Free use of Evernote on multiple devices & alternatives

Evernote mobile application

With the changes to Evernote’s pricing plan, free users with the basic plan will need to limit their devices to only two devices now. Luckily, Evernote has a web version which is surprisingly more responsive than the desktop version on Windows. The only downside is you require an internet connection, and is still limited to two tablet/phone devices.

Being on Evernote for about a year now, there is no doubt it has transformed my productivity. I truly think cloud computing is the future – no more USBs and transferring files! The ability to jot down thoughts before they are lost and to store and access information that might be useful later has been vital in getting things done on time and remembering what to do (yes this includes this topic!). It seems like Evernote has realised the importance of all this, and increased the prices of their paid plans and restricted the usage of the free plan. This includes limiting free users to only two devices. Here are some workarounds for your desktop or laptop devices.

 

Using the web application of Evernote

This is by far the most fluid solution which involves using the surprisingly more responsive application on the web. It requires internet connection of course, but it syncs almost instantly between different devices and the phone.

Of course it’s not the same, but to access the notes more conveniently through your Windows machine, you can set up a bookmark that sends you to “https://www.evernote.com/Home.action”.

What I’ve personally done is to make a custom shortcut on the desktop. To do this you can drag the bookmark to your desktop.

If you want to change the icon to something resembling Evernote:

  1. You will need a image of type .ico (click this link to download one). Or alternatively you can search for them on Icon Archive.
  2. Right-click on the shortcut> Properties > Web Document > Change Icon > Choose the Image.
  3. And there you have it, as long as you have an internet connection, it’s arguably better than the desktop version.

 

Sign in and out of devices

If you’re so inclined to still using the desktop application, you can still do so, but you will need to sign out of the device before you access it on another. It may be a hassle, but the other alternative is to pay up.

This means you’ll still require an internet connection, but you can take advantage of it if already signed in, and use it offline on a device if you need to take notes without internet.

 

Switch to Google Keep or OneNote

After the change of price plans announcement from Evernote, many fans have responded with threats to quit using the service and entirely switch to Google Keep or OneNote. These alternatives are great, but it is not the same really.

Google Keep focus on the quick note taking, such as reminders and capturing thoughts. But Evernote just simply does it better with more features, better widget (on Android), better editing, and you might as well use Evernote’s web app as Google Keep requires an internet connection as well. I’ve personally tested this out with my initial startled response to Evernote’s announcement, but Google Keep still is very far behind in terms of usability. Sure it works for jotting simple notes, but if you’re using it for anything more, it doesn’t really have any advantage except for location reminders (which didn’t even work for me).

OneNote is a completely different beast compared to Evernote. OneNote is definitely more powerful, and because of that, I believe these two are in completely different categories. OneNote doesn’t have the convenience and small scale usability that Evernote has, such as reminders widget on your phone, and general accessibility is a bit more complicated. Yet what it lacks in simplicity, it surpasses in power, from taking notes for classes, lectures, elaborate planning of projects, all with pressure sensitive pen support. It dwarfs Evernote in terms of serious note taking, but I don’t believe that’s what Evernote was designed to do.

Evernote is the balance between Google Keep and OneNote. That being said, Google Keep is essentially redundant because Evernote practically does everything better, there really is no replacement as of yet. Using both OneNote and Evernote yields a powerful combination, but if you had to choose one, choose one depending on your needs.

 

Resources

You can read more about the changes to pricing plans here.