Is everyone leaving Evernote?

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Is everyone leaving Evernote? Seriously. I have to ask.

I’ve noticed a slightly disturbing trend in the tech news: the growing number of destinations available for exported Evernote content.

First, there was Apple – you can import Evernote content into the Apple Notes app. Next came Microsoft, with a (PC-only) importer for their OneNote app. And this morning, I read on Twitter that DayOne are considering an importer too!

So what does this all mean?

It could mean that software companies are keen that you move from Evernote to their note-taking apps? Makes absolute sense. Evernote has been the runaway market leader in this space for some time. The other guys want a piece of this pie, obviously.

But this relatively sudden glut of options for importing Evernote content. A coincidence? Could these companies know something we mere mortals don’t? Could they be aware that Evernote isn’t going to be around for much longer?

I really don’t think so. Sure, they’re in the middle of a difficult turnaround and a refocussing on their activities. So long, marketplace and distracting non-note related apps and products. All of this is absolutely fine with me. I’m here for the notes and not the socks. Or notebooks. Or desk accessories.

Are they attractive alternatives?

But in my experience – aware that I really don’t speak for other Evernote users – it’s still the best of the note-taking apps, based on my needs. Sure, you can create checklists in the Notes app. And you can easily add images into OneNote. But Evernote has all that and so much more.

  • Tagging of content
  • Powerful search
  • Emailing in notes
  • Sharing notes with others
  • Capturing content from the web
  • Optical character recognition (OCR)
  • Fool-proof interface with my ScanSnap desktop scanner… I could go on.

I’ve personally found OneNote to be a little clunky, but I know this is an opinion, not a robust review of the app. For me, Notes.app is simply too lacking in functionality. It looks nice, it’s fast, but I just couldn’t accomplish everything I do in Evernote if I tried to rely on Notes.app.

So I’m sticking with Evernote

You can criticise Evernote for bloat. It’s definitely not as fast as it once was. But I can critique the alternatives for simply missing the functionality I’d like in a note-taking app. Evernote acts as my external brain, containing travel checklists, notes for articles, scanned documents, shopping lists, reading lists, personal goals, receipts, tickets and all the other assorted digital detritus that passing in front of my retinas each day.

Evernote helps me organise it – simply – into a searchable database of… stuff. I really don’t think that Apple’s Notes.app is going to come close to Evernote’s functionality in the near future. And if it does, good for them. I’m bought into Evernote in a big way and don’t want to spread my ‘stuff’ over multiple systems.

I’ve decided to interpret all this as a positive thing. If the note-taking alternatives up their game, then maybe Evernote will too.

They don’t want to bleed users to Apple or Microsoft. So, let’s see how they turn Evernote back into the lean, mean, note-taking machine it used to be. Some updates on progress would be nice, though. People won’t hang around forever on a promise…

  1. I used it this am to snap that review from work, tag and organize appropriately.

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    1. And I just used it to create my packing list for next week’s trip to FLO-RI-DA.

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  2. I use it daily and have been a Premium user for a couple of years I agree about them getting out of socks, pencil holders and other peripheral things. I DO wish they would realise that they have a worldwide client base (everything seems to be totally USA biased) and sorting out Penultimate so that it can be used from my iPhone 6S would be a great help.

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    1. Agreed. I’ve been a premium user for as long as I can remember and never regretted it – worth every penny, to me at least. In terms of add-ons, I’d like them to add direct stylus support into notes on iOS, so you don’t even have to use Penultimate. I believe they already have this on Android.

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  3. Likewise I’ve been a premium subscriber for many years, but recently spent a few hours thinking about how I would note stuff if Evernote went away. I think I *could* manage with Google Drive, but I’d rather not. Still I wish there were a few thing Evernote did better, like act a bit more like a traditional file-and-folder drive, and export more independently. Here’s hoping they switch their focus back to data, and away from the peripherals.

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    1. Yep, there are a few alternatives out there. But every time I think about moving, two things stop me: 1) the sheer hassle of moving really important information and then checking that the importer has done it all correctly, and 2) there’s no one app out there that seems to do everything Evernote does. I don’t want to spend time wondering *which* of my note-taking apps the important info is sitting in.

      I prefer to use as few apps as possible, especially when it comes to information. I don’t want to split my ‘stuff’ across several any more than I want to have different to-do lists in separate apps.

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  4. Okay, so I’m the one at the table not nodding in agreement.
    I’ve had an account with Evernote from the beginning and and have just grown tired. I have huge cloud accounts elsewhere and Evernote just has been relegated to collecting dust in the corner. They do so much that is good (I like how it saves emails, it’s chrome web extension is great) but with my efforts to simplify my crazy off-the-rails life, something has t go and since Evernote is the cloud app that requires more attention (and is ignored perhaps because of that) she must go.

    I know this goes against the grain here but, yeah.

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    1. I’m all for simplification! And if that means dropping Evernote, you won’t hear any arguments from me. I confess to using Google Keep several times this week when Evernote took too long to open (on an iPhone 6s Plus!). I’ll keep an eye on how Notes evolves on MacOS later this year. Might be a simple and accessible replacement 😀

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      1. My biggest challenge is to ensure that I do not lose any documents in the process of disengaging and shutting down. I have already found that for the documents that were “saved” to EN via web (or anything for that matter) cannot be saved as their original form. So If I were to bulk download all my documents on EN, they would not be a collection of pdf etc (which is basically the brunt of what I have with them) but instead html at best. Now that would be find for the notes that I have taken on EN but I take very little notes with the app. Which once again brings me back to why I am part of the Exodus.

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  5. […] Is everyone leaving Evernote? – a question I’m still asking myself. […]

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