Evernote Knows It Can Get Away With Being Anti-Consumer.

Evernote Knows It Can Get Away With Being Anti-Consumer.

Truly a shadow of its former self. 


Oh, Evernote.


When I first used you back in 2014, you were one of the best things to ever happen to me. You changed the way I took notes forever and made me far more organised than any other app I used. Really, you were in a league of your own.


But now, your main purpose is to squeeze money out of its consumers, especially its free/basic users. You have become nothing more than an abusive relationship that I can’t get out of and you know how beneficial and important you are.


More importantly, you know well enough that your average user may pay you a little extra once they’re put in the right situation that you devised.



Swindling you into a Premium subscription.


Sixty megabytes (60MB).


That is your monthly upload limit for the Evernote Basic account. Now if you are the type of user to purely make text-only notes, then sure, that may seem reasonable enough (as long as you don’t have an excessive amount of documents).


Once you start becoming a power user of Evernote, every month that 60 MB upload limit becomes smaller and smaller. You learn how to save pictures into notes, add files and import all of your documents into one location so you have easy access to them anywhere and everywhere.


60 MB is a joke for this kind of service and Evernote knows that. They give you just enough so it doesn’t seem like a big deal at first, then soon enough it becomes increasingly paltry.


Want to increase your upload limit? You have to pay up for a premium subscription. That’s going to run you either $8 USD monthly or $70 USD a year.


Don’t forget your note size limit of 25MB. They don’t want you to have too much information in one note, after all.


Restricting your devices.


Now for one of my most favourite annoyances: The “Two Device Limit” for Basic users.



This was always a thing when I first started to use Evernote, but what I’ll later realise is just how much of a pain this actually is.


The average person will have multiple devices to store their data, whether it be phones, tablets or computers. Evernote makes this as annoying as possible by prompting you as soon as you log onto a third device (as seen above). And trust me, it gets REALLY tempting to pay for the premium subscription when you’re switching between devices constantly.


Note that pretty much every other application, such as Nimbus Note, doesn’t have this stupid restriction. From what I’ve seen, other platforms usually don’t limit you at all and gives you complete freedom in this regard.


Removing features.


Removal of Evernote Plus.


What’s that? You heard that there was a cheaper subscription called Evernote Plus that was $4 USD monthly?


Oh, they got rid of that.


Why? They said it was “less popular than they thought”, so it was time to give it the boot lol. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  Because if there is anything consumers want, it’s fewer options (ugh, facepalm).


As of early April 2018, Evernote Plus is no longer available for purchase. To get more features than Basic provides, upgrade to Premium. 

Source: FAQ about Evernote subscription plans


Okay, enough sarcasm for now. Ask yourself this:


What does Evernote have to lose by keeping a cheaper, additional subscription plan?


If your answer is more money, then you can treat yourself to a cookie. That is essentially what it comes down to in the end.


Users, like myself, who may not be able to afford yet another premium subscription service benefited from having the cheaper subscription. Evernote Premium was just a bit too pricey since the only thing I wanted was a higher upload limit.


Evernote Plus was the sweet spot between having better features and it being affordable for most users.


I literally cannot think of any other valid reason for the developers to do away with Evernote Plus.


Even if it was less popular, it cost them practically nothing to just leave it as is. It’s a digital service after all. They aren’t a retail store where they have to stock physical goods, and not being able to consistently sell a product meant a loss of revenue.


The only thing I can really speculate at this point is that they felt like they weren’t being paid enough to host the Plus users’ data. With changing Plus users back to Basic users, it would mean less stress on their servers. But if users paid for the premium subscription, it would be more cost-effective for Evernote to host their data.


Removal of email forwarding to Evernote (for free).


Ah, I remember being able to send emails to my Evernote account free of charge. It was a really handy feature as a new user. It kept my important emails in one place so I could retrieve them in an instant.


But then Evernote decided that that was too good of a feature for us Basic peasants.


