Evernote going downhill

Well, I’ve always been a big fan of Evernote.   I’d made the move from OneNote some years back, and had been mostly happy with the result.   I was somewhat forced into the move at the time because my LiveScribe smart pen would not synchronize with OneNote, and would only sync wirelessly to Evernote.   So I forced myself to learn it.    Have used it for many years, and been a paying customer just to do my part to support the ecosystem.

Lo and behold, about a year ago, I found myself trying to search for notes within a specific timeframe.   This tends to happen when you have such an amount of notes.   Let me say, I was not thrilled when I learned that I needed to “upgrade” to an even HIGHER tier than I was on already, just to be able to search in-between two dates.   Really?   </sigh>   Then I actually had tried to upgrade to that higher tier, finally just giving in to the fact that my data was being held hostage with no easy “out” in sight.   At least none that I’m aware of.   I need to look further into that.

Anyhow, the latest “bonus” that I’ve gotten from Evernote is that some of my historical data was purged, likely to save a couple of kilobytes of space on whatever storage medium they’re using.    I was just going back through some of my notes, converting old notes into invoiced time.   I often use the “note history” function for this, as it shows me when I first created a note, and then how many times I edited it and the timestamps associated with the edits.    Evernote decided I didn’t really need the time portion of those stamps, and they just went ahead and changed them all to 12:00:00 AM.   No, I’m not kidding.    I’m still soaking this in because it’s a HUGE blow to the data I thought was safe.    I’ll include a screenshot below, while blurring out any sensitive information.

Actual timestamps discarded, then modified to 12:00:00 AM. Unbelievable.

It’s just truly unbelievable.   Maybe I expect too much.    But really, how much space does the timestamp really take? 5 bytes maybe?   Just think twice before starting a relationship with Evernote, and certainly don’t place them at the core of what you do.  You’ll be surprised down the road, and not in a good way.   I could be wrong, but thus far — for me — it’s been mostly bad surprises.   Not much that I’ve noticed added as far as features along the way, although they have polished the client software a little bit.   It’s still very slow when you have a lot of notes, and isn’t as fast as you’d expect something with an offline database to be.


So I’ve submitted a support ticket to Evernote.   Will almost assuredly be working on moving away from Evernote to an alternative over the coming few weeks, so I will share my steps taken to accomplish this.    

Sorry if this post seems like overwhelming negativity…. I’m just trying to soak in the fact that this data is lost, think about what to do for mitigation and avoidance in the future.   If the support team respond with something positive, or there turns out to be a way to recover the actual timestamps, then I will definitely revise this post to share that information.

P.S.  A snippet from their page about their systems security states
                            …Evernote retains your content unless you take explicit steps to delete notes and/or notebooks. For information on how to delete notes, please see this help center article. For information on our retention policies, please refer to the section of our privacy policy, titled “Information Deletion”.

And they have posted in the past specifically on their contingency plans that were in place to ensure the longevity of their data.   So I’ve always felt pretty safe keeping my data with them.   In the past, anyway…


Have a great day…




Wise — previously known as TransferWise — my experience

I wanted to briefly share my experience with a company called Wise.com.    I was helping a client of mine to send some relief funds to a contact in Ukraine during this perilous time.   He had tried wiring funds directly with his bank and it failed to go through.    I told him that Western Union was offering free transfers to Ukraine that have been extended to the end of May, 2022.

Alas, he had problems with Western Union in the past asking many questions and ultimately not following through on other transfers, so he wanted to avoid them if possible.    So, I signed up for a Wise account in my client’s name, and entered all of his personal details, the recipients details, including IBAN code, name, address and email address.

I was then presented with a page showing the various funding source options:

Since he didn’t have a debit card attached to the account he wanted to source the funds from, I suggested to him that the first option looked like a good option.   When he was worried about providing them with his bank login credentials, I assured him that the third-party they were using (Plaid) was a reputable firm and it was quite standard of a practice to use such a service.

He got logged in to his bank, a large bank in the area he’s from, and after the SMS verification steps, he was presented with a confirmation window stating that Wise was requesting access to ALL of his bank accounts.   There was no option to select just one of the accounts.   It was all, or nothing.

So, reluctantly, we proceeded and the next page then showed the same list of accounts (albeit in a different order) and asked which one he wanted to use for sourcing this transaction.    He selected the appropriate account, and proceeded to the next step.     The next step indicated that the transfer may take longer than originally expected, but he could choose another option if desired.    Placing hope in the original estimate, we continued anyway and submitted the final confirmation page.

The site then showed the transfer as “waiting for funds to be received” and the expected transfer date was a Friday.  (It was Monday).   I told him that we would just hope for the best, that they might be able to stick to their original timetable.

The next day, I opened up a chat with them and found out that they do not transmit any funds until the ACH transaction fully clears your bank and is received at their bank.   When I was flabbergasted and asked which bank they used that could clear an ACH transaction in 4 hours, they would not provide any details.   They just stated that the estimates provided were the “best case scenario”.    I told them I felt that this was a deceptive business practice and misleading at best.   If they’re going to state the transaction completion time for a credit card as “32 minutes” then they should at least say “from 4 hours to 7 days” underneath the ACH option.    Misleadingly stating the “best case scenario” (which must be that you own Wise and you’re doing an account-to-account transfer) was very wrong in my opinion.    When I mentioned I could have gone with Western Union for no fees and probably had a better outcome, then requesting that they provide some sort of discount to the fees, the supervisor stated that they would not provide any concession.   They told me that I needed to read through all of their help documents and make sure I look at the fine print.

So much for trusting a company and taking them at their word!    As they say, YMMV (your mileage may vary) but I would recommend steering clear of Wise if you have any time-sensitive funds transfers that you need to execute.   If they can be misleading about this aspect of things, most certainly the other payment sources probably have many asterisks and terms attached also.    

Hope this information is helpful to someone.    And prayers for all of those affected by the current situation in the Ukraine.