Cross platform alternative setup to Evernote

Hi, I’ve been an Evernote premium user since 2010, as a developer I think that rebuild the application from scratch is a bold move, and I tried to be positive, but now I’m sick and tired of all the issues of version 10. I’m paying for a service, not to be a beta tester.

I don’t want for this to be a post against EN, but I’ve to explain where I’m coming from: in the last week I had several synchronization issues and I can’t trust Evernote anymore. My notes and documents are vital to make my day life work and I can’t risk to loose something.

In my current setup I’ve several notebooks shared with my wife (useful notes and documents to handle our home and family) and all my PKM. I use an iMac, an iPhone and an iPad Pro, unfortunately my wife is a Windows/ Android user so I’ve to find a new cross platform solution.

  • OneNote is not an option I really can’t work with it.
  • I tried Nimbus Notes and I didn’t liked it too, also it hasn’t automation support.
  • Joplin in interesting but seems to unstable (also it hasn’t automation support too).

I’m currently thinking about using Obsidian taking advantage of Hazel to file all the documents in the Obsidian’s vault, and using OneDrive to synchronize the data between devices. I also can use OneDrive to search inside the documents of the vault.

I’ve also thought about using Obsidian for the shared notes and DevonThink for the personal ones, taking advantage of its indexing feature. Unfortunately DevonThink To Go has some limitations that make this solution impractical:

  1. it doesn’t have the indexing feature (I think that’s a limitation of iOS), but can only see what has been indexed by the desktop version
  2. it doesn’t handle the double square brackets links.

DevonThink it’s very expensive (the price is appropriate for the quality of the product) and I don’t think I can justify the cost for my workflow, due to these limitations.

EagleFiler is another application I’m evaluating (to keep the file archive in order), but I don’t have tried it, yet.

Do you have any opinion or suggestion about this proposed setup or possible alternative ones?

You could use Notion which is cross platform and very capable.

Otherwise keeping notes as markdown in a cloud folder with different clients on each OS is probably the way to go.

Thanks for the suggestion, I’ve three basic issues with Notion:

  1. too customizable, I don’t trust myself, I fear I’ll always be tinkering with it
  2. no search inside the attachments (at least the last time I checked it)
  3. data difficult to export
  1. And 3. Are the reasons I don’t use notion too :smiley:

For 2. The only apps I know of that allow you to both edit documents and search inside attachments are DevonThink and KeepIt

alternativeto had
inkdrop as an option

Joplin is great for notes, but not for searchable documents as it just doesn’t do that. I store notes in Joplin and documents in iCloud.

That works for me, but you might need a better document management app.

I don’t know if documents in icloud are searchable from iOS, MacOS will index them and their contents. Make sure your electronic documents are in a searchable format, like pdf with text layer.

This works for me, but YMMV.

I currently have a folder in dropbox (can also use iCloud) that currently has over 7GB of markdown files. I can seamlessly edit this folder with:

  • DevonThink Pro (I’ve indexed the folder for DTP access) – this has been my “digital brain” for many years.
  • Obsidian (connected to the folder as a vault) – can toggle to an external Markdown editor – I link it to MultiMarkdown Composer. This is rapidly becoming my new “networked digital brain” and I still have access to all my DTP databases and notes.
  • NoteBooks
  • MultiMarkdown Composer
  • an unnamed app currently in Beta
  • KeepIt
  • Versatil
  • NotePlan (requires a bit of fiddling and not sure if truly useful)

There are probably others that I haven’t yet tested. I also tried Nimbus Notes and Joplin.

This has been a massive step forward in my personal knowledge management and teaching efforts.

Future plans:

  • Test Hazel, Alfred, and Automator to help automate some of my workflow
  • See if EagleFiler (which you mentioned) has any benefit to my workflow

Please share any success you have with Hazel and EagleFiler.


Thank you, @davistech

I tried Notebooks and I liked it a lot, but then I found that it put a Plist file for each markdown one in my Dropbox, so I uninstalled it.

How do you use Keep It with markdown files?

Do you know any android app similar to Notebooks?

I really love the flexibility than pure text files offer!

I’m currently evaluating the trial of both DevonThink Pro and EagleFiler, in my spare time.

DTP is a real powerhouse and surely the most versatile, it also is the one that ticks all the checkbox for my Evernote user heart. Unfortunately it comes short in the mobile experience, DevonThink To Go (even in its last iteration) is so limited!

I like EagleFiler a lot, is a really well built application, offers a lot of AppleScripts and I could use it to mimic my current Evernote workflow. The DTP indexing feature can offer a similar experience, though.

I love DTP Safari extension. EF instead has a wonderful capture key to ad almost everything to your library (but it isn’t has good for web clipping).

Sooo… I’m very tempted by both of them and I’ve just tipped my toes. I’ll keep you posted.

I hope to implement some Hazel automation during this week, I’ll surely share them here.

I tried Notebooks and I liked it a lot, but then I found that it put a Plist file for each markdown one in my Dropbox, so I uninstalled it.

Huh, I had never noticed that before.

Unfortunately it’s a thing

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Out of curiosity, what’s the reason you done wanna use OneNote?

I don’t like the way it’s organized, and I don’t like its free-form notes, I can’t make it work for me. I tried several time (because I’ve a 365 subscription for work and I could take advantage of the 1TB on OneDrive) but it doesn’t click with me.

Furthermore, now that I’m leaving Evernote I don’t want to relay on another opaque digital cabinet: I want my note easily moved somewhere else if I like to, and I want the link between them preserved.