Evernote is contemplating limiting Free account to 50 notes. We may get a surge of EN refugees

Apparently Evernote, which was recently acquired by an Italian mobile app developer, Bending Spoons, is placing an even greater squeeze on the Free tier. In what looks like an a/b test, some Free tier users are being limited to 50 notes, and if they are already over 50 notes, they cannot create any new notes. Which means any of these users using EN as a daily note taking app has to be on, or move to, a paid tier, or switch to a different note app. I guess Bending Spoons will see what the upgrade ratio looks like, and then potentially role out this restriction to all Free tier users.

So we could see a significant influx of Evernote users giving Joplin at least a trial run as they evaluate various alternatives.

Back in its day, Evernote was the great white shark in a tiny ocean, but now there is so much competition, from Apple Reminders/Notes to Notion and everything in between, while Evernote has arguably regressed (many users are still clinging to the pre-electron 'legacy' version that is several years old at this point, because they hate the electron version). Will be interesting to see how things evolve for them. I suspect their market share will continue to decline, and reach single digits.

I'm old enough to remember, when Evernote was a 'unicorn', a startup valued at over $1Bn. I believe at its peak, it was valued at over $5Bn. They really should have gone public then! Per Bard, estimates are that Bending Spoon paid between $200-$300mm for EN.


When they switched over to v10 (after switching CEOs) I had a suspicion that there was a reason for the massive drop in quality of the application/service. I suspected that the new CEO, being a former Google executive, was there simply to drive the company down in value so Google could acquire it cheaply. Everything done after the new CEO took over did indeed help drive the value down. I thought it would be Google that took over but maybe the price was still too high.

1 Like

So let's hope they're not going to be all too disappointed when they hear that Joplin is based on Electron, too :wink:

That's kinda funny because it used to be the case (and still is, I think) that you couldn't select more than 50 notes in order to move them to another notebook or perform any other operation on them. Good thing that arbitrary limitations like this one don't exist in Joplin.

Obviously they could have easily outbid Bending Spoons, so we have to read this as Google's lack of interest.

Per Bard, the market share breakdown:
Here is a breakdown of the estimated market share of the top note-taking apps in 2023:
Evernote: 20-25%
Google Keep: 15-20%
Microsoft OneNote: 10-15%
Notion: 5-10%
Other: 30-35%

If those figures are approximately correct, Google could have had 35-45% of the note app market. Talk about a data mining treasure for a company that specializes in data mining. But how would you integrate Keep and Evernote, or transition users from one to the other. Interesting that they passed.

Yes, I know. Somehow they really botched it; the largest complaint was about how slow it was - people blamed it on electron, but clearly lots of responsive apps, including Joplin, VS Code, etc, are electron-based. Ever since they went to electron-based, the user community has been in an uproar, with many staying on 'legacy' - in fact, staying on legacy Evernote wasn't an option at first, but the uproar forced mgmt to offer the last release pre-electron as a 'legacy' download.

I was on legacy EN for a couple of years, and it became clear that EN was on a path that I wasn't interested in, so I switched to Joplin, knowing full well that it is electron-based, but for whatever reason(s), much better implemented. Legacy EN is only now, after several years, starting to be forcefully phased out as legacy EN users are getting warnings that sync will stop functioning soon.

Between the phase out of legacy EN, the price hikes, and the crippling of the free tier, a lot of users will be jumping ship.

Absolutely! I think it's not Electron that's the problem, but React Native on mobile. I don't know how Evernote develop their versions for Android or iOS, but at least they're capable of performing background sync as users expect from each and every mobile app they choose to download.

I have a feeling that Google and Microsoft only have those large shares of the market because their customers never read the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service documents. Whatever you put on their servers can be used by them for whatever purpose they desire.