Evernote – Can I Rekindle The Romance?


Evernote and I had a slight falling out over the last 18 months or so. So much so that I refused to renew my premium subscription and deleted my account.  This was pretty dramatic stuff since I had been a premium member for more than 10 years.  And I wasn’t alone. People all over the web were criticising Evernote and looking for alternatives such as OneNote, Nimbus and Notion to name but three. So where did it all go wrong for me?
First, Over the last two years or so, Evernote seemed to have stalled. There were statements from the company that it was doing some massive renovation on the service, but it never seemed to materialise.  When version 10 eventually hit the streets it was missing one very important module, the ability to back up all notes to a proprietary EXEX file.  There I was, sitting on 10 odd years of data and there was no way that I could back it up and store it safely. I could do one note at a time – come on!

Second, customer service dropped off the radar.  When I contacted them re the backup issue, whoever it was I spoke to had no idea what I was talking about and the issue that concerned me.  After three or four emails, I gave up.  I started looking at Nimbus and imported all my data from Evernote. The imported formatting wasn’t perfect on all notes, but it was of small concern. Two plus points for Nimbus was that it allowed you to back up and restore notes and it was updated regularly. Customer service, too, was first-rate.

Then by chance, I was browsing YouTube and came across a video by the excellent Steve Dotto in which have addressed his criticisms of the service and why he was still using it. The video is below.  The video forced me to reevaluate my attitude to Evernote. Sure there are still things wrong with it, but it still remains as one of the best note-taking apps out there.

So, I resubscribed and took advantage of the 28-day premium file which I thought would be ample time to look at Evernote with fresh eyes. A quirk of fate also provided an email with a near 50% off offer by a certain date, right at the end of the trial. So for a small sum, I now have a year’s subscription rather than having to cough up more than £40!

At the heart of Evernote is its ubiquitousness which’s a long word for saying it syncs with every device you install it on. Pretty much instantly.  With a premium subscription, you can ensure that all notebooks and notes are available offline when there is no phone signal or wi-fi.

One of the main reasons I stayed with the service was for the web clipper.  This clever little devil sits as a browser extension so when you visit anywhere on the web, if you want to keep anything from a section of the sire or the whole page, the web clipper will save it in Evernote for future reference. It makes a brilliant tool for research, capturing orders from sales made online through to saving potential items you want to buy but to revisit and look at in more detail.

A much-publicised feature is the new Home module where you can add widgets for quicker access to notes. I must confess I am still a little confused by this because the widgets are little more than what is in the left-hand menu bar already. I am open to accusations of operator error or downright stupidity, but I need to look at this in more detail.

The latest module that Evernote has been promising for years is a task list facility. What is provided will not lure me away from Todoist, but I see how useful it can be when used in conjunction with notes as a project.

So, the big question for the next year is can I rekindle my romance with Evernote? Watch this space.