News

On Software Quality and Building a Better Evernote in 2014

On Software Quality and Building a Better Evernote in 2014

Posted by Phil Libin on 04 Jan 2014

Posted by Phil Libin on 04 Jan 2014

Comment

I got the wrong sort of birthday present yesterday: a sincerely-written post by Jason Kincaid lamenting a perceived decline in the quality of Evernote software over the past few months. I could quibble with the specifics, but reading Jason’s article was a painful and frustrating experience because, in the big picture, he’s right. We’re going to fix this.

The past couple of years have been an amazing time for Evernote. We’ve grown massively as a company, a community and a product. And we’re still growing quickly. However, there comes a time in a booming startup’s life when it’s important to pause for a bit and look in rather than up. When it’s more important to improve existing features than to add new ones. More important to make our existing users happier than to just add more new users. More important to focus on our direction than on our speed. This is just common sense, but startups breathe growth and intentionally slowing down to focus on details and quality doesn’t come naturally to many of us. Despite this, the best product companies in the world have figured out how to make constant quality improvements part of their essential DNA. Apple and Google and Amazon and Facebook and Twitter and Tesla know how to do this. So will we. This is our central theme for 2014: constant improvement of the core promise of Evernote.

This isn’t something we just decided yesterday. We kicked off a company-wide effort to improve quality a couple of months ago. The precipitating factor was the frustrating roll-out of our iOS 7 version. We gained many new users, but rushing to completely rebuild the app for the new platform resulted in stability problems that disproportionally hit longer-term customers, including ourselves. Since all Evernote employees are power users by definition, no one is more motivated to make Evernote better just for the sake of our own productivity and sanity. I’ve never seen people happier to just fix bugs.

Quality improvements are the sort of thing that you ought to show, not just talk about, so we hadn’t planned on discussing this theme until closer to the end of 2014. However, Jason’s article hit too close to home to leave unremarked, so I decided to be up front about what we’ve done in the past few months and what we’re going to do in the next few.

Staffing

Today, there are 164 engineers and designers working at Evernote. About 150 of them are currently assigned to our core software products. The total number will increase quite a bit in 2014, but the proportion will stay the same: over 90% of our resources will go towards improving our core experiences.

Past Two Months: Stability

Starting last November, our first priority was to drastically improve the stability and performance of our main apps, especially for long-term users with many notes. We’ve made significant progress, and Evernote is measurably less buggy than it was two months ago.

We’re starting to see the initial results of this effort in our app store ratings. For instance, when we started this effort in November, Evernote for iOS 7 was at a frustratingly low 2 stars. Today, it’s at 4.5. Our customer support volumes for iOS have been cut by more than half: from an average of 366 per day in November, to 148 now. We’ve made similar improvements to many of the other apps as well. I’m proud of the progress we’ve made in this area, but just because an app has a good rating, doesn’t mean that our work is finished; there are countless improvements to stability and performance that we’ll continue to make.

These are recent improvements, but the perception of stability is a lagging indicator of actual stability; you judge how solid or buggy an app feels based on your past few months of experience with it. So even though Evernote is a lot better already, and will get much better still, it’ll take longer for this feeling to really sink in. We understand that we have to maintain a high level of quality for the long term, if we want Evernote to be seen as a truly high-quality product.

Near Future: Design and Simplicity

As we get nearer to achieving our stability and performance goals, we’ve turned our attention to the other important component of quality: great design. Over the next few months, we’ll be releasing new versions of all the apps that incorporate our many lessons learned about what does and doesn’t work. All of our apps will be getting significant improvements and simplifications to the user experience starting in the next few weeks. The five most important areas of improvement that we’re targeting on all platforms are note editing, navigation, search, sync and collaboration.

Our new philosophy is to find every spot in our products where we’ve been forced to make a trade-off between doing what’s simple and doing what’s powerful, then rethink it so that the simplest approach is also the most powerful. We know we’ve found a good design for something when that conflict disappears. It feels like magic when that happens, and we’ll have several bits of magic in the coming months.

I turned 42 yesterday, which is the year that, according to classics of western literature, life, the universe and everything will start to make sense. This isn’t the way I imagined it starting, but I’m glad to have the chance to tell you what we started a few months ago, and what we’re going to be focusing on in 2014.

