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stephen_bradley

For users seeking a markdown alternative

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I see that there have been multiple posts about Evernote and Markdown, some fairly long, but not much in the way of actual movement in that direction by the Evernote team. I totally understand the concern that most people don't know what markdown is (valid) and probably don't want to learn (maybe..it's pretty easy AND useful), not to mention the underlying changes it would require in Evernote's back-end, compatibility with existing notes, etc.

A long time Evernote user (#169,158 according to them, and Pro for nearly all of it) I've always felt that the one thing Evernote did worst of all, was it's actual writing. It's syncing and sharing are fantastic, but making a note look good is time consuming, and sometimes I need my notes to look nice. Even predefined styles (Header 1, Header 2, etc) like what One Note does would make it easier. Markdown really solves the problem though, and has lots of other benefits.

Anyway, if you aren't fully and overwhelmingly invested in Evernote, check out Leanote (leanote.org, demo at https://leanote.com) It looks and works very nearly the same, but fully supports markdown (including tables, TOC, code blocks, and I think syntax highlighting); file attachments, sharing...all the best stuff from Evernote.

One of it's best features is that you have two buttons for starting a new note: New Note, or New Markdown Note.  The New Note choice gets you a rich-text editor (more complete than Evernote's) while the other obviously gets you a markdown editor. Another winning thing: multiple nested notebooks can have the same damned name.  So I can have a notebook named "receipts" inside "2015" and "2014" and "2016" notebooks without conflict, something EN still hasn't managed to pull off. Oh, and a great "Note Nav" button in every note that creates an automatic table of contents using headers/subheaders as topics, both in markdown and rich text.

I just found it yesterday, and I'm seriously considering running it on my own server (it's open-source) and positioning it to eventually replace EN. The biggest drawback right now: small development team, so it's fragile to someone dropping off, and much of it's documentation is in Chinese without English translation. Probably NOT a good alternative if you can't run it on your own server, data hosted in China and all that...

EN should give these guys a call and see about integrating their ideas. I'd (keep) paying for an Evernote that worked like Leanote does.

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18 minutes ago, stephen_bradley said:

check out Leanote (leanote.org, demo at https://leanote.com)

You didn't mention platforms, which is usually a point of disappointment for me (Mac user)

Looking at their web site, I see Windows, Mac, IOS and Linux

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The thing about Markdown is that you can use it anywhere. I.E. you can write it anywhere. So there's nothing stopping you from using its basic formatting right in Evernote. What you're after is Markdown preview. Having a dual edit/ preview mode is not everyone's cup of tea. Not everyone likes to toggle. Neither is it something that any developer is going to suddenly incorporate. It would change the whole feel up. I know that it is expressly against many developers' visions - WorkFlowy being one. On the other hand you have tons of great software that do just what you want - i.e. Gingko. 

We know that many things could be done, but having a Markdown edit/ preview mode option might be high hopes for Evernote, independent of the difficulty level involved in implementing it. 

I write in the simple Markdown formatting every day, mostly for it's scalability when wanting to take it places... Like Adobe InDesign. I think there are at least 2 main branches of thought here: Markdown for scalability combined with easy (plain text) readability/ write-ability in your text editor of choice... And Markdown for its HTML conversion in a dual mode text editor. Both would be preferable to some and I see great value in this idea. I just don't see Evernote going in this direction unless Markdown was something that a significant proportion of Evernote users were clamoring for. 

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Thanks for the headsup - a useful tip for the suitably techy,  although there are some pretty severe health warnings attached for the casual user.  As @Frank.dg says if you want to use Markdown with Evernote you can - but for the majority of users I'd guess that's not exactly a major priority...

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Concerning Markdown, there is also this.  I've not used it but have followed some of the comments in the forum and it seems quite capable.

