Springpad, I hardly knew ye...
May 25, 2014 8:21 AM   Subscribe

After struggling with Evernote, I finally found my notetaking, task-tracking, save-everything soulmate in Springpad. But now it's going out of business! Please help me find a feature-rich alternative?

Absolutely completely essential:
- Platform independence. I use Windows at work and home, but have an iPhone, so no Mac-only or iOS-only. I need to be able to manage all my stuff in a web app or a desktop app in addition to on mobile.
- syncing, obviously

What I loved about Springpad:
- built-in taxonomy for lots of different types of items: tasks, checklists, events, notes, pictures, books, recipes, etc.
- lots of different ways to organize, including saved searches, tags, multiple notebooks, sort by item type, etc.
- ability to sort items manually. This was great for me because sometimes I rearrange my todo list by arbitrary criteria, not just by what's newest or last changed.
- option to look at things visually and even arrange them freeform in a bulletin board/kanban

What drives me crazy about Evernote:
- the iOS app and the web/desktop apps have very different ways of working
- entering notes in mobile is slow and frustrating, and entering tags is even more annoying. You can't just tag by including a #hashtag in the body of the note.
- you can't filter by whether something is a task (and due to the above issues, tagging something as ".task" takes way too long)

Is there a program that can fill the gap, or a better way of making the most of Evernote? I do use Drafts on iOS and find that helpful, but maybe I'm not using it awesomely enough.
I don't mind paying for something if it's worth it.
posted by overeducated_alligator to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
I'm similarly demanding of my note taking apps, although I'm less focused on the tagging and taxonomy and more focused on it Just Working, across multiple platforms.

Last year, I asked here and got a bit of advice, eventually settling on SimpleNote.

It's been perfect.
posted by intermod at 9:28 AM on May 25, 2014

Oh no! I must have saved twenty recipes to Springpad this weekend alone. I didn't know they were going out of business.

I have been thinking about switching to Google docs as my keeping source because I've read some convincing reviews of folks using it in creative ways. My biggest problem will be the lack of tagging. With recipes, for instance, I don't want a full text search that pulls back every doc with garlic in it. Instead I want to be able to tag a select few things with garlic--like pickled garlic--and only get those back. I'm thinking maybe I can include hashtagged tags in the body and always search with a hash tag?

I'm really interested to hear the other suggestions.
posted by tofu_crouton at 9:42 AM on May 25, 2014

OneNote is free, cross-platform and syncs to web with OneDrive. There's a premium version that does other things like record audio or video. Worth a download to see if it ticks all your boxes. For what it's worth, I didn't like Evernote either, but use OneNote pretty much daily.
posted by sageleaf at 10:04 AM on May 25, 2014 [3 favorites]

I like OneNote, although I'm not really a heavy user of it.
posted by alex1965 at 10:48 AM on May 25, 2014

For Evernote, have you considered using The Secret Weapon? I couldn't get into Evernote myself until I gave it a try; now I dump everything into it. Also Evernote's mobile app (at least for iPhone) has gotten significantly better as of late.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:48 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Consider folders and plain text files to avoid lock-in for true platform independence.

I've tried many suggestions in this thread, but at the end of the day nothing beats a good filing system. Use dropbox or google drive to sync to your mobile. Stay simple and organized. Use powerful search tools from the command line to find things.

This set-up will never become obsolete.
posted by soyiuz at 10:50 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

I noticed that they provided an instant export to Evernote, so I went with that option out of sheer convenience.
posted by tofu_crouton at 9:06 AM on May 29, 2014

Response by poster: I ended up with a hybrid solution: no single-bucket place on the web for managing all my crap, but close enough to it...

- Google Calendar for events
- ToodleDo for to-dos and grocery lists (supports context, tagging, folders)
- Evernote for notey things

And finally Pocket Informant on iOS, which wonderfully draws from all the services INCLUDING METADATA and has two-way sync (very important, since a lot of programs won't let you add calendar events to gCal, they just give you an iCal link to subscribe to).

So far so good.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 9:33 AM on May 29, 2014

overeducated_alligator, could you add the simplenote tag to this post? While you didn't go with it in the end, Simplenote has been recommended in the past for this scenario, and tagging it here will help others find this discussion.
posted by intermod at 12:11 PM on May 29, 2014

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