Evernote Tests Free Plan Limitations, Encouraging Users To Upgrade


Evernote, a popular note-taking app, is conducting a small-scale test of a new free plan that places limitations on the number of notes users can create. The experiment aims to push more users to upgrade to paid versions of the service. Although the new plan has not been finalized, some users have been notified that they will be limited to 1 notebook and 50 notes unless they upgrade to a paid plan. This change could significantly affect long-time Evernote users who have accumulated a large number of notes over the years.

Key Takeaway

Evernote is testing a new plan that imposes limits on the number of notes free users can create. This move aims to drive more users to upgrade to paid versions. The changes, if implemented, could affect long-time Evernote users and prompt them to seek alternative note-taking apps like Microsoft OneNote or Notion.

Evernote’s Free Plan Limitations

Despite the in-app messaging, the Evernote website did not provide clear information about these limitations, making it seem like a hidden fee change. Currently, the website indicates that free users have restrictions such as monthly upload limits of 60 MB and a maximum note size of 25 MB. Personal and professional plans are available at discounted prices of $10.83 and $14.17 per month, respectively, offering more features such as larger note sizes and unlimited syncing across devices.

Test and Potential Impact

The company stated that the new information has not been updated on its website because the change is still being evaluated through a test involving less than 1% of its free users. If the test is successful, Evernote will communicate the changes to all users. It’s important to note that the limit on free plans will not affect users’ ability to manage, edit, view, export, or delete existing notes; it will only restrict the creation of new notes unless users upgrade to a paid plan.

This change could pose a significant challenge for long-time Evernote users who rely on the app for lightweight note-taking on a single device. It effectively pushes a majority of Evernote’s regular users on free plans to either become paying customers or seek alternative note-taking applications.

Potential Alternatives and Competition

If the change goes into effect, it might drive users to explore alternative products like Microsoft OneNote, which offers plans starting at $6.99 per month and includes cloud storage of up to 1TB, syncing across five devices. Another potential choice for users could be Notion, a collaborative notes organizer that offers a free plan for individual users.

The Struggles of Evernote

Evernote had faced challenges even before its acquisition by Bending Spoons. The company experienced significant executive turnover in 2018 and laid off 15% of its workforce due to financial difficulties. Despite these setbacks, the app managed to generate $100 million in recurring revenue under the leadership of CEO Ian Small. However, it has struggled to keep up with newer competitors like Notion.

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