Thoughts on Evernote’s recent troubles


That resulted in inferior products with lots of bugs, drawing bad reviews and heavy criticism from its users. PenUltimate, a handwriting app Evernote acquired in 2012, received a lot of complaints when it rolled out an updated version for the first time in 2014, causing the company to issue an apology and another update within a week.

Skitch, an app that lets you add captions or markups to photos, has a three-star rating (out of five) on the Apple App Store, while Work Chat, the new messaging feature it released last year, is seeing a lot of negative feedback on its own forum.

Evernote Food, a standalone app that lets users share recipes and food photos, entirely shut down last month, as did other experimental products like Evernote Hello and Peek.

via Evernote is in deep trouble – Business Insider

I’ve used and loved Evernote for a long time. However over the past year, I’ve been making many attempts to migrate away from it. It’s not exactly one specific reason/issue that is causing me to move away, but many little quirks that give you the feeling of death by a thousand cuts. Sadly they’ve also killed Evernote Food which I quite liked, but that’s understandable, as it always felt like some kind of a side project.

Nowadays I seldom use Skitch or Penultimate, as they now feel clunky and troublesome. It’s not entirely Evernote’s fault, as there are other factors that count against it, such as the current version of OS X offering pretty good annotation fools, and a solid Notes app. However, Evernote’s feature set is still powerful enough that they should be able to get through this tough period.

If anything, I feel Evernote should get back to sorting out some core issues, such as:

  • Sync speed
  • Sync conflict handling
  • Stability of offline notes
  • Ease of use

I’ve since tweaked my workflow to use these apps (Evernote is still a part of it):

  • Simplenote: Still my current favourite quick note-taking app due to lightning fast sync, plain-text only notes, and support OS X, iOS, and web.
  • OneNote: For offline notes. Evernote’s offline notes feature is still horrible, and what makes it worse is that it’s a paid service. I’ve had too many instances where I needed an offline file while traveling and couldn’t get to it.
  • Evernote: Functioning more like an “archive of everything else” which I search slowly (because it really is very slow and clunky) for random bits of information.
  • Apple’s Notes: The latest update of Notes with iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan offers support for images and PDF, which I’m currently testing as a replacement for OneNote as my travel notebook. Useful information such as scans of my passport, boarding passes, etc, can be stored in here now. So far so good. If it works out, I’ll be switching from OneNote to this. It also supports multiple levels of sub-folders, which is really useful to me.

I’m still a paying Evernote customer, but unless they get these core issues fixed, I probably won’t renew my subscription and will revert to the free tier.


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