Evernote in Trouble?

TidBITS reports that Evernote is in trouble. In an article about how to export all notes from Evernote to Apple Notes, they say: “Evernote is in trouble. In the last month, the company has lost its CTO, CFO, CPO, and HR head, and it may soon be seeking more funding. An anonymous tipster told TechCrunch that the company is in a “death spiral.” If you’re concerned about the future of the company and what might happen to your data stored on Evernote’s servers, now might be a great time to export your notes.”

I’m about to try following their tips. Has anyone else done so? Any thoughts on the liklihood of Evernote going away?


There’s been a fair bit of discussion about these recent Evernote stories, including what action others are taking, could be worth a peek. The threads can be found here:

Looks like people are generally mixed about how quickly they’re jumping to an alternative, and for some use cases, there is no one-to-one alternative, most options come with considerable trade-offs or steep learning curves for most workflows.

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@Scottisloud - Thank you for bring all these similar threads into one post.

I must admit, I get a bit dismayed when I find folks starting their own thread when a very similar thread exists. Nature of the beast, I suppose.

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I was rather surprised that the forum software wasn’t showing any of those as “Suggested Topics” below, which means that when the OP was composing it, it likely didn’t offer them at that point either! Oh well, as you say, nature of the beast!

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FTI there’s a discussion about it below, started a week ago:

I’m going to stick it out. I’ll do periodic full exports to Dropbox, but I use EN mostly for storage of documents I find interesting. I have never used EN as a note-taking app and most of my note taking is now done with Drafts. I’m using Instagram a lot more for clipping.

I follow Evernote very closely. I’ve been using it since its beta days and became an ECC (Evernote Certified Consultant) a couple of years ago.

It continues to be an important part of my productivity system. I’m particularly fond of the Web Clipper and haven’t seen anything that matches its functionality.

I’ve been disappointed to see some misleading headlines.

For example, the Verge published an article on September 4, 2018 with the headline “Evernote slashes price of Premium subscription as many executives depart”. 9To5Mac and others wrote similar articles that reference what the Verge shared.

The truth is that Evernote is currently offering a promotion for new users as they have in past years. I verified with Evernote that their pricing hasn’t changed. I don’t think they’ve made an official statement on executives leaving, so I won’t comment on this one.

I continue to be optimistic about Evernote’s future. I use it daily find it’s very well suited to some of my use cases.


I was quite the fan of their web clipper and was a pro subscriber up until about a year ago. They put their prices up pretty significantly and I couldn’t justify the increase.

I exported all my notes to Apple Notes back when Evernote shafted us by changing their freemium model. I haven’t looked back since. Looks like Evernote is getting their come-uppance for breaking their trust with us original users.

In all fairness, Evernote was a great solution at a time when very few alternatives existed. It gave us syncing of notes across multiple devices, web and desktop, it would magically OCR your photos so you could search for text in a whiteboard photo or a business card. It could hold many file types as attachments and the web clipper was world class. It basically ran on every major platform as well, which also was quite uncommon.

Since the early days, we now have so many other ways of fulfilling the same tasks. Dropbox, iCloud, Onedrive etc. are now widely used, Apple Notes are great, as are the multitude of other note taking options on iOS and Mac. None of which were available in the early days of Evernote.

It is not surprising that they are now struggling a bit in a market that has to a large degree caught up or even surpassed them in certain aspects. The trend of declining software and service pricing combined with increasing demands from users being another challenge…


My Evernote data is synced to my laptop, backed up from there to Time Machine etc. The “data stored on Evernote servers, oh my” thing is a red herring – no one has an excuse to leave their data unprotected. Evernote is worth more alive than dead, both as a product and a subscriber base. Probability of Evernote going bust overnight, all apps ceasing to function, and everyone’s data vanishing in a puff of electrons, leaving everyone in the lurch, is no doubt very small.

(Thanks @Scottisloud for consolidating thread references here.)

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Yes, I agree. As a long time EN user I have been a bit concerned about what is going on and I have been reading the various threads here. But I haven’t quite understood the “panic”. As you note, all of the data is sync’d to my laptop … I don’t depend on Evernote’s cloud as my backup. And a company the size of Evernote is not going to close up shop on some Sunday afternoon and leave people stranded. I have used web apps from startups that have gone out of business and always been given warning I they have x days or x weeks to retrieve all of my data.

