Evernote Changes: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Evernote Changes: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Evernote Raises Prices

Evernote is a fantastic app that can store anything from text notes, to Microsoft Office documents, PDFs, images, webpages, and almost any other file type that you want to throw at it. The app first started off free for users and this brought a lot of people to it. A free app that works on all your devices with the search and storage capabilities make it a highly attractive option. While there may have been other options, the combination of free and available wherever you are at generally won the day for most people. Then, about a year ago Evernote decided to drastically change their pricing structure. At the time this seemed reasonable because for any company to survive they must have a profitable revenue scheme to sustain their business and continue development of applications. That being said, I am generally a proponent of paying for apps if that helps the developer(s) sustain their business and continue development on the application.

The changes made in April 2015 seemed reasonable and $5.99/mo while still a small jump was justifiable.

But now Evernote has changed their plans again, which might make you think twice about either going to Evernote or staying with it. The biggest changes to this are now the free tier is only available on 2 devices. This means if you have an iPad, iPhone, and computer then you have to pick and choose where you want to have access to your Evernote files. The pricing structure has also been raised:

  • Evernote Basic: free
  • Evernote Plus: $3.99/mo
  • Evernote Premium: $7.99/mo

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

So, the question you are probably wondering is should I stay or should I go? Let me first say, that I think you should probably either go all out with the Evernote Premium plan at $7.99/mo or choose the free version. The Plus plan doesn't not give you that much extra over the free plan. The power of Evernote is its ability to be able to search everything but you can't actually do that unless you go with the Premium plan paying a premium price.

Next, assess your current usage. If Evernote for you is still just a place where you sometimes put files and notes but don't really use it all the time then you are probably not going to get $7.99/mo out of it and should look for alternatives. If Evernote for you is where you keep everything and you use it all the time then it is probably worth paying the premium price for it. Yes, Evernote lured you in and has been slowly increasing their pricing but if it is working for you then $7.99/mo doesn't seem to bad. The three features for me that make me consider premium are searching inside Office/PDF documents, browsing note history, and annotate PDFs.


How about alternatives? Honestly, I don't really think there are any alternative solutions that get you everything you have in Evernote in a different app. It has grown considerably and can do a lot of things really well. If you are looking for alternatives then your whole workflow will have to changed and it will not be a one-stop solution. You may have an app for storing documents, another for text notes and web clippings, and then maybe a database such as DevonThink to conduct powerful searches on a lot of documents. This probably isn't ideal for most people so many are going to be stuck between a rock and a hard place.

For Mac users the recently renovated Notes app will satisfy the basic needs for many users that are weighing the options between the basic and premium plans. With the Notes app you can store basic text notes, images, web clippings, and more. Also, coming in macOS Sierra you will be able to share these notes with others. If you’re looking for a good overview of this app check out MacSparky’s thoughts here.

I’ve also written about other options between nvALT and Evernote here, which would be worth checking out as well.

Paying for apps isn't a bad thing but with its second price increase in two years then it makes us reconsider whether we want to continue or not. This is by far the most divisive price increase for Evernote and I think they will lose a lot of users but will solidify their following with the most dedicated users in the Evernote Premium plan. Evernote knows this and this is what they think is best for the business and sustainability in the long term.

So, like I said earlier, in my opinion there are really only two choices to make: free tier or premium. The plus option just doesn't add enough benefit to warrant paying monthly for it.

If you have any questions please reach out to be on Twitter @renshaw330 or via email through the contact form.

Brian Renshaw is pursing a Masters of Divinity at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is currently a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, North American Patristics Society, and the Society of Biblical Literature. His research interests range from the Gospels, Catholic Epistles, history of interpretation, theological interpretation of Scripture, and discourse grammar. Regarding his involvement with the Center for Ancient Christian Studies, Brian serves as Director of Digital Production and is also on the editorial staff. Currently, he attends Sojourn East with his wife, Jen Renshaw. You can follow him on Twitter @renshaw330, he blogs at his personal website.