CEO Notebook: An Exciting Year Ahead for Evernote

CEO Notebook: An Exciting Year Ahead for Evernote

Posted by Chris O'Neill on 31 Jan 2018

Posted by Chris O'Neill on 31 Jan 2018

As Evernote’s CEO, I’m amazed every day. I get to see our employees working hard to develop the product and create new partnerships and innovations that promise to make Evernote even better. I also have the privilege of seeing unbelievably inspiring things that people are doing with Evernote. They’re taking it far beyond our original vision of preserving memory. As we look ahead to our 10th anniversary later this year, I marvel at the incredible journey we’re on. And we’re just getting started.

What to expect from Evernote in 2018

In the past several months, we made some big strides: we moved to the cloud, updated our iOS app, launched integration partnerships like Slack, and continued our advancements in voice technology. What’s next? You can look forward to several innovations that we’ll release throughout 2018. We’ll make it even easier to put new information in Evernote. You’ll notice that the ways you find and use your information will get better. And it’ll get easier to collaborate within Evernote. In 2018, we’re focusing on three key ideas:


We’re extending our product into new areas. We’re focusing on improving Evernote for both individuals and teams. Evernote is about to get a lot more powerful. It’ll still be the Evernote you already know and love, but you’ll be blown away when you see what it can do when you work together. Right now, 70 percent of you use Evernote both at work and at home. You’ve been asking for Evernote to work better when in a group or team setting, and we’re going to deliver that. Watch this space for some exciting developments about that very soon.


Did you know that 80 percent of Evernote customers live outside of the United States? We’re lucky to have a vibrant customer community around the world. We’re grateful that we get to learn from all of you, and we love the feedback you provide. Speaking of feedback, I want you to know that we’ve heard you, and you can look forward to seeing even more enhancements to the features you know and love. You’ll also see non-stop improvements to the Evernote experience, especially related to templates—more to come.


You’ve told us that it’s important to you to have more ways to capture, use, and find information with Evernote. So we’re looking at ways to improve all three of those areas. For example, we’re expanding Evernote’s speech input capabilities. We’ve already integrated with Siri, and we’re delving into ways to go further. We want it to be as easy as possible to capture any idea in Evernote at the speed of thought, no matter where you are or what you’re doing.

We’re also interested in discovering how to help you be more organized without having to do all the organizing yourself. For example, we think you should be able to find what you need without having to search for it. That’s why we’re exploring advanced technologies that’ll allow your notes to be tagged automatically, or placed into the correct notebook without you even touching them. Wouldn’t that be cool? We think that could happen this year.

Staying true to our mission

As I mentioned at the beginning, people do more than remember things with Evernote. Every day, you tell us some truly astounding stories about new ways that you’re achieving things with Evernote that you couldn’t do without it. It’s humbling to see how our product impacts millions of people’s lives all over the planet.

Let me share four of those stories with you. These are stories that make me realize how much Evernote means to people. And they’ve inspired the entire company to help you do even more in 2018:

The $2 million search

The founder of a start-up that creates virtual reality therapy for people with autism told me about a day a single missing document stood between his company and a grant worth $2 million. On a hunch, and with just minutes to spare before the deadline, he typed a few letters he remembered into the Evernote search bar. The search engine returned the document to him, and he was able to apply, and win the grant.

Working together to find a cure

A medical company in the US is using our product to help keep the focus on creating effective cancer treatments that help save lives and improve the quality of life for people going through treatment. Evernote is a key ingredient to something that could literally change the world.

A new spin on an ancient tradition

Chris O'Neill Evernote CEO

In Japan, a Buddhist monk from a 450-year old temple in Zenryu-ji traveled to an Evernote community event just to tell me his story. He uses Evernote to make his temple’s meetings better. (Yes, monks are struggling with meetings too!) He captures notes and action items and also uses Evernote to write and edit the temple’s monthly newsletter.

Connecting a scattered family

A mother of five in Provo, Utah told me that despite the fact that her children live separate lives all around the globe, she stays connected to all of them with Evernote. They share recipes, knitting patterns, and inspirational thoughts as if they were all together in their family home.

