a solution or a band aid?  County boy here, but things sync correctly or they don't, index correctly or they don't, search correctly or they don't.  The more manipulating of structures the more the don't in one of the three is likely?  I'm missing something, so help please.

 

Your Evernote account is automatically downloaded in its entirety onto your computer. This is no problem if your account is small with only a few dozen gigabytes. When it is large (9.5 TB is the current theoretical limit) then it won't fit on your computer, or it creates a huge headache if you need to re-download everything (new computer, messed up update, etc.). I have spent many weeks of my life waiting for my data to become available -- nowadays the sync is supposed to be faster, but we still have the problem of space. Who has a 9.5 TB in their computer? A lot of us have just 128 or 256 GB. 

 

The solution to this rather obvious problem (if you dump in 4GB per month, you are going to run out of space pretty quickly) is selective sync, which is how Evernote deals with storage on mobile devices. You choose which notebooks you want to leave on the cloud in Evernote's servers and which ones you want to download. Evernote Business has a version of this with its Business Library. In fact you could ALMOST use this as a selective sync solution, except that you cannot search your notes in the library, so finding a needle in a 5,000 notebook haystack will be impossible at the moment. IF Evernote made the library searchable in the same way that your account is from mobile devices, then it would solve a lot of problems for users and Evernote. After all, 99% of what I have is totally unnecessary on my computer. Evernote is already storing it. So, this "slowness" or "complete failure" (in some cases) with large databases would evaporate overnight, because we could leverage the power of Evernote's databases. 

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I get it from a storage basis if that is a real,concern (at 4GB per month it will take you somewhere around 20 years to get to 1 TB let alone 9.5, so not high on my list of worries).

It seems to me the problem that would not be evaporated but bypassed is the lack of robustness in the current syncing capability. Taken to its extreme why have client data at all, go full cloud, no sync. Then all those Mac and PC processing cycles would be moved to the EN farm, potentially another problem created? Not everyone wants all there notes on line, so local notebooks. Most want to search all their notes at some point so a robust index/search is needed, whether from one platform or multiple. Catch 22 for me.

So I guess I would lean to making sync and search highly reliable before I invested in selective sync. That or publish the scale point at which time things break. My experience is when I bypass a problem I inevitably pay for it in the future.

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I get it from a storage basis if that is a real,concern (at 4GB per month it will take you somewhere around 20 years to get to 1 TB let alone 9.5, so not high on my list of worries).

It seems to me the problem that would not be evaporated but bypassed is the lack of robustness in the current syncing capability. Taken to its extreme why have client data at all, go full cloud, no sync. Then all those Mac and PC processing cycles would be moved to the EN farm, potentially another problem created? Not everyone wants all there notes on line, so local notebooks. Most want to search all their notes at some point so a robust index/search is needed, whether from one platform or multiple. Catch 22 for me.

So I guess I would lean to making sync and search highly reliable before I invested in selective sync. That or publish the scale point at which time things break. My experience is when I bypass a problem I inevitably pay for it in the future.

 

9.5 TB was posed as the theoretical limit to make the point that Evernote cannot conceivably deliver on its promises with the current service. You don't need to be anywhere near that number to encounter problems. At 4 GB a month, you'll have 48 GB a year. I only have about 30 GB free on my 256 GB drive right now without Evernote. If I pay for Premium and take advantage of the features, then I cannot run it on my computer by this time next year. Storage may not be a priority for you, but it is for many of us, especially those who have gone paperless. There is no way I know of to solve this problem without selective sync. As mentioned already, it isn't a request to bypass a problem. It is a request to solve one based on an existing model (the mobile devices).

 

Sync, of course, is important. And, so are local notebooks. And, so is getting it all to work smoothly together. When do things break down? It seems to depend on what you have in your account, how big it is, what kind of computer you have, and so forth. Today, other users who are nowhere near the 100,000 note limit and who have only a few dozen gigabytes in their accounts cannot even use Evernote on their computers. They cannot use their accounts on mobile either. So, it is an ugly situation. Businesses, presumably, will run into these problems as well, so I would call it a top priority for Evernote as a business. I do think they are taking it seriously, but not seriously enough, and the improvements are years too late for some users. 

