The Apps that Replaced Evernote

After quitting Evernote I went off in search of the One True Evernote Replacement. Turns out there is no such thing. Or rather, I found that there shouldn’t be. I used Evernote much as the creators intended, as a repository of basically everything I could ever want to recall at a later date. While this has an advantage in that there is one unified place for everything, in practice there was a hidden cost. Actually using the data I had saved was becoming a burden. So rather than replace Evernote with a single app, I replaced it with four.

  • Google Keep: Short, frequently referred to notes, as well as tasks. Basically the modern replacement for Stickies.
  • Microsoft OneNote: The most Evernote-like of my new apps. This is where I take longer text notes, as well as clipping websites I intend to use often and/or annotate.
  • DEVONthink: This is an app I knew about but never used before. It ended up being a near perfect solution to “place where I save things that I may or may not ever need again”. Receipts, attachments, random screenshots, and most of all, web articles I am saving “just in case”.
  • Quiver: Specifically for code notes.

It is counterintuitive that four different apps would perform better and be more convenient than one, but it ends up working better in day to day use. Everything has its place, in an app optimized for that purpose. I will explore each of these solutions in detail in subsequent posts.

One question that you may ask is “Why not Apple Notes?” It is true that Apple Notes has gotten much, much better in recent years. And for most people I think it is the right solution. But that usually ends up a liability for me. Anything that is “right for almost everyone” tends to be wrong for someone as particular as I am. Notes is great, but the apps I ended up settling on are all better in ways that, though small, total up to being a more enjoyable experience. I am not knocking Notes or its capabilities, but it is not quite what I am looking for.

Rebranding Like it’s 1999

Apparently Microsoft will soon be rebranding a whole bunch of Bing apps to MSN. Yes now, in 2014.

Existing Bing apps like News, Sports, Travel, Weather, and Finance will all be rebranded to MSN soon, and the software maker is planning to release each app for iOS and Android.

I don’t get this. It’s bad enough that Microsoft has been all over the place the past 15 years in branding its web services. Is it Hotmail, Live Mail, Outlook, Bing, MSN? Apple did the same thing with its service but at least it always went forward (unless we get .Mac 2.0 tomorrow, which I doubt).

It’s particularly odd given that Bing, while not at Google numbers by any means, has become a fairly well respected service. MSN on the other hand is, at least to anyone under 25, “that website Grandpa uses because he doesn’t know how to change the homepage settings in Internet Explorer.”