Evernote: Gaining Cost, Losing Value


This post is going to read like a complaint, or perhaps a protest. That’s okay. If these thoughts have occurred to me, they’ve likely occurred to others, and maybe, just maybe, I can voice them in a way that leads to something getting better for somebody.

Evernote has been my go-to information gathering/shaping solution for some time now. But, recently, that has changed — here’s why.

Evernote needed to better monetize their service. I understand that completely. They went from Evernote Basic (Free) and Evernote Premium ($4.99/mo) to Evernote Basic, Evernote Plus ($2.99/mo) and Evernote Premium ($5.99/mo.)

I’m not here this morning to bitch about the dollar bump in the price of Premium. It’s well worth the six bucks a month, well worth it.

But I do have a bitch. It’s this: Evernote Plus and Evernote Premium are only purchasable through annual subscriptions. That doesn’t work for me — and, I suspect, it doesn’t work for a few (understatement) other people.

As a starving writer, I am more than willing to throw down $6 for the features and upload capacity Premium offers. But $50? That’s grocery money. That I can’t do — and I mean that usually I literally can’t afford that.

Bring back monthly subscriptions, Evernote. You’re hurtin’ us, out here, and that means you’re hurting your bottom line, too.

UPDATE: As of today, I’ve noticed that monthly pricing is back. (To be fair, I’m not sure how recently this revision to the pricing model went into effect — all I can tell you is that I noticed it today.) This revises the conclusion of this post heavily. Also: thanks, Evernote team. Sincerely, thank you.


  • Evernote is a classic case of great product, but terrible business model to promote it. They’d be better off keeping the app entirely free and using well thought out ads to monetize.


    • John Castle

      I don’t disagree with that in the least. Provided they used the body of a user’s notes to properly target those ads — and I don’t know how tough that would or would not be for them to do, honestly — they could deliver serious engagement for sponsors while delivering genuinely engaging ads for consumers. But for now, I’d settle for them opening up subscriptions on a monthly basis. I don’t mind $6 a month, but $50 in one shot for an annual subscription is just more than I can swing. In this economy, I feel I’m far from alone there.


      • Or follow Spotify’s or Amazon’s great model by offering college students a discounted rate. There’s just so many things they could be doing. Also, I agree that $5 or $6 a month would be much easier to promote than $50 a year as well. Especially since a huge part of Evernote’s user base is college kids that don’t have much money to spare.


  • John Castle

    Excellent point — students are necessarily going to be a sizable percentage of Evernote users. But don’t forget us small business owner/operators. We’re not in great financial shape, either, most of us, so that $50 a year means the difference between Evernote and a month’s worth of grocery money.


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