Desk with Notebook

I Want to Love Evernote

I’ve been an Evernote fan for a while now, but in my fandom I’ve been hiding an awful secret: I hardly use it at all. The truth is that I want to love Evernote, I want to use it consistently, but I just can’t.

On the surface, Evernote seems like the perfect tool. Just brain-dump all your information into it and you can look it all up later. You can use it to take notes, create reminders, store files, draft blog posts, manage to-do lists, etc. The list goes on and on.

For some people, this is why Evernote is so awesome. For me, it’s is a huge flaw. Evernote tries to solve so many problems that it ends up not solving any of them particularly well.

Swiss Army Knife
Thanks to James Case for this image

That’s probably not entirely clear, so let me illustrate my point using an example of a tool that I love without reservation: Remember the Milk.

I use RTM for my to-do lists, and it works perfectly. I literally cannot think of a significant way to improve it, and I’m not being hyperbolic when I say that finding RTM changed the way I live my life. Managing tasks is just so much easier now.

The difference between RTM and Evernote is critical: RTM doesn’t try to do everything. It is simply a task manager; nothing more, nothing less. Evernote, on the other hand, tries to do so much that it overreaches and becomes too much of a hassle to maintain.

Airplane Control Panel
Thanks to Christian for this image

Sure, Evernote’s pretty good for taking notes, but I don’t need to use ten different fonts. I don’t need to organize those notes using categories and tags. I don’t need to add precise locations to them either. If you ask me, this sort of thing makes Evernote too complex to bother with.

Boats are awesome for getting around on the water, planes are perfect for air travel, and cars are great for driving on roads. But when did you last see a combination boat-car-plane? Never.

Simpler is better. Doing one thing and doing it well is better.

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Just this guy, you know?

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