Why I'm Sticking With Evernote

I have been a freeloader with Evernote for since 2012 when Google Notebook shut down until this year.  A few months ago, Evernote forced me to upgrade to a $25/year plus account to re-enable the ability to send notes to myself via email.  I paid up for a single year and deferred really thinking about switching to something cheaper.  It turns out that I don't use the email-to-self-feature much so shortly after paying, I decided to go back to freeloading once the year was up.  Then, the news hit that Evernote was going to limit the free tier to two devices and raise the price from $25 to $35 for the lowest paid tier.  I have 6 devices (counting two Chromebooks that have the Evernote Android app installed).  My Evernote notebook is about 1/2 Gigabyte today and growing.

~/Library/Containers/com.evernote.Evernote$ du -cksh 469M . 469M total

$35/year seems like a lot for an app, but self-hosting only the storage would exceed that cost on any platform that supported running my own applications.  I wouldn't self-host a server as important as a repository of my personal knowledge.

What about Google Keep?
I was burned pretty hard by Google when Google killed Google Notebook and then launched Google Keep a few years later and no ability to transfer my data, so I want to keep my notes with a company that takes my long-term data seriously.  I still don't think it wise to store my notes with Google even for free.  Even though it does everything I want from a note-taking app.  Evernote even alludes to this fact in the marketing material around this change.

Evernote isn’t a vast corporation, and note-taking isn’t a sideline for us. It’s what we do, and we strive to do it better than anyone else. We hope you’ll continue to capture your thoughts and develop your ideas with us. [source]

Microsoft OneNote?
I've been burned so many times by Microsoft's embrace and extend, it's going to take a long time before I can be sure Microsoft would actually support all of the platforms I want to be able to access my data.  I'd rather trust Google.

SimpleNote, Todo.txt, Other?
I really like the ability to take a picture of my hand-written notes and then search for them.  I'm willing to pay for this feature.  I'm not aware of another cloud-based service with this feature other than these.


  1. Great points David. I agree that if anyone gets regular value from a service like Evernote, paying for the service or even a price increase seems reasonable as long as the product improves (given the increase)

  2. Really what does Evernote have to lose if all the freeloaders move out?

  3. The longer a freeloader uses Evernote, the more information they have and the more they are locked into the platform. The more they are locked into the platform, the more likely they are to pay to upgrade. If Evernote lost all of the freeloaders, they would be looking at a very dire future I would think.