Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Evernote Shows Signs of Life

I have been getting worried about Evernote.

First, they decided to become a lifestyle company apparently, by selling Evernote branded items like backpacks, water bottles, and socks.  SOCKS!  And horribly overpriced as well.

I started to worry about my over 20,000 notes.  Was Evernote in trouble financially?  Were they grasping at straws because straws were all they had?

Then I was unable to sync my Windows Client from last July to January.  I worked closely and patiently with support until they fixed the problem,  I had access to my notes via the web client, which is excellent, but not as robust as a native client.

You have to worry about a company whose largest application has a fundamental problem for months at end.  Even though it apparently did not affect everyone, from the forums, it seems others were suffering as well.

I love Evernote.  I even wrote a book about it, Get Productive Fast with Evernote (now out of print and horribly out of date).  I have advocated Evernote on this blog, and in my weekly column Family Tech.

Yet, I went to far as to explore how to export my notes from Evernote, and looked at OneNote seriously for the first time in years.

Evernote had said they wanted to be a 100 year company, and I thought they could be, and that I'd have my notes with them for the rest of my life.

I was drafting a note to CEO Phil Libin, which is pretty much what I've written here so far.  I was going to suggest perhaps the start up CEO, him, might not be the execution CEO and it was time for him to move on.

Today, Evernote took steps to make more money, without alienating their existing user base.  And I think it just might work.

They now have three tiers :  Free, Plus and Premium.   The Plus is new.

As I recall from a podcast, back when Evernote did podcasts  (their loss was another worrisome point) Libin had said that 13% of users opted for Premium and that was enough to be viable.

The Freemium model Evernote embraced was greatly responsible for their success.  You could try the program for free, and it was very useful at the free level.  I was on the free level for six years.  Ironically, I opted for Premium just before my Sync issues began.

I went to Premium finally mostly out of respect for the product and team.   Libin has said a lot of users went Premium for that reason, as I recall from a podcast.

The new Plus tier is just $2.99 a month, or $24.99 a year.   It ups the upload from the free tiers 60 megabytes a month, to one gigabyte.  It also enables emailing notes to Evernote, something that is now withdrawn from the Free tier.

I think a lot of people who could not justify Premium for $5 a month, or $45 a year will jump to Plus both for the features, and to support a product they use.

Premium goes up slightly in the US to $5.99 a month or $49.99 a year.  As a boon, the 4 gigabyte upload cap is gone, and you can now upload unlimited data.

There are other details.  They are all here.