Thanks to Jason and to the millions of Evernote users who depend on us every day and who go through the effort of fighting for a better Evernote. Our goal isn’t to have a product that’s just good enough that users rely on it despite its warts, it’s to have a world class product, built with solid technology and with a fit and finish worthy of our users’ love and loyalty.

We’re the biggest Evernote users around, and it’s important to be in love with what you build.

It’s going to be a great year.

- Phil Libin, CEO

PS. To address Jason’s specific point about privacy concerns related to the Mac Helper:

There is no inherent privacy problem, but Jason’s article did alert us to a bug in our menu bar helper quick note feature for Mac. This bug resulted in an extra copy of quick notes being stored in the activity log on your local hard drive. This in itself isn’t a serious problem, but it was incorrect for our support staff to suggest that emailing the log file couldn’t expose any sensitive information. We’ve made three immediate changes as a result: (1) The menu helper bug has been fixed, and is available in the direct download version of Evernote for Mac. (2) A message now appears when you click the “email log” button that warns users that the logs may contain some account information such as note title and notebook names, which can be removed if desired, as well as other metadata designed to help the user and support engineer work together to quickly diagnose problems. (3) We’ve changed the training of our support staff so that they now warn users that note titles and notebook names are present in the log file, and that users can remove them, if desired.

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50 Comments RSS

  • Kittipong Vanasapdamrong

    Good post Mr.Phil,
    Hope you will make Evernote better and better.

    Evernote always be a gopd service (I still keep the first note that overview the function that Evernote can do.)
    and hope it’s always be.

  • dan7000

    Sadly I suspect that when Phil says that Evernote employees are passionate power users, he means passionate power users of the Mac and iOS versions of Evernote. That’s why they miss so many obvious bugs and performance problems in the Windows version — EN employees themselves don’t use it.

    • Axel Müller

      What is this windows thing you guys are talking about ;)

    • Axel Müller

      What is this windows thing you guys are talking about ;)

  • The Dude

    About time that EN (and Mr Phil Libin) have decided to
    tackle bugs problem that we’ve been all experiencing for months and some for
    years!

    Like many people here have mentioned it’s a pity that he
    took a high profiler blogger to have CEO Phil Libin to acknowledge this problem
    even if this problem started to be addressed a few months ago at Evernote Headquarter.
    And this is another problem with EN: communication. Doing things in the back
    scene and speak about it months after when myriad of people are reporting bugs
    after bugs it’s just not the right way to communicate with your core users.
    Maybe rather than vouch are frustration through EN Forums, EN Support Desk etc.
    we should write to high Profile Bloggers and flood them with emails and
    complains so they will write a blog about problem in EN and start a buzz on the
    net.

    I remember when EN IOS7 came out and I proud Mr Libin was
    talking about it on various TV Media (I recall one in particular on Bloomberg
    TV). The iTunes reviews on EN had 2 stars and falling and this was 2 weeks
    after the release of EN IOS7. But on Bloomberg TV Mr Libin was telling that
    users received the new update very well and EN had good feedback about it. I
    was thinking “Really!?! Did he even checked out the iTunes Apps Store
    rating!?!”. And thinking that the CEO himself was completely out of touch
    with the reality of its main product/service. Even worse it might not even use
    it on a daily basis because if he did it will certainly notice all the crashes
    and bugs. The EN house was on fire and it has been for quite some time now and
    he was saying “all is alright and users are happy”. I would like to
    see this year more Mr Libin at EN Headquarter rather than on TV or various
    online Media talking about Green socks and bag packs that will change our life.

    I LOVE Evernote. Truly I LOVE it. I have been using it for
    more than 3 years or so now. I have 30.000+ notes and the size of my .exb file (the
    file that store all your EN data) has
    size of 30Go. I have been a premium users from the beginning since I joined EN
    and since a few months now I am a EN Business user too. That said about my commitment
    and love for EN.

    EN is good today at putting in information and data that we
    get from various places. In fact that it what EN have been constant since the
    beginning to my point of view: sending data in (by using the chrome extension
    or the dedicate email EN or the Outlook extension etc.) to my EN account.
    Nothing to say there.

