Why I Still Use (and Love) Evernote

Evernote had a rough 2016, primarily due to a price change and an announced (and then retracted) change to their privacy policy. Each raised concerns from users and spurred several articles on how to switch from Evernote to similar apps.

Despite these conflicts, Evernote is still my note taking software of choice. I’ve tried using Apple Notes and Simplenote, and they are worthy apps. But one feature has ingrained Evernote in my daily activities online: web clipping. One can argue that web clipping is not a core feature for note taking, but it is supported by both Apple Notes and Evernote. It’s so deeply entrenched in my workflow that I can’t imagine working without it.

Pictures speak louder than words so take a look at the screen captures below.

Evernote captures web content in the note and the results are editable.
Apple Notes snippets are clean, but capture very little from the page and are not configurable.

Evernote’s advanced web clipper ensures that I save exactly what I want, to the folder I choose, with the URL for the source. Apple Notes allows folder choice and note choice, but the app only saves the URL, a title, a snippet of text, and a hero image. I’ve built my workflow around capturing information from the web, saving it to Evernote and accessing it even when offline. Apple Notes gives you the snippet but requires a connection to access the full page. In addition, Evernote has extensions for both Safari and Chrome (Apple Notes does not,) and I use both browsers daily.

Users of note taking apps tend to make personal investments in them. Time spent in an app increases familiarity, and most humans tend to like the familiar. The effect is boosted when users are capturing and saving their lives and livelihood in these apps. I’ve invested my time in Evernote and it has never let me down. It’s been there from laptop to tablet to phone since I started using it in 2008. I’ll still take the time to try new apps (Bear is next on my list,) but until I find one with a better web clipping experience that improves my workflow, I’m sticking with Evernote.

Note: I also use Pocket for web clipping, but it has a different purpose. I designate the content I save to Pocket as ‘read it later,’ and it’s typically items that interest me personally. Evernote is my professional, note taking, web clipping app of choice.

iPhone 6s

iPhone 6s

Here are a few of my impressions after one weekend.

  • It is REALLY fast, especially Touch ID.
  • 3D Touch is a massive achievement and will have a lasting affect on device and app development.
  • Living Pictures are terrific and not just a gimmick.
  • The increase in weight is not noticeable.

Here’s a Live Picture of our cat, Paul.

Paul Vs. the sheet

New Toy


BB-8 arrived last week and has been a hit with friends, co-workers and family. The controls take some getting used to, and once you do it’s a blast to zip around the home/office with this little guy.

Consistently Inconsistent

iOS OSX Sometimes it’s the little things that get me, but this one bothered me in May of 2013 and it still bothers me today. The Update All button is not only placed in different locations on iOS and OS X, but more surprisingly is in a different location on the iPad and iPhone. I’d love to see the search bar on iPad dropped to the bottom menu (just like on the iPhone) and move ‘Update All’ to the upper right-hand corner.

I think my OCD is showing.

Who’s tracking whom?

ghosteryAfter being mentioned on Daring Fireball and The Loop I decided to install the Ghostery extension for Safari. You may think you know who’s tracking you, but I bet the results would surprise the average person online.

There’s been a swell of posts on ad tracking and blocking recently. Will it be enough to trigger a change? John Gruber wrote on Daring Fireball:

It’s not just about privacy. There are other costs: network bandwidth (which for many of us is metered on cellular), page load times, and increased CPU usage, are real costs — paid entirely by the visitors to websites.

[Update] After writing this post I checked my own site and will be deleting some plugins and most of the other trackers I found.

Apple Watch STILL on Hold

M.G. Siegler wrote up his 3 month review of the Apple Watch over on Medium.

But mainly, I enjoy Apple Watch as a way to see various things I care about at a glance: the weather, the date, another time zone, my activity, my upcoming appointments, and, of course, the time.

So part of me still wants one, but my reasons for canceling my original order still stand.  Let’s see what comes with watchOS 2.0 later this year.


Not News

The title of this TechCrunch post speaks volumes, and yet it should not be surprising.

“Netflix, HBO Streaming Video Traffic Increases As BitTorrent Declines”

During the season five premiere of “Game of Thrones,” HBO’s two streaming properties, HBO GO and HBO NOW, accounted for 4.1 percent of traffic on one U.S. fixed network – an increase of over 300 percent of their average levels.

People are willing to pay for the content. Content providers just need to embrace the new distribution channels.