Evernote wishes

evernote logoThis post started off as a grumbly tweet, grew into a feedback email, and now it’s final state as a blog post. I’ll still email this feedback to the Evernote chappies as well, but I didn’t hear back after the last email (gentle nudge).

I’m still holding on to Evernote with the tips of my fingers, but there are areas where it still niggles at me:

  • I can’t export files in the way I would like. If I use the ‘Export’ command I get an Evernote style XML file, rather than, for example, the 3 PDFs I selected. Why XML? Just give me the PDFs! You can’t drag and drop items from the list into the Finder, but I can choose ‘email’ to get multiple items out in one go. Doing this for images frames them in it’s own branded Evernote border. Just give me the images! (does this frame go if you have a premium account?). The way around this is to drag and drop images from their notes individually, but that’s a tedious solution.
  • I really wish it wouldn’t rename my files. If I put in a PDF file helpfully named “VAT Return Jan-Mar 08” I’d like it to still be called that when I export it, rather than the unhelpful “bb2cd873d62b7e9616a056a1aac12698.pdf”. It’s my stuff, give it to me in it’s original state.
  • By default, an image is embedded into a note, which introduces whitespace into the thumbnail: Basically, portrait images fare better than landscape. I would like images to just be images – not embedded or renamed.
  • In the iPhone app, you can mark items as favourites to store them on the phone for when you have no connection (yay!) but if that is a PDF, you have to click twice to see it. Click once in the list (which shows you it’s a PDF), after which you get a screen with another PDF icon. Click that, and finally your PDF starts loading. Compare that with a PDF in Air Sharing, and you can click straight from the list to view the PDF in one. What’s the point of the middle screen? It provides no further information and just delays the process.evernote
  • New notes created on the iPhone automatically go into ‘Pending’ where it can’t be read until it’s uploaded. This means when I’m abroad and have no data signal, creating notes is waste of time, as they can’t be read until I get (or pay extra for) a connection.

The effect of the first 3 issues is that I’m left feeling that my stuff isn’t mine anymore. Once in Evernote, I can do a lot with it, but once in, it becomes Evernote’s, not mine. I’m not liking that loss of control and ownership. Compare this to a desktop competitor like Together.app, which not only lets you import and export the unaltered file in a number of ways, the files themselves are in easily accessible, visible folders. Nothing is hidden, renamed or rebranded.

Why do I stick with it? Because aside from these issues, I like where Evernote is going so far. I like that development is regular and ongoing and that they’re tackling the issue of accessing notes anywhere. I’m also sticking with it in the hope the issues I’ve noted above are simply features that haven’t been implemented yet…