Skip to content

Three Features I’d Like to See in Evernote

Evernote logo

I love Evernote. I first signed up on August 23, 2008, so I’m coming up on my 10-year anniversary. I have over 6,000 notes (I have no idea if that’s a large number or not).

I have an Evernote Premium membership, which gives me some enhanced features — primarily more data uploads per month; the ability to search text in images, PDFs, and Office docs (this feature is so cool); the ability to annotate PDFs; etc. — that make it worthwhile for me to pay the subscription fee.

To be honest, I didn’t always “get” Evernote, especially when I first started using it. Then I started reading Jamie Todd Rubin’s blog posts on Evernote, especially some of his Evernote integrations with IFTTT. I also read Michael Hyatt’s blog posts on Evernote, and between those three sources, the tool started to “click” and work for me.

Now, Evernote is a part of my daily routine. I’m sure I could find a replacement if I needed too, and I know there are other good tools out there, but I’m hoping I don’t have to make a change for a long time, if ever.

That said, Evernote isn’t perfect (yet). As a regular user, here are three features I’d love to see implemented in Evernote soon.

Markdown

Let me start this section by saying that one of the features I love about Evernote is the ability to simply write. Whether I’m in the desktop app, the mobile app, or the web interface, I can get into a distraction-free writing mode that allows me to quickly record my thoughts. For me, that’s an important part of the writing process — write first, edit later, and format even later.

But there does come a point when I want to my format my notes — I want to make some text bold, some text italic, highlight some text, make headings, and more. I appreciate that Evernote has kept the formatting toolbar simple so that it doesn’t become a full-blown attempt to recreate the features of MS Word.

But I don’t think Evernote needs to sacrifice the UI simplicity in order to support users who want more formatting options — many of us would love to see Evernote support Markdown. The ability to format my text without leaving the keyboard is a timesaver — using hashtags to denote headings; using asterisks around text to make something bold; using underscores around text to make something italic; etc.

Footnotes

As someone who regularly uses Evernote for research purposes, I would love the ability to create a true footnote, with a reference at the bottom of the document where I can note the source of the information.

By footnote, I would like to see at least the following functions:

  • A number, inserted into the text and formatted in superscript
  • Hyperlinked to the footnote at the bottom of the document
  • Sequential numbering that automatically updates as I insert or remove other footnotes

I realize this may be a tall order, but it’s important to me, and so it’s worth asking for.

Nested Lists

Another important aspect of using Evernote for research and note-taking is the ability to create outlines of information, which normally use nested lists.

This generally works okay in Evernote when using a bulleted (or unordered) list — you start with the filled-in circle, and if you tab in (or indent), you get the empty circle on the second level. Even a third level gets you a filled-in square, which is unique to this point, but going to a fourth level (or more) simply repeats the filled-in square.

  • List Primary Level
    • List Sublevel 1
      • List Sublevel 2
        • List Sublevel 3

With numbered (or ordered) lists, Evernote simply falls down. You start a numbered list, but if you tab in (or indent), you just get a new numbered list starting with a “1” again.

  1. List Primary Level
    1. List Sublevel 1
      1. List Sublevel 2

Ideally, we’d be able to choose from at least one of the two following options:

1. List Primary Level

     1.1. List Sublevel 1

           1.1.1. List Sublevel 2

Or:

  1. List Primary Level
    1. List Sublevel 1
      1. List Sublevel 2

With those key changes, Evernote would become even more essential and useful to current users, and remove some key roadblocks for people who have chosen to use other apps due to these current limitations.

Your turn, Evernote.

Published inPersonal