The “Slow” but “Steady” Fall of Evernote


(B) The New York Times just published an article about Evernote: “A Unicorn Lost in the Valley, Evernote Blows Up the ‘Fail Fast’ Gospel”. I do remember looking for a good note-taking app eleven years ago for my Mac. At that time, I was responsible for four product lines, and wanted to keep my notes organized, and updated for every of my product lines. At that time, if my memory is correct, there were only four note-taking apps. Evernote was already the most popular one. I ended up using a combination of Evernote and Word for all my product meetings and product development notes.

Over the years, every vendor of productivity app has developed and marketed a note-taking app. I have tried a few of them such as Google Keep and Microsoft OneNote but the one that I started to use more and keep more using is iCloud Notes.

Today, all my Notes are in iCloud.

I find easy to write notes in Notes on my iPhone. And the most important feature of a note-taking app is the search for the content of the notes. When Apple enabled to insert pictures to Notes with iOS 9 in 2015, I stopped using all other note-taking apps, and migrated all my notes into Notes.

Each time, I drive south on 101 and reach Redwood City, I can see the Evernote building with its Elephant logo on my right. In front of the building, during weekdays, there is always a bus for the employees who commute from San Francisco to Redwood City.

The non-ever ending challenge of Evernote and every app developer, that is not native to the iOS or Mac platform, is to keep and grow its user base when the platform can offer the same app with more or less the same “laundry” list of features.

But I still believe that as of today, there is no good workgroup note-taking app that has become the standard.

I see around me, teams writing meeting minutes into Confluence from Atlassian, and individuals taking notes in iCloud Notes.

References: “Increasing User Retention“, A Silicon Valley Insider

Note: The picture above is the headquarters of Evernote in Redwood City.

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Categories: Front-End, User Experience