• Patrick Jordan

Goodbye to an Old (app) Friend

Switching away from a daily most-used app - after 13 years - is not easy, but it has worked out more than ok

I first installed Evernote on an iPhone in July of 2008, when the iOS App Store opened. I have been (oops, force of habit - had been) an Evernote ever since. I was not just a casual user. It was consistently the most used app throughout my work days and at home. I used it to take notes at client sites. I used it when I was studying for tech certifications. I used it to clip articles from the web, and to take notes and organize my life outside of work. I used it on my phones, on many Windows PCs, many Macs, and in web browsers when necessary.

I even still have a t-shirt with their elephant logo (these notes help you never forget) that is more than 10 years old.

And now, after nearly thirteen years of Evernote being my best app friend, we are not best friends any more. We're more like past acquaintances. For the last 6 months I've been using Nimbus Note, and it has become not just a replacement for, but a big upgrade from Evernote. I felt good about it on the first day I started importing notes into it from Evernote and trying it out, and it has continually impressed me more and more as I've got to know it. I have used it just as heavily and for all the same purposes (and more) than Evernote.

Here's just a quick rundown of what drove me to this big change and why it is working for me:

- Evernote has a history of being very slow at major upgrades and addition of new features. I think it's fair to say that's just not my 02, that's a longstanding topic in the Evernote community

- It looked as if that was changing over the last few years, especially with the release of Version 10 and its .x update versions during 2020 and this year. But my experience from Day 1 of that release right up until March of this year when I switched, was terrible. Every update on the Mac in particular seemed to break far more things than it improved. The app became slower and less stable. The lack of stability and broken features were notable on the phone app as well.

- I had thought about switching to another note taking app a few times over the years, and every time I looked at the alternatives - OneNote and Notion and many others - I ended up thinking the grass was not greener on those other sides.

Then that all changed with giving Nimbus a look for the second time in March. It is a joy to use and is equally great to use on my phone, its Mac desktop app, in a Windows virtual machine, and in a web browser.

Here are just a few of the features that have made Nimbus Note my new best app friend:

  • First, the most basic thing - it is stable and fast on every platform I use it on, and notes sync in real-time or very close to it consistently

  • The Nimbus Web Clipper is nothing short of fantastic. It offers a number of ways to clip a page (article, full page etc) and renders them all beautifully. This feature in Evernote had actually become worse, harder and harder to work with over recent years - and often rendered poor results

  • The structure of organizing notes within workspaces works very well for me

  • There is a great range of formatting options to use within notes, and all of them can be used just as easily on the desktop and mobile apps

  • Sharing notes through public or private links is fast and easy. You can also export a note as HTML or as a PDF. The PDF notes look gorgeous.

  • It offers a great array of templates to build notes with, from habit trackers to wikis and lots more

  • The user interface - on the phone, desktop , and web - is clean and just "pretty' for lack of a better word

  • Monthly updates consistently offer impressive new features and have been 100% solid and bug-free

  • Attention to security and privacy of notes - from encryption strength to multi-factor authentication options - is strong.

  • Nimbus is priced very nicely for individuals and teams

So that's my experience - others' may vary of course. I did not write this to have a dig at Evernote, which served me so well for such a long time. I wrote it just to share that experience a little, in case it may be helpful for anyone else looking to switch up their note taking app, or just find a very good one in general.

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