Evernote pricing change cripples free tier

Popular notetaking app Evernote is shaking up its business model with a pricing restructure that hopes to turn free users into paying customers. The biggest change to the free service is that users will now only be able to sync their data across two devices (two computers, a computer and a smartphone, or a smartphone and a tablet, for example), in addition to access their notes on the web. Previously, users weren't limited by the number of devices they could sync with.

Free users who want to keep syncing across multiple devices will have to take out an Evernote Plus or Evernote Premium subscription, billed at USD$3.99 per month and USD$7.99 per month respectively (up for USD$2.99 and USD$5.99). Evernote Plus gives users offline access to notes, as well as 1GB of storage space. Evernote Premium takes storage to 10GB, and adds PDF annotation. Discounts are available for customers who make a yearlong commitment.

Free Evernote users already syncing with more than two devices will be given "some time to adjust" before the changes take effect.

Evernote CEO Chris O'Neill says the shift in pricing model is to ensure the company can continue to offer a "great product at a fair price".

"Two things that won’t ever change are our commitment to making you as productive as you can be and running our business in as transparent a way as possible," wrote O'Neill on the company's blog. "No ads. No data selling. Just a great product at a fair price. So when it’s time to adjust our pricing, we want you to know what we’re doing, why, and what it means for you."

Evernote users not happy with the changes have two solid alternatives in the form of Google Keep and Microsoft OneNote. Both have a free option, and allow users to sync with as many devices as they desire. Keep has apps for iOS and Android devices, but no desktop apps. OneNote has apps for smartphones, tablets, and desktop (both Windows and Mac).

Leave a Reply