Evernote is changing, but so am I: switching from Evernote to OneNote

Evernote has been my go-to software app for notes for many years. I’ve loved it for a long time, but the time has come to make the switch to OneNote. The thing is, I have an Office 365 subscription that I’m very happy with, despite the fact that I don’t actually use the new versions of Excel and Word.* I tried OneNote soon after installing Office 365, and although I didn’t hate it, I didn’t see a big need to switch.

One reason was because my phone is getting old, I mean really old (it’s an original Droid X), and it’s starting to have trouble running newer applications. My little Droid X is still on Android 2.3.4. But goodness, I love that phone, and it still does what I need it to do: check my email, send texts and messages, play music, make calls, take photos, and run my 6 e-reading apps.

On the other hand, Aldiko has recently started crashing on me, and the Kindle app has started to load really slowly, so it’s definitely going downhill. And my phone won’t run OneNote, while it still runs Evernote without a hitch. So I decided at the time not to make the switch.

But last night I got the following email.

Evernote Basic is changing

At Evernote, we are committed not only to making you as productive as you can be, but also to running our business in as transparent a way as possible. We’re making a change to our Basic service, and it’s important that you know about it.

In the coming weeks, Evernote Basic accounts will be limited to two devices, such as a computer and phone, two computers, or a phone and a tablet. You are currently over this limit, but will have at least 30 days to adjust. Plus and Premium accounts will continue to support access from an unlimited number of devices.

Look for additional communication from us explaining how your account is changing and outlining your options. For more information about why we are making this change, see our blog post.

The problem with this is that I use Evernote everywhere: phone, Kindle fire, Fire tablet, laptop, desktop… You get the picture. But out of the 60 MB of data transfer Evernote allows a free account, I use less than one MB most months. Right now, I’m at 259 KB for the month. There’s just no reason for me to pay for a subscription for this service. And now I won’t be able to access Evernote on all my devices.

To put it bluntly, Evernote has suddenly become much less useful to me.

So, last night, I used the OneNote importer to copy my Evernote notes to OneNote. And I quite like it. It’s going to take a little getting used to, but I think I’ll manage.

I have to say, I’m sorry for Evernote, but I think their recent changes are going to be the end of them. Not because I think it matters that I switched, because I was probably never going to be a paid user anyway. I don’t worship the ideal of a paperless life, by far, and I don’t like digital clutter either. But instead of making changes that will make Evernote indispensable to users, they’re limiting it in a way that makes it less likely the software can ever become indispensable to those who might go on to become paid users.

*I still use my Office 2007 versions, although there are features in the 2016 editions that I like, such as how Word remembers where you last were in the document when you reopen it. The switch to OneNote made me feel like I should try again, because I really like the OneNote interface. I just… really hate that green all over Excel. The blue from 2007 was so much more soothing a color. I loved those colors. It’s made it really hard to get over my other issues with 2016 and commit to the newer versions.

Moving on from Chrome

Several years ago, I bailed on Firefox when it started running a bit slow on my computers (actually my much older laptop), and switched to Chrome. I liked Chrome’s clean interface, so I stuck with it. But lately I’ve not been so happy with Chrome, and today I decided to make the switch back to Firefox (yes, I was procrastinating).

I’m glad I did. Firefox is running faster than Chrome, and I like how the fonts look. There’ve always been some annoyances I’ve lived with in Chrome, too, like the fact that video always auto plays for me, and I wasn’t a fan of the bookmark manager. I like organized bookmarks. It was totally possible to organize them in Chrome, but it wasn’t super simple. Also, history: in Firefox, it’s very easy to search for history items and mass delete (which I need to do a lot of when I’m trying to avoid writer distractions and don’t want forums and blogs cluttering up my most visited lists), but in Chrome? I had to select little check boxes and delete them that way—talk about a pain in ASS.

But you know what’s really sold me on the switch?

I really like blue. :D

Screenshot 2016-06-25 19.32.59
Firefox has a blue bar at the top, while Chrome is an unrelenting gray.