Evernote’s promise for the future

Evernote’s mission is to help individuals and groups to remember everything, turn ideas into action, and work effortlessly together. The innovations you’ll see from us in 2018 do more than simply support that mission. They are also evolving Evernote as it becomes even more essential for the way you interact with technology in your life, work, and the world around you.

I’m excited about what’s coming in 2018. And I’m grateful for your support along the way. We think you’ll love it.


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68 Comments RSS

  • Boy Brantjes

    I would certainly like to move from plus to premium but it doesn’t seem to work. It would be great if you could give it a bit of your attention, Thanks!

    • Pamela Rosen

      Hi there! I’m sorry you’re having difficulty! Send a DM to @EvernoteHelps on Twitter and they’ll be able to take care of you right away! -Pam R

  • Lynn

    Are you bringing back the horizontal view of notebooks on the app and allowing us to edit notebook names and stacks and rearrange notebooks again? This was a key feature for me.

    • Cara

      Oh my god, PLEASE just stop ruining your app. With the new notebook layout & no way to turn off recent notes on Mac, it’s becoming harder and harder to get work DONE. Just stop forcing bad design on your paid customers. PLEASE.

  • Jacob Saaby Nielsen

    For what it’s worth, that all sounds great, but very fluffy.

    Would love:

    – Bundles of notes across notebooks, which could be shared.
    – A creative canvas like the one in OneNote. I really trust Evernote the most, but brainstorming in Evernote is braindead and slow. It works so much better in OneNote with the freeform canvas. Please introduce your version of it, it would allow me to go 100% Evernote.
    – There was once an iPad app called Ruminate. It let you connect little boxes of ideas. Something like that, with links to notes. Or, if the boxes doesn’t link to a note, when you click them, they create a note and link it.

    • Craig Woodman

      I agree 100 percent on the free form canvas. For an iPad user with a pencil, it is an excellent tool, that keeps me going with Onenote as well, even though I don’t want to. I know some say use PDFs, but it isn’t the same. I have used Noteshelf, which integrates with Evernote, but it is the same. And Evernote’s pencil integration is just awkward.

      Otherwise, a great product!

    • Dennis

      I agree with other comments on the freedom canvas. I love Evernote but need something better than sketch. I want to freeform with my iPad pencil much easier. It’s currently a hassle and I don’t use it much. Everything else is awesome and i am a big fan pluc i tell everyone about it!

    • Lee

      I appreciate the update and look forward to seeing the new updates and changes in the future. I have used Evernote throughout the years but this last year, using evernote on the iPhone was very confusing and I hadn’t taken a lot of time to demystify it. I have migrated since to OneNote after Evernote limited the number of devices I can have for my notes. Choosing two places was difficult. Imagine having a document stored on one of the devices and I happened to be on the third device and minutes to a deadline for a $2 million grant!!!! With OneNote, I can have up to five devices that are bigger than a 10-1/2″ screen and any devices less than 10-1/2″, unlimited! Not here to sell OneNote, just here to mention that for 2018, would like to see number of devices expanded and would like to see IOS app better written.

  • David

    Thanks for the update! I had been concerned that Evernote was in a holding pattern due to the lack of news so this is very welcome.

  • Lucas Neumann de Antonio

    Please just add markdown support…

    • Kat

      This. Please just let us easily add headers / change formatting without having to change styling with 4+ settings. If Evernote really wants to compete on productivity, markdown shortcuts seem way late in coming.

  • Mostafa AlBelliehy

    First things to do in 2018:
    Destroy the new iOS app (v.8, a total failure)
    Return the version before (v.7 is the best)
    Then work anyway you want on a new version, but not that disaster.

    Evernote is the primary app in my life, and moving to Mac made me love it even more. But the iOS app nightmare makes me mad and not wanting to use it anymore. 😡

  • Tony

    Fun stuff… what about subnotebooks? and more importantly, the ability to pull all of our checkbox items into a new note? (like a single note that is a summary of all our checkboxes with a notelink back to the original as well)

  • Mike

    Please add functions in web to work with tables as good as in desktop apps! I’m Plus member and i can’t change tables in 2018…

  • Simon

    Interesting fluff piece. A post on possible new features (ETA on this features would also be nice) and coming bug fixes would also be appreciated.

