Alternative to EverNote for personal document storage

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by tofagerl, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. tofagerl macrumors 6502a

    tofagerl

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #1
    I use(d) Evernote in two distinct ways. One was taking and reading notes. Fine, I'll use any of dozens of similar apps for that, no problem.
    The other is that I scanned tons of documents and tagged and titled them in Evernote. They were saved as PDF, and while most were receipts and bills that I deleted when I was done with them, others weren't. For example, I still have manuals for some of my appliances in there (downloaded as PDF, not scanned), my diploma from school, references from jobs and tons and tons of other stuff.

    So now I have to move all of this somewhere else. I don't mind paying, but not monthly. I would prefer to store it in Dropbox rather than a web service.

    I need access from a Mac, an iPad, possibly an iPhone when they launch the new one, and an Android phone until then.

    Obviously I've looked at OneNote, but it's sync-only, and for this purpose the sync SUCKS. I'll scan it on the mac and insert it, and the week after I'm still not able to access it from the phone.

    So far the best solution has been a good folder hierarchy and file naming on Dropbox itself, but it's just not good enough when I need to find something fast on the phone.
     
  2. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #2
    I'd suggest you post up somewhere in an Android forum, since your first priority seems to be your Android phone.

    For iOS i'd suggest GoodReader since it can access Dropbox (and has other ways to access PDFs). It's great.

    On the Mac, you could also check out Devonthink. It's WAY more competent than Evernote. Currently it can use Dropbox or direct synching to iOS, but they are in beta on a whole new synching system. You can scan right into it using a Image Capture capable scanner, and some versions will do OCR if you need that.
     
  3. tofagerl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    tofagerl

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    May 16, 2006
    #3
    Nah, the android phone is only for finding what I'm looking for fast, which requires an app since I can't download my entire dropbox folder to the SD card.
    The actual management only takes place on the mac.

    But yeah, I should broaden my search... Two apps that do the same thing in different ways would be just as good.
     
  4. tofagerl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    tofagerl

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    May 16, 2006
    #5
    Yep. The problem is that for the price it really doesn't add a lot of functionality to just naming the files and putting them in the correct Dropbox folder.
     
  5. blesscheese macrumors 6502a

    blesscheese

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    #6
    So, to clarify, you seemed to have a good workflow on Evernote that involved using tags on your PDF files, that then enabled you to quickly find what you are looking for? And now, the folder hierarchy thing is just too cumbersome?
     
  6. tofagerl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    tofagerl

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    May 16, 2006
  7. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

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    #8
    Actually this is one of the things I liked about as you are always in control of your own data.
     
  8. tofagerl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    tofagerl

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #9
    I have more time now, so I'm going to answer a little more in depth, and a little less curt :)

    The Evernote workflow can be considered in the past, and the Folder Hierarchy is what I'm moving to while trying out apps. It's taking time, but it's something I have to do to get stuff out of Evernote anyway, and I'm doing it while also moving all text notes to Simplenote.

    The folder hierarchy is great in its simplicity, but where it falls apart is when I'm looking for a Receipt (tag) for a Printer (tag and in filename) which I bought at the Electronics Store (tag and in filename) while doing a job for Employer (tag) and which Refund(tag) I still haven't received.
    Did I put it in Receipts? Employer? Refunds? No, for some reason I blanked and put it next to the gas station receipts for that month because I was stressed out.

    Now, that file could have been found in two seconds in evernote. It would have taken work, but it could have been found in Finder as well, and I think Together would have been even better.
    But on my iPad? Maybe with the Together app, but not without. And on my Android phone? **** out of luck!

    Edit: And I know it sounds like I should just pay Evernote to keep using it, but I haaaated Evernote! I stuck with it because getting my stuff out of it was too much of a hassle, but this recent pricing change was just the last straw. As I said, I am more than willing to pay, but I hate paying for a service, I prefer paying for apps.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 15, 2016 ---
    Very much the truth. But what I meant is that I'd be paying a lot of money for adding tags in a proprietary database of my files which I couldn't access on my phone anyway. It's not worth it. If I was going to do that, I could just put all my tags in the file names.
     
  9. blesscheese macrumors 6502a

    blesscheese

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    Central CA
    #10
    So, if you like the folder hierarchy aspect, then Dropbox is definitely the way to go. As far as searching and finding things quickly...not sure how to help you there. I'm not aware of a program that will search a web drive...obviously, one may exist, I'm just not aware of it.
     
  10. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Michaelgtrusa

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    #11
    Outline http://outline.ws/mac
     
  11. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    #12
    I'd suggest Devothink then.

    It can either index documents (i.e. it just references them, leaving them where they are in the filesystem), or import them (putting them in its own folder hierarchy, kinda like Photos but more accessible). It can handle all sorts of files, and you can tag and even open stuff within DT's own browser or PDF viewer.

    It might be overkill for your limited needs; some folks run offices on it. But it is scalable and super flexible.
     
  12. tofagerl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    tofagerl

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    May 16, 2006
    #13
    Devonthink would probably be overkill, but also exactly what I'm looking for.
    It's pure Dropbox untill further notice then, and hopefully someone will create something better.

    In the meantime I've landed on iA Writer Pro on mac with my library on Dropbox for pure text notes. On the iMac the iA Writer app is actually overkill, but still fantastic. On the Android I also use the iA writer app, though there it's a little bare. Still miles better than anything else I've found.
     
  13. blesscheese macrumors 6502a

    blesscheese

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    Central CA
    #14
    I own Devonthink Pro, and while I agree it would be overkill, on the other hand...I paid for it once back in ?? 2008?? 2009?? and I've been getting updates free ever since. So, while it may be an expensive up front purchase, you can compare that to several years of paying a subscription to Evernote or whatever.
     
  14. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #15
    Yeah, you sorta get what you pay for. Maybe even free Dropbox will disappear or be limited to a few devices. And I prefer peer to peer synching

    iA Writer is pretty popular. I've used Notational Velocity for years and it's variants. Here's a chart with the iOS text editors; dunno how up to date it is: http://brettterpstra.com/ios-text-editors/

    I dunno how iAWriter is gonna help with scanned stuff though. Yep is a very nice application on the Mac for viewing and organizing PDFs, if that's what you scan to. Especially if you use tagging. And there's GoodReader on iOS.
     
  15. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #16
    Do you use the mobile version? If so how do like it? Looking at the current reviews in the iOS App Store, it has a low rating.
     
  16. tofagerl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    tofagerl

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    May 16, 2006
    #17
    As I said in the top post, I've decided to use separate apps for text and scans. Makes it easier.
     
  17. tofagerl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    tofagerl

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    May 16, 2006
    #19
  18. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Michaelgtrusa

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    #20
  19. tofagerl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    tofagerl

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #21
    Honestly, it REALLY buggy for a product with a version number of 2.4. I think they would benefit from moving the code base to electron...
     

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