Evernote is experimenting with severe restrictions to its free plan, which may nudge users to upgrade or quit the app entirely. According to a report from TechCrunch, some Evernote users were greeted with a pop-up message announcing that the free plan would be limited to a single notebook and 50 notes. The pop-up also introduced a “special 40 percent off” offer, encouraging users to upgrade to a paid plan to create notes and notebooks without limits.
But despite the in-app notification, Evernote’s website has no mention of changes coming to its free plan. A representative for the company explained to TechCrunch that the website had not been updated because the change was not yet final. The company confirmed it has been testing the limited plan with less than 1 percent of its free users. Based on how that goes, Evernote will determine whether to implement the new plan. If that does happen, the representative said the company would then communicate the changes to “the relevant customer touch-points.”
The limited version of the free plan would not prevent users from managing, editing or deleting their current notes. It would only take away the ability to create new notes unless users took the plunge and paid for their plan.
For years, Evernote was the go-to app for countless power users and productivity gurus. However, the app has been kind of on a downward slide for a while. In 2020, it appeared Evernote was trying to reclaim its crown with the release of a major cross-platform redesign. But the updates weren’t enough to revive the app, which was once valued at almost a billion dollars. Last November, Evernote was purchased by a Milan-based company called Bending Spoons, which went on to lay off 129 staffers. Bending Spoons later announced it would be abandoning most of its US operations, shifting Evernote development to Europe.
If implemented, this would be a dramatic change for die-hard Evernote fans who have stuck with the free plan for lightweight note-taking purposes. The change would make the free plan basically useless, and there would be no compelling reason to use Evernote over something free and more powerful like Apple and Google’s own note-taking apps.