    Now when it comes to find this info, retrieve it as fast as
    it gets into EN well this is another story. This is where most of the crashes
    lags and bugs are brought to light. And this is a problem since EN exists. EN
    had never pay attention enough to how quick and fast you find and get out the
    data you put in. No matter which client you use (and believe me I have tested
    them all) it is slow and buggy to say the least. Why do I have to go on
    Airplane Mode on my iPad in order to open EN so it does not crash and get an
    almost truly good experience using it!?! How come they still did not figure out
    that the constant calling for EN to synch (could it be on IOS, Mac, Windows) damage the performance of
    using it!? For those using EN on IOS just try it. If you do have a premium
    account of course and have most of your data offline just switch your iPad or
    iPhone to Airplane Mode and open EN and you will see by yourself it is the way
    EN should work. It is not perfect but compare to when EN is online and
    communicating with the EN server for synching it’s definitely much more better!
    And that’s just one example here.

    What is EN for me? It is a kind of “Google” for my personal info and
    data. it is where I put all this things I might need at any given time could be
    for a meeting or project or just to remember and not forget. When I do a search
    on Google I don’t have to wait 5 or 10mn to get a result of my search. Mr Libin
    and his team should definitely fix crashes and bugs but also do not forget that
    EN is a productivity tool. And it is been a long time that EN is slowing me
    down rather than speeding me up and helping me do more stuff in my life.

    Every time I see an EN update (Mac, Windows, IOS etc.) I
    pause and wonder “Ok. They fix this and that but how many new bugs they are
    bringing in on this release?”. For let’s say 5 bugs fixed they could be
    20+ more added. “Upgrading” EN was always a “Downgrade” of
    the product and a constant stress for me. I had to ponder the pros and cons
    sometimes for days. Then go in the EN forum and read people reaction. It was
    time consuming . So I resolve to stop updating
    EN. I simply stop doing it to be honest. I started to find workaround
    for the bugs I had on the current version I was using. At least I was used to
    these bugs and worked my way around them. For me it was more productive to
    stick with my current bugs rather than have new ones.

    What about getting us addict to new features (some of them
    core ones) and pulling them out for no reason on the next release (the one I
    have in mind is the “Hide/Show Tags”
    that was on EN v4 which has a long tread in EN forum)? How productive is
    that? You start to implement the new features in your workflow to have it taking
    out for no reason. As much as I love new stuff I just started to stay away to
    EN new features and only use the one that I know EN will never pull out.

    But let’s be positive here and I am happy to read Mr Libin
    tackling quality for 2014 and putting the right amount of resources to get a
    robust and stable EN. I was getting tired to get bragged by colleagues in my
    work office about EN (my colleagues know how much I love and rely on EN). Hopefully
    they will stop call it “EverBugs, EverLags, EverSlow, EverCrash ” or
    “Does the Green Elephant is getting slower?? This company sure did picked
    the right Logo!”.

    Looking forward to 2014 Mr Libin. We hope you’ll put things
    back in order so we can all forget about all this mess and just enjoy EN.

  • Ann Landau

    I have used Evernote since 2008 and am a premium user. I would be lost without it. I am in my mid 70s and find it essential among other things for handling my husband’s medical info as well as my own. I am glad that you are working on the basic issues you mention. Now that you have created this amazing program that is so useful for so many you clearly know that you need to do the basic boring work of keeping these important features top quality. Happy Birthday by the way! Forty two means that you are now a mature responsible ‘parent’ if you will…maintaining the home base as well as taking pleasure in the ‘wins’ and exciting new achievements of your offspring! All the best for 2014!

  • Ann Landau

    I have used Evernote since 2008 and am a premium user. I would be lost without it. I am in my mid 70s and find it essential among other things for handling my husband’s medical info as well as my own. I am glad that you are working on the basic issues you mention. Now that you have created this amazing program that is so useful for so many you clearly know that you need to do the basic boring work of keeping these important features top quality. Happy Birthday by the way! Forty two means that you are now a mature responsible ‘parent’ if you will…maintaining the home base as well as taking pleasure in the ‘wins’ and exciting new achievements of your offspring! All the best for 2014!

  • Alex Debkaliuk

    Pleasure to hear about this direction!

  • standuncan

    This morning Evernote web is down and won’t save or sync. the “Is Evernote Down?” web page has numerous people writing in noting it. Some from South Africa, one from England. When we try to get in we get a sign up for a new account message.
    I only mention it because it seems an odd way to launch your new attempts to make Evernote better.

