Evernote and I go back a long way. Some years back I received an email from the company saying I was one of the first adopters of the note-taking service. I think that relationship is about to end. There have been no major, significant advances in the app for some time. The company’s own forums are full of dissatisfied customers and even Steve Dotto has taken a sarcastic sideswipe after Evernote announced a major upgrade to its logo. I admit things like logos are a matter of personal taste, but this alleged upgrade is seriously fugly as far as I am concerned. So, I have started to look at alternatives and was surprised to find there isn’t a lot out there – with one exception.
The obvious place to start was with Microsoft’s OneNote, sadly this fell at the first fence. I run NordVPN and when I tried to connect OneNote I got a message saying I was not connected to the Internet. Looking through various Microsoft forums I discovered that this was a common issue. The advice being dished out by OneNote gurus at Microsoft was that we NordVPN users should raise this with the VPN provider. Actually, no. Evernote and the other services I looked at all connect just fine, so it is your problem Microsoft and I won’t be using your product.
I looked at the highly touted Notion but it just didn’t gel with me. I also discovered that Zoho has increased its portfolio of services with a notebook option that purported to import Evernote notes. Sadly, after watching the syncing line for three hours creep across the screen, it failed to pick up all the notes, so that got the elbow.
I then stumbled across Nimbus, which appears to have been around for a good many years and you can import all your Evernote notes, although this has to be done using the Windows app. I quickly found out how good and responsive the support from Nimbus was when the downloaded exe file refused to install the program. I under half an hour a fresh download was made available and I was up and running.
The desktop app bears an uncanny resemblance to Evernote so you will feel right at home from the word go. Nimbus operates on a freemium basis with the pro version costing $45 a year. This gives you all the obvious benefits which are spelt out here.
I have opted for the premium version while I play around with the service. As you would expect, Nimbus is available on multiple platforms and I found the Android app on smartphone and tablet syncs perfectly. There is also a web clipper for browsers, another essential pluspoint.
What’s Wrong At Evernote?
First, the company tried to increase the price of its premium package to $70 a year which met with a pretty universal outcry. It is now down to $42 a year. The company has also been hit by a series of high-level walkouts. The company has lost its CTO Anirban Kundu, CFO Vincent Toolan, CPO Erik Wrobel and head of HR Michelle Wagner. The company did not comment on a reason for the departures, but a source close to the matter told TechCrunch that “Evernote is in a death spiral… Paid user growth and active users have been flat for the last six years and their enterprise product offering has not caught on.”
My first reaction to this is “Oh shit.” I have been with the company for around a decade and it has served me well.
It is only day two of using Nimbus but it is well designed and has a host of cracking features.
Watch this space.