 

Selective sync is NOT an attempt to bypass any "problem" with sync or search (please specify what problems you are seeing). This is not about indexing, either. Those are largely separate issues that may or may not be ameliorated with selective sync. 

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As before, if selective sync is proposed to relieve storage constraints on a local device, I get that.  And your are right, I don't think I've ever scared the 1GB limit, so I am safe.  I would be interested in what someone is doing to use 4GB a month.  Not sarcasm here, true interest as to what.

 

My point is priorities.  Which is more likely to come first, no disk space on my device or scale/sync issues?  The latter IMO.  Selective sync on top of the existing structure might only make things worse.  Also, assuming local notebooks and some synced notebooks remain (why else selective sync I suppose) there could be new issues.  For selective sync to be effective searches would have to be joined in some manner for the selective and other data.  The other data still needs to be synced and indexed robustly.  That isn't happening like it should today, the forum is replete with tickets of newbie and power user issues with sync and to a lesser extent with search, though these seem to be mostly cross platform.

 

I am pushing the 30,000 note limit which my friends on these forums tell me is the tipping point where issues may arise.  I don't think selective sync, if available, would solve the problem.  What would solve the problem would be a relentless focus on quality, reliability, and the performance of the base product(s).  The number of sync threads on this forum is astounding for a product which professes to let you have your data everywhere.  

 

Anyway, I hope I am special and I will pass through this portal unscathed, but who knows.  I'm addicted to using the tool.   :)   

 

Thanks for the dialogue.

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Paperless = PDFs = lots of notes / attachments = large databases. I probably produce several hundred PDFs a month. The paperwork associated with meetings alone amounts to over a hundred pages a month, so it adds up quickly. Add to that scanned journals, books, and so forth. Certainly, if you take Evernote at their word and put "everything" in there, you will likely have trouble with scalability. I am not aware of any particluar sync issues related to large databases, but perhaps I am missing something. You will also run out of space on your local drive, and since your account is bound by that restriction, "everything" is practically speaking impossible. Evernote already does coordinate indexing of local notebooks with online ones plus all kinds of other things like related notes, context, and so forth, so I don't see it as a monumental challenge. But, I assume there would be some work to do or we would have had it by now.

As for quality control, see my first post in this thread. There is no point in anything, least of all selective sync, if data integrity cannot be ensured, sync doesn't work reliably, etc. I would be fine without a single "improvement" the rest of the year if they would just deliver all of the promised features without any more reports of lost data or broken features (no spotlight index). I'm not terribly concerned about colors, except I hope that they won't spend so much time worrying about how it looks that they don't spend enough time worrying about how it works.

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IMO, sync is currently a huge issue.  I totally agree that the number of sync issues posted daily on this forum is astounding.  The question is, what is Evernote doing about it?

 

What would solve the problem would be a relentless focus on quality, reliability, and the performance of the base product(s).  The number of sync threads on this forum is astounding for a product which professes to let you have your data everywhere.

 

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Evernote already does coordinate indexing of local notebooks with online ones plus all kinds of other things like related notes, context, and so forth, so I don't see it as a monumental challenge. But, I assume there would be some work to do or we would have had it by now.

Difference would be a search cross footing two indexes, one local and one for the selective sync notebooks versus the one local today.  Or syncing the selective index.  I think that could provide some opportunities in technology and speed.  Almost an old time client/server model of sorts.  May not be monumental, there are a lot of people smarter than I with this stuff.  

 

I'm with you, I'd like to see the core of the base product flawless before any other diddling.

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IMO, sync is currently a huge issue.  I totally agree that the number of sync issues posted daily on this forum is astounding.  The question is, what is Evernote doing about it?

 

What would solve the problem would be a relentless focus on quality, reliability, and the performance of the base product(s).  The number of sync threads on this forum is astounding for a product which professes to let you have your data everywhere.

 

I could almost understand them not doing anything about it if they would just acknowledge that there is a problem.  Why won't they reply to these postings or on their blog?

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I think this thread can be summarized in one sentence. EN appears to have been infected with the dreaded Bloatware syndrome.

 

Is it now time for the EN supreme council to sit around a table, each have a nice cup of hot chocolate, and agree it is time to get back to basics. B)

 

Not being able to print note titles seems to me to be a basic problem.  :blink:

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Hmmm, curious. Define "Bloatware syndrome", please.