I am keeping my eyes open for reasonable alternatives but I am not circling the wagons right now.


I have recently moved back to Evernote after trying everyone else over the years.

I don’t know whether these stories are true but Evernote is actually brilliant and the best productivity app by far for the Mac iOS ecosystem.

I do wish though they would introduce spaces for personal users


Looks like more bad news from Evernote, according to TC they just laid off 15% of their staff. https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/18/evernote-just-slashed-54-jobs-or-15-percent-of-its-workforce/

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Evernote was propped up for with VC money, despite the fact that “user and active users have been flat for the last six years”. Six years without customer growth, after $290 million in funding from 2007-2014. ($80 million of that during those last 6 flat years.) Microsoft and Apple took a look at the company and rightly saw Evernote as something useful and affordably duplicable to maintain user stickiness with their respective OSes.

Reminds me a bit of when Steve Jobs unsuccessfully tried to buy the then-young Dropbox in 2009 for $100 million; while in the process of being rebuffed he negged the company’s founders Arash Ferdowsi and Drew Houston by telling them their cloud service was “a feature, not a product”. (Something that Tim Cook’s Apple is underscoring today, and DropBox ran to the enterprise, where Box was already regularly profitable.)

But at this point I’m not sure anyone wants to buy Evernote. Microsoft has both Wunderlist (which it’s sunsetting) and OneNote, Apple’s Notes is Evernote Lite, Mac/iOS has DevonThink, Bear, SimpleNote, Zoho Notes and KeepIt and others, there are even nascent open source Evernote clones like Elephant, and there are collaborative options like Box Notes and Quip. Who’d want to wade in and try to make any money competing in that space when current management floundered for six years?

Casey Newton at The Verge opined that “Evernote should have snapped up something like Coda, Notion, or NoteJoy when it still had the cash, and pivoted the business to small teams/enterprise while gradually winding down the consumer business…Dropbox, which was in a similar spot, leaned on acquisitions to pivot into the enterprise and handled it beautifully… enterprise acquisitions include Clementine (communication), HackPad (which became Paper), Pixelapse (collaboration), CloudOn (collaboration) and MobileSpan (BYOD)… to me it’s more what those acquisitions signaled — that the company was not resting all its hopes in a market that turned out to be a mirage. evernote never really turned that corner”

I’ve gradually scaled up my notes usage/needs, and I now think Evernote would be the best fit for me, but I’m unwilling to drop $70/yr on it. I know not many people are walking my path of going from Apple Notes to needing something way more sophisticated in the last twelve months, but I couldn’t be less surprised that their growth has been flat being the most expensive option in town. It’d be a better solutionf or me than Bear honestly, but it wouldn’t be over four times as good of a solution.

Evernote shared the following message from their CEO, Chris O’Neill earlier today:


Part of the problem is in the name - “note”.

If all you’re looking for is text note syncing Evernote is probably not for you, and certainly not worth paying for.

Although simple note syncing was the reason I signed up in 2009, Evernote has grown to be an incredible tool for me. The ability to use Hazel and applescript to import and categorise (tag) PDF files (for example utility bills for multiple investment properties each with their own tax implications), to saved searches pulling up those files arranged and filtered as I need them, reminders, OCR especially for business cards, geo-tagging, offline notebooks on iOS, cross-platform (ie windows) support and many more I won’t bother to list. This makes Evernote incredibly useful and so powerful, and I get the $70 back tenfold or more each year with the amount of times it saves doing my organisation, so I don’t have to.


I don’t actually take notes in Evernote very often, though many of my notes end up there.

For example, if I’m take notes in a course on my iPad I use Bear. I like writing in Markdown and TextExpander accelerates my note taking. When I’m done, this note is added to my Evernote repository where it’s tagged and filed for easy retrieval in the future.

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To disagree with Casey Newton’s opinion… I think that there is a healthy market for the prosumer model. Managers, executives, etc. would be willing to pay $70 per year (or have their companies pay it) for the personal productivity gains. This constant pivoting to focus almost entirely on the Enterprise like IBM and Microsoft might not work for everyone.

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