Why I gave up on Evernote

  • Evernote has been bon out of a great idea, but in the end didn’t evolve into anything special. Looks like a last decade application right now. It is dated in some aspects that one would think a modern note taking application should have
  • Space and features. The basic free account limits are pre-historic for modern day standards. The limits were probably right for when Evernote was launched in 2008, but are now just crazy annoying. Yes, they want to buy the Premium accounts but with this Freemium user experience… I wouldn’t recommend it anymore in 2014
  • Bugs, and support. Evernote isn’t perfect.
    • Evernote doesn’t support Markdown with syntax highlight and export features.
    • Evernote is intrusive – There’s a bug in the software since 2009 that makes Evernote lunch the menu bar helper when you start up your computer, even when you explicitly said in the Preferences that you don’t want it. It consumes computer resources and does it against your own will. This is a symptom that the Evernote team is not really interested in fixing this and another reason not to buy into the Premium.
    • Evernote doesn’t have a text based backend. This is a problem when I need to access my notes with other editors.

Evernote Alternatives

  • As I said in a Portuguese post, there are good reasons to use a text file based note taking system. I’ve used nvAlt for most of the past year and Markdown files to take note of everything I need. Synchronisation of the notes across computers is done via Dropbox and this makes them completely accessible everywhere. The notes are not in a proprietary format (they are just text files) and one can edit them with any editor (textmate, emacs, text wrangler, etc.). Simple and functional.
  • The GTD (getting things done) mantra is something that isn’t dependent on the software, it’s up to you. I use a system of analog note taking with pen and paper called Rapid Logging. It is very simple and very powerful (Great things usually are). I’ve implemented the same thing with text files. Don’t know why one should stay attached to the green tame elephant. They are very difficult to move and don’t usually do what we ask of them.