I’ve been a fan of Evernote, for long years. Tags and offline notebooks were my inseparable friends.
Thousands of notes meticulously stored, available everywhere.
Not all was perfect, of course. I (together with a lot of other users) missed password protected notebooks, a decent search syntax, and a long list of other features, but, all in all, the application has been an irreplaceable tool.
At some point, maybe with a change in the management, I noticed that marketing took over tech. The brand grew stronger and stronger but the long-awaited features never arrived.
Two things happened, at that point.
I tried to develop an integration of one of my applications with Evernote. The thing wasn’t complex, even if severely limited in many ways. The API was clearly abandoned. On top of that, at the first problem — my developer authorization didn’t work even if it should — I hit the wall of the support team. Or, better, of the total absence of the support team. And, peeping and asking around, I was one of many.
I had to stop my project.
Then, Evernote 10 arrived. I heard that it pissed a crowd, but it wasn’t available in my country already. How bad could it be? It could only be an improvement.
When I finally upgraded (on Windows), I realized that Evernote had disappointed me for the last time. Nothing of what I expected was there. But surprises were there for sure. For example, you can’t export all of the notes, now. You must export notebook by notebook. Tagging (a key feature) is less practical. Right-click on the notebooks doesn’t work.
Still not protected notebooks (only the same ugly and obsoleted text encryption), the same poor and illogical search syntax, no improvements in navigation, poor customization, and so on.
The app no more starting with Windows. No way. And slower. And double-clicking on the tray bar not open Evernote, as one expects on Windows.
I had enough.
I quickly made another one of my trips in the wild forest of the productivity apps and this time I found a serious candidate: Nimbus Note.
But Nimbus was the one, for me.
I started testing and… it was a wow.
Hierarchical folders. You can’t imagine how useful are them. I know, folders have existed for decades, but Evernote does not have them, because it’s all based on tags and notebooks. But things can get complex, and nested folders can help a lot.
Workspaces. Again, liberating. Some areas of your life have no or little intersection. Switching contexts and having to deal only with the notes of that area makes things clearer. The all-there approach of Evernote can get messy.
Folders and workspaces are tools. You don’t need to use them, if you don’t want. And tags are there anyway.
Clean interface, quite everything important is there, apps for all devices are there (or Web interface, of course), offline works like a charm. It’s designed to be collaborative too. Pricing is reasonable and cheaper than Evernote.
Import from Evernote is obviously there, and I used it.
Evernote noticed and started to offer me discounts.
Too late, Evernote.
Now, all my notes happily reside on Nimbus. I lost inner links, but you often pay a price, when migrating data, especially with this kind of apps.
I contacted support a couple of times and they replied within an hour.
I met a bug in the export (you can export to pdf and html but they plan to add other formats), and it was fixed in a few days.
It’s not all perfect, actually. I still don’t have encrypted notebooks. And search syntax is still not there (actually, Evernote was a bit better).
But I have a much more practical tool and I had not a single doubt when switching. The contrary.
Also, it seems that I’m not alone. From what I read in the communities, plenty of deluded Evernoters are switching to Nimbus Note, or some other tool.
Sorry, Evernote. We had good times. Now, good luck.