I recently made the transition from Evernote to Simplenote. Here’s why.

  1. Evernote became bloated for what I needed. I really like Evernote, I’d mentioned it for a few years as my favorite app for keeping notes, key to my blogging strategy. But as time went on they just added so many bells and whistles that the main thing I liked, taking notes, was hard to do. I don’t want to do presentations with Evernote, organize recipes, clip web articles, or manage my travel.  Simplenote is just note taking and that’s it. Simple, clean: that’s all it does. I didn’t need or want a Swiss Army Knife app, I need a note taking app.
  2. I need to work offline. 99% of the time I have access to the internet. But when I don’t– when I’m on an airplane or wandering around a remote place in a developing country, I depend on a note taking app to jot things down that’ll get synced later. Whether it’s a draft of a full article, capturing an idea for the Cartel, or just a quick couple of notes, I need to be able to do that anywhere. The problem became that Evernote made offline note taking a premium feature. $45/year for that seemed ridiculous when it was free from the beginning. (Charge me for new features, don’t remove the only feature I like and make me pay for it… that’s ransom, not a business model.)
  3. Simplenote belongs to Automattic, a company I really like. I learned about Simplenote because Automattic acquired it. You might not have heard of Automattic, but they are the engine behind, their CEO is Matt Mullenweg… one of the creators of WordPress and purveyor of all things open source.

I don’t think Evernote is bad or that they are a bad company. I just didn’t like where I saw their product headed, it stopped doing the one thing I needed, and I’m getting kind of sick of paying for SaaS subscriptions when I’d rather just pay for an app. (Or in Simplenote’s case, it’s free.)






3 responses to “Simplenote”

  1. Chip Gillespie Avatar

    I’ve been using SimpleNote for years. Like you I’ve been tried the move to Evernote, which integrated skitch, pdf, and a whole arsenal of digital tools. However, I found it all to be a bit overwhelming and I find myself drifting back to SimpleNote. For Mac users something worth checking out is Notational Velocity ( This is an application that works great with SimpleNote, runs on my Mac, syncs natively with SimpleNote, as well as some other services (e.g. Dropbox). Really appreciate your posts – always informative.

  2. Todd Porter Avatar

    Is there a simple way to transfer your notes from Evernote to Simplenote? I hardly use any of the extra features on Evernote (other than web clipping articles to read later) and would drove the simplicity of a note taking app.

  3. David Martin Avatar

    Your second point doesn’t seem to be true for me. I am able to use Evernote offline, without paying for the premium service. I am a pc/android user so maybe there is a difference if you’re using the Mac versions.

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