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I disagree with anyone who says Evernote has feature bloat, unless they clearly specify what kind of app Evernote ought to be aspiring towards. This is a term that gets thrown around a lot, but what does it mean? In Word, you might not need vertical text display, but it is absolutely necessary for me. In Pages, you might not need the ability to select all footnotes and apply changes, but I do. In my experience, very few word processing apps actually contain features that no one needs, and I don't even bother with most of them because they are too weak. Word is the most powerful precisely because it supplies a lot of features that meet the needs of a diverse user base,and while it might seem too much for some users, it is barely enough for others. To those who are overwhelmed by the features in Word, I suggest downgrading to Pages or Google Docs. Please don't try to get them to dumb down the app for everyone because you think there are too many options.

Evernote lacks a lot of features that would help me to work better. On the Mac it has fewer sort options than Windows, there are no diagnostic tools to check and/or fix database problems, the view options for the tags and notebooks are limited, there's no selective sync, there's no manual sorting, there are no numbers telling me how many notebooks I have or how many more notebooks I can make, the same numbers are missing for tags, there is almost no automation (filing, tagging, etc.), and there are no encrypted notebooks.

I am sure if we talk about the editor, we could come up with all kinds of features we would like to see. Feature bloat? Not for something that claims to be my workspace. If the app aspires to be that, then it had better show up with a rich set of powerful features. Getting back to the basics by stripping out features would be fine if they only intend to handle grocery lists and the like. Or, if they intend to return to the external brain / anti-social model, which doesn't need presentations, work chat, etc.

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Hmmm, curious. Define "Bloatware syndrome", please.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_bloat

 

Yeah. I read that, too, even before I responded to GregMartinez. Particularly the section on "perceived software bloat", which resonates with how I tend to feel about the topic. I don't understand how seemed to use it would fit in with the topic at hand. That's why I asked. 

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Hmmm, curious. Define "Bloatware syndrome", please.

 

From the wiki link someone else provided:

 

 

Software bloat is a process whereby successive versions of a computer program become perceptibly slower, use more memory/diskspace or processing power, or have higher hardware requirements than the previous version whilst making only dubious user-perceptible improvements. The term is not applied consistently; it is often used as a pejorative by end users (bloatware) to describe undesired user interface changes even if those changes had little or no effect on the hardware requirements. In long-lived software, perceived bloat can occur from the software servicing a large, diverse marketplace with many differing requirements. Most end users will feel they only need some limited subset of the available functions and will regard the others as unnecessary bloat, even if people with different requirements do use them.

 
Actual (measurable) bloat can occur due to de-emphasising software efficiency in favour of other concerns like developer productivity, or possibly through the introduction of new layers of abstraction like a virtual machine or other scripting engine for the purposes of convenience when developer constraints are reduced. The perception of improved developer productivity, in the case of practising development within virtual machine environments, comes from the developers no longer taking resource constraints and usage into consideration during design and development; this allows the product to be completed faster but it results in increases to the end user's hardware requirements to compensate.

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"The term is not applied consistently; it is often used as a pejorative by end users (bloatware) to describe undesired user interface changes even if those changes had little or no effect on the hardware requirements. 

 

Well, this is damning indeed. Let me re-highlight that section: "little or no effect".

 

"In long-lived software, perceived bloat can occur from the software servicing a large, diverse marketplace with many differing requirements. Most end users will feel they only need some limited subset of the available functions and will regard the others as unnecessary bloat, even if people with different requirements do use them."

 

"Perceived" bloat is not the same as actual bloat, whatever that is.

 

"Actual (measurable) bloat can occur due to de-emphasising software efficiency in favour of other concerns like developer productivity, or possibly through the introduction of new layers of abstraction like a virtual machine or other scripting engine for the purposes of convenience when developer constraints are reduced. The perception of improved developer productivity, in the case of practising development within virtual machine environments, comes from the developers no longer taking resource constraints and usage into consideration during design and development; this allows the product to be completed faster but it results in increases to the end user's hardware requirements to compensate."

 

I don't see how this applies. 

