Evernote, you're so slow and clunky

I'm really starting to dislike my Evernote desktop client. It's so slow to start up and it hangs all the time that it makes me not want to have it open sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I love the service, but Evernote really needs to improve their desktop client. They rolled out an update last month that promised to be faster but so far I haven't seen much improvement.

While my normal monthly usage is still well below the 40MB limit, I did come dangerously close to that last month when I decided to add a year's worth of PDFs from Trendwatching's monthly briefings to my Evernote archive. To date I have 371 notes and ~60 MB of data.

I think I might also be dangerously close to becoming a Level IV digital hoarder. :)

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have seen very little in the way of improvement when it comes to Evernote desktop client speed. They must know know this. The idea of the service is great but this has to be addressed. Sooner than later.

Steve K said...

Evernote PC app is SLOW! I have to exit it and relaunch it at least once a day as it somehow hangs when I add a new note. I dilligently have updated to the latest version... but this kind of performance and frankly, bloat, makes me want to downgrade to a much earlier version.

Omar said...

i agree - i recently migrated from Onenote to Evernote in the hopes that the latter would be faster. ON opens much faster that EN, but EN's search speed is superior. If it weren't for the tagging capability of EN, i would go back to ON. ON's editing and formatting is vastly superior to EN's.

Anonymous said...

If they took all the time and effort they spent making cutesy "user friendly we're all part of the cloud" google-esque info-videos making this actually run optimal under the hood, we'd be getting somewhere. They perfected synching, yes.. but since then their core focus has been on cutesy viral marketing and cross platform domination.

Walk before you run, etc..

robb said...

Agree. Making a new note now takes so long that I usually look for another method - like firing up vim - when I want to create a quick note.

Anonymous said...

Yep, I couldn't agree more. I started using Evernote after Google Notebook development got canned. While the text recognition on images is nice, as is PDF support, it's just a lot slower to use, to the point that sometimes when I want to look up data I'll log into the website as it's quicker, which is ridiculous

Geoff said...

I started with Evernote 3.5.4 and found that it was hogging 100% of the CPU even as it was doing nothing, or sitting in the system tray. I googled around, and found lots of other people saying the same thing, so I upgraded to Evernote 3.5.6, which seemed fine at first, but within a few hours it was consuming 100% cpu again.
Then I saw a forum posting which said that 3.5 is known to have this issue, but earlier versions did not.
Finally I discovered that version 3.1.0.1225 was still available from the official Evernote site (found via Google), so I downloaded that and I've had no trouble since with high cpu usage or performance.

Anonymous said...

At this time I'm ready to throw Evernote and 7 generations of the makers' forefathers through the window. It is useless with its slow speed, interrupted captures, and sensitivity to even touching the keyboard while you capture. I'm much more inclined to put it in the "useless piece of ..." bin.

Anonymous said...

Evernote does many things good but this program is scary slow. I have about 1000 notes and have upgraded to a paid subscription during certain months. But I always opt out as soon as I can. The program is a slug. In addition, it slows down other programs when it (on its own) decides to start syncing with the mother ship. ISN'T THERE ANY COMPETITION, OUT THERE? I'LL SWITCH IN A HEARTBEAT.

Juan said...

Has anyone tried out some of the other Evernote competitors? Aside from Evernote I've used OneNote, but I didn't like the lack of support that OneNote had outside of Windows/IE.

A new app I just read about is Catch, (http://catch.com/). It looks promising and it has a wide array of tools for cross platform support. Has anyone tried this one out?

Anonymous said...

I agree with everyone on here. Although my Evernote doesn't crash (running on Windows 7), I find it is very slow and I've only got 30-40 notes. The desktop app is sluggish to say the least. I just wanted a slightly better note taking alternative than the Outlook note feature, that I could sync with my blackberry. Evernote is ok for that, but it's not as earth shattering as the company makes it out to be.

