28 June 2016

Evernote Changes - #100DayProject - Day 089

I wasn't going to write about this topic, but I figured I might as well since the news just broke today. Are you an Evernote user? Do you even know what Evernote is? If not, here's a quick summary to catch you up to speed.

Image Source: Pixabay.com
Evernote is a digital notebook application that allows you to take notes of all kinds (text, pictures, audio, etc.) on almost any device and then have it all sync to your account and be available on all your devices. It's also great because you can forward emails to your Evernote account and have them show up in specific folders or notebooks so you can stay organized on different levels. It's a super useful tool as well because you could have multiple devices on the Free plan and were only limited to the amount of syncing on your account each month, kind of like a data limit. Not a major problem for me since I didn't use the service a ton, but still really liked having the content everywhere.

So what's changing? The cost structure and features. There will be three tiers, Basic (free), Plus ($3.99/month or $34.99/year), and Premium ($7.99/month or $69.99/year). Besides the change in cost, there are changes in what's offered in each plan. Check the official Evernote blog for the specifics, but here's what the Basic tier will now include:
The easiest way to get started with Evernote, Basic has been and will remain free of charge. Evernote Basic supports web clipping and note sharing, so you can capture memories, ideas, and inspiration and save them forever. 
On Basic, you can access notes on up to two devices, such as a computer and phone, two computers, or a phone and a tablet, as well as on the web, so you can continue to take your notes with you throughout your day. Passcode lock on the mobile app, formerly a paid feature, is now available on Basic as well.
I'm pretty sad to see the email forwarding and customer support via email disappear from the Basic plan since both were great features. One thing I didn't use that isn't available for free is the offline notebooks, although I do know many people who did really love that feature. Regardless, it seems that Evernote is stripping away the features for their Basic free plan. While I get why they would do it, I don't like it.

So what's the deal? If I enjoy using the tool, why not pay for it? I am already paying for a number of different services that I feel are more instrumental to my daily workflow and Evernote, while important, isn't a daily use for me. Also, thanks to the fact that (according to this FAQ page) Evernote Web doesn't count as a device, I should be able to access my Evernote account from any machine as long as I go through the web interface, which isn't great, but it's not terrible. So what is a device then? This FAQ page states:
Device limits apply only to the following Evernote products:
  • Evernote for Windows
  • Evernote for Mac
  • Evernote for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch
  • Evernote for Android
  • Evernote for BlackBerry
  • Evernote for Windows Phone
  • Evernote on Android Chromebook
  • Evernote on desktop virtual machines of Mac and Windows
Other Evernote products, and third-party apps that use the Evernote API integration, aren’t affected by device limits. Examples: Evernote Web, Evernote on Apple Watch, Evernote for Windows Touch, Web Clipper, Skitch, and Penultimate.
One thing I'm glad to see is that third-party apps aren't going to count towards your Evernote device quote, at least not for now. I also use Skitch and am glad to see it's not going to be affected by all of this reshuffling of Evernote's cost structure.

So what happens if you can't make Evernote work on 2 devices and you don't want to have to pay for it? Richard Byrne of FreeTech4Teachers.com has decided it's time to switch to Google Keep. According to Richard:
For a long time I have used Evernote as my primary tool for personal bookmarks. That's about to change because today Evernote announced that their free plan will soon only allow you to use Evernote on two devices. As I use three devices or more in the course of a typical week, the new Evernote free plan won't work for me. So instead of using Evernote I'm going to start using Google Keep for bookmarking.
If you go check out Richard's full article, you can watch a great tutorial video about how you can use Google Keep and do some amazing things. While I'll probably stick with some form using Evernote, I may check out Google Keep after watching Richard's helpful video.

So what are your plans now that Evernote has changed their pricing structure? Are you going to pony up some money and continue to use the app everywhere or are you going to scale back and try to make it work on the Basic Plan? Or are you going to say forget it and leave Evernote completely for something else like Google Keep? There are lots of options and I'd be interested to know your plans. Let me know what you're thinking and let's see if we can get around this little hiccup in the use-case.

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