Review: Evernote Sucks As a Collaborative Tool

Using Evernote to coordinate some quality research work.

Works fine as a personal tool. Nice to have stuff sync across the Mini, iPad, and iPhone. It’s missing a dedicated todo function though. Would be nice to have folks on the team assign stuff directly in there. (Mailbox and Orchestra are owning that.)

Anyway, it’s pretty cool, but Evernote is a total pain in the ass when it comes to shared workflows.

First problem. I create a notebook and want another user to have access. I’m expressing a degree of trust that is the basis for our shared work. The software should reflect that.

Evernote lets her add, change, delete the notes within the folder. Great.

It does not let her ‘tag’ the contents therein. I have to define the tag taxonomy, and then he can use it, but he can’t add tags to it. So now I have to spend time processing what he puts in rather than letting him do that for me. Or no one – in which case we all use the search function, a dirty solution.

I mean, fair enough. There’s a workflow where that makes sense. One notebook/product owner. Fine.

But there’s a dozen cases where it doesn’t. Why force a notebook owner to manage a taxonomy/notebook if they don’t want to?

That kind of friction is how pretty software with baked in flows turns into a stupid infodump.

More annoying is the stubbornness of this. There’s little hope of adding an option that corrects this massive flaw (their forum has had this requested, repeatedly, since 2011 with the CTO just repeatedly brushing it off).

Second problem: That manager-dictated-taxonomy only applies to a specific notebook. I have to recreate/create a new one for each additional notebook. And there’s no sub-notebooks on shared notebooks. So I’m either forced to use one notebook for the entire business and just fill it with thousands of documents that I have to manage the tags for, or a few dozen notebooks where I have to manage tags for each, share specifically.

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1 Comment
  • Bob Morris
    Jan 11, 2013

    If they continually refuse worthwhile features for no apparent reason, maybe they coded themselves into a corner and can’t do it easily if all. 🙂

    I’ve wondered if that’s why Firefox can’t fix their memory leaks.

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