  • Víctor

    Thanks sincerely for your post.
    I’m a relatively new user of Evernote and I mainly use the webapp although I also have Android and iOS versions installed on my devices.
    You have to put your best efforts in the webapp: it is really slow and the editor is unbearable.
    By the way, it would be great to extend features: imagine a type of note in which I can register timestamps by clicking a button. Let’s say I’d like to control when I visit my parents: after pushing the button, it registers the timestamp of the last visit and I can check the previous.
    Thank you for your service.

  • EHans

    I hope you will spend CONSIDERABLE time rethinking the Windows 5 version. The UI is horrible. It is so flat I have to look around to find what I want. With so few borders, and everything blending together, it is just more effort to use the app.

    And for those of us with business accounts, the way tags are managed in 5.x is simply unworkable. With Evernote 4.x for Windows. my tag listing was automatically filtered. If I was in a personal notebook, only my personal tags were visible. If I was in a business notebook, only tags used in THAT notebook were visible. Now in version 5, every single tag is always visible, even in shared notebooks on the personal side. Looking at well over 1,000 tags in a big list is just unusable.

    It is for these reasons I have uninstalled and gone back to 4.6.7.8 on Windows on my main computer, though I keep 5.x on a second machine and with each update I hope to see improvements. So far, not yet.

    I appreciate the article. I would love nothing more than for you to put an absolute moratorium on new features. Fix what is there. Tags, stability, speed, the UI, etc. Then when all that is done, go back to innovating again, but do it at a measured pace, not at the earth-shattering pace of the past where people’s 2nd brain is turned topsy-turvy and stability/usability are sacrificed.

  • TonyX

    If it were just a few occasional bugs I would tolerate them, but seriously, the Windows client (on Windows 8 desktop) is now regularly unusable, constantly freezing or taking forever sync. I have lost count of how often I have to Ctrl-Alt-Del and again. Not just on one PC, but several. And let’s not go into the nightmare of a different UI on every platform (how was that allowed to happen?). Phil, your post has nice sentiments, but if you don’t act on them you will find that users will be loyal only until something better comes along. I’m actually surprised – given the success of your business and its ability to hold vital user information and stats – that you don’t have any serious competitors.

    • Martin

      Agreed. Talk is nice but actions speak louder than words. 5 months since the original post and not one hint that support and the quality problems are any better.

  • TonyX

    If it were just a few occasional bugs I would tolerate them, but seriously, the Windows client (on Windows 8 desktop) is now regularly unusable, constantly freezing or taking forever sync. I have lost count of how often I have to Ctrl-Alt-Del and again. Not just on one PC, but several. And let’s not go into the nightmare of a different UI on every platform (how was that allowed to happen?). Phil, your post has nice sentiments, but if you don’t act on them you will find that users will be loyal only until something better comes along. I’m actually surprised – given the success of your business and its ability to hold vital user information and stats – that you don’t have any serious competitors.

  • Bob Clemens

    Difficulty in achieving stability in a code base is often indicative of fundamental issues in the underlying software. In such a case, you often see a ramping-up of good intentions, without any real results. You hear phrases like ” company-wide effort to improve quality”, and so on, but actual quality improvements can prove elusive. Let’s hope that’s not the case here.

  • TerDale

    Thanks Phil for this post. Hope your vision will end up in a better Evernote. As, even if it has issues (and it does have quite a bit!), I do think there are foundations for a great product. As a proof, I couldn’t find an actual competitor each time I decided to search for one, while being so fed up of EN issues… ;-) So, each time I went back to EN.

    BTW when I read “The five most important areas of improvement that we’re targeting on all platforms are note editing, navigation, search, sync and collaboration.”, I’m personally seeing “note editing” in bold text, as in Ever*note* ;-). So, we are many to expect that this will include a definitive fix for the dreaded, never-ending, bullet issue (http://discussion.evernote.com/topic/23701-bullet-points-never-seem-to-work-as-expected)!
    Thanks in advance

  • Marc

    Hello,

    I have not noticed any of my notes vanish but I don’t use audio recording in EN.

    Given that Phil seems to care about what Jason thinks about EN, I’m going to post something I have already published in EN forums, as a response to Evernote customer support, and virtually in any place I’ve come to think it would go fit with the discussion.

    If Evernote continues to market they aim at being our external brains, when are they going to fully encrypt my ideas? And I’m not taking about their clumsy test encryption, I’m talking about full server side encryption. I have somewhat 1500 synced notes and about 400 local notes that I won’t be putting up on their servers unless they offer full server side encryption. And I can say it is a role hassle, and that is utterly annoying and inadequate for my purposes or rather for the average purposes of users.