 

I have to wonder whether you understood what you quoted. That a given piece of software has parts that an individual user don't use is not necessarily evidence of "bloat". It's more likely a reflection of that user's use case vs.the developer's perception of their user base's collection of needs. In other words, my idea of basic or useful functionality probably differs from yours; that doesn't imply that a product that encompasses both is necessarily bloated.

 

I fully support the idea that Evernote ought not abandon the things that made it so darned useful, and should endeavor to make Evernote as bit-perfect rock-solid as possible as a primary goal (which, I think, is part of the original topic), But casually tossing around specious terms like "bloatware" doesn't really help that argument.

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Throwing way, way back to March of 2008 - I found this 5-post thread entitled "Fork in the Road":

 

https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/991-fork-in-the-road/

 

It seems to me that there are always teething problems when it comes to implementing features that take Evernote in a new direction. It's also interesting to see the issues some Evernote users were facing almost 7 years back. It also seems that for the most part those hurdles were overcome to give us a pretty decent product on the other end.

 

I've highlighted a few excerpts of interest:

 

 

Well, after working in EN3b for awhile and reading all of the back and forth here in the forums I think I understand what's happening.

Evernote has been forked.

There is the original that is EN 2.2. with separate data bases, local storage, tables, templates, cross referenced tags, and more.
Then there is EN3b with notebooks, online storage,web access, image search, saved searches, multi and cross platform synchronization, and more.

They are completely different programs now. Many here in the forums are wanting all of the options from EN 2.2 added to EN3 and I am starting to feel that they are so different that some of it can't be done. We have had years to tweak the current build of evernote to the way we work. I am willing to bet we have even changed how we work to leverage the power of the current build.

What I am getting at is you can't add shoe laces to sandals, a v8 to a bicycle, or all of the power user functions of EN2.2 to EN3b, there just nothing to attach them to.

That being said my big question is:
Will work continue on with the EN 2.2 core for those of us that have need of it?

Let me know what you think. Am I off in left field?

 

 

That sounds like a reasonable analysis to me. The official line coming from EN headquarters is that some of the missing EN 2.2 features will eventually be brought back into EN 3, and I hope that's true, but I'm skeptical. EN has raised some serious venture capital in the past year or two, and I assume that they now feel that this investment can only be justified by producing a cluster of Web 2.0 programs that will appeal to a very broad group of potential users. And that means (I'm sorry to put it so bluntly) a dumbing-down of EN. I really do hope that it's only a temporary development.

In the meantime, we will have to continue to use 2.2 for our daily work. We are all watching the beta with interest (and I think with good will), but at the moment it's a great disappointment for those of us who have grown to love the power and versatility of EN.

 

 

Maybe I haven't thought about it hard enough or haven't played around with the beta enough yet, but I'm not seeing a huge divergence between 2.2 and 3. I guess I'm hoping you're wrong and I'm not going to be disappointed in the direction EN is heading. :?

 

 

There's most definitely a big difference between 2.2 and 3. I think one way to look at it was that 2.2 excels at *organizing* data, (automatic categories, category hierarchy, shortcut categories, category intersection, templates, etc.) and 3 excels at *producing* data, e.g., from mobile/web/desktop interface, through camera image imported directory, using coordinates for geowhatevering, voice recordings, etc.

I was reading the recent discussion of Evernote 3 over at Download Squad (see http://www.downloadsquad.com/2008/03/11 ... nload-squ/). To be honest, if it hadn't had "Evernote" in the title, I wouldn't recognized (or wanted to download) the application they were discussing sad.png

 

 

 

There's most definitely a big difference between 2.2 and 3. I think one way to look at it was that 2.2 excels at *organizing* data, (automatic categories, category hierarchy, shortcut categories, category intersection, templates, etc.) and 3 excels at *producing* data, e.g., from mobile/web/desktop interface, through camera image imported directory, using coordinates for geowhatevering, voice recordings, etc.

I was reading the recent discussion of Evernote 3 over at Download Squad (see http://www.downloadsquad.com/2008/03/11 ... nload-squ/). To be honest, if it hadn't had "Evernote" in the title, I wouldn't recognized (or wanted to download) the application they were discussing sad.png

Until I read that article, I kept hoping we might get most of the 2.2 functionality back. Now, I doubt it very much. The list of future features mentioned does not include the power features that have made EN so useful for me. I don't see them spending a lot of time to get that back with all the other things they want to do. It's now a data/image catching tool. I downloaded the beta a couple of weeks ago, but haven't had much interest in trying it out. It's like M$ took XL and did away with relative cell addressing. Going from a Porsche Carrera to a Chevy Malibu.

