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VeryBigBeard
06-29-2016, 06:48 AM
Grrrr. (https://blog.evernote.com/blog/2016/06/28/changes-to-evernotes-pricing-plans/)

Heads up that Evernote is restricting free users to installs on two devices, meaning if you've been using it on more than that you'd better figure out which ones you want to stay signed in on. (To be fair, they're giving you pretty good control over managing the installs. More than I can say for some software.)

Happy DRMing.

I realize companies have to make money, of course. Software ain't free to develop. I get that. I just wish they were doing it by making the premium features something I actually want rather than taking away existing features, which is dicey for customer retention and makes me worry about long-term access.

And while I'm yelling at this particular cloud, I wish software could just occasionally be self-sustaining, or at least close enough to fool me. I'll buy good software with solid reviews. Instead, we get constantly updating freemium stuff with premium versions that, frequently, aren't worth it because they're not well planned out. I've lost count of the number of times Evernote has unveiled some new, sleek, and inevitably buggy interface when the existing works just fine. I don't care about all the extra gizmos and sparkliness. But growth is paramount over stable, functional software. What this really means, I expect, is not enough people are buying the premium version, possibly because even more gizmos and sparkly isn't actually attractive or a useful extension of Evernote's core feature set.

Instead of solving that value problem we're going to dance the DRM dance and I'm going to have to figure out how much Evernote's absolutely incessant advertising has actually swayed me, or possibly pick an alternative and do some serious migration work.

Sigh.

tiakall
06-29-2016, 04:36 PM
From what I've heard, the two-device thing is specifically in relation to the app - you can still use the web version on as many devices as you want. So there's that.

I hear you on the premium thing. I did consider a premium account because I like the product, but I just don't need any of the additional options.

VeryBigBeard
06-29-2016, 09:49 PM
Yeah, the web version is still fine. I just don't like the web version. I find it slow and harder to navigate.

It's not really a huge deal, and is par for the course with free software anyway. I just don't like the way they're doing it.

Maryn
06-30-2016, 12:55 AM
So wait, maybe I misunderstood the email. I was having trouble reading it because I was seeing red. Like you, I'd pay a small amount for it if it offered anything I remotely wanted, but no-o-o, it offers literally no feature I am even slightly interested in trying, much less likely to use.

My email said something about a limit of two devices. I have it on a smartphone, a notebook, a desktop, and a laptop. If it's okay to keep on computers and they don't count toward the total, than aren't I at two? Or is it that I don't go to www.evernote.com (http://www.evernote.com) or whatever it is, but have a quick launch that takes me straight to it?

Maryn, pretty low tech, so explain in simple terms

VeryBigBeard
06-30-2016, 11:03 AM
No, unfortunately you'll exceed the install limit. Each computer counts, as does each mobile device. A given computer also counts twice if you use multiple Evernote accounts on it--so if I have an Evernote for work and an Evernote for personal stuff on my current laptop, my current laptop counts as one install for each account.

If you follow the links in the email it'll take you to a page that lists which devices your account is active on. The only exception is that you can log on to a web-hosted version of Evernote on any computer, presuming you have an Internet connection and don't mind syncing those notes to the cloud. (Personally, I keep a lot of my notes local-only.)

It's standard DRM (digital rights management). I'm familiar with it from games, where it's reviled for making it impossible to use what you own if you, say, buy a new video card or upgrade hardware. Evernote shouldn't be that bad, but it's still a kick given it's so obvious their feature design is barely thought through.

WeaselFire
07-01-2016, 01:24 AM
Who cares? Stuff ain't always free.

Besides, Office365 comes with One Note. :)

Jeff

VeryBigBeard
07-01-2016, 08:05 AM
Who cares? Stuff ain't always free.

Besides, Office365 comes with One Note. :)

Jeff

Yes, I realize this. I actually really dislike the idea of freemium software in general. As an occasional developer, it's not, IMO, a sustainable business model. Although I recognize why it's attractive, especially to smaller tech companies.

My problem with Evernote is exactly what Maryn mentioned: they offer little value. Compare Slack, the messaging and file-sharing app that's quite similar to Evernote. Slack is fully-featured in the free version--the only real drawback is you don't have a full archive after 10,000 messages. For small teams, this is fine. As smaller teams grow, they become bigger teams to which Slack can offer custom packages.

This is how the freemium should work. It relies on ubiquity, then B2B sales. Get users in, then offer additional value to extend the experience. It requires careful and careful design, which seem to be no part of Evernote's strategy. Evernote's strategy amounts to "advertise at them and they'll buy because advertising." Cheapen the experience for those intro users and you run the risk of providing even less value.

JJ Litke
07-01-2016, 08:24 AM
My problem with Evernote is exactly what Maryn mentioned: they offer little value.