    And please, don’t tell me it is not easy or even feasible. As long as I can be sure that my notes are safe from prying eyes, EN can’t be regarded as my external/reliable brain.

    Phil, stop adding features that are not being demanded and start adding full encryption and others. These shouldn’t even be considered features, they are MUSTs…

    For the record, I’m a premium users since 2008 and I always suggest your app when I’m asked how I keep track of my notes. But I always make sure they understand that their notes can be accessed if EN infrastructure gets compromised. While I think that the EN suite is extremely smart and catchy, I regret to not be able to trust it and be forced to fiddle around if I want to satisfy the average needs of every user who aims at managing a paperless setup.

    I really hope Phil gets to read this.

    • Marc

      … and please, do not tell me full encryption would make things too complicated. You are Evernote. You can make it.

      Move the intelligence over to our Thick/Fat clients (Macs and Windows computers), so iPads and Tablets can simply consume the content.

      Some contents stored in my brain need premium class privacy. Some others simply need regular privacy. The rest, I would’t care if they are compromised.

      • Marc

        Just started to look into Devonthink as an alternative for my sensitive information. This is by far the less convenient and desired option, but I just don’t feel comfortable putting all sorts of information in Evernote under the same condition

  • H Katirai

    Phil, I would be really grateful if you could bring back the thumbnail view that you originally had in version 4. I feel that the card and snippet view is a step backwards because the snippets the algorithm picks are often not useful. The zoom feature you used to have for the thumbnails was also excellent because you could decide depending on what you were doing how much you wanted to see. There is a lot posted about this on the forums but no one seems to listen. Maybe you will.

  • ChrisNewUser

    And when are you going to start treating Android users like we matter and not like the red-haired stepchild you think about now and then. Android phones are being adopted at a much higher multiple versus your precious iOS because it’s simply better technology at a more affordable price for consumers. That’s the beauty of an open platform versus a monopoly. Why Droid users cannot SCAN business cards after over a year defies logic. Why you have apps that simply do not function at all on the Droid platform similarly defies logic? Perhaps you are too young to know what a buggy whip is, but I doubt it since we are contemporaries. I like your product and will use it until you fix it or somebody better disrupts you. Based on the pervasive arrogance you seem to have shown to Droid users I suspect it will be the latter. And also, what kind of referral program gives the NEW user a better deal then the EXSITING user….I mean really?

    • Benjamin Bryan

      I second H Katirai. I upgraded to Evernote 5 and had to revert back because there were no thumbnails so I’m stuck on Evernote 4.6.7 until thumbnails come back. I rely on thumbnails to find items by shape/size/color/layout. All these visual cues are lost with card-view.

  • Philippe Doyle Gray

    Phil,

    It takes a brave man to post a message like this, but it is most sincere. And sincerity is in short supply in the commercial world. Press on and damn the torpedoes (and trolls)!

  • David S. Lott

    Nice memo but the problems should have been known before you read a web critic’s article. In fact they were known, on forum after forum. I have never encountered a product with more promise and less performance than Evernote. Truly you do not deserve to become a billionaire.

  • Nick Hanna

    I’m afraid to say that premium Evernote is now freezing every time I try to use it on my iPhone 4S in ios7. The problem just started about 3 days ago. Nothing I do seems to make a difference and I’ve tried most of the so called solutions suggested on various blogs etc.

  • Darren Edwards

    For the past week Evernote has been freezing on my iPad Mini (Retina). I have tried every fix I can find on the web, reinstalled many different ways, and resynced data…all to no avail. I am now seriously exploring alternatives. Much as I love Evernote, it is useless if it doesn’t work on the iPad, and sadly it doesn’t.

