Has Evernote progressed enough to use?

I’ve returned to the Green Elephant.

As I’m writing this, I can’t believe Evernote has come back into my productivity life. I had an account since 2010 and used it regularly up until V10 was released. I was skeptical of V10 (still a little skeptical, to be honest) and abandoned the awful Electron app for newer, cooler apps.

Recently, all of the new apps have been exhausting. I had clippings, files, and notes strewn about in Apple Notes, Craft, Keep It, and Finder. I was struggling to remember where notes were stored. Then, this thread encouraged me to give Evernote a chance to see what changed in two years.

First, I came across this video and discovered my note-taking archetype is apparently ‘Librarian.’

These archetypes might not fit everyone, but I clearly fall into the Librarian archetype. Evernote is the recommended app here. And it explains why the next-generation apps never clicked with me. I struggle with ‘Gardening’ apps like Roam and Obsidian and ‘Architect’ apps like Notion and Craft. They just don’t fit the way my mind works… so my advice is, don’t change yourself to fit the app, find the app that fits your note-taking style.

Enter, Evernote. It was like returning to an old, trusted friend.

Despite some issues that remain with V10, it still can’t be beat with a few best-in-class features:

  • Search. No other app does it better, IMO. Lighnting fast search, OCR, I always find what I’m looking for.

  • Web app. This is important because I can’t install software at work but can access notes in a browser. There are apps for everything, including a Linux beta.

  • Web clipper. There isn’t any competition here still.

  • Import folders. V10 has re-introduced these and it’s been so efficient to import a large number of files.

  • Email to Evernote. It’s still the best capture app - no other app/service has so many ways to get content in than Evernote. Between email to Evernote, web clipper, and import folders, I forgot how easy it is.

  • Evernote Tasks. This is a game-changer. It was released about a year ago but today they just updated for re-occuring tasks. It brings all your tasks from each note together in one view, and you can filter based on note/context, due date, who it’s assigned to etc. The implementation is well done.

It’s not for everyone, but it might be for you if you’re a Librarian and want to give it a second chance. It’s not the coolest app in the tech world right now, but I’ve never been more productive, and I’m cool with that.


Exactly - RSS is the intermediary. I shared screenshots on how to implement it in this MPU thread

Foxtrot is a great search app for local content which probably deserves more attention than it receives.

In my experience, its search is consistently better than DT’s. (By “better” I mean, I can find what I’m looking for more quickly and with less effort).

Of course, DT has plenty of other valuable functionality. But for a “search only” usecase, I prefer Foxtrot.

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Agreed. I need a web app to use at work.

Nope… I just found the sync far too slow…

Now back to Craft!

For more than a year I have tried to replace Evernote. I have tried Notion, Obsidian, DEVONthink, Craft, Bear, KeepIt, and many others. (I may have an app switching problem, but that’s a different post.)

Ultimately, I’ve realized that Evernote is the one for me. I even wrote myself this note (in Evernote) as a reminder about why I’m no longer testing/looking for alternatives.

  • Because getting things into Evernote is seamless, it doesn’t matter if it’s email, web pages, notes, PDFs, YouTube - anything goes.

  • Because I will never have to ask, “Where is it?” It’s in Evernote. It’s always in Evernote.

  • Because I strongly prefer having everything (notes, documents, and maybe even tasks) all in one place. Linking multiple apps requires too much maintenance.

  • Because I want to be able to store different types of files in a single note (looking at you DEVONthink).

  • Because “linking my thinking” is not important to me, but a workable folder structure is.

  • Because everything is available everywhere: laptop, phone, iPad, web… EVERYWHERE.

  • Because it needs to be easy for me to get email into my notes app (in other words, Notion won’t work).

  • Because I can’t/won’t waste time tweaking it endlessly. It is what it is.

  • Because Dataview (for Obsidian) is cool, but cool doesn’t get the work done. Simplicity does.

  • Because I am a librarian at heart. I may have aspirations to be an architect, but that is a distracting path I’m not willing to travel anymore.


Ha, I did the same thing about note and writing apps. :slightly_smiling_face:


In which app did you write that? :rofl:


Cindy… you are a SUPERSTAR :slight_smile:


Hello, fellow librarian! :wave:

I’m starting to wonder if this is why dedicated task managers haven’t worked well for me. I’ve never been able to follow strict GTD. Even though I’ve used Things and other to do apps for years, I tended to put to dos in them and either forgot about them, or found switching apps all the time cumbersome. I’m experimenting with everything in Evernote, including tasks.

Do you still use a separate task management app, or do you put tasks in Evernote too? If so, what has your experience been like?


I would actually go back to Roam in an instant if it was $5 a month. After a year with Obsidian, I still find it irritating to use, there is always friction I never had with Roam.


What are you not liking about the mobile app? I’m asking because I’m curious about other uses. I’m finding that it’s tons better than my previous DEVONThink implementation. I never used evernote extensively at all. Hated the lock in and on their own servers issues.

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Cost is the main factor for me… it’s presumably not targeted at me given the high subscription cost. Perhaps professional researchers could justify it.

Logseq is a good - and free - alternative. I’m caught in a loop between Apple Notes, Obsidian and Logseq for my note taking and capture, and need to settle!

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I also use Logseq but the iCloud drive (not Cloudkit) sync really gives me constant pain when I use between devices. Compares to that Craft notes is a lot smoother in terms of sync and the app is so pretty, but not as powerful (at least for now) as logseq due to lack of plugin

Apple Notes :slightly_smiling_face:


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To bring some balance, I think DEVONthink is every bit as capable. It doesn’t bother me to use a group instead of a single note with attached filetype’s. In fact it’s more beneficial as this file can be acted on independently. Outside of that DT does everything you listed and more.

  • Unlimited group depth
  • Multiple databases
  • Security via encrypted sync points meaning no-one but you can see your data.
  • Allows the creation of different document formats. Markdown for instance or formatted text, etc.
  • Wiki functionality. This will pick up documents you’ve already written with the same name. Very helpful when having a growing body of information.
  • Saved/Custom searches
  • See Also/Classify for unearthing related information
  • Concordance for finding specific terms and usage
  • etc.

I agree and one can set reminders/todos for each note, convert files, OCR files, import emails, import OR index files, and more… all with no subscription.

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  1. It often crashes on opening and has to be force-quit

  2. It takes a while to open, while all the syncing and update messages fly by

  3. The list of recently used notes doesn’t sync with the desktop

  4. Moving around the sidebar panels is really clunky

Broadly, I find that everything in Obsidian Mobile takes me longer, involves more waiting and swiping and tapping than any other mobile notes app I’ve used.


I love Cindy’s description.

Regardless of which app we each use individually, I think Cindy’s post is a remarkable evocation of Evernote’s benefits and why it’s such a great fit for some users.


Thanks for the info. I’ve never experienced any crashes at all so that’s a new one to me.

Ditto for syncing messages flying by. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any at all so maybe I’m not understanding what you mean? I do see the notices abut the plug-ins that won’t work in Mobile but it’s fast. I can’t read them before they are gone and I’m up and running.

I actually LIKE number 2. I don’t want my list of recent notes to sync with the desktop. I have a set that I always look at on my iPad that is differen than what I do on the desktop so I actually like that it doesn’t try to put me at the exact same state.

Could you explain number 4 more? My argument about the side bars is that I can’t change the size of them but I don’t seem to hav any issues with navigating using them jus thtat on my desktop version I have them made much smaller so they don’t take up all my screen.