Every so often, I get the impression that Bending Spoons is following some of the same problematic routes that have already been attempted before them.

I love how fast the new mobile experience is, and I’m sure people who create notes mostly on their phones are happier than ever. But what I’m feeling is discomfort. It’s now 5 days since I started using the new Evernote home for mobile, and I’m yet to use the main screen as intended.

Stacey Harmon said it best: “I have to think about it a lot more than I used to”.

(…) I’m really struggling to embrace the new Home. It is not clicking for me. (…) I’m missing the customized create button. The options there don’t reflect my preferred capture ways. (source)

I also am just struggling to navigate the app and get to what I want. I’m not finding it intuitive… I have to think about it a lot more than I used to. (source)

If we go all the way back to 2014, when Evernote 7 adopted a modern interface to replace the previews skeuomorphic design mimicking a Rolodex, some complaints were about the lack of customization. Which the company ended up addressing.

When Evernote 8 for iOS came out, customization was gone again. And, as inevitable as gravity is, I remember people asking for many settings. One of the more prominent among my community was a way to turn off the recently used notebooks from the top of the notebooks list. Which, by the way, I didn’t felt the need to remove. In fact, I liked it. And that’s precisely my point.

Customizing Evernote is a must-have option because everyone uses it differently. So much so that Evernote 10 brought back many ways to personalize the app. Unfortunately, that’s now gone again.

But credit has to be given when it’s due. Bending Spoons was able to put together a user interface that has the best elements from many older iterations.

The creation buttons that were used on the first versions of the app are back. Then there’s the dock from Evernote 8, which makes it a breeze to switch from one view to another. And there is even a widget borrowed from the original version 10. To top it all off, this might be the fastest Evernote app ever released.

There’s just one missing piece: customization. And that’s something they could’ve learned from history. Evernote users need options simply because each one of us has a different vision of what makes the perfect Evernote experience.

And talking about history, in the second part of the video below, you can see a glimpse of how I try to keep Evernote’s history intact. Ironically, I do that using Obsidian.