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Old thread, but I love Typora https://typora.io. 1.0 will include a file manager pane, but live markdown editing w/o needing a preview pane is amazingly awesome.  The only annoyances are it's taking a while to get to 1.0 and it's an Electron app, so there will probably never be an iOS app.  However, since it's just text files it will be editable everywhere w/o lock in.

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32 minutes ago, jkmcf said:

1.0 will include a file manager pane

I'm ok with no file manager pane; I use Evernote to store my document files
Only Mac/Windows/Linux though.  IOS/Android apps are needed

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Alternatives for us Mac-based Markdown lovers: online and on the Mac would Marxico do the job while MWeb has clients for both. Both also can be interfaces for a proper output of Files into other formats/print AFAIK.

That is until Evernote FINALLY enables easy MD-based Markdown in their App. Man, this can't be THAT hard? Dropbox, Bear, DayOne, Notebooks, Quiver all come up with wonderful solutions, only Evernote is not able to do this. The only thing keeping me from doing everything in the app...

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On 21/2/2016 at 15:26, stephen_bradley dijo:

I see that there have been multiple posts about Evernote and Markdown, some fairly long, but not much in the way of actual movement in that direction by the Evernote team. I totally understand the concern that most people don't know what markdown is (valid) and probably don't want to learn (maybe..it's pretty easy AND useful), not to mention the underlying changes it would require in Evernote's back-end, compatibility with existing notes, etc.

A long time Evernote user (#169,158 according to them, and Pro for nearly all of it) I've always felt that the one thing Evernote did worst of all, was it's actual writing. It's syncing and sharing are fantastic, but making a note look good is time consuming, and sometimes I need my notes to look nice. Even predefined styles (Header 1, Header 2, etc) like what One Note does would make it easier. Markdown really solves the problem though, and has lots of other benefits.

Anyway, if you aren't fully and overwhelmingly invested in Evernote, check out Leanote (leanote.org, demo at https://leanote.com) It looks and works very nearly the same, but fully supports markdown (including tables, TOC, code blocks, and I think syntax highlighting); file attachments, sharing...all the best stuff from Evernote.

One of it's best features is that you have two buttons for starting a new note: New Note, or New Markdown Note.  The New Note choice gets you a rich-text editor (more complete than Evernote's) while the other obviously gets you a markdown editor. Another winning thing: multiple nested notebooks can have the same damned name.  So I can have a notebook named "receipts" inside "2015" and "2014" and "2016" notebooks without conflict, something EN still hasn't managed to pull off. Oh, and a great "Note Nav" button in every note that creates an automatic table of contents using headers/subheaders as topics, both in markdown and rich text.

I just found it yesterday, and I'm seriously considering running it on my own server (it's open-source) and positioning it to eventually replace EN. The biggest drawback right now: small development team, so it's fragile to someone dropping off, and much of it's documentation is in Chinese without English translation. Probably NOT a good alternative if you can't run it on your own server, data hosted in China and all that...

EN should give these guys a call and see about integrating their ideas. I'd (keep) paying for an Evernote that worked like Leanote does.

You can use Marxi.co and write in Markdown, I'm trying it to write more complex in my iPad, because of the table support and other formatting that is not possible with the Evernote app, and  it's super easy to sync. The macOS client (Evernote's) is great, but the iOS is still behind.

http://marxi.co 

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On 12/5/2018 at 4:46 AM, mat_rhein said:

That is until Evernote FINALLY enables easy MD-based Markdown in their App. Man, this can't be THAT hard? Dropbox, Bear, DayOne, Notebooks, Quiver all come up with wonderful solutions, only Evernote is not able to do this. The only thing keeping me from doing everything in the app...

Unfortunately, since Evernote has existed for quite some time, implementing a GOOD Markdown solution is a lot harder than you might think. It's easy for these other companies that are much newer and likely built their product from scratch with the intention to support Markdown.

