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Evernote, the next-generation file system

For years there have been an ongoing discussion, especially in the unix community, about what and who the next generation file system should be. Some say XFS, others prefer the Solaris ZFS. (Everybody agrees, that the current used ones are lame.) Of course, this discussion is way to geeky for the mainstream user who only want to store their files securely.


The other day I sat before my favourite note-taking tool, Evernote, and realized that this is not so far away from what I want.

So what are my requirements for a new file-system?

  • Sync all files stored on different devices instantly

Check. Evernote does this, but only in 15 minute intervalls. Real-time world anyone?

  • Offline access and editing on all devices

Check. And by all devices, I mean really all. Now, the iPad has a file system.

  • Access and editing with basic web browser

Check (well, one could argue their web frontend isn’t well designed, but it does the job).

  • Handle all files regardless of file type.

Basic requirement, but only doable with Evernote if you have upgraded to Premium

  • Automatic file versioning

Nope. Only manually. In their defense, deleted notes go to a reycle bin and can bes restored easily.

  • Easy import and export with current file systems

Check the importing part. Export is possible, but only as HTML without the former structure.

  • Easy sharing and collaboration

You can share a whole notebook, but not a single note. Also a No to collaboration (two or more users working simultanously on one document). Definetly room for improvement.

  • Option to categorise items with folders AND tags

Check. Sub-Tags are also available.

  • Option to bundle information snippets in one entity

Check. You could throw and combine every file in one note. PDF and Pictures are displayed in full preview.

  • Advanced Search options & search within content

Check. Also a point where Evernote shines. Missing is the ability to search within files, like done by Google Desktop.

Well, as you can see, Evernote comes really close to rule everthing that handles information for me in the cloud. What do I mean by that? As most web users I have trillions of profiles that all store some sort of information for me. Delicious has my bookmarks, my videos, FFFFound my images, and so on…This could all be done also with Evernote. No separate tag architectures, only one app… beautiful, right?

If the team only would realize that…

For example I had the idea to migrate my bookmarks from delicious and read later-articels from Instapaper, because there are only URLs with tags and this could be done via Evernote.
But no, everytime I search a bookmark I have to click on the actual item to access the note, then click on the link….it’s not comfortable.

Another thing with the bandwith limit. Even if I would pay for the service, the maximum amount is 500 MB per month. It would take 5 months to get only my stuff from Dropbbox (free 2GB) up to Evernote. How should I get a paperless office with such a limitation? Why can’t their be a flexible pricing, like a 500 MB package fro $5? Everbody who needs more could buy as many packages as he likes. 

I think the Evernote team itself hasn’t realised that their app could be a game changer in how we deal with digital information.

Don't be the product, buy the product!