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5 reasons why Evernote is overrated

  1. It’s astonishingly easy for the syncing process to get mixed up. The synch for Omnifocus, which surely has a much more complex database, never gets confused. I seem to generate synch conflicts on a small minority of occasions that I use Evernote. These synch conflicts sometimes lead me to lose data. Usually they’re just annoying though.
  2. The notes look radically different depending on the computer and device I’m using. Obviously this is unavoidable to some degree but the discrepancies between how a note looks on my home desktop, my laptop, my office PC, my iPad and my iPhone really irritate me.
  3. They still haven’t fixed the WYSIWYG editor. The same problems that frustrated me when I first tried Evernote a few years ago (insertion of errant full stops, spacing inconsistencies, line breaks that get stuck in place) are still mostly there. If you’ve got used to using minimalist text editors, it makes writing in Evernote an incredibly frustrating experience.
  4. It’s too slow to function usefully as a place to instantaneously store ideas. I’ll grant it’s improved over time in this respect (the iOS 7 version is a big improvement) but I still find myself using Omnifocus instead just because it’s much quicker.
  5. The other reason I put notes into my Omnifocus inbox instead (either through the app or via e-mail) is that I trust Omnifocus and don’t trust Evernote. All these little niggling inadequacies contribute to an inability to forget about the software. I know Omnifocus will work without me thinking about it. I can’t say the same about Evernote. That’s why I think Evernote is overrated and that’s why I’m now regretting having paid for a premium subscription.

Oh how I wish the Omni Group would build an Evernote alternative. The stuff I store in Evernote (e.g. my research agenda, mailing lists, plans for future events) could be stored in Omnifocus but it doesn’t quite work because these are things which don’t attach to particular tasks. They could be made to attach to them but it’s not how I think (and the congruence with how I think is what makes Omnifocus such a powerfully ingratiating application). I think I want a work space. Something kind of like Scrivnr but for all my research, projects and paid work. Evernote certainly isn’t it. But I’m not sure what is.

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Mark

5 replies

  1. With all due respect, I must say that the arguments you use above are relatively minor irritations if you consider them in the bigger picture. Furthermore, from the comments I have read around the net it seems that the iOS-based version is inferior to the Windows-based version, which seems surprising considering the Evernote team use Apple equipment. Admittedly, the iOS-based app gets new features quicker, and there are even more, but in terms of performance the Windows-based version is better.

  2. Are you under the impression this post is titled “5 reasons why Evernote is useless” or “5 reasons why Evernote has no value”?

  3. No I don’t, but the way your present Centrallo (as a listing app) & then compare it with Evernote I think you are doing a disservice to Centrallo, to EN & to your readers. Michael puts that straight on the other page, and I have replied to that. But I still maintain that if you want to demonstrate that EN is overrated, which may be the case, you should come with better arguments than those you mention above.
    No hard feelings though :-))

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