That's my issue, too. I wouldn't mind paying a small amount, but the premium levels of Evernote are subscription-based, and the lowest paid level is $35 per year. That's a really steep price considering what it offers.

All I need is an app to take and organize notes. I don't exceed Evernote's two-device limit, but I'm going to start looking into getting something else anyway. I wouldn't mind paying, but the price should be reasonable, and not a subscription.

Maryn
07-01-2016, 04:35 PM
I think I've figured it out. I removed the app from the notebook, left it on the phone and the laptop. When I get around to it, I'll take it off the beat-up travel laptop and the desktop. (Which reminds me, I need to replace that laptop cord before we travel again.)

Maryn, who uses Evernote often but fairly lightly

juniper
07-02-2016, 12:34 AM
I'm glad this was posted on AW - I haven't read the email account for my Evernote in awhile so would have missed this.


That's my issue, too. I wouldn't mind paying a small amount, but the premium levels of Evernote are subscription-based, and the lowest paid level is $35 per year. That's a really steep price considering what it offers.

All I need is an app to take and organize notes. I don't exceed Evernote's two-device limit, but I'm going to start looking into getting something else anyway. I wouldn't mind paying, but the price should be reasonable, and not a subscription.

I think I'm too embedded in Evernote to switch to another. Moving all my notebooks and notes etc? Hassle.


I think I've figured it out. I removed the app from the notebook, left it on the phone and the laptop. When I get around to it, I'll take it off the beat-up travel laptop and the desktop. (Which reminds me, I need to replace that laptop cord before we travel again.)

Maryn, who uses Evernote often but fairly lightly

I have it on 3 places - iPhone, iPad, and laptop. If I stay with the free version, not sure which one I'd remove. I'll probably bite the bullet and pay the $35. Sounds like a lot - but it's 3 movies at the theater or 12 coffees ... for the value, Evernote is probably worth it.

Or maybe leave it on the iPhone and iPad - that's what I take for travel, and if I'm home I can use the iPad instead of the laptop. I might try that.

Like you, I'm a frequent but not-heavy-duty user. Mostly for lists of numbers that I need to remember (home WiFi password etc) and weekly meeting notes.

I like that I can share notebooks with my family, so when I put in the travel itinerary or similar stuff, they can all see it and add their own notes.

VeryBigBeard
07-02-2016, 01:41 AM
Sounds like a lot - but it's 3 movies at the theater or 12 coffees ... for the value, Evernote is probably worth it.

It's worth bearing in mind that "value" is totally dependent on a given user. If you use it a lot and like what it offers, it can be a fair investment. I'm more criticizing the model that makes the choice necessary, not the choice each user will make. Just to be fully clear :greenie.


Like you, I'm a frequent but not-heavy-duty user. Mostly for lists of numbers that I need to remember (home WiFi password etc) and weekly meeting notes.

Have you considered something like LastPass or Blur for this kind of thing? I say this as someone who also has a long list of passwords saved in Evernote, but I've been trying to find a password-protector program I like because there is malware that will scan a hard-drive for password phrases. Evernote notes are still stored on your hard-drive.


I like that I can share notebooks with my family, so when I put in the travel itinerary or similar stuff, they can all see it and add their own notes.

This is one of my favourite features as well, and the one thing that has occasionally made me consider premium is the ability to collaborate more widely, annotating PDFs and such. That said, the premium still doesn't offer enough in that area, IMO, and it's a major missed opportunity for Evernote to market itself to corporate clients where that kind of shared system could be useful. It certainly beats badly-organized folders on some central server.

AW Admin
07-02-2016, 01:45 AM
So wait, maybe I misunderstood the email. I was having trouble reading it because I was seeing red. Like you, I'd pay a small amount for it if it offered anything I remotely wanted, but no-o-o, it offers literally no feature I am even slightly interested in trying, much less likely to use.

My email said something about a limit of two devices. I have it on a smartphone, a notebook, a desktop, and a laptop. If it's okay to keep on computers and they don't count toward the total, than aren't I at two? Or is it that I don't go to www.evernote.com (http://www.evernote.com) or whatever it is, but have a quick launch that takes me straight to it?

Maryn, pretty low tech, so explain in simple terms

They're talking about devices with the Evernote app/software installed. So if you only access it via the web on a device, and do not install the Evernote app, it doesn't count.

AW Admin
07-02-2016, 01:47 AM
That's my issue, too. I wouldn't mind paying a small amount, but the premium levels of Evernote are subscription-based, and the lowest paid level is $35 per year. That's a really steep price considering what it offers.

All I need is an app to take and organize notes. I don't exceed Evernote's two-device limit, but I'm going to start looking into getting something else anyway. I wouldn't mind paying, but the price should be reasonable, and not a subscription.