I imagine that from a strictly financial pov, they're doing the right thing. I don't blame EN management, they're in business to make money, and they need to go in whatever direction they think has the most profit potential. And with the VCs looking over their shoulders, they had better find it.

As I see it, I have 3 choices:
1. Abandon EN and look for a replacement. I've already done some research when I found EN, but maybe something else would look better now.

2. Try to adopt to EN3. That would be difficult. As was mentioned above, I've changed how I use my computer based on EN2.2 functionality, and putting training wheels back on will always seem inconvenient.

3. Stay with EN 2.2 and use it until I can't anymore, then look for a replacement. This seems like the best choice for me. I use it extensively every day at work, less frequently at home, but I need it at work. EN3 might even work for me at home, I'll have to give it a try. This is what I did with Commence, my old PIM which was so powerful. When it became CRM software years ago, and the price shot up, I just kept using the old one I had, until it just wouldn't load under WinXP. Was great while it lasted. I guess the same will apply to EN2.2.

Maybe the EN management might be able to sell EN2.2 to someone and let them develop it further as a data storage/retrieval tool with some sort of non-competition clause preventing the new owners from going in the same direction as EN3 has gone. One can always hope... sad.png Anybody looking to start a software company? Anybody?

 

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Honestly, for the most part, IMO, bloatware is pretty much a thing of the past.  (Real or perceived.)  Today's computers are so much faster and storage is so much cheaper.  The only real restrictions (IMO) are those in rural areas or countries where internet access may not be as easy (or cheap) as going to your local coffee shop. Sure, there are those who elect to have a smaller SSD but there are workarounds for that (IE, using the web client).  And...it's a device choice..not an imposed restriction.  (Kind of like if I choose to drive a small sports car, then yeah, I'm going to need to be creative when trying to get my 25' Christmas tree home.)  Most of the things I've complained about & that have caused me to move away from Evernote are simply core features that do not work.  To reiterate (for the upteenth time) for those new to the class, scalability (first & foremost), sharing (search the board on my posts on "ghost notes"), note counts (they differ between clients) and search results (also differ between clients).  IMO, Evernote should focus on fixing these CORE FEATURES rather than introducing new features. 

 

Over & out.

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Frank.dg - yes, those posts are part of what I was referring to when Evernote changed directions back in 2008.  Clearly, all the naysayers were wrong.  That may well be the case now.  But what I do know is that Evernote that I have access to today no longer works for me, unless I hold my head a certain way, have had only & exactly 1 & 3/4 cups of coffee that morning, my chair is facing in an easterly direction & I have the fingers on my left hand crossed but not on my right hand.  I honestly don't care that they've added the chat. I honestly don't care about the colors (and/or lack thereof) and I rarely complain about UI.   I disagree with their stance to no longer support free users & distance themselves from the users board...but that (nor any of the aforementioned things) would not cause me to stop using the app.  What has caused me to stop using the app are the things I mentioned in my previous post.  It simply no longer works for me.  It's like trying to drive a Volkswagen in the Indianapolis 500. 

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Words morph in meaning sometimes.  Perhaps the point of bloatware here is less about hardware constraints and more about features/functions added but not wanted whilst, per BnF, the base product needs some TLC relative to scalability and quality.  

 

Heck maybe we should start a new thread about anti bloatware in the form of Cognitive Skeuomorphism.   ;)

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Cal, I think you are correct. The issue is less one of actual bloatware and more of a perceived (or actual, but we can't infer that since we aren't in the company) mis-directed resources to features that should be lower on the development priority list (a priority list we [users] thought was set out in Libin's January 2014 blog post, but that was either abandoned by Libin, or profoundly mis-understood by us).

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An interesting article I read 2 days ago on PC Magazine:

 

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2473557,00.asp

 

 

More talk on skeuomorphisms and Evernote's direction.

