After being a very consistent and loyal Evernote user for many years, I decided to experiment with Notion several months ago.
On the one hand, I was getting frustrated with the seemingly endless delay to Evernote making any progress on updating their app, while on the other, I was attracted but the many and varied shiny bells and whistles that Notion seemed to offer.
It’s difficult to briefly describe Notion, but it’s far more than a repository for notes. You can use it for task management, project planning, team work and even host a website. It’s a seemingly endlessly flexible tool.
And therein lies the problem.
After the umpteenth reorganisation of my projects and homepage in the app, I realised I’d fallen into the ‘productivity porn‘ trap. That is, spending more time fiddling with productivity apps than getting actual stuff done.
Also, and crucially, Notion has no offline mode on iOS devices. So no access to important information while on a tube or a plane – something I’m starting to do again.
I spent a short while using Apple’s own notes app for my work-related notes. It’s great in terms of its simplicity, including note-taking with the Apple Pencil on my iPad Pro.
Simplicity and comfort
When I opened Evernote again for the first time in months, something clicked. Its simplicity just works for me. Yet with that simplicity comes quite a lot of flexibility – even if it’s not of the same magnitude as Notion. More importantly, navigating Evernote felt a lot like slipping into my favourite pair of shoes.
I spent a little while yesterday evening tidying up my Evernote account, archiving ancient stuff and reorganising folders to better reflect the projects I’m working on at the moment. There was actually very little in Notion that I really, really needed to transfer over to Evernote and the apps are still on all my devices in case I need to check something.
Back to basics
Productivity apps are a very personal thing, but for me, despite my occasional straying from the path into productivity porn, I always seem to wander back to a combination of ToDoist for tasks and Evernote for notes. They go so well together, it’s almost not worth looking for alternatives. Yet, my job requires me to keep up to date on the alternatives, so my personal hell is a bit like endless window shopping at the productivity store.
Anyway, while I’m looking forward to any improvements Evernote comes out with in the coming months, what it does right now is working for me.