I hunt for a file in Dropbox and eventually realize it’s in Evernote. Or maybe it’s vice versa. This kind of situation is no good, and stands as evidence that I don’t have a clear system for using one over the other.
After this epiphany, I sat down to have a think and realized I have too many buckets. Something needs to give. Like many geeks on the web these days, I use the following apps:1
- Dropbox: files
- Pinboard: bookmarks
- Instapaper: read laters
- OmniFocus: tasks
- iCloud/iWork: active documents
- SimpleNote/nvALT: scratchpad
- 1Password: logins and secure notes
To work with Dropbox files on iOS I use Byword for TXTs and PDF Expert for PDFs. These two apps cover 95% of my mobile content creation, and they’re really good at it. Evernote’s text editing lacks Markdown and TextExpander, and its PDF annotation is non-existent.
When iOS was young, Evernote was an essential tool for keeping notes and other files in sync across devices. But with the maturity of Dropbox powered apps and advent of iCloud document syncing on the Mac, I slowly saw the erosion of my need for Evernote.
Shawn Blanc has been having similar thoughts in regards to his everything bucket of choice, Yojimbo, and is in the process of moving all its information into Pinboard, 1Password, and SimpleNote. To encrypt his data, he turns on FileVault. (Espionage would have been my choice.)
This afternoon, I spent about an hour migrating my attachments and notes out of Evernote and into correlating Dropbox folders. I’m still not done, but the heavy lifting is mostly over. To reinforce the transition, I deleted the green elephant from my iOS devices and deactivated my premium membership.
Please don’t hear me wrong. Evernote is still an amazing product that should hold a secure place in many people’s workflows. For example, I think every professor should deliver material to students via Evernote. Its OCR of PDFs and photos is quite impressive as is its collaboration and search features. While each of these features has an alternative in Dropbox & iCloud world, I can see the allure of having just one bucket for everything. As for me and my house, we shall be hopping off the elephant.
It’s been a fun ride, Evernote.
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I am an Apple Certified Support Professional with over a decade of experience supporting families, schools, and businesses. Tech has always captured my imagination, but it's not my only passion. I'm an ordained Anglican minister; Aeropress is a daily ritual of mine; I've driven across Mongolia; and I'm the father of three girls. I hope to provide for you a balanced and realistic perspective into the practicality of technology.