 

"We really see Evernote as creating a workspace. A lot of the currently dominant ideas about productivity are old. They're based on really old physical concepts, like typewriters and filing cabinets, inboxes. And these ideas have outlived their usefulness. If you think about technology in terms of these old very physical ideas, you just can't be very productive.The problem with these old physical objects is they're all distinct. They give the notion that a typewriter is a separate tool from a telephone, and that's separate from your filing cabinet, and that's separate from desktop. Really, all these things are the same. The new generation of productivity that we're trying to embody in Evernote is having the unified space where you work, where you communicate, where you collaborate, where you read, where you research. There are no barriers. There are no distinctions between these steps. Eliminating distinctions makes you more productive because you're no longer limited in your imagination by the physical metaphors that defined previous productivity."

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An interesting article I read 2 days ago on PC Magazine:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2473557,00.asp

More talk on skeuomorphisms and Evernote's direction.

"We really see Evernote as creating a workspace. A lot of the currently dominant ideas about productivity are old. They're based on really old physical concepts, like typewriters and filing cabinets, inboxes. And these ideas have outlived their usefulness. If you think about technology in terms of these old very physical ideas, you just can't be very productive.The problem with these old physical objects is they're all distinct. They give the notion that a typewriter is a separate tool from a telephone, and that's separate from your filing cabinet, and that's separate from desktop. Really, all these things are the same. The new generation of productivity that we're trying to embody in Evernote is having the unified space where you work, where you communicate, where you collaborate, where you read, where you research. There are no barriers. There are no distinctions between these steps. Eliminating distinctions makes you more productive because you're no longer limited in your imagination by the physical metaphors that defined previous productivity."

It's the same as the keynote speech, as far as I can tell. I don't think there have been any major modifications over the last couple of months.

I don't know how my productivity is limited by the tools I have at hand, though. I'm pretty pleased with them. I need to put my data into something. You can call it a file or a note if you would like, but they are both the same thing to me. I need to put my files/notes into something. You can call it a notebook or a folder. It's all the same to me. Then, I need to put my notebooks/folders into something. You can call it a directory, filing cabinet, or account. Again, it is all the same to me. Perhaps my thinking is too small.

I am willing to give anything a try, but with my workflow, I don't have a burning desire to see everything upended just because it is old. Actually, having the typewriter the same as the telephone (see the quotation above) is a really old idea tied up with the telegraph, which gave rise to the qwerty keyboard. The qwerty keyboard has been around since the early 1900s (not as an invention to slow down typists, as the urban myth would have us believe) and it has evolved beyond its original tie to telecommunications. I am OK with that, and I don't think we need to go backwards to go forward. Touchpads and computer monitors have been around for about three decades now. I used to loathe both of them. However, in my opinion, the Macbook Pro is one of the most elegant combinations of these three technologies that we have ever seen. It's amazing. So is the file and folder-based OS. Microsoft would say that the touch screen is a step beyond it. OK. Not in my experience, but maybe in the future. At the moment, I know that every time I turn on my Apple computer I am going to have an enjoyable experience, even doing work.

I need apps that are as reliable and elegant as my computer. I should not need to borrow other people's digits to count the number of times I've lost data, had data mangled, or opened the app only to have it crash. I should be holding up my hand in the shape of a big zero. All of the features Evernote currently has, particularly the core ones, need to work every time. Anything less than that and I'll be better off with text files that have never failed me (something I discuss at length on my website -- you can get surprisingly far with plain text). That's 1970s technology at work. Sure, there is nothing newsworthy about a text file or an app that works exactly as it says it will. But, that's the kind of performance that earns lifetime customers. I know Evernote has the funds, the manpower, and the brains to accomplish this. I am not sure why they haven't yet.

What I also need is encryption. After the recent [fill in the blank] hack, does anyone really feel secure without encryption? I know it isn't a silver bullet, but I do feel like it is now the minimum level of security that we ought to expect for anything going onto the cloud. OK. I'll try not to belabor the points here. I just feel like there are some really worthwhile goals out there (performance and encryption) that would immediately improve the experience of every user, and I hope that Evernote will consider them in 2015 (even if you don't feel a need for encryption, you'll be glad to have it the next time Evernote gets hacked).

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GM,

 

Well written, thank you.  

 

Except maybe for the bit about "Sure, there is nothing newsworthy about ... an app that works exactly as it says it will."  Sometimes I think it just might be newsworthy.  Brings back memories of Tom Peters.

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