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Evernote for Windows Version 5 (Beta)

I’m just wondering what the experiences of other people have been who’ve downloaded the beta Version 5 of Evernote for Windows.

I’ve found it so unsatisfactory that I’ve gone back to version 4. Problems I found in my brief experience of it are:

1) I could no longer scan directly into Evernote from my scanner. I use a Doxie but I gather the problem applies to at least some other scanners too. I assume (and hope) this is not a deliberate change, but considering the emphasis Evernote puts on the convenience of scanning directly into Evernote you’d think they’d get this right before releasing the beta.

2) They seem to have abandoned the extremely useful feature by which only the tags relating to the current search/notebook/tag are shown.

3) The Shortcuts have been relocated from the top of the screen, where they were always accessible, to the top of the left-hand panel, where they are only accessible if a) you have the left-hand panel open and b) you are at the top of the panel.

4) They have removed the Thumbnail view, which was great for sorting and displaying photos in particular, and replaced it with a prettier but less functional “card view”.

5) They have redesigned the display to remove all the contrast between the different sections. This may look prettier, but can be confusing. In particular you can no longer see at a glance which notebooks you are sharing on-line.

Altogether it’s considerably reduced the speed and ease of use of Evernote for me with no real accompanying advantages.

It’s not the first time that Evernote have removed features which formed one of my major reasons for using Evernote. I’m still waiting for them to put back the feature by which items on a task list which have been ticked off are no longer displayed. That disappeared if I recall correctly when they introduced Version 3, and I’ve never used Evernote for task lists since.

Other people’s experiences welcome in the comments.

Reader Comments (8)

Hi Mark,

I am using Evernote 5 for Mac (where it has left the beta phase a while ago), so I cannot say anything about the windows beta, but what works on the Mac - which I think is the direction the Windows beta will be heading.

1. I have no problem scanning into Evernote with my ScanSnap S1500 - so this might be a beta problem. I still scan all my papers into Evernote every day and depend on this feature. So relax, I bet it will work soon again on the windows version.

2. You can still see which tags are used in a notebook - it is now in a different place. You have the tag symbol on top of the view pane - clicking on it shows you all tags that are available in the selected view and you can quick filter them here by just typing the first letters of the tag. I think this is a great improvement to the old way.

3. That is correct - at first it is a bit of an annoyance but you get used to it pretty quickly.

4. I have never used this one extensively so I didn't miss it.

5. True - I used a stack to group them together, but this could be improved.

What I do however enjoy are reminders, fast keyboard shortcuts to notebooks and tags (CMD-J and CMD-Shift J) and highlighting text directly in Evernote or via Skitch in PDFs.

So although some features might be missed I got used to it very quickly and now use Evernote even more as my main workhorse.
July 29, 2013 at 11:37 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick
Hi Mark
Be glad you aren't running Evernote on Mac. Many times they have rushed releases with bugs. Our Version 5 is trying to imitate the IOS. It's nothing but eye candy. They removed customizing the toolbar. They've also removed the list view....and yeah, that card view thingy wastes a lot of space and make it harder to see. We can't see our notebooks in a tree.

Long ago, I stopped automatic updates because they always had bugs.

When I downloaded version 5, I wasn't on it for more than 10 minutes before I went back to version 3.3.0.

All the serious work takes more clicks. I'm not alone. The Evernote forums are loaded with people who are angry that they REMOVED valuable features and made doing your work involve MORE clicks with LESS VEIW OPTIONS......GEEZ. Maybe they aught to not allow their developers to drink while on the job.
July 29, 2013 at 17:14 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
Hi Learning as I go,

that is not true any longer - list view is back in Evernote 5. In fact there are now 2 list views - horizontal (aka the old version) and vertical (the new version). Also you still can see your notebooks and tags in a tree - just right click on notebooks in sidebar and click on "Show notebooks". The same applies to tags.

I am an extensive premium (and Business) user of evernote and I have currently about 8.000 notes stored in Evernote. I use it as my main tool for reference and task items.

With the new version I am working way better than the old version - I just needed a few hours to get used to it and some tweaks to my workflow.

Now I don't say it's perfect, but I would not want to get back to the old interface, the pros definitely outweigh the cons for me several times.
July 29, 2013 at 17:23 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick
Hi Patrick
Thank you! I haven't kept up with the newer version 5 sub versions. One of these days when I have some downtime, I might give version 5 another chance. Do you remember the exact version number on the dmg file? or is this the most current version available?

Again, thanks for the promising news! I guess all the squawking in the Evernote forums actually helped...finally!
July 29, 2013 at 17:36 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go

Thanks for the comments. Unfortunately as I've uninstalled Version 5, I can't check whether what you say about the tags applies in the Windows version.

In spite of my annoyance with the deficiencies of the new version, I would probably have kept it if only the reminders had been implemented. That would have been a major plus, but unfortunately they are still to come. I will probably now wait until Version 5 is out of beta and try again.
July 29, 2013 at 17:55 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

Yes, I agree. It's a major nuisance when developers remove a feature which you've learned to rely on, I wish they'd remember that we use their software to save time and don't want to spend hours on developing work-arounds for things that should be there all along.
July 29, 2013 at 18:04 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Mark
Yes! Add to that, at least for Mac, The versions and builds are buggy. I thought that was for voluntary beta testers. Guess not.

I'm glad that I researched version 5. The Horizontal view return is still in the middle column making no room for the note unless you click it to a separate page. Then on another build, they were bitching about another bug. When I got to the third bug or bitch, I closed the browser. It's not ready for prime time yet. I was amused when a guy said he liked version 5.1 which returned horizontal list view. Then in version 5.1.1. they bungled something. So he downloaded version 5.2. Today he went be to.......version 3.3.0 LOL LOL LOL

Evernote monitors always say "Thanks for pointing that out. We're on it." "Thanks for your patience." I don't have that patience because I don't want to be a beta tester.
July 29, 2013 at 19:22 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
No doubt Evernote is an awesome app but i also found an alternative of it, Stringnote. This app too allows us to make notes easily, add audios, videos. Here's a link. Have a look..
August 20, 2013 at 12:03 | Unregistered CommenterShaku

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