  • Steven

    Thanks for the update. What I’d like to see is just a solid, responsive note editor, including outlining and internal note links. It doesn’t seem as if it would be as hard to do as all that fancy stuff you’ve outlined, but I’m guessing that cross-platform compatibility must make it tricky. Thanks for a great product.

  • Cameron Reilly

    Four months since Evernote broke Penultimate. No fix, no updates. Nothing. I miss Phil.

  • Hemant Garg

    Hi Chris,
    Thanks for this post and congratulations for 2017 achievements. It adds back the energy into Evernote fans. I have been an old Evernote user and still, it’s part of my daily life.
    I am glad you touched on the idea of collaboration, more ways to capture notes, smart filling, templates etc.
    I would love to see some notes auto-recollection as well. Many times we put notes into Evernote and then forget about them. For example – It would be great if Evernote can find all documents worth looking at during tax season.

  • Kruno

    Chris O’Neill are you kidding me. Why don’t you take a walk trough the forums of your windows Evernote app. Your developers team is introducing bugs that actually deetes peoples work, make Evernote unusable to work with and each version in the last six months is getting worse. Jeez. What kind of a CEO are you who either does not know what his development team is doing or doesn’t care, possibly both. And than you have the nerve to send this PR crap and pretend its all fine. For god sake, just go to your own forums and talk to someone over there, its a disaster. Look for yourself. Just read the comments.

  • Patrick

    Archiving solution….. more than 8 years working with Evernote Premium and my searching are getting worst and worst.

    There is a huge request from the community that I wrote here in Evernote Forum:

    A lot of people already reacted on that also.

    Please, make it happen on 2018/2019.

    • Kat

      PLEASE. I’ve been using Evernote since highschool (!) and the difference between HS, College, Job 1, and current contexts is ridiculous. Please allow us to archive old notebooks.

  • Aaron

    More fluff from someone who doesn’t give a damn about the user base. The 2 million dollar search? Really? If you lose a document worth 2 mil you deserve what happens next. How about fixing the myriad of that actually lose notes for the rest of us! Evernote is -still- an unstable security nightmare, what are you planning to do about that?

  • Ricky

    What I would like to see in 2018:
    – new android app
    – improved handwriting experience w/ pen on Windows and Android
    – CROPPING & enhancements after using the Android scanner!!
    – make the web app more powerful.
    – Windows app improvements. It just feels stale. Instant sync causes constant lag issues.
    – New table feature in Windows in unreliable and buggy.
    – Maybe drop the Windows client completely if your not going to make the effort to improve it and make the web app more full featured with the same back up support.

    • Sean Brown

      Totally agree with Ricky above. The Windows app usually insta-syncs slower than I can type, which causes lag, brief freezes, and an extremely unsmooth experience compared to my alternatives (OneNote or Word). PLEASE get the basics right – a better, smoother text editor – before introducing new Windows features.

      Better search – results in order of relevance instead of date, for example – would also be great.

      Better preservation of note formatting when copy/pasting between Evernote and Microsoft products (Word, Outlook) would also be appreciated.

      Ricky is also right that cropping needs to be rolled out for Android. Or better yet, much better auto-cropping of scanned documents.

      • John

        Concur with Sean and Ricky comments below, need to get stability back, smoother interface with windows products and eliminate bugs slowing Evernote down. Don’t want to separate business data into One Note. I have been premium user since product launched.

  • ed

    I’d much prefer no new features in 2018, but just a solid year of stability fixes for all of the bugs and annoyances users are dealing with…

  • alex

    we need sub-notebooks!

    • Kevin

      OMG – subnotebooks, YES!

  • Nina

    The comments on here say it all. I’m on the lookout for a new app as the most important feature – keeping my notes safe – is always a gamble. I just lost the complete content of two notes. Poof, just gone. I pay for premium and should be able to access previous versions via the history option. Guess what? I can only view the ‘current’ version for the now blank notes which is absolutely useless. Thankfully, I have the notes in my oldschool Moleskine. Pen and paper seemingly still rules… But, come on? This is a core feature. This has happend in the past multiple times.

