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Andrew Bahls

Consistent formatting experience across all platforms

Idea

One thing I love about Evernote is how I can access my notes from anywhere using a variety of devices.  I use the Evernote Desktop application on my Windows Desktop at home, and on my Surface Pro 4.  I use the Web app at work, or on other computers.  And I use the iOS app on my iPhone.

Across all those devices and platforms, the number 1 thing that irks me, and causes me to waste most time, is the inconsistent formatting options across all devices.

 

Let me give you an example:  I was working in a note today, using the web app on my work computer.  I have a template that I created a while back, that includes formatting for all the different sections of the note in question.  I duplicate the template note when I want to start a new entry.  (BTW, the duplicate note function of the desktop app is mysteriously absent from the web app).

In the web app, I'm editing and adding content, but I have to be careful, because not all the font sizes are available in the web app.  16 point font, for example, is only available on the Desktop application.  I can edit 16 point font in the web app, or on iOS, but if I delete it, it will revert to 14 point font.  So I'm constantly hitting undo to try to keep the formatting consistent across the note.  I finish editing the note for the work day, and head home.

When I get home, I open the Desktop application, and open my note.  I find that the web app has decided to use Gotham, as the font for everything in the note.  This is problematic, because Gotham isn't installed on my desktop, which means anything I write or edit in the note is in a different font from everything else.  Not a problem, I select the entire note, and change it back to Tahoma, my usual font for evernote... or at least, it was.  Tahoma is no longer available as a font in the web app...  Alright, well... moving on.

Then I notice that the font size is inconsistent between several paragraphs.  The paragraphs that I had written in the desktop app is all 10 point font.  But the paragraphs I had written in the web app are all, 11 point font?  Ok, I select the offending paragraphs and set them all back to 10 point font.  Then, just because I'm curious, I hit sync on the desktop app, and open up the web app.  All the text is 14 point font.  What??  I set the font in the web app back to 10 point, but now it's obviously way to small.  When I sync back to the desktop app, it's all 8 point font.

 

I'm sure at this point you can understand my frustrations.  I would simply like to have a consistent experience across all platforms.  I am spending way to much time trying to keep my notes formatted in the way that I need them to be, so that I can quickly and easily read and understand them.  I shouldn't have to play catch up every time I switch platforms, because Evernote can't make up it's mind about how it handles formatting.  I would be happier with limited formatting choices that are consistent across all devices.  Rather than having all the choices on the desktop app, and limited (and different) choices on the web app.  The iOS app (for iPhone), has basically no formatting options.

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This has been a complaint for as long as I've had Evernote, which is at least 5 years. They have never addressed the font problem.  Arial or New Times Romans which is available on most devices - an 12 is fine on the desktop but unreadable on ipad.  To read on ipad I have to use Arial 24 which is awful on my desktop.  Calabri is better to use but font size 22 is no longer an option and 18 is too small and 24 is like giant type.  If there is ever another program out there where I can keep notes on my my devices and have them sync so I only have to create or modify once, I'm changing if they will make the font issue a non issue.

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I completely agree it's infuriating and frankly something that should not have been allowed to persist for so long.

The lack of responsiveness across all channels including only minor incremental updates over the years suggests that Evernote's glory days are waning. With the somewhat recent bump to Office 365 level prices, I just don't see Evernote correcting the negative market-share trend. I very seriously hope that Evernote leadership is paying attention, alas I get the impression they are asleep at the wheel. 

Longtime evernote pro user. 

-JLJ

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On 1/9/2017 at 5:02 PM, mynon said:

This has been a complaint for as long as I've had Evernote, which is at least 5 years. They have never addressed the font problem.  Arial or New Times Romans which is available on most devices - an 12 is fine on the desktop but unreadable on ipad.  To read on ipad I have to use Arial 24 which is awful on my desktop.  Calabri is better to use but font size 22 is no longer an option and 18 is too small and 24 is like giant type.  If there is ever another program out there where I can keep notes on my my devices and have them sync so I only have to create or modify once, I'm changing if they will make the font issue a non issue.

Have you tried Microsoft OneNote? Many of my friends have already made the move. I haven't out of hope for Evernote waking up...

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+1 to the complaint about font sizes and types. The solution to the issue is so easy that my only point is that Evernote doesn't really care about it.

In my humble opinion, the transition to Google servers sets the border between the good old Evernote we all used to love and this new product in which issues are piling. And don't forget: the service is more expensive than ever.

It would be great that an Evernote representative says something about it in this post. Just a quick explanation about why formatting options are so inconsistent between devices.

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5 hours ago, Fidel Vazquez said:
5 hours ago, Fidel Vazquez said:

+1 to the complaint about font sizes and types. The solution to the issue is so easy that my only point is that Evernote doesn't really care about it.

In my humble opinion, the transition to Google servers sets the border between the good old Evernote we all used to love and this new product in which issues are piling. And don't forget: the service is more expensive than ever.

It would be great that an Evernote representative says something about it in this post. Just a quick explanation about why formatting options are so inconsistent between devices.

Apart from seeing no association with the move to the Google servers I wholeheartedly agree with your statement.

I used to feel annoyed when complaints about the editor were answered by 'use a dedicated' editor' but recent developments convinced me, too, that it will be a long time before Evernote will be able to make the editor work. 

Use Evernote as Everstore but do not add anything that Evernote can fiddle with when it comes to format.. Even copy and paste from another editor can be falsely interpreted, regardless of which method you choose. Too banal but true. 

Who is at fault? Contrary to nornal business conduct it is the customer who thought a significant price increase would make the product better. 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Fidel Vazquez said:

The solution to the issue is so easy that my only point is that Evernote doesn't really care about it.

If Evernote had a $ for every post that stated "so easy" .....

>>In my humble opinion, the transition to Google servers sets the border between the good old Evernote we all used to love and this new product

I'm not seeing how the back-end servers has an impact.  
It seems transparent for our front end processing
Can you provide more details?

 

 

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I don’t think that it’s too much to ask that a paid (expensive) service do something that free services do. Look at Google Keep and Microsoft OneNote for example. I had high hopes for the new(ish) CEO but I’ve seen nothing of substance come from him. The reality of their environment is such that if they don’t innovate or pivot they’ll be eaten alive by defectors to other solutions. Heck, you can get the entire collection of Microsoft Office for around the same price. I don’t care how “sticky” Evernote might be, that’s not sustainable. Certainly not when such basic UX elements are ignored.

I've repeatedly asked Chris O’Neill (CEO) via twitter (@CrOneill) what he plans to do about this, alas, no response. Perhaps if others pressed for answers we’d get something? Squeaky wheel gets the grease! 

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