How to Kill a Great App in 3 Easy Steps

Drew Lowe
5 min readAug 16, 2023

Evernote is the Godfather of notetaking apps. Since 2004, this beloved app has been renowned for it’s raw simplicity, ease of use, rapid workflow, and thoughtful 2-tier organization structure. Very few productivity apps have such a successful 20 year run. Yet, Evernote did.

But… We need to talk about the giant green elephant in the room. Evernote is a dying app. Since Bending Spoons acquired the app in January 2023, it seems to me they have been driving the knife even deeper into the heart of a dying — once upon a time, great — application.

Real footage of Bending Spoons spraying all Evernote users with an 80% price hike.

Whether you are an avid note-taker like me who is saddened by the decline of one of your favorite apps or you are simply seeking to understand what happened that made a former market leader fall so deep in the dumps, there is value to be gained from looking at how this app went so far downhill, so fast. This isn’t a polemic. I still have an Evernote subscription as I write this article, and I’ve loved the app for years. But it is time to jump ship because the app is officially ruined by shortsighted management and a lack of innovation.

There is value to be gained from looking at how this app went so far downhill, so fast.

This is an app that should be living its golden years. But instead, it is aging with all kinds of health issues and it has forgotten its former glory. On the day that I am publishing this article, Tiago Forte (a long time advocate of Evernote) is releasing his new book The PARA Method. This organizational philosophy which has reverberated around the productivity world was originally forged in the fire of Evernote. Forte’s categorical paradigm which has transformed the lives of millions of notetakers, was first explored inside this green elephantine application.

Let us mourn.

So on the day of this book release, it seems as good a time as any to declare the Death of Evernote.