The other night as I signed up for Fastmail at $45 for the year, my wife asked me how much I paid for software on an annual basis. Even though I track subs within my bi-weekly budget sheet (bi-weekly because that’s the frequency of our paycheques), I have never really gone through them all at once. Instead, I typically do a quick review when something is coming up for renewal and decide from there. More often than not, I say “I can live without this - bye”, only to discover a week later I’m downloading that same app again. Why? Because a certain scenario I hadn’t considered popped up, and the replacement app takes 4 extra clicks to do something. As a MPU I of course deem this as unacceptable, returning my previous subscription app.
While going through my list there were some non-negotiables. 1Password, Backblaze, Fastmail (that I had just signed up for) , Disney+, Amazon Prime to name a few.
But then I arrived at Evernote.
I really love Evernote, but over the past year I’ve left and gone back to them on the rebound about three times. Here’s the cycle, which you can practically follow reading my previous posts on this forum:
Upon my return to Evernote from another app
- I’m going back, no other app ingests so much information as easy. I don’t have to question where to send things because I know EN is the home. I can clip from the web, email into EN, annotate documents, capture images, files with OCR. It’s so ubiquitous.
- Yes, this is amazing, so much easier than using a combination of other apps to store this information. One source of truth - I love it
3 Months Later
- I feel like I only create about 3 notes a week in here, is this worth $100 a year?
- To justify the cost I should put EVERYTHING in here. Yep, this is my new “everything bucket”.
3 Weeks after that
- Typing feels clunky somehow, and even though the M1 app is fast, it still kind of – feels heavy to use.
- I don’t think I want all my stuff in here, it’s good for holding scraps, but Obsidian is better for creating notes and as I’ve used it more, I actually DO really appreciate the linked thinking. I’ve used it quite a bit to help me through some thought processes.
- For all the time I spend dumping stuff in here and organizing it, I hardly ever refer back to any of this stuff.
- I had an impromptu phone call at work this week. I pulled my iPad out and tapped it with the Apple Pencil; took all my notes in Apple Notes. Wow, this is super fast and light. I like this a lot. I think I’ll switch to it.
2 Months after that
- I don’t like how my notes are locked into this, and I don’t like how “saving a web page” just gives you a link within the note. I prefer the clipper. Also, why are images either tiny or giant, is there no in between?
- When I used Evernote, I knew that receipt would be in Evernote, no questions asked. Now, did I save it to Notes? iCloud? Where the hell did I put it?
This time around my reasoning is slightly different though. When I went through my years and years of notes and got rid of all the excess junk, I was left with about 530 notes. That’s peanuts, and none of it is life and death information. If it’s life or death, I put it in on my computer where it’s backed up to the cloud, Time Machine, and Back Blaze.
I guess where Evernote makes me do this to myself (try other apps) is in their $99.99/yr fee and the way the app is setup. I loved the idea of “Home” when it was launched but try as I might, I just don’t find myself using it. Ever. I don’t use tasks, and for whatever reason I just don’t trust it to be my “catch all bucket”. I mean, I do, but not to the point where I’m willing to trust them AND pay $100 a year for it. Something about that just doesn’t feel quite right. $50 a year in perpetuity – maybe. $100? That’s a tough pill to swallow.
And so my struggle continues.