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Why I’m ditching Evernote for Simplenote (and Notational Velocity) (dougbelshaw.com)
43 points by dajbelshaw 998 days ago | hide | past | web | 37 comments | favorite



I've used nvAlt for years, absolutely love it. However, I still use Evernote for its OCR - I scan absolutely everything (letters, business cards, documentation etc) with a ScanSnap S1100 into Evernote and utilise its search on a weekly basis.

I haven't found a solution that can replace this on OSX.


I ditched Evernote a long time ago because of lack of support for Linux platform. There are several better solutions for notes taking (Emacs/Org-Mode) but like you said nothing comparable for clipping pictures and articles, annotating them, off the web and saving them in Evernote for future ideas.


Is the Evernote OCR better than using the bundled ABBYY FineReader?

Using the software that came with my ScanSnap I just push the button on the scanner, and an OCR'd PDF gets added to my folder of scans. I could then just add a symlink to this from my Dropbox folder and have them immediately synced everywhere.


maybe DevonThink could work? I like how it stores my data.


There is something I do not get: Note taking is very important to the OP but he does not even want to spend 5 USD a month?

That also made me sad when Simplenote was bought by Automattic and became free as consequence. It was great that Simplenote was not simply shut down, however, 'free' is not a business model I want to rely on. But Simplenote is still the best although it has some reliability issues too.

As a general side note, syncing – even of relatively simple text notes – is a challenge. If you really on synced data, there is no way around having your own independent local backup with some kind of versioning.


I pay for Evernote, but the lack of export worries me. I'd way rather use something with an open-source available client. Evernote's shoddy API makes it obvious that they want your notes to be locked in.


OP here. Thanks for the question, which I've noe clarified in the post. I've got no problem with paying for it but wanted to make readers aware of it, that's all.


OK, thanks!


For persistence & syncing: A folder called "notes" in Dropbox full of .txt & .md files.

For editing: Sublime Text on my netbooks/macbooks. Editorial on the iPad. WriteRoom on the iPhone.

Works for me ;-)


Yeah, I look at the features of EN and I can see why people pay for it, but I just need a big searchable bucket of rich-text files synced between all my devices.

Evernote is too expensive, too slow, and too clumsy for my simple use-case. I use the free version, but again - too slow, too clumsy.


I'm thinking of setting up pretty much the same, but with emacs and orgmode files. Even has a mobile app to view any outlines I want to look at.


In that case, check out Deft: http://jblevins.org/projects/deft/

It's a lot like Notational Velocity, but for Emacs. I've used it for over a year and love it.


I'll try and take a look soon. Thanks!


This is tangential to the main article, but for years I've used Devonthink Pro in the way Steven Berlin Johnson describes in "Tool for Thought": http://www.stevenberlinjohnson.com/movabletype/archives/0002... . This is more of a research-y and writer-y style, but it may also work for people replacing Evernote.


Thanks! I know some people love DevonThink so I'll (OP) take a look.


The ironic thing is that the lack of a good export is the one reason I'm thinking of moving away from Evernote. My notes are too valuable for vendor lock-in.


Simplenote reminds me of ZimWiki an Open Source not taking app with tags, search etc: http://zim-wiki.org/screenshots.html


The OP didn't seem to explain too many reasons other than a link to http://jasonkincaid.net/2014/01/evernote-the-bug-ridden-elep... which to me seems to be a uber power user use case and a post that could use some rewriting/editing to cut it down to a post instead of a rant.

I just use it for text notes though. Evernote works great for me - I'm not going to worry about it.


Indeed, I could have gone into more detail but people don't tend to read long posts. So I could have talked about the time I was in a taxi in Spain (not speaking the language) and my only directions to a conference venue got corrupted, or the time when a note to myself about my doctoral thesis disappeared, or...


I'm using nvALT but I would never sync my private (as in "private diary") notes with an unencrypted web service. For "transactional notes" like shopping lists I use Simplenote though, because the Android app syncs really fast. Plus I'm using Evernote for saving websites because it's the best solution for saving the whole content including images and tables.


I used to use Google's Notebook up until it ended, and switched over to using a combination of ubernote and basket notes.


So I went to the Simplenote website to check it out, and there's nothing there. You have to register to see anything?


Why not OneNote? Mobile clients on every major platform, desktop clients, is simple to use, and supports nice stuff like ink support, task/meeting integration, etc...


The editor in one note is way better than Evernote, which is a constant frustration with anything even remotely complicated like a checklist or numbered list. It's too bad they don't have an osx client.


Can I use it on my Android phone and sync the notes to my Windows machine and my iPad?



Is there an OSX version?


You might like to try Outline in the Mac App Store - It now allows you to edit OneNote notebooks and syncs via Skydrive, Box, Dropbox etc.


It isn't. You can run it in virtualization though...


Simplenote? Is that a joke? Most of the sync problems I had were with Simplenote. Notes deleted. Updates not synced. What a mess. Love NV though (or nvAlt which I use).


Thanks for posting that etherpad at the end. neat to see your team's productivity setup and workflow.


No problem! :-)


I use Notational Velocity every day, but the reason I still use Evernote is that it supports images.


Why are Mozillians using non-web apps for note taking?


Notational is the best.


For fuck sakes. Nobody gives a shit what you use or how, or for what. Just shut up and use wherever fits the way you work.

Seriously, at this point we've covered every facet of every note taking or todo app. Enough already.


I think you've confused a generalisation with a pronoun here.




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