Goodbye Evernote, hello Notion.

Why I’m leaving Evernote for a different woman.

I’ve found a new girl. I’ve been looking for some time now. Evernote and I had some great times together and some 2,064 notes later I’m ready to move on. Her name is Notion.

I was using a type of “tagging system” in Evernote for a while, but was not great. Too many things were falling off my radar, even with diligent tagging. I’m pretty OCD, but that was not enough.

When I found Notion, I got all giddy inside. It was like Christmas morning. The more I learned about it, the more I loved it. I couldn’t wait to dump the scary depths of my brain into it.

I have had a pretty tumultuous relationship with Evernote over the past 4 years. There have have been some things that really annoyed me, like it taking 7 years to get a dark mode or when they took away some features from the free version.

Things that bothered me about Evernote:

Poor guidance. Evernote left us to fend for ourselves and it created the mess of why so many people tried Evernote, but left it. When you start a new Notion account, they give you a couple examples of what to start with. They offer templates and guides, which make a much easier way of on-boarding.

No Markdown. Finally I can use markdown as I type and export it! Markdown is a shorthand for writing html page. I write blogposts using Markdown for my Jekyll-based website, so it works great now that Notion is markdown friendly. (It will also export as markdown as well!)

No friendly exporting. Evernote got greedy and made it difficult to export notes. Notion makes it stupid easy to import and export your data as you need to.

The mobile app was sucky. Evernote’s mobile app was not very friendly if you use a tagging system for organization. They also changed it when I liked the old layout better.

Evernote hardly seemed worth it to upgrade. The limiting of two devices was frustrating but it didn’t feel like those extra features were worth paying for. As I was looking at Notion, I realized I would be willing to pay for the paid plan immediately.

Things I really like in Notion:

An update log, showing all changes across the workspace. Great for accessing recent posts or keeping track of what you worked on last.

Page lock prevents changes from happening accidentally. I like this a lot because we can have certain documents that will not change, and we can treat them as semi-permanent documentation.

Notion Database Example

Database blocks are awesome. I love data. I’ve been trying to be more methodical with data and I was using Airtable to do that. I’m thinking now it may no longer be necessary. I can create my quick spreadsheets on the fly in Notion.

I might consider moving some personal things from Asana to here. I really like Asana and I don’t think that Notion will replace it entirely, but I know for my side projects and personal projects I will definitely be moving things over to Notion, because it supports so much task management, it would be foolish not to.

Notion Layout Example

The sub-page system is great, it creates a “table of contents.” This forces me to think in a more organized way. In Evernote, it was way more free-flowing and all over the place. Notion’s way of doing things helps me to “think in blocks” so I am not losing track of notes.

Emojis help differentiate things, breaking up the monotony. It might seem trivial, but it’s a great way to help your brain distinguish categories and pages from each other.

Things I will miss from Evernote:

Transitioning away from tags will have it’s backlash. I like having notes in different places. I’m still in the process of figuring out how to make the system work, I can mimic the Evernote structure by using a database in Notion, but I’m starting to realize I don’t want all my notes organized that way. I think I will still keep random Ideas/Thoughts in the database format and use tags, but for work and personal projects I will use

The task bar clipper on Mac has been my best friend. I use that for everything. Phone calls, a work journal throughout the day. It’s going to be tough to lose it. But the cost is worth it, considering all the things I like about Notion.

More to come

I’m sure I’ll discover more as I go. Organizing digital content is a huge chore and it’s always evolving. I need to focus on creating more and wasting less time “organizing.” I hope Notion is the resource to help me do that.

Anyone else using Evernote? What do you think about Notion?