Evernote vs. Simplenote + Pinboard + Instapaper

Evernote vs. Simplenote + Pinboard + Instapaper

John Gruber at DaringFireball said today:

I have no doubt that many people love Evernote. That’s great. But I don’t like it at all. I don’t like the Mac app. I don’t like the web app. And I especially dislike the iPhone app …

I think that sums it up pretty well. I’ve been looking for a good one-size-fits-all online notebook app and I’ve probably played with most of them. Ubernote, Google Notebook, Zoho Notebook and Evernote to name but a few. They’re all painful in their own way but Evernote seemed the least painful. So I migrated everything to their service, installed the Javascripts to my various browsers, installed the iPhone app, and convinced myself this was the best solution.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that I wasn’t using the system. The web interface is clunky and I hate the iPhone app. It’s just too much. It’s usable but there’s very little that’s easy on the eyes and brain.

I found myself posting items to Instapaper and reading them later on my iPhone or at home on my laptop. Instapaper is probably one of the few apps to never leave my Top 10. And I found myself posting helpful URLs to Pinboard. Pinboard is like Del.icio.us without all the social networking crap and associated lag. It’s fast, simple, and rocks. I highly recommend it. There’s a one-time subscription fee which, at this time, is still less than $5.00

The final piece fell into place with Gruber’s Simplenote post. Simplenote is a barebones text editor that syncs, via HTTPS, to their website. When you purchase the app and set up an account, you can begin accessing your notes on your iPhone or a web browser by visiting their website. Notes are instantly synced from your iPhone to the website, and changes made on the website are instantly available on your iPhone. It’s simple, easy and beautifully executed. And it’s only $1.99. Holy hell, that’s a good deal.

I’m still looking for the perfect online notebook, but for now I think I’ve found it. Instapaper + Pinboard + Simplenote > all. It’s not all-in-one, but maybe that’s not a bad thing. At any rate, I’m loving it.