Ramblings from Josh Sullivan

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Rise and Fall of Evernote

Ahead of Its Time, Behind the Curve: Why Evernote Failed to Realize Its Potential

This is a great read, listing all the steps Evernote took to lead it to where it currently is situated. I loved Evernote in the beginning and used it for some years, and then I encountered a bug that showed about a quarter of my notes as empty. I immediately left for DEVONthink and haven’t looked back. I did eventually sign into Evernote again about a year later and found that the notes content were visible again, so I quickly used the DEVONthink Evernote import tool and imported all the notes, I’ve not signed in or been tempted to use Evernote since.

Evernote had the promise to be such a great product, and I think it could have achieved it. Unfortunately, they branched out to multiple different areas to quickly and stopped concentrating on the main product. The Mac app became so buggy I remember numerous people flocking to Apple Notes. At that point Evernote started to become more of a joke than anything, then of course Work, Chat, Socks, and other ridiculous popups started and Evernote lost most if not all credibility with power users and even a lot of regular users.

Even if Evernote had become the power product that was first envisioned for itself, at this point I still would have left it. Currently, I like hosting my content and making sure I have control over everything I do and use. DEVONthink can be purely hosted by myself via Sync Stores through WebDav on my Synology, although I use iCloud for syncing. But if iCloud went away tomorrow, I can switch to Dropbox, or WebDAV and host it myself on my Synology or a VPS that I control.

For most people, if Evernote had continued on the path of improving the main functionality and keeping resources behind it, I believe they would currently have many loyal users. Who knows where Evernote would be today if they had continued their progress from the late 2000s and early 2010s, but I think now is an excellent time for Evernote to quietly devote time and resources into fixing the issues they have, then build upon that success and maybe it will once again be a service to which people flock.

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