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Evernote – Changes in pricing plans

Posted: Jul 22, 2016

Evernote – Changes in pricing plans

John M. Haddad

Late last year, I wrote a two-part series on my favorite app, Evernote.  You can read about why I feel strongly about Evernote and how I use the product for my day-to-day productivity (see Evernote – My favorite app and Evernote – How I use in in my daily life)

This past month, Evernote got all their users in an uproar as they announced dramatic changes to their Free, Plus and Premium plans.   You can read about all the details in Evernote’s press release.

New Evernote Pricing

While there are are jumps in prices for the paid plans, for example, $10 more per year for the Plus plan (now $34.99 per year) and $20 more per year for the Premium plan (now $69.99 per year), the biggest uproar is from customers who use the Free plan.   I’ve heard from several of my clients who use the Free plan that they are upset with Evernote with the changes.  Well, keep in mind, the product is still Free!  How can you argue with that?

What’s changed in the free plan?

So, let’s discuss what has changed in the free plan and what you can do to easily continue to use the product free.   The biggest change with the free plan is the number of devices you could use Evernote on.  In the past, you could install and run Evernote on your PC, Mac, tablet and smartphone.  There was no limit to the number of devices you could use for Evernote.  Now, Evernote limits free plan users to only 2 devices.  So you can still run Evernote on a PC and smartphone, or tablet and smartphone or any mix of 2 devices.   So, if you continue to use the free plan, you will have to choose which 2 devices you want to use.

What can you do to overcome the limitations?

EvernoteWebHowever, the good news is that Evernote also has a web version of the product.  You can use Evernote Web on as many devices as you want.  So, for example, I can run the full product on my PC and my smartphone … and run Evernote Web on my tablet or other computer.

Using Evernote on the web does not count as a device.  The web version of Evernote is very feature rich and can do just about everything that can be done on the Evernote application.

The great thing about Evernote web is that it can be accessed anywhere you have access to a web browser.  Most of the time, I find that people only use other devices to access their notes, so the web version is ideal for those cases.

So, if you want to continue to use the free plan, perhaps the best option is to install the full Evernote version on the devices you use the most or the ones you use to regularly create notes.  In my case, for example, that would be my PC and my smartphone.  Then, use Evernote Web to access your notes on any other device.  Most smartphones and tablet web browsers have an option to add a link from your browser directly to your home screen, so you can have a quick icon on your device to access the Evernote Web version.

What other options do you have?

In the end, if you feel upset and frustrated with Evernote for making this change, you have other options.  There are a lot of free note taking apps out there that run across multiple device.  One very popular alternative is Microsoft’s OneNote.  OneNote is an excellent product and very robust.  If I was just starting out from scratch, I might have strongly considered OneNote as my note taking app.  It’s especially a great product if you are using all the other Microsoft Office apps (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook).  However, from my experience, these software developers who offer “free” apps eventually find a way to migrate to a different model.  They get you hooked into a product, then, like Evernote, make subtle changes to the their plans over time.

Summary

In my opinion, you always get what you pay for (or don’t pay for) over time.  If you try a product, like Evernote, and find it useful as a productivity tool, then it’s worth paying for.  As an avid Evernote user for many years, I’ve accumulated over 5,000 notes in my personal and professional life.  Evernote has been an invaluable organization and filing tool for me.  You can see this just from the uses I’ve outlined in my blog post.

I have been a Premium user for several years. and the new cost of less than $6.00 a month is well worth if for my and my business.  The Plus version is only $3.00 a month.  That is the cost of a cup of coffee for one of the best productivity tools around.

In the end, you have options to continue to use the free Evernote product, upgrade to either the Plus or Premium version, or find another product to organize your digital life.

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About the author

John M. Haddad
John Haddad is the Principal and Owner of Bisinet Technologies, LLC. He has been in the Information Technology (IT) field for over 40 years. Over his career, he has held positions in all aspects of technology … programming, systems analysis, project management, infrastructure support, systems architecture, IT Management and web development. He continues to work with many small businesses and non-profits in the local area to provide technology consultation, web design and cloud solutions.
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