On OS X Yosemite and iOS 9 and later, consider using Apple's Notes app that's part of the OS.

Alternatively, consider using Microsoft One Note, which is free for a limited amount of storage (several gigs) and works on macOS, iOS and Windows.

Here's an article about options for moving off Evernote (http://lifehacker.com/how-to-jump-ship-from-evernote-and-take-your-data-with-1782841075).

JJ Litke
07-02-2016, 02:30 AM
On OS X Yosemite and iOS 9 and later, consider using Apple's Notes app that's part of the OS.

Alternatively, consider using Microsoft One Note, which is free for a limited amount of storage (several gigs) and works on macOS, iOS and Windows.

Here's an article about options for moving off Evernote (http://lifehacker.com/how-to-jump-ship-from-evernote-and-take-your-data-with-1782841075).

Thanks for the link!

I switched off of Apple's Notes because it was a little too spare, but it looks like it's improved a lot since then.

Jamesaritchie
07-02-2016, 04:01 AM
I must be missing something. If this software offers nothing you want, who cares whether it's free, or costs a million dollars? There are plenty of other programs out there that do as good a job, or better.

Maryn
07-02-2016, 06:28 PM
It's not that it offers nothing I want, James. It's that I want only the basic free service level of their product. The fancier services for which they charge have no utility or appeal to me, nor apparently to many other people enjoying the freebie.

If you have a smart phone, Evernote or a similar program is wonderfully handy. You can write yourself notes using a keyboard or copy documents from your computer, put them on Evernote, and access them away from home on your phone. (Previously, you could access them on any device, but that's what's ending.) It's how I remember the number of the printer cartridge I use, how many yards of 45" fabric it takes to make that skirt, whether I already own "P is for Peril," what I was going to pick up at Walgreen's, what's on my husband's Wish List for his upcoming birthday, or the perennials I will buy in pots if I ever see them at a nursery.

It's literally replaced shopping lists and then some. (Well, that and the Wegmans app.)

VeryBigBeard
07-02-2016, 09:53 PM
The "freemium" model works by giving access to basic features for free, then charging for premium or extended features that make an app more useful.

It's used a lot by tech start-ups because most begin with plenty of venture capital and/or low operating costs. The biggest need in order to get more capital is a user base. It's easier to get users with a free product. Of course, more users does mean higher operating costs, to an extent, and so the hope is that those users start to buy the premium version. Sometimes, they don't. Which I'd guess is what is happening with Evernote more broadly right now.

This is a larger problem with a lot of good software because, outside of the Google et. al umbrella, it's actually pretty hard to bootstrap a company into sustainability and wean it off venture money. It often means downsizing if a company has grown too fast. It often means acknowledging a stable version that works and scaling back efforts to re-design and extend the program. A lot of tech companies are very reliant on that initial fundraising, and bank on being bought up. When it doesn't happen, that software can disappear just as fast. Which is why I don't think freemium is very sustainable, especially if venture funding moves on to other gizmos. Unfortunately, as long as there are free apps in the App Store, it's hard to compete on price and once a piece of software is free it's very hard to make it not-free. I'd rather see apps charge up front and compete on quality, but that has its own problems, to be fair.

This isn't an issue with Evernote not being free. It's an issue with Evernote's business model and user experience that has much larger long-term implications for the software. Whether an individual user deems its premium version valuable or not doesn't matter. It's whether enough users do, en masse.

AW Admin
07-02-2016, 10:04 PM
Thanks for the link!

I switched off of Apple's Notes because it was a little too spare, but it looks like it's improved a lot since then.

It got a host of improvements with iOS 9/macOS El Capitan, and it's got Favored Nation status at Apple, to the point where they've added "hooks" (my term) in the API so developers can eat-and-spit data / read Notes if the User agrees to it.

Maryn
07-02-2016, 11:42 PM
(Was that in English?)

Maryn, unable to resist

juniper
07-03-2016, 09:44 PM
This isn't an issue with Evernote not being free. It's an issue with Evernote's business model and user experience that has much larger long-term implications for the software. Whether an individual user deems its premium version valuable or not doesn't matter. It's whether enough users do, en masse.

I have no idea on how much it costs to start up an app like Evernote (or any app really, although I've heard simple ones can be done quickly/cheaply).

I'd like apps to be priced more like what happened with Day One - my other favorite app. It's for journaling/photos and started with a free version. Then on the big overhaul a couple of years later you could buy it for a set price, not a yearly subscription. It's not nearly as extensive as Evernote, although it has a lot of nice features. I paid $5 for it for the mobile version during a half-off sale. I haven't bought it for the laptop yet because I always use it on my iPhone for short journal notes. If I wrote long entries then I'd pony up for the laptop version.