The best solution for storing notes and knowledge material, for me, has always been the technical documents database template that ships with Lotus Notes. You can use rich text and attach files that you can launch and edit directly from inside in the document. It is the best implementation of file attach I have ever seen. The only problem is that Notes is a big and expensive application, and is usually deployed inside large companies running Lotus Notes/Domino as their mail servers. But as far as knowledge repositories go, Lotus Notes was the best I ever used and IMO it blows away onenote and EN put together.

Bill said...

Great tip, Geoff - I uninstalled the latest version and reinstalled v 3.1.0.1225. I'm back to the snappy Evernote desktop client I fell in love with.

Garreth said...

It's December and I'm still having this issue. Is there any bug fix in sight? I have to agree - Evernote must know that this is happening, though I admit I haven't raised it to them personally :(

Juan said...

Btw, if you haven't done so already, be sure to upgrade your Evernote client to the latest version. Evernote 4 is a lot better than the 3.5 client. I wrote an updated post about it here: http://digitalactivities.blogspot.com/2010/12/evernote-4.html

Alejandro Pisanty said...

Juan, here is what I posted on your blog today, Jan. 3, 2011:

I made the switch to Evernote 4 a few days ago and did notice some improvement in the intolerably slow capture of sections from webpages (it's long ago that I desisted from capturing whole pages.)

However, the improvement lasted little; today, Jan. 3, 2011, with increased workload (and despite the fact that I am in a network ten times faster, as measured by ping times, than last week) Evernote has crawled to a halt.

Mind you, if the response is "it's faster with Explorer", I'll say that that's a bug, not a feature.

Anonymous said...

I love evernote on my ipad, but the desktop app just ruins it for me. Really looking for another app ??

Anonymous said...

If anyone us looking for Evernote replacement on mac, take a look at Together from reinvented software. It works much faster and better. It also syncs everything via dropbox. After years of being a premium evernote user, I has switched to Together for mac.

Anonymous said...

I decided to give it another try (must move off Google notebook some time) but have re-discovered why I didn't get on with it.
It is really slow, I have only used it for a day and they tell me I have used half of my monthly allowance (and I've only clipped about 10 pages max and a few PDF's)
And it just doesn't seem as intuitive as it should be - if I add tags and click on the tags on the left hand column nothing happens - why are you showing me the tagged documents you know you have????!!!!

Anonymous said...

Evernote is slow and it's getting worse. I do have one note with 28,000 chars. That shouldnt cause problems though.

I am looking at using google docs instead. They have gotten alot more mature and will allow me to do spreadhseets, pdfs, and even mp3s. Now I just need to find a good android client ;-)

Harj said...

I can't go on using the Desktop - an alternative to Evenernote is called for - I just haven't found it yet.

Anonymous said...

Editing Evernote on their website is slow also! It freezes my browser, Firefox, when scrolling and copy/paste within the note (with auto save off so it's not my network). I also find it frustrating with the wisygwig, some stuff I just can't adjust so I wish there is HTML mode for to fix it myself.

I've been using this for many years and I would switch to another better competitor in a heart beat, IF I can easily export my stuff.

Neil Hinrichsen said...

I've been using Evernote for Windows for years, and that the poor performance is a constant thorn in my side.

I have a database of nearly 25,000 notes, and was promised when I moved to EN4 that the performance would radically improve. Nothing of the sort has happened, it is just as bad.

When I complained to tech support, after numerous emails back & forth their take on this was that it must be some other program on my laptop "that it is interacting with EN" to make it so slow.

Also, the Windows client is filled with small bugs. For example, the "font resize" keyboard shortcut Ctrl-[/] has been broken for six months. My numerous emails to Evernote tech support about this are ignored, so it's not like they don't know about the problem.

I find it really disappointing that a company that now has $170m in venture capital cannot provide a workable PC client.

Hoggin said...

Has anyone figured anything out with this? I am using 4.6.5.8353 and its ridiculous. I just dont understand how anything can function so poorly and yet be considered working normally. I have a fresh installation of Windows8 so it cant be my computer.

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