Waving goodbye to the elephant

Well, that scuppered that post idea…

I’d been planning a review post comparing Evernote and OneNote as options for taking and storing notes. Both are good applications that have their strengths and weaknesses, but I’ve been a long term Evernote user and was happy to pay for a subscription.

And then they announced a major price hike…

The price increase is about 30%. That’s a massive increase with no new features to justify it. About a year ago they split the paid subs into “Plus” and “Premium”. Existing subscribers were put on the premium plan, and it was only inertia that stopped me downgrading to plus as that had all of the features I needed. Now the plus plan costs almost the same as premium.

While it’s still not a huge amount of money in absolute terms it’s enough to make me reevaluate the value I get from it – and the risks of continuing to use it. Big price increases make users nervous – is this going to be a regular thing? Does it give a signal that the company is in trouble?

In recent years, Evernote have focused on adding features like chat, a sharing and collaboration system aimed at the enterprise. It’s no longer just a really good way of organising your own information. That’s fine, and maybe they have big corporate customers who want that sort of thing, but their original market was the individual and they risk losing that base.

Maybe that’s the right decision for them as a company, but I think Evernote have made a big mistake and perhaps overestimated the value of their product. As a value proposition the £45 premium plan compares badly to Office 365, where a £60 personal subscription gets all of the Office applications, 1TB of cloud storage, free Skype minutes… and OneNote.

Evernote is great, but it’s definitely in the realm of nice to have and far from essential. Most of what I use Evernote for can be done without a dedicated application, using no more than documents in a folder structure – Evernote and OneNote are handy ways to organise notes but no more than that. As part of Office 365, OneNote is a useful additional application but Evernote has to stand alone and at the current price level it’s hard to justify.

Evernote is a luxury. Still not an expensive one, but cloud subscriptions start to add up. It’s competing with the likes Netflix, NowTV, Amazon Prime, Spotify, Office, Adobe Creative Cloud, Dropbox and a whole host of others for my money, and only a few of them make the cut.

Evernote is no longer going to be one of them and when my current subscription runs out I won’t be renewing.

in Random Musings

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