Evernote, I Pit Thee.

This is not going to be a pitting to excite anyone, but I just find it so annoying that the Evernote insists on not offering folders and subfolders as a sorting hierarchy. It’s the only experience I personally have on the computer where it’s different than what has become the norm. Evernote is a useful tool, but they prevent me from using it as much as I would if they had folders and subfolders.

Another program/app I use a lot is Dropbox. And when of the really great things is that they have the expected way to organize things. I wish Evernote would wake up and get withe the rest of the world. I do like Evernote and use it almost daily, but if I was aware of a similar competitor that allowed me to do the same things AND organize the way I organize EVERYTHING else on my computers, I’d switch to it in a heartbeat.

I understand that Evernote has had their heels dug in on this for years, so note to app developers: maybe it’s time for a better Evernote.

Weak pitting, but really just wanted to register my annoyance. Maybe someone is aware of a similar app that does everything Evernote does and allows you to work the way you do normally.

Not clear on the issue here, do you need a list of all your to-do lists or do you need a list of all the lists of to-do lists?

I suggest more doing … less list-making.

I use Evernote on my phone, PC, and two tablets. Now I get a message saying unless I pay I can only use it on two devices. And you’re complaining about organization?

I first read the OP as, “Everyone, I Pit Thee”, and thought to myself, this kid’s got more balls than brain cells.

Have you looked at OneNote lately? I’ve been using it every day for almost fifteen years. Couldn’t live without it. It’s easily Microsoft’s best product, imo.

I have the version that comes with Office 365 but there’s also a freeware version that comes witn Windows 10. It’s on most of the major phones. You can only have one notebook with the free version, iirc, but you can have any number of sections and subpages in that notebook. So you could have a section for, I don’t know, work, another for school, I have one for recpies and so on. And then each page in the section is a recipe.

Evernote’s whole deal, when it first debuted, was that it was one long scrolling piece of paper, and people wouldn’t have to sort anything, they’d just add tags to the notes. I think they’ve kind of drifted away from that some. But if you like a structured hierarchy, you might prefer OneNote’s organization.

You have to switch to pied piper.


I’ve used EverNote on my phone and desktop for years and for all its good functionality and usefulness, it has just enough… quirks to make me wish there was a better option. Everything about it is just a little weird, like it was invented in Sweden or Albania and imperfectly translated to another culture. There is definitely room for functional improvement, which just maybe they could do instead of fairly pointless cosmetic revamps twice a year.

WTH is Evernote?

Great post. Just to add that the freeware version allows users to make multiple notebooks, as well as sections and subpages. I have Notebooks labeled work, recipes, garden, etc.

OneNote is freaking awesome, and I second it’s probably MSFT’s best product (well after excel). My entire life is in there and it stores on OneDrive and synch’s seamlessly across multiple devices (not sure how many but at least half a dozen). I did a Ask the OneNote power user thread here

I’ve never used Evernote or even seen it, however FWIW every question/thread I’ve ever seen on Evernote was regarding functionality that worked well in OneNote.

Thanks! I’m watching a video on it and downloaded the app. Question: is there a way to view the “folders”, and move them around, like you can with Dropbox? I’ really like to drag and drop folders as opposed to a menu with “Move to _______”.

Yeah, just click on the folder tab and drag it. The Move To __ dialog is useful if you have a lot of nested section groups. But if you want to drag a tab into a section group, just drag and hover over the section group header and it will open the group automatically. (The nomenclature gets kind of wonky, but the “tabs” are officially “sections” and the “section groups” are basically subgroups of sections within a section. Sub-tabs, as it were.)
If you want, there’s a tool for importing your notes from Evernote to OneNote, but I haven’t used it personally. It might speed things up a little -

Drat. Just went to that link. It only works with Windows. I’m on a Mac. I’ll play with the other thing you suggested. Thanks.

Timely thread. I got this message too and was thinking about what I might want to move to. I like Evernote a lot, but they’ve been sucking the functionality out of the free version for awhile now, and I already pay for enough other stuff. Off to OneNote!

Does OneNote have an Android (or iPhone, for that matter) extension app? Because sharing info between MS devices only is a little constricted. Win 10 desktop/Android phone combo needed for a tool to be useful to me.

It’s just the import tool that’s PC-only. OneNote itself works on Windows (including mobile versions), Mac, iOS, Android, and browsers.

Not sure what that means. So it “works” on Android, but I can’t enter information there?

I just today installed One Note on my phone and two tablets. And PC as well of course. I copied all my notes to the new app and deleted Evernote. Still have to learn some more about One Note, but I’m good for now.

The link given was to a piece ofsoftware that imports all your existing Evernote notes into OneNote. That software only runs on Windows. You run it once, and never use it again.

OneNote itself has clients for Windows, OS X, iOS, Android, and a generic browser client.

Don’t put stuff on other people’s computers and then expect them to do what you want, especially on a free tier.

Folders and subfolders as a sorting hierarchy is an anachronism and does not scale. Object stores explicitly avoid hierarchies to allow them to scale and to reduce costs. While they could produce faux directories like S3 does it adds significant amounts of complexity to the clients and to their server infrastructure.

One note is a feature driver for Office365 and is not a direct replacement.

Personally I hope that one day the market will return to allowing us to store our own data on our own servers but I think we will have to wait for some very massive security breaches with very dire costs to the customers before there will be any reduction in the cloud fad. (Yes the cloud is useful for somethings but the fad is using is for everything)

Sorry to be late getting back to this -

  1. Yes, the Android version of OneNote functions just like the other versions. It’s the full shebang. I actually prefer the iPhone version to the tablet version, but they’re both full featured.

  2. It’s possible to store OneNote notebooks locally. You don’t have to use the cloud storage. Just make a new notebook and specify the path you want. I don’t do this because I like having cloud availability for my Notebooks, but it’s perfectly fine to use a local version. This is especially true for mission critical stuff that needs security.

If you want to get fancy, you can even do what I do with my music collection:

  1. Don’t merge My Music with the OneDrive Music folder; keep them separate.

  2. Copy all new music to the local folder

  3. Use GoodSync (or the software of your choice) to sync the My Music folder with a Western Digital back up drive

  4. Also use GoodSync to sync the local My Music with my …/OneDrive/Music folder

  5. Which then backs up the OneDrive Music folder to the cloud so I have my music on the cloud and can listen from my phone, my tablet or my laptop via the OneDrive app

  6. It’s true that the folders/files paradigm is outdated and doesn’t scale, but people understand it on such a basic level that it’s unlikely to be dethroned as the dominant interface system any time soon. Like cameras, the best interface is the one people have with them.