Now you have to pay for a premium subscription to be able to access that feature. It was an easier pill to swallow when Evernote Plus was still around, but now users have to resort to more complicated methods if they want to avoid the premium subscription paywall.


Other problems such as:


Bloat and Poor Optimisation.


I’m going to be blunt here: The Evernote family of apps run like garbage. Unless you have high-performance devices, you’re going to notice significant stability issues and lag whether you use the app on PC or Android (I don’t use iOS apps so I don’t know if it’s the same there).


On a mechanical hard drive, the Evernote desktop app runs atrociously. It was one of the reasons why I wanted to switch from Evernote so badly. Half of the time using the application, it became irritably unresponsive. It was practically guaranteed to freeze in every session.


While switching to an SSD gives you a ‘night and day’ difference in terms of stability, it still isn’t as good as you’ll expect it to be, as you can still get those occasional freezes.


No matter how you look at, Evernote isn’t a lightweight program. It comes with too much bloat and poor optimisation that makes it a nuisance to use.


Major privacy concerns.


Does anyone else remember when Evernote updated its privacy policy to let its employees look into your notes in the name of “machine learning”?


I do and don’t ever plan on forgetting anytime soon.


Like seriously, who in their right mind thought that this would fly in an age where people are becoming more suspicious about Google collecting data on them. That’s like the equivalent of strangers suddenly searching your home without your approval.


I, personally, keep sensitive information in my Evernote. That includes things like my journal and passwords for certain accounts.


And that’s just me. I’m pretty sure users have even more sensitive information in their Evernote like classified company documents and extremely personal notes that aren’t meant for the eyes of other individuals.


Ha, imagine an Evernote employee blackmailing users or selling your information to the government or black market dealers.


Evernote knows they’re untouchable.


With all of these anti-consumer moves, you would think Evernote would start to wise up eventually. They won’t though, and I’m sure you know why.


Both Evernote and its consumers know they’re the most popular note-taking application. Evernote’s competitors have tried to beat them at their game, but they have failed to do so. Coupled together with the fact that Evernote has been around longer than most of their competitors (they launched their open beta back in 2008) and it makes them pretty experienced and unrivalled in the note-taking software scene.


In my pursuit to find an Evernote alternative, I have yet to find one that really gives Evernote a run for its money. I can’t even get away from Evernote because they know that me, the consumer, have gotten so used to their program that it would be difficult to find another application to truly replace it.



Everyone knows you don’t like Evernote.


Notion is trying to win over Evernote users.


I’m sure you’ve probably come across plenty of articles trying to give you other note-taking options so you can leave Evernote. I also love how other companies know how much people don’t like Evernote either.


Go to pretty much any note-taking software similar to Evernote and you’ll usually see them trying to get your attention by saying how they are better than Evernote and that they offer you better/more features. Actually, the first thing you’ll probably see when setting up one of these programs is the ability to import from Evernote.


Notion even goes as far as to pay you in credits for importing from Evernote, to which you can use to buy their premium (and very affordable) plans.


It goes to show that there definitely is a market for people who want to get away from Evernote’s ecosystem. Sadly, unless there’s a true multiplatform note-taking application that really puts Evernote in its place, Evernote doesn’t have much to fear.


Looking for Evernote alternatives.


Of course, I’ve tried as many “Evernote alternatives” as I could but have yet to find one that really gives me the experience I need.


Nimbus Note

This was the best Evernote alternative I’ve used so far, but with it lacking important features and its outdated and ugly user interface, it’s not as good as it should be. It’s a shame too because Nimbus’ eco-system is pretty good with its variety of partner apps. I was even going to write a whole review detailing my time with the program, but I’ve slowly stopped liking it and gave up on hoping that it’ll be a definitive version of Evernote. They have a roadmap for all the features they’re going to add later, but for now, I can’t recommend it in its current state.