  • Jason Brown

    Please develop a Linux client for Evernote

    • Rick

      Yes, agreed. No Linux support yet. 🙁

  • JF

    Chris, please can we have the option in ios to commence typing in the title? For me this would make Evernote for ios the best to do app on the market. Thanks. J

    • Erik Beyer

      So many great comments on here. Hopefully someone reads these. I feel like the forums don’t get any attention other than those posting hoping for resolution.

      The iOS app is decent. I use it quite often. The presentation mode needs to come back, though. The forums are screaming to get that feature back.

      The Windows app is buggy, slow, and frustrating. When I open a new note and I start typing in the Title area, the opening new note finally finishes loading and then drops my curser to the Body. Then I have to re-click back on to the Title, finish what I was typing, then clean up the body before I begin typing there. It’s a real pain. I just started working on the web version instead. It’s clean, I can get to where I need reasonably quick and it’s just a better writing experience for what I do.

      The copy and pasting to and from Word could be better. Many times I will start in Evernote because I am in the field or something, then transfer to Word because I later need to make it an accessible file for my coworkers. I used to print my notes to PDF and go that way, but the printing formatting options are weak. I would like to be able to print my notes to PDF if necessary and as an alternative to sharing but the print formatting doesn’t allow me to get as creative as I would like.

      …Evernote has some great opportunity to be great, but with OneNote coming alive and providing some amazing features, maybe you should look at copying some of their direction.

      READ your forums!

  • Shaun S.

    It would be nice to see options to add more notebooks within notebooks under stacks (sub notebooks).

  • Anna Finke

    Sure hope 2018 includes an upgrade for Apple Pencil usability (which is currently a joke in annotations) and the ability to write longer (typed) notes WITHIN the pdf on ipad etc… you know, basically the simplest function most pdf readers can do.

    • Nicholas Borge

      Please focus on stability and security, and also improving the Apple Pencil note-taking experience on iPad.

    • RicD

      @Anna Funke: tags beat out folders. With folder you can only assign a note to one folder. With tags you can assign a note to multiple people, projects and the like. When on person leaves a project remove their tag from that note does not affect anyone else nor project documents. Using folders one would need to maintain copies of that document in all folders it may relate to, then the question comes up “which copy is the latest”? Do not dismiss tags; remember that is how the Internet works.

  • carlos silva

    Please add subnotes!!!!! It’s the missing piece for me to buy a subscription… I don’t like the tag systems. How long will you fight against this so old request from your users ?!?!

    • Rick

      Strictly curious, but how come you are not a fan of the tags? A few months back, I went through and consolidated my notebooks into only a handful and tagged everything. I find it to be far more useful than the notebook system I used to have.

      Like, I had a “mountains” notebook where I put pictures of my mountains and one for “rivers” that kept all of my river photos. But, if I had a picture with both a mountain and a river, I found myself in a quandary. But with tags, I can just put it in the “photos” notebook and tag it with “mountains” and “rivers” and either way it comes up in searches.

      I have just found this to be a way better system (for me) and was curious as to why it doesn’t work for you.

      Honestly asking – not berating.

      • Kevin

        Because sometimes I just like popping into a folder and browsing. If I had a subnotebook, I could further finetune contents (a collection of files) without having to search for a particular subject via a tag. On occasion I just like to review the contents of my saves and see what I’ve put in here and I won’t know what I tagged them with until I reviewed the content.

  • Joel Fannin

    Like someone else said, it sounds like fluff. I ended my subscription to Evernote last year. I found the Windows client too slow and it freezes up all the time. If Evernote can design their Windows client to be fast and feel like a native Windows app like OneNote then I’ll return but until then.

