An Alternative to Evernote

I’ve been a supporter of Evernote for a long time. I’ve written a number of articles on it and convinced a number of friends and family to start using it. But I’ve run into some issues with it and it’s come time to throw in the towel. I’m leaving Evernote.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://joebuhlig.com/an-alternative-to-evernote/

I saw that the latest beta of 10.11.4 has a built-in importer of Evernote notes to the Notes app. While that’s still a bit proprietary, it might make your migration of notes easier.

I tried the script that was widely published, but wasn’t satisfied with it, but I couldn’t tell you why. I currently use Evernote for storing stuff, but find that I easily get information and notes fragmented all over the place since its sometimes a bit of effort to get it in EN.

I’ve always suspected that I’ll eventually go back to a standard folder/file system, but don’t want construct an elaborate framework. Thanks for the tips!

I’ve been looking for a good Evernote to raw file converter, but haven’t found one I like. If you look at the raw .enex files you can export, there might be a way to deconstruct them. That’s the process I’m looking into right now. Might be something others could use as well.

On the moment I don’t use Evernote anymore, but the only thing I still use Evernote for is to scan business cards, so the information comes directly in my IPhone contacts.

If I find a good Solutions for that, I stop using Evernote. Hoe are you doping this without Evernote?

DevonThinkProOffice shows potential for an Evernote replacement. I’m having good luck with BitTorrentSync for folder syncing. It’s free, and it syncs folders without using the cloud. You install the software, make a user account, and point to a folder that you want to sync. You install and sign up on another machine, and Sync will copy the folder over. Once the initial sync is done, it will keep the folder synced very quickly using peer-to-peer.

I haven’t tried using BTSync with DevonThink yet, but it has real potential.

Zengobi, which makes the world’s greatest creative software – Curio has just started developing a free app with aspirations to be an Evernote killer. it’s called Curiota, and it’s shaping up pretty well. Curiota stores all your data as standard files in non-proprietary formats. It doesn’t even store them in a database – it puts them in Finder folders and uses Spotlight to search. Because it’s just a file tree, BTSync should have no trouble syncing it.

It doesn’t have the big pro features yet, but the developer seems very eager to make it work. Have a look.

There are iPhone apps that will do that. Scan with your camera, and OCR the card into your contacts.

I have tried Some but till now a was mot completly satisfied. Do you have some recommandation?

I have periodic issues with Evernote also, but I use it mostly as a grandiose diary & bit-bucket tool for me. I clip interesting stuff; make notes that I never read again; and other really important crap! Yes “it” has to work with Dropbox for me too! Because, I have to have a big place for more stuff! (My hero - George Carlin!) Personally, I miss XyWrite in its simplicity and versatility and would love to have a good Mac/iPad version and a logical version of Penultimate and Dropbox! Funny that after how many decades we are still seeing new gimmicks to do the same work, and many are rarely useful for very long! . . . and the definition of insanity is what? :slightly_smiling:

I’m intrigued to see someone moving AWAY from Evernote. Most articles are about why someone is moving into it.
I don’t use Markdown (yet), but I have some of the same frustrations with Evernote. My biggest frustration is that it really doesn’t function as an editor … at least, not, the way I would like. So, I use it to store ideas and fragments and works-in-progress, then have to move to either the Wordpress editor (with Josh Lobe’s editor add-in) or move it to Word to do serious work on it.
My question about moving to Dropbox is the loss of tags. I’m using tags quite a bit in EN, and find them very helpful. How do you deal with that in Dropbox? Or, does Dropbox do tagging as well as EN and I’ve just missed it?

Has anyone tried Quiver? It is a considered a “programmer’s notebook”. I saw it while looking for alternatives for Evernote a while a go but haven’t had the time to dig in to it.

I too have the same “locked in” concerns. I doubt Evernote is going anywhere anytime soon but it is always helpful to have an alternative in the wings.

@anamorph, do you have an app you’re using and would recommend for this? I’m hoping Greg Pierce over at Agile Tortoise will integrate this with Interact, but I’m not holding my breath.

@BruceInLouisville, I don’t think DropBox has any tagging ability. I’ve found that if I’m smart with the folders I can limit the number of them and still be able to find what I need without tags. With 20 or 30 files in the folder it’s a quick scan to find what I want. It seems to be faster than typing to search for a set of tags to narrow it down further.

I’ve not heard of it. My concern is that anything like this would eventually have me in the same boat.

@cstott I use Quiver for lots of text/code notes and I’ve been very happy with it. There is supposed to be an iOS version in development which I’m looking forward to.

@joebuhlig Quiver’s data format is documented so it would be very feasible to move content out in the future if necessary.

I particularly like the ability to create code snippets with text formatting. When I tried to do code in Evernote before I had issues with quote and double-dash conversion.

At least Quiver is making it easy for folks to step away in the future if they want. I can’t help but think that would keep them honest. They need to keep up with advancements and have great apps or people will leave.

I liked ScanBizCards by ScanBiz, but I have since moved on to TinyScan and then send the PDF to DevonThink which uses ABBY Fine to OCR.

If you like the look of Quiver, check out Scrivener. It has nearly the same layout, it supports markdown and other formats, and it stores everything as RTFs and other non-proprietary formats.

It’s primarily designed as a development environment for writers (novelists, screenwriters, technical writers, academics), but when I saw Quiver the penny dropped. You could definitely use this with BTSync as an Evernote replacement.

They are working on an iOS version that will be released in a few months.

@joebuhlig I know you’ve posted about file naming of project files. Do you have a similar convention for general reference files?

It’s pretty much come back to just keywords. I just use the main folder structure and a quick keyword search gets me what I want. That goes for both projects and general reference files.

I am using Quiver for a while and I really like it. Specially the file format which is basically a couple of JSON files. Everything, from the notebook, to notes and … you can read with a text editor and the client will update your edits back to the app. Another nice thing about it is that you can use Dropbox and even share a notebook via Dropbox. Basically, no account needed which is nice as well.

I’ve made a similar move away from Evernote and into a Dropbox folder hierarchy, but one thing I’m missing is a way to search the PDF files I save to Dropbox, both on Mac and iOS–any suggestions?

I’ve just been using finder on the Mac. It seems to do a good job. On iOS I haven’t needed it yet. Though now I’m thinking about it. Thanks for that. :wink: