3 Things Evernote is Missing

20140130-082701.jpgI an a keen and active user of Evernote paying for the service not just to gain access to the “pro” features but also because I want to repay Evernote for the use I derive from it.

That’s not to say that it is perfect though so here are three things that I would add to it from the normal to the whacky.

Better table support

Evernote has support for tables but it is pretty basic. Once created you cannot add new columns, change the width, add new rows anywhere but at the bottom and you cannot apply any styling such as background colours.

Some of this you can get round by making the table elsewhere, such as Word, and then copying it in but that does somewhat defeat the object of it. So I would like to see much better support for handling tables probably just in the desktop apps as I’m not sure that it would be necessary (for me at any rate) to do some table manipulation on the go.

Real-time collaboration

Evernote is becoming an essential business tool for me particularly as I have been enthusiastically preaching it’s virtues to the others in our small company. While we can share a notebook amongst employees we cannot collaborate on it in real time such as we can with, say, Google Docs. If you have ever tried collaborating on an Evernote note you quickly come unstuck and just end up with note conflicts that are a pain to deal with.

There is a third party tool that purports to allow just such collaboration called Live Minutes (http://www.liveminutes.com). This is an online service that allows you to import an Evernote note and then invite others to work with you on that document. Just like Google Docs you can see the changes in real time and they are sync’d back to your Evernote account. Well that’s the theory but there are two issues with this. Firstly you have to remember to go to Live Minutes to collaborate, I want to be able to do so from within the Evernote native apps and secondly I have had problems with changes made in one note overwriting the changes in the other so in reality it is no better than using Evernote itself.

Just this week Evernote announced changes to the synchronisation process saying that it was now as much as four times faster and hinted at other things under the hood to come. I wonder if this might be to support some form of real-time collaboration? I really hope so.

Database features

This one’s a bit left field but if Evernote really is going to “remember everything” it also needs to be able to “retrieve everything” too and easily. While the current search works with 9000 notes it can bring back many results and you have to be quite creative with your search string to find what you need. However, there is one place where the search doesn’t help me get the information I need.

I suffer from regular migraines and to try and work out what triggers them I record when they occur. I do this through an online tool which nightly sends the results to Evernote via email as a table. This gives me a note that looks like this:

Problem is if I want to get all the entries that have a row of “Migraine : Yes” I can’t.

Ideally once I had retrieved these these notes I would like to be able to manipulate the data to perhaps either extract all the created dates so I can graph them.

 

So those are my thoughts on what I am looking for from Evernote, what about you?

  • I would also love some database features. And an outliner (I know you’ve mentioned one for iOS in another post, but I’m Android, so it’s not for me).