Regarding Notes for iOS 9 and El Capitan: why I’m sticking with Evernote – Brett Kelly

Regarding Notes for iOS 9 and El Capitan: why I’m sticking with Evernote

114587853_cdabf6568c_bHere’s a question I’ve been asked several times in the last couple of weeks since iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan hit stable release:

Bro, are you going to stop using Evernote and start using on OS X and iOS? It looks like it could be a serious competitor, bro.

No, I’m sticking with Evernote.

If you’re curious about the specific reasons, why I’m sticking with my beloved Evernote, keep reading. If you’re busy and need to take off, the short version is that Evernote is a vastly superior application with more features and flexibility.

The Similarities

A quick side-by-side comparison of and Evernote might give you the impression that they offer a surprisingly similar set of features.

That’s sort of true…

Both apps offer basic text formatting, the ability to attach images and other files to notes. Both can have checkboxes in the body of their resident notes. They both sync notes between devices— using iCloud, Evernote using it’s own web service—so you can view and edit all of your stuff anywhere (including on the web).

You can organize your folders into containers within both apps; Evernote calls these Notebooks, while calls them Folders. supports very rudimentary sharing. If your note is around the length of a tweet, selecting Twitter from the share sheet will launch the native “Send a Tweet” dialog and contain whatever text you’ve got in the selected note. Ditto for Facebook, though the length requirement isn’t there. Notes with images in them are shareable, too. The embedded image will be included in the social update just like you’d expect.

If you attach any other kind of file, you lose the ability to share on social networks (at least Twitter and Facebook).

Here’s all you need to know about sharing in the contents of the note you want to share will be shoehorned into whatever format the destination app/service likes best. supports searching the content of notes. also supports finding text within PDFs, but based on my limited testing, it only works if the PDF was generated by a computer, not a scanner. won’t perform OCR on your attached PDFs or images, in other words.

With that, we come to the end of our short list of ways in which Evernote and are similar.

The funny thing I just realized: The above section describes almost all of what can do. Evernote can do a whole hell of a lot more. That’s why I’m sticking with it.

The Differences

You should probably grab a copy of the book if you want an exhaustive tour of Evernote’s capabilities, but I’ll make a quick list of the big Evernote features is missing:

  1. Two-way sharing of both notes and notebooks. Meaning, I can share a note or notebook with Francine in such a way that we can both edit the contents.
  2. Evernote’s badass ability to index images and scanned PDFs for search.
  3. Evernote offers a second level of organization besides notebooks: collections of notebooks called “stacks.”
  4. Evernote also lets you apply tags to notes for more organizational flexibility.
  5. Evernote works on platforms beside OS X; if you’re all hot to trot with and you have a Windows computer at work, Notes becomes a whole lot less usable.

Anyway, I could go on. is a very nice app and a hell of an improvement over the skeuomorphic “legal pad with a marker typeface” monstrosity that preceded it, but as for me and my notes, we’ll be sticking with the elephant.

(Elephant image courtesy of Caitlin)

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Two words: Web Clipper.

In addition to the excellent reasons you gave above (not to mention a way better interface), that is why I’ll be sticking with Evernote.

Marjory Harris

Evernote is my central clearning house. I use it on Windows desktop and laptops, Macbook Pro, Ipad, Iphone and love that I can get it online if I don’t have my devices with me. I read your book several years ago and became an early responder. No way would I give it up for something that just works on IOS!


> Evernote works on platforms beside OS X; if you’re all hot to trot with and you have a Windows computer at work, Notes becomes a whole lot less usable.

It’s worth noting (pardon the pun) that Notes’ notes are accessible through The folders are notably absent, but at least this provides a way to get to this information on non-Apple platforms, including Windows.

I’m not planning to abandon Evernote either (I’m a big fan :), but do find Notes is a handy place to jot down quick notes and I appreciated how well integrated it is with other apps. My plan is to use Notes for certain types of information, and much of this info will eventually be archived in Evernote.

John Gardner

Interesting thoughts about notes I largely agree with your analysis. Be interested in a comparison between premium & personal Evernote. I’m wondering about really trying to expiate the value of premium or downgrade.

The other thought is about Brett T s writings. Marked is great! But naval is great to exploit too, and simpler now than notes


There are more noteworthy reasons that make Evernote stand out even more from Apple Notes:

– Its web clipper is the best in business, even better than OneNote.
– You can annotate images and PDFs.
– You can include Excel spreadsheets in your notes.
– You can set reminders to your notes
– Its integration with other third party services blow Notes out of the water.


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