  • Shawn Holt

    Since 2008 I’ve had my eye on EN. I’ve been using Microsoft OneNote since it was born, but constantly frustrated by lack of an ecosystem and multi-platform support. EN definitely cracked the code in SAAS BD – getting ubiquitous adoption. Meanwhile I’ve been living in OneNote, wishing EN would address critical gaps. In fact, I tried to talk about in the forums but a handful of “Evangelists” have completely taken over the community and pushed their narrow minded views. I’m a Product Manager and tragically, I’ve watched the customer voice of ON users trying to migrate completely squelched . OneNote has some very powerful concepts and EN should pay attention instead of getting philosophical about how things should be done. Hierarchy vs. tags is a great example. I grew up with outlines. That is the way I “Think”. After trying to engage in a real conversation about this I was literally told by your evangelists that EN is not right for me. Sure, some “features” have been added to accommodate, but has anyone created a persona to really understand how people like me (and many ON users) think? From what I can see – I doubt it. ON has NAILED the note taking and logical structure, EN has NAILED the filing, sync and ecosystem. I keep trying every few months. Try to import, Try to use, and I desperately WANT it to work – but you guys just don’t seem to “Get” my style of thinking and MS does. My request is to Read the Forums – and find the New User comments / Questions (and how they are basically told “My Way or the Highway” by many evangelists. Look at what does work in other products, and don’t let up on where you are winning (ie. Ecosystem, Filing and Sync.). I’ll keep trying – but hopefully EN will win before ON does …

    • Machine

      Shawn Holt: “.. After trying to engage in a real conversation about this I was literally told by your evangelists that EN is not right for me. ”

      Yeah, her condescension irks me too.

  • Antonio

    Please allow window users to go back to v4. That’s all I need. I was the happiest guy on earth with that. The v5 is frequently “not responding”, which makes the EN experience really bad. I no longer recommend EN to friends and workmates, as those who followed my piece of advice are now experiencing the same flaws. It is really frustrating the “not responding” thing. I really hate it. Please fix it. Make a software that works smoothly and fine, and your users will be preachers for the cause!

  • Jim

    Any update on how this task is going?

    • Jim

      It is May 2014 and the web client still automatically boots you out of note editing mode, 3 minutes after entering, irrespective of whether you’re still making edits, and on top of that it returns you all the way back to the start of the note every time.

      For some people the web client is the only viable means to use EN, it would be great if it was shown some love. Even better show us the defects getting fixed and the upcoming features, give us some reassurance that committing to being a long term EN user is a wise decision.

      • Jim

        It’s six months on, June, and still no change.

        As of today, 3rd June:
        Go through a note using the web client, changing the font colour for the bits you want to highlight [since there is no highlight on the web client, unlike the Android client]. You’ll find 3 minutes later you are still booted out of edit mode and back to the top of the note .. time after time after time.

        Try and highlight a note in the Android client, and if you’re lucky and the note formatting is supported by the client, you’ll find the highlights you make cannot be changed or even printed when viewed by the web client.

        Please give some reassurance that these editing basics are being addressed, that it is worthwhile making the long term commitment to Evernote and being a premium subscriber.

  • Guy, France

    I am quite happy that you said that EN was going to focus on quality, because you really need it. I have just sent a bug report to EN : # 546953
    that shows clearly that basic features (shared tag adding) is not Unit Tested
    http://www.evernote.com/shard/s389/sh/1f7405a9-5107-402f-bef8-a13b80553804/68ab5aa53cdca30c2dc118253b9c8ed4

    • guy_da

      I am happy to announce that the bug has been corrected and that EN support was very active

  • Robin

    It is almost five months now and the firefox clipper is still ignored and a complete mess. Is it too much to ask for evernote paying customers to request that you pay attention to this FOSS popular browser market?

  • Martin

    Well, It’s June and nothing. Just go to the forums and problem after problem after problem. Problems that have been apparent and communicated to Evernote support back in Q3 and Q4 of 2013. Lingering and festering and nothing. Evernote has become all talk and no action.

  • Anton Dreesmann

    Where is the full versioning control (or even the last 10 changes to a note) that Evernote knows their users need. This smacks of ‘damage control’ and suggests contempt for user’s issues.

  • Ken

    Quality software is to be expected from a software company. Meanwhile, Evernote’s original users (like me) are increasingly wondering why we’re paying for a service that puts more emphasis on silly marketing tie-ins than on taking and organizing notes.

  • Paul

    I’m glad to hear you’re really focusing the team. My own issues with Evernote have gone on for years, and thus far the response from the Evernote team have been disappointing at the very least.

    For YEARS I’ve had problems with Evernote desktop (Windows) suddenly deciding to re-import all my notes – creating tons of duplicates.

    When I say “tons” of duplicates, I mean a number too large to manually sift through. At the moment I have approximately 65,000 notes in Evernote.

