What’s Going on at Evernote and Why Genealogists Should Be Concerned

Genealogy author and educator Thomas MacEntee weighs in with his opinions on the latest rumors concerning Evernote shutting down and what users should do.

Rumors Abound with Recent Price Cut that Evernote May Shutdown

Over the past week, I’ve seen an increase in “chatter” among various genealogy and technology-related groups on Facebook about Evernote shutting down. I’m not sure the source of this information, but my research shows that many Apple and Mac user blogs contain the same posted information: there’s been a drastic price cut on Evernote Premium and several top-level executives have recently departed plus Evernote is looking for venture capital funding.

While I consider many of these sites as “one offs” or “minor” meaning their information is not always verifiable, when The Verge (a reputable tech blog) recently posted Evernote slashes price of Premium subscription as many executives depart, then I figured it was time to verify some of the persistent rumors.

Current Status at Evernote

Here are the facts that have been confirmed:

  • Evernote has dropped the price of its Premium subscription from $70 USD per year to $42 USD (when prepaid for the entire year.) Click HERE for more information on offer.
  • Four members of the senior management team at Evernote have departed the company in the last month.

There is no other indication that Evernote is imminently “shutting down” as some online tech blogs have stated. It is interesting to note that the majority of blogs that have sensationalized the Evernote shutdown rumors are Apple and Mac user blogs that tend to favor the use of Apple’s equivalent of Evernote called Notes.

In addition, in my opinion, it is not likely that Evernote might be acquired by a competitor. Note taking platforms have been around for several years and I don’t see that Evernote has any proprietary technology that might make it attractive to a competitor such as Google or Apple.

Backing Up Your Evernote Data

I find no reason for current Evernote users to “panic” and scramble to move their data to another program. That being said, it is always a good idea to know how to back-up your Evernote data. See How to back up and restore your data in Evernote for Windows via Evernote as well as Syncing’s not enough: How to back up and restore your Evernote data (dated July 1, 2015) via PC World for more information.

Transferring Your Evernote Date to a Different Platform

Right now the two most popular note taking programs, besides Evernote, are One Note by Microsoft and Google Keep by Google.

One Note

One Note has many of the features that Evernote has and now is completely free with no premium charge. One Note works with Microsoft Office components as well as other Microsoft programs. See Making the move from Evernote to One Note (via One Note) for more information on migrating your Evernote data to One Note.

Google Keep

While similar to other note taking programs such as Evernote, there are some features in Google Keep that make a move from Evernote tempting. These include OCR and voice transcription. Google Keep is free and works closely with Google Drive components and other Google apps and services. See Google Keep Is a Great Evernote Alternative and Here’s Why (dated April 27, 2017) via makeuseof.com  Google Keep vs. Evernote: Which Note Keeping App Is Best for You? via makeuseof.com (dated September 7, 2018) for more information about using Google Keep.

Conclusion

When using any website, program or service where you upload your own data, it is your responsibility to have an “exit strategy.” Think of it this way: if you were given 30 days or even one week’s notice that a site like Ancestry.com was shutting down, do you know how you would export your data? And do you know your options for importing it into another program?

Notihng is forever in the world of technology and Internet-based programs especially. Besides constant upgrades and changes, we often are at the mercy of consumer preferences as well as economic realities. Many startups like Evernote eventually go belly up despite a great concept and thriving user community. Even Google has a reputation for “killing off” programs and services that just aren’t profitable (remember Google Reader and Google Wave?).

You are responsible for your data and a sensible action plan includes regular backups as well as monitoring policy and terms of service changes as well as verifying any chatter you hear about a service on social media and other outlets.

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PLEASE NOTE: The post content above contains affiliate links. This means I make a percentage of sales via these links. This does not INCREASE the price you pay as a consumer. It simply supplements my income so I can continue providing as much free genealogy content as possible through my “abundance model.”

Disclosure statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see Disclosure Statement.

©2018, copyright Thomas MacEntee.  All rights reserved.

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About the Author

Thomas MacEntee
Genealogy educator and author Thomas MacEntee has been researching his family history for more than 40 years and is the creator of Abundant Genealogy, Genealogy Bargains, DNA Bargains, The Genealogy Do-Over and numerous other web-based genealogy and family history properties.

7 Comments on "What’s Going on at Evernote and Why Genealogists Should Be Concerned"

  1. Robin Kaspar | 8 September 2018 at 7:49 am |

    Thanks for a level-headed, common sense post on the subject. Besides the two platforms you mention, I am also looking into Ulysses and devonThink.

  2. Are these the same people who still think Family Tree Maker ‘quit working’ or does not exist now? hmmm.

  3. Peggy Dalton | 8 September 2018 at 11:59 am |

    You reccomend Google Keep. I am not a fan of Google Keep.

    It is sluggish, very sluggish and requires much more attention to do features I enjoy will Evernote.

    Google Keep seems satisfactory to Google executives. But I don’t want to babysit a note-taking service and watch its anemic functions consume my valuable time.

    Google Keep is a NO GO option requiring babysitting to transfer information.

  4. Annie Stratton | 8 September 2018 at 2:04 pm |

    Nimbus looks like a viable alternative for EverNote. Like Peggy, I am not a fan of Google Keep. It seems better suited for the kitchen table kind of reminders, and does not have the kind of functionality that works well with how I work. I like the way EverNote works, despite the slings thrown at it by what seem to be mostly Google operatives. It fits my style. I’ll keep using it, but will also have a “Plan B”. My big issue now is how to transfer my hundreds of research notes, images, and links from EN to whatever tool I change to, if it comes to that (and I’m not convinced it will).

  5. Tracey Lackey | 8 September 2018 at 3:20 pm |

    My concern through this current kerfuffle is that my “free” subscription is no longer that. I can’t find anything, anywhere that explains why I know how to pay for what used to be free 🙁

    I do like Google Keep but it’s not robust enough for actual note keeping. I guess I’ll be looking at One Note 🙁

  6. Anyone using OneNote? I would appreciate any insights

  7. Point of correction; there is no “drastic price cut” at Evernote
    There is an introductory offer for new accounts

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