DEV Community

Cover image for Leaving Evernote for Notion: My Impressions After the Move

Posted on

Leaving Evernote for Notion: My Impressions After the Move


At the end of 2021, I made the decision to switch from Evernote, which I had been using for many years, to Notion. Recently, I realized that it has been two years since I made the move, so I'd like to share my thoughts on the switch from Evernote to Notion in a brief blog post. In this post, I'll compare what aspects of the switch were beneficial and what aspects were a bit disappointing.

Image description

My Background Using Evernote and Transitioning to Notion

I first used Evernote a long time ago, around 2010 if my memory serves correctly. Initially, I started using it because it was necessary for a class at school. After the class ended, I naturally stopped using it.

For a while, I barely used it. Then, in the mid-2010s, I found a reason to use Evernote again. Influenced by some lifehack bloggers I followed at the time, I wanted to start keeping a reading log. I love reading a book, but often forget the details, and I thought that keeping a record might help solidify my learnings and insights in memory.

This idea turned out to be correct. By noting down lines that struck me and sections that caught my attention in books, it became easier to review and significantly easier to absorb the key points of what I learned. Interestingly, this also increased my motivation to read more, and I started reading a broader range of books.

To conclude, this approach was indeed correct. What I did was to underline or write notes on the parts of books that intrigued me, and then take photos of these annotations. I then created a note page for each book on Evernote, where I would save these photos along with my notes. This made it much easier to review and significantly enhanced my ability to absorb key lessons. Additionally, this process increased my desire to read more, and as a result, the amount of books I read significantly increased, which was an interesting outcome.

Eventually, I grew fond of Evernote and began expanding its use. I used it to keep records of movies I watched, daily and weekly reviews, web clips, and a business diary for my personal business. Evernote stored all kinds of data and ideas, truly becoming my "second brain" and playing a significant role in my life.

Image description

However, due to compatibility issues with other tools and feeling that Evernote was becoming outdated in various aspects, I eventually decided to switch to Notion.

There were several reasons for the switch, but the main ones were reconsidering the integration with other tools I use, wanting to structure and manage data like a relational database, and the attractive database functionalities in Notion that Evernote lacked.

The transition itself was challenging. No matter how much I researched in advance, I couldn't fully appreciate the benefits of Notion until I actually started using it. There are also aspects where I feel Evernote was superior based on my usage experience.

In the next chapter, I will discuss the aspects of the transition that I found to be positive and those that were disappointing.

Image description

The Good Points

Below are the aspects that I particularly appreciated about transitioning from Evernote to Notion:

Integrated Workspace

While Evernote sometimes struggled with organizing information across multiple notebooks, Notion allows all documents to be linked within a single interface, making it more intuitive to manage. Using backlinks to connect related information enables relational and multidimensional information management, a feature that was refreshingly new and not available in Evernote.

Visual Appeal

Notion's interface is minimalist and aesthetically pleasing, making it comfortable to use. Furthermore, the ability to customize icons and cover images allows for a visually enjoyable experience on each page. While Evernote also offers customization, Notion provides fewer restrictions and a more intuitive user experience (in my opinion).

Enhanced Flexibility in Data Management

Notion offers high customizability, making it easy to tailor pages to specific needs. Although Evernote is relatively simple (which is also one of its strengths), Notion's use of database functionalities allows for a variety of uses, from task management to project progress tracking. The concept of databases was not inherent to Evernote, but in Notion, the same database can be viewed differently, such as in a list or Kanban style, and can be extensively customized, which is highly appealing.

Image description

The Downsides

Next, I will summarize the aspects of my transition from Evernote to Notion that I found disappointing.

Migration Effort

The process of transferring information from Evernote to Notion can be quite labor-intensive and time-consuming, especially if many notes were not well-organized. I had to manually check and organize all notes. Eventually, I decided to leave past data in Evernote and now refer to Evernote for data before around 2022, while using Notion for newer data.

Database Usability

The diverse display options like Kanban and lists offered by Notion's database were very appealing when I considered migrating from Evernote. In practice, I frequently use tools like Numbers (similar to Excel) and Trello at work, and I thought managing everything solely in Notion would be very beneficial.

However, in reality, the spreadsheet and Kanban functionalities in Notion do not match those of Trello or Numbers, and managing everything in Notion alone proved to be challenging. The database feature itself is very useful, but it could not completely replace tools like Numbers or Trello.


The high customization ability of Notion is a significant advantage over Evernote; however, the simple notebook structure of Evernote is very intuitive. Evernote might be more suitable for those who just want to leave quick notes or prefer not to use complex tools.

Response Speed

Compared to Evernote, Notion sometimes experiences slow response times when handling pages with a lot of information. This mostly occurs when displaying large databases, so it requires some adjustments, such as storing databases in toggles and hiding them when not in use.

Integration with Taskuma

This might be a niche situation and may not apply to many others, but I heavily use Taskuma (a type of TaskChutes), and Notion does not have direct integration with this app (while Evernote does). Therefore, when exporting records, manual copy-pasting is necessary, adding an extra step to the process.

Image description


In this article, I've briefly summarized the main points that came to mind.

The inspiration for this article came from recent news I learned about: the dissolution of Evernote's Japanese corporation. I am originally from Japan, and initially, Japan had the second-largest number of Evernote users after the United States. The company had been focusing on expanding in the Japanese market.

Personally, Evernote appeared during the rise of smartphones as an innovative cloud-based note-taking app, acting like a colossal dinosaur that profoundly influenced subsequent note apps, including Notion.

It feels somewhat melancholic to hear news of such a pioneering service like Evernote becoming outdated and scaling down. As we continue to navigate through ever-evolving digital landscapes, it's important to remember and appreciate the foundational roles played by services like Evernote, even as we embrace new tools that better meet our changing needs.

Top comments (0)