Evernote? More like Evernope!

After a year and a half romp with Evernote, I am kicking it to the curb. You may
remember last year when I broke away from the Apple ecosystem and moved
from an iPhone to an Android device. That’s when I added Evernote to the mix as
it was one of the most notable cross-platform note-taking apps out there.

I came to realize that Evernote is way more than a note-taking app but my own
usage is far from that of a poweruser.I hate the fact that Evernote does so much
because I feel like they are half-assing a lot of different things instead of
focusing on and perfecting just a few.

Evernote is not the Swiss Army Knife that it is for many of my peers.
I need an app to jot things down, not an all encompassing hoarding app.

Where Evernote fell short for me and really got me thinking about switching was
the constant nagging to upgrade. I can deal with being prompted to go premium
after installing the app. I can even deal with it after minor updates. But every
few days? That shit got under my skin and got me thinking about the

My main concern running OS X, iOS and Android is that I want to have access to
my notes on all of my systems, that’s what drew me to Evernote to begin with.
Fortunately, there are many other cross-platform note-taking apps out there.

Interestingly enough, I did settle back on Notes.app even though it is not a
cross-platform solution. More on that though, let’s talk about my pain points
with Evernote, and my encounters with the alternatives I tried.


The incessant upsell attempts weren’t the only issue I had with Evernote. One of
my main issues was how janky the synchronization was. Fortunately, it didn’t
come up that often where I would add a note on one system and immediately need
it on another system. Evernote’s sync defaults to every 15 minutes and can be
reduced to every 5 minutes. In those dire situations, I had to manually sync
both systems to get the note to show up.

The app itself, on every platform I tried it on, had a tendency of being
sluggish and crash pretty regularly on me. Maybe I’m just getting old, but I
found navigating between notes and notebooks and all of that to seem very

Attempting to give Evernote the benefit of the doubt and try using it for more
than just notes, I attempted to use it as a replacement for Pocket and
tried to use the Evernote Web Clipper. In comparison to Pocket, it took orders
of magnitude longer to save the page and the pages that were saved looked really
terrible. No reason for me to drop Pocket from my arsenal.


Still hell-bent on finding a cross-platform solution, I went ahead and gave
Simplenote a shot. Right out of the gate, it looked brilliant and was more in
line with how I expect a note-taking app look and feel. Synchronization between
instances of the app on different devices was damn near instantaneous.

Even though Simplenote was an amazing app, I still wasn’t convinced. It looked a
ton like a prettier version of Notes.app, functioned very similarly and didn’t
provide any additional functionality that I needed or saw myself using in the

Simplenote’s pluses are being cross-platform, exceptional synchonization,
tagging and collaborative features. The latter two I didn’t need.

Google Keep

I figured that since I have an Android phone, I could embrace Google’s
note-taking offering. Nothing really wrong with Keep aside from being yet
another opportunity for Google to profile me.

I’ve really enjoyed how Keep works on my phone, specifically with checkbox
lists. Of everything I’ve tried, it’s by far the best app for my grocery lists.

Unfortunately, I’m having a hard time putting any more eggs into the Google
basket. Still a bit stung by the discontinuation of Google Reader, I suppose.


Clean and simple. Solid synchronization. Oh and I don’t need an additional
account as it’s tied to my existing iCloud. Aside from my Android phone, the
rest of my devices are from Apple so it makes sense.

The latest Notes.app offerings from Apple in iOS 9 and El Capitan have shown
that the app definitely hasn’t been forgotten. Notes can now have all sorts of
attachments as well as drawings and checkbox lists. Slowly starting to creep
into Evernote’s functionality it seems.


For the moment I am using a combination of Notes.app on OS X and my iPad and
Google Keep on my phone until I switch back to an iPhone. What I came to realize
in all of this, is that I don’t necessarily need to have all of my devices fully
in sync. In fact, most notes I enter on my phone end up being used exclusively
on my phone, and vice versa.

Will I stick with Notes.app? Probably so. Simplenote’s the most compelling
alternative right now, but since I don’t have any need for collaboration or
tagging, there’s no reason to switch.

What’s your favorite note-taking app? Comment below!

Josh Sherman - The Man, The Myth, The Avatar

About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Head of Engineering and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

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