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Living Without Evernote

One Bell of an Affair

From 2009 to the end of 2015, my interest in and engagement with Evernote has traversed a path that waxed and waned like a bell curve. At the height of this affair, I was interviewed by Mitch Mitchell. At the time, I stated:

“[t]here may be better-designed alternatives but I am satisfied with 90% of Evernote. The lone 10% annoyance is that it freezes temporarily while I am typing. Not always, but enough to get on my nerves if I’m trying to get some ideas down.”

Ironically, shortly thereafter, things began to sour. The ride is over and now it is time to set up an amicable parting of ways.

Living Without Evernote
Classic Bell Curve (Click to view full size)

Irreconcilable Differences

As I noted in my interview, when I wanted to jot down an idea, Evernote wanted to Sync. Call me gruff, but I don’t have time to wait for the app to primp and prance. Let’s go!

Things got so bad that I resorted to a stupid system of writing the ideas in Notepad and saving the file to a folder that was monitored by another piece of software. In turn, that app sent the note to a folder that Evernote monitored for importing into a specific notebook. Sync on that!

Besides the disconnect that occurred during my attempts at note-taking, I became frustrated by the steady decline in 3rd-party integration. Powerbot for Gmail was an essential part of my workflow. When its development company, YamLabs, went offline, I lost the best way to get emails into Evernote.

(I know about IFFT.com, but I have had some issues with triggers cutting off or never firing. Powerbot just worked.)

Custody of the Notes

Taking no chances here, I exported each notebook as a standalone HTML document. Evernote readily provided the format, which maintains note metadata such as tags, attachments and structure.

This arrangement has revealed Evernote for the digital black hole that it is! I couldn’t believe how much stuff I had tossed into this app over the years. Important at the time, no doubt. But as the saying goes: out of sight, out of mind.

With the HTML folders stored on my browser’s bookmarks toolbar, I can take my time sifting through the notes. At some point, I’m going to want to get rid of a lot of outdated research.

Visitation Rights

Friends with benefits? I love the Web Clipper. If I can figure out a way to save web pages to current project folders, I wouldn’t need it. Until I find a replacement, I may want to tap that Clipper when the need arises.

Final Dissolution

My association with Evernote included some good times. I once made 77.00 just to create a fake Evernote notebook. Many of my short stories were first organized as notes. And, for a short while, I collected YouTube videos.

Create 400 Random Notes in Evernote
Create 400 Random Notes in Evernote (Click to view full size)

I am keeping the free account. Who knows, we may get back together someday!