This is the story of me and my note taking apps. And it is a journey of me ending up at Apple Notes.
Apple Notes

It all started about 6 years ago. Back in the days, Evernote just started out and was the cool, new kid in town.

I was fascinated by it and jumped on it right away.

Cloud-storage: yay! Sync on mobile and desktop: yay! Note taking features: yes.

I was sold. I subscribed to a premium account.

Even back then I had a hard time switching to a paid plan, as the free one already provided me with a lot of value (=easy note taking with comprehensive feature-set).

As far as I know, Evernote always had a hard time converting free users to a paid plan.

Heavy usage.

As time went on I used Evernote quite heavily.

From meeting notes, to private planning, and all other kinds of to-dos. With IFTTT I even synced tweets, foursquare check-ins, and other stuff to my Evernote notebooks.

Wow. That was an awesome time.

When things got worse.

Evernote bought Skitch. A great screenshot tool I used heavily, and still use today.

This gave me another reason to use Evernote. Imagine all the great things they can do by deeply integrating Skitch with Evernote. Everything got better worse.

Well, that never happened. They somehow integrated Skitch from a pricing standpoint. Not from a product one.

It wasn't that alone. Evernote began to feel slow. Slow not from a performance, rather from a user experience perspective.

When I had the need to simply write down a thought, an idea or task, I felt that Evernote was not doing the job fast enough. It took too many clicks and required me to organise my thoughts even before writing them down.

Therefore I found myself in situations in which I avoided using Evernote.

A new beginning.

I spent some time figuring out what a note-taking app must do for me. And then I went looking for some alternatives.

My requirements.

Evernote had one big benefit: It had a lot of features. From scanning documents, to tracking tasks, to adding tags and managing your notebooks.

However, this feature-richness came with one drawback: Overload.

My Evernote notebooks were overloaded. Full of information, notes, documents, photo scans and more.

I wanted simplicity.

  • I wanted to write down plain text.
  • I wanted to have a space which lets me write down my thoughts.
  • I wanted a note taking app that let's me organise me notes in different notebooks.
  • I wanted to have a single app that works great for to-do lists, meeting notes, and random ideas.
  • I wanted to have an app which let's me draw and sketch some ideas.
  • I wanted a note taking app that syncs among my devices (laptop and phone).

The alternatives.

If you search for note taking apps on the internet, you'll stumble upon a great list of Evernote alternatives.

Having tried quite a few of them in the past, I started to cut down the possible alternatives to these 3 apps:

  • OneNote
  • Paper
  • Apple Notes

Why Apple Notes?

Because it simply works.

It works for me and me requirements (listed above). It might not work for you, and I'm sure that some of you might be better of using Evernote.
apple notes

I love the simplicity, the quick and easy synchronization among my Apple devices, and it's performance. It just works.

With its recent update, you can also easily add pictures and drawing to your notes. Perfect.

PS: This article was written with Apple Notes.