A more recent one I’ve tried. It’s okay I guess, but again, the user interface just isn’t for me. It’s almost a bit confusing and feels like it’s easy to get lost navigating the application.


Standard Notes

Another “okay” note-taking software. I don’t have much to say about it as it doesn’t impress me at all.



It’s exactly what it says it is. It’s for simple note-taking and nothing else really. It’s about as minimalist as you could get for a note-taking app.


Microsoft OneNote

Definitely the most confusing of them all. I’m still not sure how OneNote even works. Its user interface is a bit clunky, and the added bulk from Microsoft Office makes this a more frightening app to consider for the average user. If you have an older version of Microsoft Office installed, it’s also a pain in the butt because the latest version of OneNote can’t be installed as long as you have that.


Google Keep

I didn’t even want to mention this one. It’s only useful for small notes, like making a grocery list or something.


iOS Apps

I don’t own apple products. They’re far too overpriced and Apple is just as anti-consumer as Evernote. It’s almost like they went to the same How to piss off your consumers 101 company course.

Sorry, Bear. You did sound really nice. (๑´╹‸╹`๑)



Can Evernote be defeated?


“Remember, Eleanor – One must know the beast before it can be slain.” 

Sofia Lamb, BioShock 2


To be honest, a lot of its competitors offer a variety of Evernote’s paid features for free, so why is it that Evernote hasn’t been slain?


This is for me personally, so I’m not sure if others feel the same, but the reason I find it hard to leave Evernote is because of its superb user interface.



It’s very modern, sleek and it’s honestly, in my opinion, eye candy. It’s not too simple and not overly complicated. It strikes that perfect balance of finding all the features you need while making browsing the program feel very professional and smooth. The colour scheme and text style sync perfectly with each other as well, making note-taking enjoyable.


This is pretty much what I want the most out of all the note-taking apps. Actually, if there was a note-taking application like Evernote that offered you a full and deep customizable experience, that would a big selling point for me.


It also greatly helps that Evernote makes taking more meticulously detailed notes as easy and fun as possible. You can insert pictures and videos in a snap and have it look outstanding. The web clipper also replicates articles you saved very well, making it feel like reading from the original source.


It really just comes down to aesthetic and Evernote being around long enough that people may find it hard to migrate from it. The average person would probably rather just pay Evernote their extortion money than having to go through the headache of migrating to another app, especially if said person is not tech savvy.


For Evernote to be dethroned, the developer of a competing note-taking application would have to carefully plan and strategically capitalise on the opportunity that people don’t like Evernote.


For one, you can’t be like Nimbus Note and incrementally add much-needed features after you launch your program. The program needs to come out of the gate swinging to generate significant buzz so it can dwindle the popularity of Evernote.


Unfortunately, for now, I have to continue using Evernote despite my stance on their anti-consumer practices. There isn’t a better program to run to, so I’m essentially trapped.


The best I can do is use another note-taking program simultaneously with Evernote so that it isn’t as much as a bottleneck as a basic user. I can’t support Evernote’s anti-consumer practices, so I refuse to pay for their premium subscription service.


If you haven’t used Evernote yet, I would say to not give them a chance either until they change their tune. And if you’re a basic user, get in the habit of trying other programs so you always have a safe space to escape to.


I eagerly await the day when Evernote becomes irrelevant.

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Bethany Edelgard

I am an artist and writer from Barbados (residing in Canada) who's using her talents to create entertaining and informative content. I'm terrible at proofreading my work, so I apologize for any errors you find. o(TヘTo) You may contact me at bethaniaarts@gmail.com for any inquiries.

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4 years ago

I’d really like to suggest you keep trying Notion. I was also fed up with Evernote and read reviews, comparisons and tried many alternatives. Fortunately I finally set back on Notion. Their new web clipper for Chrome is rated 5-star. Just don’t let your habit manipulate you, Notion just takes a little time to grasp.


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