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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Evernote Flaws

Evernote for iOS icon
(image courtesy of Wikipedia)
I received the following comment on one of my Evernote posts:
Hey Girl.

Thank you for your review. 
A friend of mine told me about Evernote, and since the last time I used it was a long time ago I was still skeptical about what he said. However your review really helps me to see what can be done with it (better insight). By the way, your review is really well written – writing style is not heavy, well structured and to the point.
The only thing (if I may give some constructive criticism) is that you do not give too many bad points or disadvantages to Evernote – not in comparison with other products, but as a whole. 
And as I did not read for how long you had been using it, the review *may* seem biased.

So it is now about three months on since you wrote the review, with hindsight what are the 3 major flaws or pain points you would like to change about Evernote, and let us say on the 3 aspects you described: features, personal use and work use?

Kind regards,

Another nrd from Brussels.

I decided my response was much larger than just a reply to a comment, so I decided to go ahead and respond via post.

My Response

Hey nrd from Brussels,

You are spot on there. I wrote this series of articles just after I had fallen in love with Evernote. It happened to coincide with when I decided I wanted to start a blog. I was pretty new at it (and still am). When I first started using Evernote, I was curious how other people were using it. I had originally downloaded Evernote to my phone earlier and didn't really understand what it was for, so I uninstallled it. I didn't understand why I would want to take notes, especially on a mobile platform. I wrote this article series for someone like me, who might need ideas on how to use Evernote. Thank you for your comment! It has made me take another look at Evernote in a different light.

Here are my three major flaws of Evernote, or things I would like to have changed/upgraded.

  1. "Advanced" formatting available for the computer breaks the note for mobile use. I don't understand why something as simple as adding a horizontal line has to break the note for use with your mobile device. You can still access the note and edit it, but the editing becomes fragmented. I'm not sure quit how to describe it. It's like everything is locked for editing, but then you click on a paragraph and it brings up a dialog box with that paragraph in it. You can edit the paragraph within the dialog box. You are then no longer able to add more bullets or numbers in a list or add a check box. Incredibly frustrating, seeing as the horizontal line helps me separate out different thoughts in one note. If I think I am going to access a note extensively on my phone or tablet, I end up eliminating those horizontal lines which brings the note back to normal.

  2. Support for iPhone over Android. As momentum for iPhone shifts to Android with the user base, it is inevitable that the same will occur for the development community. When I first started using Evernote, I was slightly frustrated and ticked that so many of the newest and greatest Evernote features and side products were iPhone exclusives. This is starting to change. Android has gotten some great updates with the Evernote app, although I believe they are still an update behind iPhone just based on reading about some of the new features that haven't hit Android yet. Evernote Hello and Food finally came to Android in the past couple months or so. I am excited to see that they have acquired Penultimate. Hopefully they port it to Android as they have done with their other products. I also can't wait till Android gets updated to work with the moleskine notebook!

  3. Clunkiness in one platform vs another. When clipping an article from chrome on a computer (or my Chromebook), I generally highlight what I want clipped before hitting the clip extension button. Evernote clearly can also help with clipping. On Android, it is a whole other story. You can copy to Evernote but pictures don't want to go to Evernote. If you try to share to Evernote via the share feature in the browser, it only sends the URL. Clipping on your phone/tablet is tedious compared to a computer. On the flip side, the Evernote app is really well developed on Android/iPhone, but the web app can be clunky and the desktop app isn't pretty. I would LOVE to see the android tablet app be ported to Chrome. I use a chromebook at home, so having the rich experience from android ported to the web app would be awesome.
As far as the three attributes that I blogged on before, these flaws effect them each in a different way. For personal use, I generally use both mobile and the web app. I have a chromebook, so I use the web app over the desktop app at home. For work, I solely use the desktop app. I've perhaps logged into the mobile app once with my work account. Because of this, the first two flaws don't hinder my work use, but all three effect my personal use.

Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskin
Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine
 (image courtesy of
I would say I use Evernote for personal use more heavily than work use. I often forget to use Evernote for work. I want to use Evernote more, just because finding something on Evernote versus a hand written note is much easier. I already have work habits, so I need to retrain myself to use Evernote habitually at work.

Again, thank you for your comment. It really made me have to reassess things. While I was thinking about it and looking stuff up, I came across some all new features and products that I'm excited about with Evernote. I hope to keep blogging about Evernote, as it is one of those thriving products that is constantly evolving and being updated. I'll try to remember to stay more balanced in the future, but my relationship with Evernote really is more like a love affair. I thought I was done with the honeymoon stage, but visiting the Evernote Noteworthy Blog just re-inspires my love for Evernote. :)



  1. This is what makes blogging so cool - the ability to read unbiased, objective views about stuff like evernote, without commercial agenda behind the scenes. Now I know what I'll get myself into :-)
    Thanks a lot for the update, looking forward for your Nexus 7 (+Evernote ;-)) review!


    nrd from Brussels.