    When I have contacted tech support in the past about this, their response has been, “Sorry, there’s no way to remove duplicates automatically. You have 2 options. 1. You can delete everything and start over. 2. You can manually remove the duplicates.”

    Neither of those options are acceptable.

    I sincerely hope the Evernote team is planning on making some sort of effort to create a de-duplication process for these types of situations.

    Thank you

  • Erica

    Heartened to read this (albeit late). I’m just coming into the Evernote ecosphere, and I’m absolutely loving it. It’s good to know that there are people behind the scenes really looking to make this a solid, dependable product for years to come.

    What I think would make Evernote KILLER and set it apart from literally anyone else is to take its wonderful handwriting OCR function and find a way to convert whole documents to computer text. The technology seems to be there; the OCR for handwriting is the hard part. Make this available, make it a premium service, and I’d pay anything in a nanosecond.

  • Amadna

    Hi. Thanks for the email. I hope that the formatting issues with the Mac version are addressed soon. There are so many things that make Evernote better than One Note but unfortunately the formatting bugs when copying and pasting consistently cause serious problems with usage. I can’t wait to hear that the formatting bugs are being addressed:)

  • tavor

    I’m not convinced Libin gets it. Anyone who spends any time on the Evernote forum can see discussions of the many flaws and glitches in the core product. This includes serious security issues such as local notebooks being synced to the cloud as well as content from one user’s synced notebook appearing in another user’s synced notebook.

    Here we are in September 2014, 8 months after Libin’s well-sounding post – go ask the folks in the EN discussion forum if they feel like EN is addressing the concerns that power users have about the core product.

  • Tom Nelson

    Evernote promised to move my business cards from CardMunch. After six messages no solutions. Very disappointed in Evernote even with the heavy staffing mentioned above

  • Rob

    After more than 8 months and patient optimism it is clear that this is merely just empty corporate posturing with no real action or change actually implemented. Words are always easier and if they are peppered with corporate and motivational jargon of the day, so much the better.

    In the meantime, the reality is that evernote is as much a mess as it was before and the firefox web clipper has not been updated in, oh who knows?

    What we have here is an organization that started out with a focus and a product but within a very short time completely lost its way and focus.

    Apparently instead of actually fixing your product so that real people that are paying you for it can use it as it is intended, it is more fun to hold conferences where you invite celebrities to give more hollow speeches about productivity.

    Remarkable, truly remarkable. One for the Corporate Fail Hall of Fame.

  • Alex Wagner

    I have been testing Evernote as a way Brain extension for my whole life, personal and pro.
    I fell in love with it… and then came across bugs relating to tags being regularly lost during sync on the Windows platform. I use 3 different Windows machines and sync is THE core promise that I need.
    What a shame the Windows sync of tags is unreliable, as Evernote was otherwise very impressive indeed.
    I am now looking at OneNote, Asana, PersonalBrain and Wrike for my information organisation and project management needs.
    :-(

  • Michel Marques

    There is a viable competitor: OneNote.

  • Michel Marques

    There is a viable competitor: OneNote.

  • Donald Billings

    Agreed – It’s great to see some thought going into security related issues, but as someone who works with compliance,data-retention, and electronic evidence related issues, the inability to segregate and access multiple business accounts is almost a deal breaker for this tool. Fast switching is an option on the Mac and PC but not tablets and phones. I can get around that by sharing notebooks with myself, but that becomes unwieldy very quickly. Utilizing the web clipper for multiple accounts requires logging in and out; completely frustrating for those of us trying to secure our data with two factor authentication I currently get around this by using separate browser installs (e.g., using safari for business “A” and chrome for business “B” – not elegant but it works).

    For business accounts it seems that having the ability to create the master library without associating a personal account would be ideal. The current functionality forces me to create separate “personal” accounts for each of the business I work with. Annoying.

    I personally love Evernote; however, the current business notebook architecture runs afoul of the risk-management polices of many organizations and may result in access to the tool being blocked within organizations like mine.

  • ion-christopher

    You know what? OneNote is on a slower glide path to ruin – but MS suffers from corporate giantness – the founder is gone – we have successive waves of engineering teams that DO NOT UNDERSTAND even what the team before them thought they wanted. And they don’t know. They hear a good suggestion and they don’t know why things need to function outside their artificial constraints. THE SADDEST THING? Success is even more problematic for their competition.

  • ion-christopher

    Correction: at 20 I was a visionary – but in 1984 I was 30! And solving these problems.