Seems one cant get away from the Big Green Elephant. Although there are many other note-taking apps like OneNote, Apple Notes and all in one app’s like Notion is gaining traction. I always come back to Evernote.
The main reason for this is twofold. The first reason is better all-round platform consistency. What I mean by that is Evernote is on every major platform. Doesn’t matter if you use Windows, Mac, Android or iOS. The second is their integrations. Since Evernote has been around the longest almost everything note related ties into Evernote.
Evernote covers the way I prefer to work. Using a journal to keep track of notes and tasks and thoughts is done via the Rocketbook Everlast. The mobile devices I use are Apple and the PC’s used are windows. Evernote is able to integrate with them all.
For a while, I tried going all digital and only using Apple Notes and for the most part, it worked well, however the difficulty came in when trying to access the notes via Windows. There is no native app for Apple Notes on Windows, the only way to access your notes is via the browser by logging into your iCloud account. You may be thinking, that’s not so bad, Evernote has a web version of its note editor, and that works pretty well? That was my thought and aim in accessing the notes via iCloud on the web. The problem came in was when I wanted to view the attachments, they weren’t visible as clearly as in the Evernote web version, no thumbnails and any attachments were one-way. Meaning you could download the attachment and view it but you couldn’t upload attachments to the note via the web editor on iCloud. To achieve this you had to upload the attachment via the iPhone or the iPad.
Back to Evernote
As I wrote in the Apple Notes article the mobile experience is not the best on Evernote, especially when you used to the content that has been clipped looking great on Evernote for desktop. Moving back to Evernote then from Apple Notes was going to mean a jarring experience again. During my time being all-in on digital using Apple Notes and using my iPhone and iPad predominantly I resorted to printing to pdf or converting to pdf a webpage from the safari web browser app in the Apple devices. There was no web clipper to use like with Evernote, this was used as a workaround. Coming back to Evernote I started to do the same, instead of web clipping the full article I would clip article only and if that didn’t work I would print to pdf. For the most part, this new workflow has made the content more mobile-friendly on Evernote on my mobile devices.
One other thing I also realised is that going in all digital doesn’t work for me, I found myself being more distracted and less productive, hence me going back to using a journal, the Rocketbook Everlast journal in this case and using my digital tools, a hybrid system of a sort. This also created another problem as there was no easy way to scan the pages into Apple Notes using the Rocketbook app. The Rocketbook app ties in seamlessly with Evernote though but not Apple Notes.
Having a native desktop app that syncs with Evernote allows other added benefits of offline use. If I wanted to use my PC to write or type out longer-form articles and the internet was bad or non-existent there wasn’t an option for me using Apple Notes as that was only accessible via the browser. Although I could type on my iPad or iPhone this wasn’t always convenient.
Using one app for all my note-taking and storing of research is better than having many various apps to do many various things. The problem started to come in with having information in Apple Notes, Evernote and Ulysses. I had started to use Ulysses to start writing articles and found it to be similar to Apple Notes that it was only available for iOS and Mac devices. In the end, it made sense to just stick with Evernote. All the information is stored in one place and accessible pretty much from anywhere and any device.
From my experience using Apple Notes and Ulysses, there are definitely a few things that Evernote can do to make their app much better for a mobile experience and better for writers and note-takers.
Things that could use improvement:
- Better rendering of the content clipped via web clipper on mobile
- Convert a web page to pdf on mobile platforms.
- Pin a note to the top of a list in a notebook.
- Password protection at the note level and or notebook level.
- Word count in the note that is visible on all apps.
- Dark mode for native Windows app.
- Export options like Ulysses has to popular blogging apps like Medium and WordPress and other general export functions like pdf, text, HTML, Docx and ePub
- Allow markdown.
Evernote is on a journey to unify their different apps and note-taking experience that when new features are rolled out they can be pushed out to all the different type of apps one time and work uniformly across platforms. Hopefully, soon we will see the fruits of their labours.
What are your experiences and thoughts using Evernote?