Why I Finally Quit Evernote

I have been a user of Evernote for around 8 years. I really started using it when I took my Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing course. Over the years I kept the account because I could see the benefits of it.

That was until the last few years at least. With the invention of bi-directional linking, I found my style of note taking did not fit the way Evernote is. Yet, I still kept it because there was no real alternative for taking notes on the go.

Recently, I switched over to Logseq. The only hiccup was that there was no sync, well there wawa but not available to everyone. It was in beta. That was until this weekend, I got access to Logseq Sync.

That was the final puzzle piece to my productivity system. Having recently also changed to Google Drive — instead of saving all my PDFs into Evernote, I can save them to my drive. This ultimately made Evernote redundant, which is what I wanted. Finally I left Evernote for good, and I am relieved.

I think that this is primarily because over time, as I have followed my learning interests — my note taking style has changed. Anne-Laure Le Cunff says that she found 3 distinct types of note takers that can be grouped and thus have a preferred note taking style. Furthermore, note taking apps seem to also fit into these groups.

They are:

  • Architects
  • Gardeners
  • Librarians

I went from being a note taker that needed structure and hierarchy to one who wanted bi-directional linking and to create her own structure. I went from being a librarian note taker to a gardener.

I just want to make a quick note and say that I do realise the irony that the librarian trained note taker is not in this group, at least not anymore.

Evernote had been the only option for note taking for years, now as there are many options. But along with the new update in 2020 had made syncing impossible across devices. A lot of hardcore users didn’t like what happened and left.

A big proponent for me to leave was cost. Without discounts it would cost me $100 a year to sync. When I am not using it to its full capacity, it is a waste of money. I would rather have different solutions (some that I may pay for) but in the end are better suited for my workflow. I also wouldn’t be doubling up on storage which is what I started to do.

Finally, one of the major reasons that I wanted to get out of Evernote was due to privacy.

In 2016 Evernote made a change to their privacy policy. The long and short of it was that employees could see users’ notes. Now, there are some exceptions when that is required — for example with warrants. What I am talking about is everyday use. Though they did end up back tracking and making it an opt in clause, it is still a little concerning.

What personal information big companies have on people is a major talking point in America. As I live in Australia, laws are slightly different; however because the company is based in America — data breaches are a reality. So, what I can do to protect myself. For me, one step was moving to Logseq. Furthermore, even though I use services like Google — I employ the best security measures that are common such as strong passwords and 2FA.

Now, this is not me saying that everyone needs to leave Evernote. That would be stupid. If it works well for you, then great. Keep using it. It is a good tool for some people and not for others. For me, being someone who users an ASUS VivoBook, iPhone and iPad — I need someone that can sync quickly across devices. I intend to do a longer review on Logseq Sync at a later date.

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