  • Gauthier

    Please just implemented the top rated requests on the Evernote feature requests… I’m waiting for some of these for years (anchor within note for example, SO needed)

  • Kevin Foisy

    Instead of moving forward with many new features, it would be great if the existing features just worked. There’s little more fundamental than being able to search my content. As a premium customer, I put everything in there and I have found over time that the search results are extremely inconsistent. OCR works great but now searching against content from years ago, search results are extremely unreliable. Very frustrated that the basics don’t work and considering other options.

  • Jon

    I agree with most of the comments here.

    – Making sure stuff doesn’t suck is way more important than trying to make things possibly awesome. Human decision-making works on this basis (our brains are wired to to avoid disaster rather than seek perfection).

    – Some fairly simple additions to how we record information are what would really catapult Evernote forward – i.e. the free canvas that OneNote offers (and yes OneNote is rubbish in other ways).

    – so many industries seem obsessed with AI and Voice etc, but are trying to do something with this without having grasped any of the basics. The more technical something like this is, the more that can go wrong.

  • Shea

    I’ve been using Evernote for 6 years now and have since gone all digital with my note taking. The two things that I’d really like to see and that are preventing me from using Evernote for everything are 1) improved note-taking experience with Apple Pencil on iPad (far too many bugs and general lack of features) and 2) improved PDF annotation (Notability is amazing at this but Evernote is so far behind). Please look into these improvements as more and more people are beginning to take notes digitally with a stylus.

    • Lee

      So glad you have moved primarily digital now in order to be organized and have all things accessible easily. I have the iPad Pro and found that I use a blend of apps for organizing. I decided to store all my scanned documents on my iCloud drive, which are receipts, bills, correspondence, mail, notes, taxes, etc. I use PDF Expert to scan directly to the iCloud in my organized folders. For note taking, I migrated from Evernote to OneNote mainly because I have an Office365 subscription and I can install OneNote on as many devices as I want to. I can’t install Evernote on my iPad Pro because of the two device limit without a subscription, but may move Evernote from a PC to the iPad Pro. I love EverNote and do plan on using it again, but had to migrate all my notes to OneNote for integrity.

    • Nicholas Borge

      +1 to apple pencil experience and pdf annotation

  • Brad

    How about increase the notebook limit beyond 250? That should be reasonable for paying subscribers. Make it easier to add bullet points and indent when taking notes. Basic functions like this are really the key to Evernote’s success.

  • Matthew Barnes

    Nice update. Like your product. Updates like this are better as videos (CEO talking to camera)….we all have so much to read in a day. Just a friendly suggestion.

  • Kathleen

    One thing I wish Evernote would focus on is allowing me to easily add hand-written notes. You guys went with Penultimate so I did too, but you seem to have abandoned it, and I have too. Now I use (and really like) Good Note. I can export to PDF then “share” it into my Evernote. Better integration with *multiple* note-taking apps would be great. Hook up with multiple apps rather than forcing us to have to change to the one that you like best.

  • Ken McInerney

    I would love to see Evernote adopt a Trello-like interface for dragging notes in a notebook through a workflow.

  • Larry Griggers

    I have been a user of Evernote for years, but always considered it a bit complex compared to MS OneNote. However, since making the conversion to Apple from Windows, the iMac version of OneNote is very limited and buggy. I decided to give Evernote another try and found that today’s version is actually very good.

    The one thing I miss most about OneNote is the ability to create sub notebooks. Evernote’s limitation of just one level of sub notebooks is VERY limiting and prevents good organization of my notes. It is like having a filing cabinet with no drawers. Yes, I know, Evernote’s response is that they have improved the search and tagging algorithm to make it easy to find things, but when you get a real large set of files, that just doesn’t cut it. I need sub notebooks. It is the main weakness of Evernote over OneNote, IMHO.

  • JK

    Chris just keep your team doing what they do. Evernote is just the best thing to ever happen (pun intended) to ICT. Little wonder most of your users are outside the US. It has changed my way of handling work, my finances, my internet work, just about everything – it keeps me organised and safe. The elephant never forgets. Begrudgers are just that – drop them and move on. They’ll soon disappear from our lives.

