On Evernote's New Pricing Structure

Earlier this year Evernote announced a new pricing structure. The free tier sticks around, but loses some features. There’s now a “Plus” tier for $2.99 a month, or $24.99 a year, that I think will be the “sweet spot” for many users and Premium costs $5.99 a month, or $49.99 a year. Details can be found on Evernote’s site.

Evernote has made some tweaks to their pricing plan the last few months but for now, a free plan limits monthly uploads to 60MB and allow users only to clip information from the web or manually drag documents into Evernote, share and discuss within Evernote and sync documents across platforms. Candidly, the free plan is now fairly basic. If you want offline access to notes, the ability to add a passcode to the mobile App or, perhaps most notably, the ability to forward emails directly in to Evernote you’ll have to pay for the Plus plan. Upgrading to premium unlocks the most prized features such as advanced OCR and search, scanning business cards and more.

I’ve long been a fan of Evernote and have had a Premium account for several years. I’ve received a lot of comments, most negative, about the changes. I suppose this is to be expected when a company takes services that it previously gave away for free and shifts them into a paid program. I understand the frustration, but keep in mind that in order to continue to provide products and services, companies have to have a viable business model. I had an opportunity to tour Evernote’s headquarters last year when I was in San Francisco and they have a large team that they pay living wages dedicated to actively developing and improving the platform. 

Evernote is not perfect. My pal David Sparks has called it the “roach motel” because of it’s proprietary format and problems exporting and sharing data. I agree. (I also have no idea what Work Chat is and the popups are driving me crazy.) Nevertheless, Evernote is has become an invaluable piece of my workflow and it’s a service I’m happy to pay for to see it continue development. I’m always nervous about relying on free or VC funded products because there’s simply no way of knowing how long they’ll be around.