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Why I’m ditching Evernote for Simplenote (and Notational Velocity)

Before Christmas I organised a productivity-focused call for some of us at the Mozilla Foundation.* One tool I recommended was Notational Velocity, a service that syncs with Simplenote. However, I haven’t used it for a while as I’ve been trying to get to grips with using Evernote.

We’re moving to another country next month and, as part of that, I’ve set up a stack of notebooks in Evernote that I’ve shared with my wife. It’s our ‘external brain’ as it were, a place where we can dump information and sort it afterwards. On a couple of occasions, though, I found that we’d lost information. I just assumed that one or both of us weren’t ‘using it properly’.

Disturbingly, on Hacker News this morning I came across an article by former TechCrunch writer Jason Kincaid entitled Evernote, the bug-ridden elephant. After reading it (and I suggest you do too), I’m ready to return to a Simplenote-based solution.

While I’ve come across an app called Simple-for-Ever that syncs notes from Simplenote to Evernote, I haven’t found one that does the reverse. There’s a paid-for service called CloudHQ that’s allowed me to backup to both Google Drive and Dropbox, but is limited to 50 files 2GB of data transfer unless you pay $4.90/month or $49/year.

Update: a commenter on Hacker News asked why I wasn’t prepared to pay this. Given that I’ve been paying for Evernote Premium its not the money I’ve got an issue with. I’m just checking it works – and flagging to readers that it’s not an entirely free service.

Update 2: when you reach the 2GB limit for your trial, CloudHQ presents you with an option to get unlimited data transfer during the trial by tweeting about them.

Happily, if the worst comes to the worst, Evernote allows me to export everything to HTML. That’ll teach me to trust bloated closed-source products, eh? 😉

Update 3: the CEO of Evernote responded to Kincaid’s blog post here. I’m still moving away from it as I’m using Chrome OS more and more these days. Evernote’s web interface is clunky.

Update 4: I’m no longer using Chrome OS, nor GMail.

*You can see the etherpad we used for that call here.

Image CC BY-SA Igor Schwarzmann

Weeknote 15/2013

This week I’ve been:

  • Creating two new grids for Mozilla’s Web Literacy standard work with the community. The first one’s here and the second (updated) one is still just on Flickr at the moment.
  • Planning my PELeCON keynote presentation. You have no idea how long it takes to collate, choose and organise animated GIFs.
  • Hosting the weekly Web Literacy standard community call. You can catch up here.
  • Catching up with people like Laura Hilliger, Tim RichesLucy Neale and StJohn Smith.
  • Editing the Wikipedia article for Open Badges. Only a bit, though. Must revisit.
  • Moderating a Connected Learning TV webinar featuring Liz Lawley and her work around a ‘gaming layer’ for students and academics.
  • Travelling to Plymouth by train, plane and automobile (literally) for PELeCON.
  • Attending, keynoting and running a workshop at PELeCON. The animated GIFs from my keynote aren’t so animated on Slideshare, so you may want to try this Evernote notebook. Photos are here (when they’ve finished uploading)

Next week I’m in Sweden keynoting and running a workshop at the Swedish equivalent of BETT. Better get planning…

Weeknote 12/2013

This week I’ve been:

  • Delayed coming back from the DML Conference in Chicago (my write-up of the conference is here). My flight was cancelled due to the First Officer being ‘sick’ on St. Patrick’s Day. 😉 My subsequent flight was delayed meaning I didn’t get home until Tuesday lunchtime!
  • Taking a day off to spend with my family.
  • Working with Matt Thompson on a diagram to explain what Mozilla’s Web Literacy standard is for. It still needs some work before sharing more widely!
  • Summarising the previous week’s Web Literacy standard work.
  • Booking travel to OER13 and the PELeCON conference, both of which I’m keynoting. Also booked flights to the Mozilla All-Hands meeting in Toronto in May.
  • Planning out my OER13 keynote in Evernote. I’ll be talking about ambiguity, Open Badges and Web Literacy.
  • Talking to people who may want to align with the draft version of the Web Literacy standard being launched on April 26th.
  • Continuing to talk to people/organisations about Open Badges.
  • Writing an abstract for the PLE conference (with Tim Riches) and sending Brian Kelly a title and abstract for IWMW13.
  • Helping interview a potential new hire to our team.
  • Getting things sorted for Nesta’s One Day Digital event in Edinburgh next Saturday. I’m running a workshop on Mozilla’s Popcorn Maker and taking my family up for Friday/Saturday.

Next week I’ll be returning to the place of my birth (Nottingham) for the OER13 conference (Tuesday/Wednesday), continuing to work on the Web Literacy standard stuff and travelling up to Edinburgh on Good Friday with my family for the Nesta event mentioned above.

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