Another dot in the blogosphere?

Take (Ever)note

Posted on: July 1, 2016

My initial reaction to Evernote limiting the free plan to two devices and increasing the prices of its paid plans was similar to almost everyone else’s.


I read what edubloggers like @rmbyrne shared about moving to Google Keep and what ProfHacker shared about alternatives.

LifeHacker carried similar PSAs and shared how-tos on moving to Notes in macOS, Microsoft’s OneNote, and several other platforms.

I was thinking of migrating from Evernote and trawled though hundreds of notes dating back to 2010 to streamline the export process. I rediscovered that they were not just notes of the textual sort. I had articles, screenshots, vacation memories, and even portfolio elements [example].

Anyone who has done an export-import process from one platform to another knows that critical elements get lost. Housekeeping six years worth of artefacts after migrating them is not my idea of fun. It is not something that can be done over a long weekend. In fact, I started the process of culling Evernote notes months ago with reminders in Google Keep to egg me on.

The changes to individual notes are not the issue. I invested much time and effort in my Evernote notes because I categorise, tag, and link them one to another. I fear that exporting from Evernote will break the web of links between them. For me this would be like disrupting my neurons and losing my mind. Evernote has become a technological extension of my biological brain.

Evernote plans.

Drama aside, the move by Evernote allows users under the Free plan to connect just two devices to the service. I used this link to check how many devices were connected to Evernote.

Since the web version is not part of that quota, I can keep the Evernote app in my iPhone and iPad while using the web version on computers. This necessitates being online, but that is my default state anyway.

One inconvenience of relying on Evernote Web is the need to authorise each computer via two-factor authentication and to reauthenticate every 30 days.

Another con that I have discovered by using a Chromebook is that Evernote Web seems to create multiple copies of the same note. However, this issue seems to be linked to my need to activate VPN when I am on public wifi. When my VPN gets disconnected and I reconnect, Evernote Web seems to consider this another session and creates a copy instead of reusing an existing note.

The pros are that I get pass code/Touch ID-locked notes in iOS devices while being able to access my notes on a computer through a web interface. The latter seems slower than using a dedicated app, but that is the price to pay if I want to have my (smaller) cake and eat it too.


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