I've been using Evernote for a number of years and probably have about 8000 notes in there now. Having pretty much now ditched paper I've always been rather concerned when I've considered the possibility of Evernote going under, as has been talked about in some circles at various points.

With this thought in mind I reckoned it might be safer to have an alternative up and running and it seems reasonable, as a user of Apple products, to try the Apple Notes application to see whether it really is a viable alternative for me.

Without too much trouble I managed to get all my notes exported from Evernote and then imported the notes into the Apple Notes application. At the present time I'm running both systems in parallel which to be honest has been surprisingly simple and takes up very little additional time, I like knowing that everything is sitting safely in an alternative system.

This is obviously not an in depth review but I thought it might be helpful to list a few points as they crop up, where Apple Notes falls short of the dedicated Evernote service. Evernote was always going to be more feature rich (some would say bloated!), and in the end it comes down to whether you can live without those extra features and whether Apple Notes will be adequate for your needs.

Here are the points I've noted so far where I've found things "missing" when using Apple Notes.
  • Apple Notes cannot publish individual notes to The Web, I find the ability to create a public URL to share a note online quite handy.
  • Cannot change dates of notes in Apple Notes, this is a useful feature to have when storing dated material as attachments where you want to retain the original date.
  • Cannot share whole notebooks with another user, or share groups of notes when using Apple Notes.
  • I like the Evernote Web Clipper, nothing comes close in Apple Notes.
  • Apple Notes does not allow you to "tag" notes to allow notes to be grouped in this way.
  • Apple Notes does not support searching within the contents of attached files such as PDFs, I find this very useful.
  • Apple Notes does not allow you to share a note as "read only" - if a note is shared the share recipient can edit the note.
  • Apple Notes does not have the "AI" sensation offered when Evernote "surfaces" similar material with it's "Context" feature.
  • I like the ability to link an Evernote notebook to the Postachio service which allows me to use Evernote as a blogging platform, that is how this weblog posting was written.
Those are just some of my initial observations. I like these features in Evernote but I "could" live without them and if Evernote crashes and burns it's good to have an alternative ready to go with the data all fully loaded.