  • rvdw


  • Gary Wong

    I use to organize thoughts in hyperlink fashion. Many of my thoughts are EN note links which gives me the best of both worlds. TheBrain thought is the URL title. Unfortunately an Evernote title is always “Welcome back”. TB Support says it has something to do with the way Evernote is structured. On behalf of many EN/TB users, we appreciate if you would do some collaborating and have the issue resolved.

  • Dan Donovan

    I would REALLY like to see an improvement when using the Apple Pencil with the Penultimate app. First, I would like the option to have the pen NOT be pressure sensitive. Pressure sensitivity is great when drawing, but a consistent ink flow is better when writing. Also, for general writing, I feel the 01 pen size is too thin and the 02 is too thick. I would like a size in between. Thanks for listening!

  • Perry Yasher

    Have you thought about adding a calendar to the app?

  • Tim Hodgson

    Thank you for the update.

    My biggest complaint:

    Evernote needs better editing tools. Copying and pasting to-and-from Evernote is not good, at all. For a simple example, copy a bullet list from Word to Evernote – indentations are off! Many other formatting problems.

  • Leslie

    The new ideas sound nice however, I am looking for more practical innovation. I am relatively new to Everynote and would love to be wrong about this but wouldn’t it be most practical to have the ability to take a photo with the option of converting it to a PDF….all within Evernote? It is baffling that Evernote can do so many things but does not have the PDF conversion feature built in. If I am incorrect, I welcome a step by step on how to do this.

  • Adam

    Well, that was pretty vague, no really detail to promise of the article headline.

    I would like to see:
    – the ability to set multiple reminders for a single note, especially useful when setting deadlines for grant applications etc,
    – the ability to set links WITHIN notes, not just between them,
    – be able to export notes to word docs, for example, (I draft my research papers in Evernote before submitting them),
    – better text editing tools, to make them more word processer-like (OneNote has great text editing tools!)
    – better PDF annotation tools, especially with a highlighter that snaps to text.

  • Tony

    I would like to see improvements to the desktop app that work with the Microsoft Surface tablet. I can’t even scroll the window using a touch input. Pen integration is missing. Are there any plans to address that area of mobile?

  • Jason


    Thank you for sharing your vision for Evernote in 2018. One thing I didn’t see listed though was a focus on fixing outstanding serious bugs with Evernote, including listening to user feedback. Audio recordings are so low-quality they are practically useless. Countless people are complaining about this, yet year after year it remains unfixed. Please listen to your users!

  • RicD

    Evernote needs to also greatly update their web interface, and iOS offering. When my MBP gave up the ghost, I moved to the iPad, for other business products the move to an iPad has been wonderful. With Evernote there are many processes I cannot accomplish on the iPad, export/import multiple notes, rename tags, the list goes on. Also, the Evernote web app is at best lacking at worse abysmal. Enough with adding new features, whistles and bells, instead bring the Evernote Web and iOS app up to the same feature set as Windows and Mac.

    For many years I have been a premium user, continuing through 2018 as well. However, beginning 2018 I am exploring OneNote and Bear. Because of the way Evernote on the Web and iOS operates this year may be my final premium year; sad.

  • Keith

    +1 for markdown support

  • Keifer E.

    I would love for Evernote to pump the breaks a little and focus on improving the apps they have. Sync works great, but the editor for notes is sorely lacking (outlining, tables on iOS, etc.) and the latest versions of the mobile apps, while cleaner, feel more complicated than they need to be.

  • Eric Moyerman

    Hi Chris: It’s great to extend functionality and areas of application, but I’d like to see some more focus on making existing functionality work better. Prime example – capturing business cards via the new note camera function. The app does a very poor job of capturing and parsing most of the cards I try to capture to build my contacts lists. I end up retyping most of the info. This functionality hasn’t improved in a decade. If facial recognition has improved so much, why not reading a business card? Thanks.

  • Thomas Cook

    I’ve been using Evernote for several years now to run my real estate business in Toronto. With a very few minor exceptions, it’s run very smoothly. However I’m constantly running out of the ability to add NEW notebooks – can you upgrade the number from 250 to 500 for example? Also I love the idea of sub-notebooks – that would certainly help the situation as well.

  • Jenny

    Definitely need sub-notebooks!