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Bill Bennett


Evernote changes: End of the line for some users

For a long time cloud-based note-taking app Evernote was a key part of many people’s work productivity.

Somewhere along the way it lost the plot. It was no longer essential. Alternatives emerged which did the same or a similar job. Sometimes the new options did things better.

Then Evernote stopped being any part of work productivity for many one-time fans. In my case, I realised one day I wasn’t using it anymore.

Although there are still hold-outs who swear by Evernote. There isn’t the buzz.

Now fresh changes are on the way that are likely to see a number of hold-outs give up on the software. Basic users are now limited to using the software on just two devices. The premium subscription price jumps from US$45 to $70 a year.

That’s a lot of money for a note-taking application. Sure, Evernote Premium does more than notes. Yet it doesn’t feel like good value.

To put the price in context, Evernote Premium is US$10 a year more than a basic Microsoft Office 360 Personal subscription.

The subscription software model only works so long as customers feel they are getting value and will continue to do so. Pressuring users from the free model and increasing prices might seem like a smart idea in the boardroom. In the real world it’s like hitting the self-destruct button.



7 thoughts on “Evernote changes: End of the line for some users

  1. Andrew Cutler: The Google Chrome Web Clipper extension is the only thing stopping me from moving at the moment. The latest announcement definitely has me looking to see if there is anything else with the functionality I want. via plus.google.com

  2. Whether or not EVERNOTE is priced appropriately should not be confused with its robust functionality. Those who’s priority is the lowest price or “free” will likely find the functionality they deserve. The holdouts, as you put it, should have always been EVERNOTE’s focus, sustaining and expanding the functionality they deserve.

  3. I’ve long been a $45 a year premium subscriber and thought I would not be affected by the latest Evernote changes. I hadn’t noticed, until your post, that the premium subscription is going up to $70. That will force me to reconsider it, though I am a serious user of the product. And I have been since it was called Tornado in the late 1980s. It’s now a tremendously valuable database for me.

    I’m still an active user. For instance, yesterday I was in a library doing research for a book I’m writing. I took all my notes in Evernote, using a Bluetooth keyboard linked to my Android tablet. It’s comforting, and convenient, to know that these notes are now on my phone, tablet and laptop, and in the cloud.

    But $70 may be a bit much to swallow and I will now seriously investigate Microsoft OneNote. At least one Windows utility can migrate an Evernote database to OneNote. See https://web.archive.org/web/20190929040817/https://lifehacker.com/migrate-your-data-from-evernote-to-onenote-with-this-to-1560885406

    I’ve played around with OneNote and have read reviews of it, and I don’t think it’s as good as Evernote for my purposes. But saving US$70 a year, forever, puts a different complexion on things.

    Though I paid my Evernote subscription quite recently, I think I’ll migrate sooner rather than later, in case the migration process needs to get at Evernote’ cloud database. That database might disappear if Evernote goes bust.

    1. I’m OK with $70 a year, even US$70 a year for software or services that are important to my work. The first time you lose an important piece of information the cost is likely to be higher. In my case I stopped using Evernote because I wasn’t getting any value, even from the free service.

      Your point about the database is important. Even if you don’t move off Evernote, you’d need to have a full and up-to-date back-up in a format that you can easily use elsewhere. It’s possible the price changes are sign the company is in trouble and may fold at some point. Even if that’s not the case, I’d hate to have all my eggs in one basket.

  4. I managed to use the Microsoft OneNote tool, it worked really well, took about 30 minutes or so to transfer some 2000 notes of mixed size. I take your point Bill about the costs if it is an essential to a workflow, also your concerns about the potential financial trouble of Evernote. Glad to have things backed up into OneNote, though boy it is a struggle to get my head around, time will tell if I make a permanent move to incorporating OneNote into my day to day life. Being a bit of a Google nut, perhaps I should look again at Google Keep, though this looked too simple when I looked at if before.

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