A Letter To Evernote

Skitch ruined me. I am a ruined man.

I was a happy normal person who had thought he'd found the ideal annotations app: Skitch. I'd never really used Evernote so wasn't interested in the online syncing stuff but the UI for annotation looked superb. I would have happily paid £10 and given a 5-star rating had that been it.

But no. This is an online world and this is a fancy new auto-syncing dooh-dah. Nice UI or not you have to sync and you have to rate and its not enough to use an app you have to spread the word. Nag nag nag. Sign up for an account. Nag nag nag. Put your password in. Nag nag nag rate this app. Nag nag nag. Viral. Nag. Social. Nag. Bang head repeatedly against Facebook Wall. Nag. Like.


The app is great. I mean REALLY great. It annotates like it's the future and I'm annotating like I'm Tom Cruise solving future crime. Whoosh whoosh whoosh bing! Annotations everywhere. Arrows and shaded text and I'm stamping: stamp stamp stamp. This is it. This is how annotation should always have been. I'm a blur of red text with fat white borders and subtle shadows. I am arrowing like a painted caveman brushed in ochre at a bison stampede. Arrow arrow arrow. Pew pew pew.

So I'm annotating and I am arrowing and I'm syncing and I think I'm saving because I'm hitting ⌘S every 30 seconds. ⌘S. ⌘S. ⌘S. ⌘S.

Cool. This is how it should always have been. I am an astronaut. I am a big wave surfer. THIS is annotation! Woooooo!

Then it happens. Boom! No more sync space. Bah. Ok. I can live without sync for the moment. I'm busy with all this annotating and there is more stamping and plenty more arrowing to be done. £3 a month. Hmm. That's a lot being as I can just save. ⌘S. ⌘S. ⌘S.

But the nagging continues. Every damn time. Nag nag nag. No more sync. Nag nag nag. No more sync.

Ah. I can log out. That'll stop the nagging. And so what If I can't sync — I can still save. ⌘S. ⌘S. ⌘S.

Cool. I'll log out and that'll stop the nagging and I can get on with the annotating cos these 20 files aren't going to arrow themselves.

Boom! Some files won't be synced. Never mind I'll sync later once I sign up for Evernote. Never fear ⌘S. ⌘S. ⌘S.


All gone. All my files. Gone. All my lovely red text with a fat white borders subtle shadows and lovely arrows. Gone. Forever.
But what about save? There was no save. There was only sync. And when the sync ran out there was no sync.

And there it is. And here we are…
…So. Many. Questions.

Stepan? Phil? Engberg? Ken? Philip? Alex? Seth? Mark?

Is this really your strategy for bringing people onboard the Evernote 'Platform'?
Reel them in, nag them till they're sick of you and then throw their work away because they chose not to pay for sync at that very moment. I was busy, not stingy. I was in the zone. I was arrowing like a boss. My credit card was in my coat. Really? Because I didn't jump to do it then and there and on-the-double-dibble you threw my work away? REALLY?

I am angry. Angry and upset. And full of bile.

You took a very happy customer, one that was all pink and love-hearty and stamping with gusto and going to sign up for your online service just-in-mo so I can sync all those arrows to my iPad—and you turned him into what I am now.

Angry, upset and full of bile.

I may cool down in an hour or two. I may cool down once I've slept on it. But right now you have turned me into one of those ranting morons with bile foaming at their mouths who leaves a one star review and a turgid pile of doggerel in lieu of a good punch in your chops.

You have turned me into a thing I hate: a YouTube commenter, a one-star reviewer.

And I hate your unpunched chops even more for that.