Yesterday, I received two related emails: One, from Evernote, explained that my free account was about to become a lot more limited, and that I’d need to pay for features I’d been getting for free. The second was from Microsoft, providing a solution to my Evernote problem.
Well, to be fair, I don’t really have an Evernote problem. Though I did use the note-taking solution for a few months two years back, and actually did pay for it at the time, I’ve long since raced back to the more comfortable and familiar OneNote. Which, by the way, is completely free. And is available on every platform imaginable.
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But Evernote is popular, and some users stick with this solution for reasons both good—it provides some unique functionality they require that isn’t available elsewhere, perhaps—and bad (laziness and/or tradition). I get that. But then Evernote just changed the rules of the game. And if you’re not paying for the service, you’re going to want to think carefully about your next steps.
“We’re making a change to our Evernote Basic service, and it’s important that you know about it,” the Evernote email explained. “In the coming weeks, Evernote Basic accounts will be limited to two devices, such as a computer and phone, two computers, or a phone and a tablet. You are currently over this limit, but will have at least 30 days to adjust. Plus and Premium accounts will continue to support access from an unlimited number of devices.”
Plus and Premium accounts. Hm.
Evernote Plus costs $4 per month or $35 per year. It provides offline access to notes on a mobile device, the ability to forward emails into an Evernote notebook, and 1 GB of upload space per month.
Evernote Premium, at $8 per month or $70 per year, is the full meal deal: Everything in Basic and Plus, with Office document search, PDF annotation, business card scanning, and 10 GB of monthly upload space piled on top.
Why would anyone pay for Evernote?
First of all, OneNote is free. Always free. No caveats. Just free. It’s available everywhere you need it—Windows, Mac, web, Windows phone, Android, iOS, Apple Watch, Android Wear—and there are no limits, for uploads, devices, or anything else.
But you want to pay. For some reason. Consider this alternative from Microsoft: Office 365 Personal, which costs the same $70 per year you’d pay for Evernote Premium. For that price, you get all the OneNote stuff, naturally—again, it’s free—but you also gain access to the full Office desktop suite on Windows or Mac, the Office mobile apps on any supported platform (yes, with offline capabilities), and a full 1 TB of OneDrive-based cloud storage with no monthly upload limits. Kind of a no-brainer, if you’ve got $70 burning a hole in your pocket.
Microsoft also notes that it recently introduced an Evernote Importer for Windows, which you can use to make the move. I recommend doing so. After all, I did it too.