It’s been almost a year since the Italian software company Bending Spoons acquired Evernote. A significant price increase, the first price increase of any kind in 7 years, has both helped stabilize Evernote financially and stirred controversy.

So how much is Evernote? Evernote Personal now costs a little under $11 per month and Evernote Professional is just over $14 a month with an annual subscription. So, it’s roughly the price of one meal at a restaurant. The price of one meal a month gets you what was, and many say what still is, the gold standard of notetaking tools. 

But the tech world has taught us to expect everything for free. An excellent article that chronicles the history of free plans and the trends we’re seeing appeared on the Taming The Trunk website. Rather than go into that topic here, I encourage you to read that article.

Here’s the surprise…

If you are using the Evernote free plan, you’ve just been given a rude awakening. You’re now limited to 50 notes and one notebook. If you have more, you can still keep it, but you can’t add to it without the upgrade. Speaking of “Taming The Trunk,” its author, Jon Tromans, had me as his guest on “The Triple ‘T’ Productivity Podcast.” We discuss this topic in depth. Come over and listen.

So should you jump ship?

Before you abandon Evernote for something else, think about one thing…the Evernote Web Clipper. Other notetaking software has some type of web clipper. None has one as good as Evernote.

Think about you online shopping you did on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. You place your order and get that confirmation screen. In one spot, you see:

  • What you ordered
  • The price
  • The confirmation number
  • Information on when you should expect the order

How do you keep up with that information? Click on the Evernote Web Clipper. Choose “screenshot” as the type. Click and drag the cursor to highlight the portion you need and save. Now you can close the window and move on. You’ve just used one of your 50 notes. After your shopping spree, you might have used a dozen notes. How will you organize them? After all, you only have one notebook.

But…you still have “open season” on tags. If you’ve followed my work, you know how important “ETR” is to me. “ETR” stands for “expect to receive” and it’s a tag I use in my digital task list for all of the things others owe me. Create an “ETR” tag and use it on all of your notes from your holiday shopping.

As your merchandise starts to arrive, check it against the notes you clipped to be sure everything is correct. Trash each note when it’s no longer needed. You’ve just reclaimed one after another of your 50 notes, but if and only if you empty the trash. Anything in the trash counts against your limit.

Leave Evernote and your web clipping experience won’t be as good. In this post, we explore the magic of the Evernote Web Clipper.

What can I do with 50 notes?

My advice is to use your 50 notes in one of two ways. If you have read Get Organized, you recall my the concepts of “Fingertip Files” and “Current Projects.”

Fingertip Files

Each of us has a small amount of information we refer to regularly, so regularly, we want to have that information “at our fingertips”:

  • The code you have to punch in for the copier at work
  • Your hotel rewards number you need at the check-in desk
  • The library card number you have to punch in every time you reserve a book online
  • The combination for the lock your son uses to secure his bicycle
  • The size for the air filter at home next time you need to buy more

Where do you keep those little bits of information? Create a single note in Evernote and make an alphabetical listing of every single one.

What about when you go shopping for family members? You see the perfect shirt for Uncle Jim, but what size does he wear? Create a note and list clothing sizes for every family member. You’ve just used one more of your 50 notes.

Where do you store things at home that might be hard to find? You have a dozen unused picture frames and you’ve put them in a drawer. When you go to look to see if you have a picture frame, will you remember about putting them in that drawer in that old desk in the attic?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

But if you have a note that lists where you’re putting things, you can put your hands on it in an instant.

Back in the paper planner days, we would have this sort of information on a few pages at the back of the planner. That way, it was always at our fingertips. It’s the same concept, just with a different tool.

Current Projects

There’s something else we kept on pages at the back of our paper planners. The organized person would devote a page to current projects. That way, the information about the project was always handy.

Do the same with Evernote. Create a note for each project. You’ll have notes from phone calls, links to supporting information, PDFs, a spreadsheet or a PowerPoint presentation. It’s all there in Evernote Web on your computer. It’s all there on the Evernote app on your phone. If you’re keying information on your computer and decide speaking would be easier, pick up the phone, tap the microphone key on the phone’s keyboard, and speak the information. Watch Evernote turn your speech into text.

With 50 notes to work with, you can keep quite a few balls in the air.

When the project is over, copy and paste the information somewhere else…Google Drive, OneDrive, or iCloud. Trash the note, empty the trash, and you’ve just reclaimed a note.

Yes, you are limited…

So much of Evernote is the rich storehouse of reference information and the amazing search capabilities of Evernote to retrieve that information. The Evernote free plan no longer gives you that.

But what you do have is the ability to take Evernote for a “test drive” with a limited number of notes.

Is Evernote worth the price tag? That’s a decision for each of us. What about you? Are you sticking with Evernote? Why or why not? Leave me a comment.

In an information age, our information is only as good as our ability to put our hands on it when we need it.

Special Update!

On February 14, Evernote took 14 features previously available in Evernote Personal or Evernote Professional and added those to the free plan. This gives free users a better experience of what Evernote has to offer. Please come over and visit this post for all the details.

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