How do free apps make money for their developers? Do the ads bring in much income?

I'm still thinking about Evernote at the $35 price. I wish it weren't a yearly fee. I've been thinking lately about all the online subscriptions I'll eventually have - for the newspapers (local and maybe NYT), a couple of magazine - I think they'll all go to paid at some point ... will have to make choices. I guess it's not different from paying for the print version. I've gotten used to so much being free online, even though I grew up in the print age.

Do youngsters who grew up with the internet expect to pay for stuff now? Or do they think everything should be free to see?

JJ Litke
07-03-2016, 10:03 PM
I'd probably pay for Evernote if it were more reasonably priced. $35 per year is outrageous for my needs.

AW Admin
07-03-2016, 10:47 PM
I'm planning on upgrading Evernote to a paid plan (https://evernote.com/pricing/).

You're paying not for the software, but for the storage/syncing and indexing. It's expensive. And they're responsible for backing it up *Though you should still back up your Evernote directory too.*

I've got a book coming up that's research based. I'll be writing in various places, on various devices; it makes sense for me.

And the collaborative features are potentially useful for me.

Introversion
07-03-2016, 11:47 PM
I'd probably pay for Evernote if it were more reasonably priced. $35 per year is outrageous for my needs.

$3/month is outrageous? Seems pretty small to me.

juniper
07-28-2016, 11:59 PM
$3/month is outrageous? Seems pretty small to me.

Yeah, when you put it that way ;)

I upgraded. The Premium plan is on sale for $36 for existing members, same price as Plus, so got that for a year. Will probably downgrade to Plus next year when it's up for renewal.

JJ Litke
07-29-2016, 03:17 AM
$3/month is outrageous? Seems pretty small to me.

When I can easily replace it with apps that range from free to $10 outright (no subscription), then yes, eternal fees are outrageous. You can try to make me seem unreasonable by breaking it down to a monthly increment, but it's still three and a half times as much as the most expensive replacement I'm considering, and after two years it will have cost seven times as much.

AW Admin
07-29-2016, 03:42 AM
When I can easily replace it with apps that range from free to $10 outright (no subscription), then yes, eternal fees are outrageous. You can try to make me seem unreasonable by breaking it down to a monthly increment, but it's still three and a half times as much as the most expensive replacement I'm considering, and after two years it will have cost seven times as much.

Sound's like you're good to go then!

As much as I love Apple's Notes, for me it's worth the money. I've got three books going at present, one of which has a co-author.

Evernote works well for us in terms of syncing and communicating with each other, as part of a work flow that includes DropBox and Scrivener.

That's a large part of why it's worth it to me, though I confess I had to really think about pros and cons.

There are things that I find annoying about EverNote, but not so annoying that I'm going to bail.

I think Microsoft One Note, especially for Windows users with smart phones and/ or tablets, and Apple's Notes.app for macOS users will be absolutely fine for many EverNote users.

I also suspect we'll see some corporate/work place EverNote users moving to Trello and Slack, and away from EverNote.

JJ Litke
07-29-2016, 04:05 AM
As much as I love Apple's Notes, for me it's worth the money. I've got three books going at present, one of which has a co-author.

Yeah, if I needed those more advanced features it might be a different story. I guess Evernote has always been a little bit of overkill for me.

That said, I'm still on the lazy route and just deleted Evernote from my phone (I don't recall ever using it there). That puts me down to the two-device limit for the free level. :) I should just transfer to Notes, though. Then I could have it available on my phone should I want it.

juniper
07-29-2016, 04:48 AM
As much as I love Apple's Notes,

Is this the Notes that comes already installed on iPhones? The basic white-lined-box-with-yellow-stripe-on-top icon?

That's what I used before I found Evernote. I still have some stuff stashed in there.

Is there a more expansive Notes than that one?

AW Admin
07-29-2016, 04:55 AM
Is this the Notes that comes already installed on iPhones? The basic white-lined-box-with-yellow-stripe-on-top icon?

That's what I used before I found Evernote. I still have some stuff stashed in there.

Is there a more expansive Notes than that one?

That's the one; in iOS 9 and later, Apple has beefed it up a fair amount, and it syncs with the Notes.app on macOS Yosemite.

AW Admin
07-29-2016, 04:56 AM
Yeah, if I needed those more advanced features it might be a different story. I guess Evernote has always been a little bit of overkill for me.

That said, I'm still on the lazy route and just deleted Evernote from my phone (I don't recall ever using it there). That puts me down to the two-device limit for the free level. :) I should just transfer to Notes, though. Then I could have it available on my phone should I want it.

Keep in mind that two devices = two devices using the Evernote.app, not the Web version.