Forget Evernote, Use Cloud Storage to Take Notes Instead

Evernote is a great app for storing notes on the cloud. It has a great Android app and a (mediocre) iOS app, both with tons of features like document scanner, audio recorder, sharing notes, and more.

Evernote comes with its share of problems, though. I, for one, am not very comfortable with the idea that all my important notes, pictures, audios, lists, etc are stored in an online cloud, which can only be accessed by using that particular app from that particular company.

Problems with evernote

When I do not have any internet access, I am simply left in the dark, with no access* to my documents, when I probably need it the most.

[*Only the premium version of Evernote, which costs $5 per month, lets you do this.]

After reading “The Bug Ridden Elephant” by Jason Kincaid and many other experiences on the internet, I came to the conclusion that if I was in a similar position, I’d be devastated if I lost any of my data, important or unimportant.

Even though Phil, CEO of Evernote, wrote an assurance post that everything will soon be okay, it wasn’t enough to persuade me to stay.

###So, I quit Evernote. Now what?

Exporting your notes from Evernote is anything but convenient. Like me, if you only have a few notebooks with a couple or few dozen notes each, it’s easier to save individual notes manually to text and image files. If you have years of notebooks and notes lying around, you can pray to your gods and export everything to HTML format.

Google Keep was a good option, but the fact that I had to log into Google Keep every time I wanted my data and also the ease with which Google killed Reader turned me away. I also didn’t want Google to have an absolute hold over me, given that they already store all my emails and photos.

But then, if I were so concerned about online privacy, I wouldn’t be writing a blog post about choosing the best cloud solution for storing your data.

After analyzing all the alternatives I had, I finally decided to settle for Dropbox.

###Why Dropbox/Google Drive?

Of all the note taking apps out there, why did I even consider dropbox an alternative, much rather choose it over all the others? The answer is simple. I have control over my data.

Dropbox (or any other cloud hosting provider - Google Drive, etc) have no note taking features. They only let you store files and then sync these files to your other devices. I found this to be an excellent system to store my notes.

###Organizing notes in Dropbox/Google Drive

All my notes are now categorized into folders (Evernote’s equivalent of Notebooks) and sub-folders. All my text notes are in .txt files, which makes it very easy to search through them directly from your OS. All my images are in the same resolution and quality, and the exif data isn’t tampered with.

And suddenly, I can sleep much better. If I upload any file or make changes to any of files, they are instantly uploaded to dropbox. The files automatically appear on all my devices. Also, whenever the internet is down, I still have access to my dropbox folder and can make changes to them, create new files, delete files,etc and these changes will be synced as soon as the devices connects to an internet.

###Mobile? Dropbox and Google Drive also have killer apps for almost all mobile platforms, which let you upload all kinds of files, text and images, audio, video, PDFs online. Google Drive also has an amazing document scanner.

If you are looking for more convenience, try IFTTTs Do Note app. You can create your own custom recipe to add a note to your Dropbox or Drive account, as soon as you type text and send the button. They also have a Do Camera app app to do the same, but with images.

###Sorry, Evernote… This post is in no way bashing Evernote for its poor service. This post is based on my own experiences of sync errors and my frustrations with Evernote. If you still love Evernote, then continue to do so.

I am also in no way advertising the use of Dropbox or Google Drive. If you have a better solution in mind, do let me know in the comments.

[Picture credits: IrishTechNews]

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