Time to rip off the Evernote bandaid - can you help me to chose my new "Evernote"?

If you have trouble with the link…


I really like the EF interface and feature set, although the one thing keeping me from adopting that system is a lack of iOS cross platform support.

I need access to my notes and other data from my mobile devices, primarily my iPad Pro, as well as on my Mac. I used to travel with my MBP but these days I’m spoiled and just take my iPad when I go out (for the most part).

With the announcement this morning about the M1 equipped iPad Pro I suppose it is possible that C-Command could add universal app support to an update to make it iPad compatible. That would probably win me over as a customer!

For now though, I remain in the DEVONthink camp…albeit, not as a power user by any means!

Re Evernote: It’s really a shame that they feel compelled to lock down user content so much. They have a nice system, vastly improved infrastructure, and the most universal cross platform access available - they can be accessed from any device or OS! But the fact that I can’t export a note as a PDF when I need to is simply a deal breaker!

I was discussing this with a friend the other day: I probably use only 1/1,000 of 1% of DevonThink’s capabilities. But the capabilities I do use seem worth it to me.

The big feature that everybody loves is the “See Also” and AI-driven search, and I just haven’t found much use for either.

A copy of all my files reside in EagleFiler libraries. One contains everything I want to keep, and the other is stuff I could probably discard but keep “just in case”. I’m a digital packrat and have always loved that I can toss any old files I may find into EF and it won’t import duplicates.

But, as you point out, there is no good way to use EF with IOS, and I use an iPad as my primary device. I even stored my primary EF library on iCloud and used Documents by Readdle to index the files so they could be searched. And for a while it looked like I had found a good workaround, but then I started having iCloud sync problems again, and eventually moved EF out of iCloud.

I used Evernote as my “filing cabinet” for many years but stopped when it appeared they had lost its way. Just recently I gave it another look and discovered they have made a lot of improvements. They even have a decent IOS web clipper. So for now I’m using EN again, but also keeping a copy of everything in EF on my mini - with a little help from Hazel :grinning:

I have been contemplating moving out of Evernote to trim down on my subscription cost. I have tried Drafts for a few weeks and I find that Drafts can’t replace EN but it does complement it as a way to quickly enter text. So, I have been using Drafts+EN but still have not found a good replacement for EN.

Then, I listened to Sparky’s podcast on Obsidian and thought, this is it. I have been trying to use Obsidian and I chose one notebook, my journal to experiment. I used Yarle to export the notebook from EN to markdown files and then setup Drafts to save my entries into both MD and EN. That way, I can continue with Obsidian, while knowing that my EN is still kept up to date.

After using for almost a week, I find that I really cannot use MD. I’m too dependent on having tools to easily color certain key points, ability to create a table, and more importantly, attach photos into my journal.

Markdown via Obsidian or even Drafts, made all these very difficult and by the time I start looking up for the way to do copy the link or the command to do all these, my fleeting thoughts we gone.

So, I am back to EN. The simplicity of the editor made it such a joy to use. At the end of the day, capturing my thoughts is what matters, not wrestling with the tools.

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You may like Craft, if you want the power of links. But if Evernote works for you, then it works for you. If it would add Zettelkasten-like linking capabilities, I’d actually be very tempted to go back to it.


Evernote has linking now.

Evernote always had note links, but they’re extremely fiddly to use. It’s nothing as elegant as the Obsidian-like (or Roam, Bear, Craft…) way of typing [[ and getting an inline, searchable list of notes to link to immediately without breaking flow. That’s I would be calling Zettelkasten-like linking :slightly_smiling_face:


I was and to some extent, still in that camp. I use color and indentation to denote things in my rich text notes and I have several lined up columns of stuff in my notes that I update and edit regularly. But I’ve found that with a judicious use of thmse and making a few simple changes to my writing I can get the same look in Obsidian.

I think that if you are not used to markdown, as I am not, that you have to cut yourself some slack and figure that you’ve got a learning curve before it wil be seamless. I’ve started my own cheat sheet of shortcuts and how to do certain things as I find them but when I find that I am not able to get the look I want in Obsidian right as I take a note I do one of 2 things, either I add into it what I want it to look like or I revert to my standard paper notetaking and then type it into Obsidian later when I process my notes.

A key point for me is to NEVER directly put a note into my actual note system without it living, at least temporarily in an Inbox. I find that I need toreflect on my stuff before being abke to integrate it with the rest of my notes. I’ve been using an inbox of some sort in all notetaking or wirting apps for years and it really helps to ensure that the notes that make it into the “filing cabinet” are truly useful and readable and reflect the information you wanted to save.

If you really want to reduce the subscription costs and leave Evernote then you might consider that converting to Obsidian is a fairly major change in working and that no one is an expert in a new tool immediately. I’ve been playing with Obsidian for about 4 months now and I’m only just now getting to where I feel fairly comfortable on creating on-the fly notes that are really ready to move into my main system. Nearly all need tweaking before they make it out of the inbox.

After using Evernote for both personal and professional notes for many years (thousands of notes), I moved to Apple Notes. Don’t remember exactly when, but it was 2 or 3 years ago. I have had few issues and zero regrets.

Glad to answer any questions about my transition.

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You are absolutely right. I need time, yet I don’t have it when I am at work and instantly needed to jot down something important. I am now doing a two-prong approach to this matter. I will use Obsidian for personal matters when I have the time to explore and learn Markdown. I like your idea of building a cheat sheet, which I should do to get myself up-to-speed, so to say. The other approach is to keep Evernote only for work-related stuff to quickly get things done. Above these two will be Draft as a layer for quick capture. Fortunately, Drafts is also a Markdown editor and that would made me practice more.

I do need a Drafts action which will save my entries into Obsidian Vault AND made a copy into Evernote (for work-related stuff).

Thank you for your offer but Apple Notes is not for me because work issued me a Windows computer and I needed a cross-platform tool, which was the reason I went with Evernote in the first place (and now, maybe, Obsidian). I am attracted by Obsidian not because of that PKM or Linking your Thinking methodology (that is a bonus) but because of the fact that my notes are stored in an open standard format in my own filesystem. That will preserve the longevity and I won’t be tied by a proprietary system such as Evernote in the future.