I take notes a lot and have a long lasting love-and-hate relationship with Evernote. I would have changed it long ago for something else, provided it would:

  • allow for multiple devices, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, Web
  • offer a good, Google-like full text search. No two-step search, please! (I mean find notes with some search words, and then enter those words again to search in the note. Ignore proximity of these words, do not show them in the context. How stupid!)
  • work offline too
  • be cloud-agnostic and work with my own cloud, too
  • support Markdown
  • not cost 30$ per year, especially when stupid

I checked Simplenote (bad search, their cloud), Google Keep (limit to some 10k characters - my notes are long), Laverna (online only), QOwnNotes (search bad, not on mobile). And some more.

I stick to Evernote for now and pay, but it nerves me a lot:

  • it is very easy to get sync conflicts, but it is awfully difficult to resolve them. No support from Evernote. I use ENEX export and sync-edit with Total Commander or KDiff3. But ENEX file has no line breaks and I need to run my small script to break divs.
    Please Evernote, put line breaks in your export! Better yet, help us to resolve conflicts!
  • Search has improved, but is still awful. I get 8 notes when I search for something simple like 'ftdi driver'. I have to check them one by one. At least I see some context. Need to enter my term again to search within the note. The search footer covers contents.
    Please Evernote, learn from Google. Use Lucene or something.
  • Have to enter intitle: to search titles, but not substring-wise. Needs a * at the end.
    What for?
  • Living in Germany, I hope to find Rotfuchs when I enter *fuchs. Nope. This is what you call a powerful search functionality? A wildcard is only permitted at the end of the term, not at the beginning or middle for scalability reasons on the service. Oh, come on!
  • Jump back and forth with Alt+Arrow, but to the note beginning, not to the last spot!
    Please Evernote, store the position!
  • Cannot disable Web Clipping easily. I note URLs and some keywords, the contents is on the ´net. Need to change keyboard shortcuts on every machine I use. Have to edit Registry, HKCU\Software\Evernote\Evernote\StartEvernoteClipper = 0, exit Evernote before.
  • Cannot switch off sync notifications easily. Have to edit Registry HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Evernote\Evernote\SyncNotifications = 0. Exit Evernote before. Please Evernote, don't distract me.

Please Evernote developers, use Evernote every day and find enlightenment.
Anybody, if you know something better, please let me know.

Update July 2018: Joplin!
Evernote is now every now and then taking away input focus from the editor, making me write into vacuum and completely loose my focus. That's it, I quit.
Luckily I found Joplin, which pretty much fits all my requirements above. I am not 100% happy with search, especially on mobile yet, but hey, Joplin works.

  • Electron / React app on Windows, Linux, Android and iOS
  • Markdown notes in sqlite database, synced to every device, editable externally.
  • Imports Evernote .enex files, removing the formatting, which is good
  • Import has left some hanging '-'s, removable with regular expression replace '-\n+' => '- '
  • Cloud-agnostic sync. I use NextCloud and SOLR search. The .md filenames are cryptic, but NextCloud Markdown editor works fine as web app. NextCloud keeps also previous versions of notes.
  • Sync conflicts: can split and sync with kdiff3 or similar

    * * *
    Verschiedene Änderungen gefunden in 22. Juli 2018 um 11:22:44:
    * * *
  • Clickable chechboxes: [ ]
  • App icon is missing on Linux. Needs StartupWMClass=Joplin in .local/share/applications/appimagekit-joplin.desktop

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