As noted by our CEO in his blog post, we're working this year to fix a lot of long-standing issues and getting Evernote in a place where we can more quickly build the features our users are asking for. As part of this work, we'll be making changes that should make implementing features like Markdown MUCH easier. I've seen early demos and it's very promising. But, we first need these changes to support existing features before we start adding new features like Markdown. That's the work we're doing now.

But, I'm hopeful that a number of feature requests like Markdown support can finally be addressed in the not-so-distant future.

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15 hours ago, Scott T. said:

Unfortunately, since Evernote has existed for quite some time, implementing a GOOD Markdown solution is a lot harder than you might think. It's easy for these other companies that are much newer and likely built their product from scratch with the intention to support Markdown.

<snipped for brevity>

I'd recommend that this reply be incorporated into the current Best Answer for the discussion at https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/118932-markdown-necessary/  It's this sort of solid, informative, Evernote-supplied feedback that can help users to understand  that Evernote is listening and that they have a plan with respect to a certain request.

 

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Thanks @jefito. I can assure you that we're listening and not just ignoring feature requests from users. The new CEO values our users to the point where he recently added a position to the executive team for the "Voice of the Customer". This position's main goal is to always make sure we're listening to our customers and understanding the impact of decisions on our customers. 

I'm hopeful you'll see a lot of great things from Evernote in the future. But, we first need to fix a whole lot of cruft and tech debt that has built up over the years.

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3 minutes ago, Scott T. said:

Thanks @jefito. I can assure you that we're listening and not just ignoring feature requests from users.

Oh, I believe that, but there are a lot of unbelievers out there who aren't really seeing it, and who won't take my word for it (imagine that). For the biggie requests here on the forums (e.g. the Linux client, thoroughly nested notebooks, etc.), it would be helpful to get some Evernote guidance on how it would (or might) fit into Evernote's future plans, either pro or con. Evernote's old CTO Dave Engberg, didn't seem to like doing that, as it seemed to imply commitment, but I don't see anything wrong with  saying things like "hey, we like that idea, we've put that on the list" or "I like that, but don't see how that fits in with our future plans", etc. People don't like hearing "no", but I think that they respect honesty better.

15 minutes ago, Scott T. said:

The new CEO values our users to the point where he recently added a position to the executive team for the "Voice of the Customer". This position's main goal is to always make sure we're listening to our customers and understanding the impact of decisions on our customers. 

That's cool -- I hope that that person has some forum presence as part of their role.

16 minutes ago, Scott T. said:

I'm hopeful you'll see a lot of great things from Evernote in the future. But, we first need to fix a whole lot of cruft and tech debt that has built up over the years.

I know the dynamic very well indeed. I'm fortunate that Evernote does most of the things I need as it is, but that's not to say that I wouldn't pick up on new features when they're added; 'm thinking of Evernote's reminder notes:-I didn't think I needed todo list functionality in Evernote, but reminders work really well for me, particularly at work. 

Anyways, thanks.

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24 minutes ago, jefito said:

For the biggie requests here on the forums (e.g. the Linux client, thoroughly nested notebooks, etc.), it would be helpful to get some Evernote guidance on how it would (or might) fit into Evernote's future plans, either pro or con. Evernote's old CTO Dave Engberg, didn't seem to like doing that, as it seemed to imply commitment, but I don't see anything wrong with  saying things like "hey, we like that idea, we've put that on the list" or "I like that, but don't see how that fits in with our future plans", etc. People don't like hearing "no", but I think that they respect honesty better.

I'm trying my best to be honest and give what information I can. I'm not an official spokesperson in any way. Just an employee who genuinely cares about our customers wants and needs. I try my best to vocalize concerns raised in the forums and bubble up issues to people when necessary. However, I always need to make sure I'm not "revealing our hand" in such a way that a competitor might be tipped off to our future plans. Or in any way to jeopardize my job. 🙂

But I can assure you I'm actively pushing for more people to get involved in the conversation with our customers. This forum has gone way too long with virtually no participation from Evernote employees.

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