I realize that seems kind of like a silly reason to be happy about the switch, but I’m just going to say it again, I really like blue. :) The blue bar at the top of the browser is much more pleasing to my eyes than the Chrome gray. I know I could use themes, but why add bloat? Nope, no themes for me.

So there you have it. I’ve abandoned Chrome for Firefox and I’m quite pleased I’ve done it. :)

Now, no more excuses! I need to write!

Losing my patience waiting for that A/C repair

It’s 6:32 am. The forecast high for today is 88 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite the air quality alert for my area, I’m sitting with my windows open letting the house cool down. It’s made it to about 68 degrees. I’ll close them very shortly, before it warms up and hope it doesn’t get too hot in here today. I’ve been doing the same for days, and it’s been working much better to do that than to leave the windows open all day. I cool the house, close the windows and blinds, then ride out the hot temperatures, then open the windows again when it becomes cooler outside than in, usually near dark.

I am, however, going to call the repair shop again today and ask them again what the hell is taking so long. 4 weeks is 2 weeks too long to wait for a part, IMO. After looking at my calendar and realizing just how long it’s been, I’m finding I’ve lost my patience.

There’s still time

I have a plan for today, although it’s not the plan I started with this morning.

From 2:30 to 3:30 pm and 6:30 to 8:30 pm, I’m going to work on my new book. The goal would normally be to write 3,233 words (which would be really difficult for me to do in 3 hours of writing time but not impossible), but today, it’s much more about reading through the chapters I’ve already written, fixing boo-boos, and getting back into the story than it is about new words.

My original schedule today would have allowed me 4 hours for this, but if I don’t get caught in the perfectionism trap, I might get everything I want done today in the 3 hours I’m setting aside. The story sits at 27,804 words, and 3 hours seems like just enough time to get through it if I block out interruptions.

Accountability check-in: I had coffee today

I’m not supposed to be drinking coffee. It’s something I gave up—again—after finally admitting just how negatively caffeine affects me.

But today I gave in to the urge and had two cups of coffee right after lunch. I’m very awake right now and I do regret giving in to the urge, but impulsive behavior isn’t that new to me—I’m not exactly shocked that I gave in.

I knew better than to assume I had finally kicked the coffee habit for good. And knowing that, I had a backup plan that kicked in the moment I gave in!

The backup rule? If I have caffeine, for whatever reason, I can never have it more than once a week. Meaning I might have given in today, but the backup rule will keep me from giving in tomorrow or the next day or the next, keeping my safe from any future caffeine addiction.

Impulsivity strikes again

I came close to deleting every post on this site this morning. I did delete most of the tags (not the first time I’ve done this) and deleted and renamed some categories.

The fact is, I have no idea how to categorize most of the posts on this blog, but I would like to group things together in a more useful way. Most of what I write is just about my writing woes of the moment, and I often don’t realize I’m revisiting a particular line of thought until I can’t remember when (or in what post) I mentioned it before.

So, today I’m organizing this blog. (Yes, it’s also procrastination. I should be working on my latest book.)

I am procrastinating, but I used the opportunity to make a decision

I’ve been looking for a good case for using sentence case instead of title case for my post titles, and I’ve finally found one.

I found Are you Team Title Case or Team sentence case? today, and although I should totally have been able to say to myself, “Self, it’s okay to use whatever case you want to use,” I haven’t found it to be as easy as all that. I have continued to waffle on the issue, as a look through my archives could prove. (This is a pattern in my life in so many ways, I tell you.)

My favorite reason from the post?

4. Sentence case mirrors human-to-human communication style

Human beings don’t send each other texts, social updates and emails written in title case – that’s the mark of a corporate voice, someone trying to sell us something or make an official proclamation to a mass audience.

It’s sentence case for my titles from now on.

I’d like this theme better if the header wasn’t so large

Unfortunately, the header is also the thing I like about it. I could get rid of it, and the theme wouldn’t be that much different from the old one. But I don’t want to get rid of the header! However, on my laptop screen, it just takes up too much space and I hate scrolling down to see my last post. :(

This is what I see:

Perpetualized Screenshot

That’s it. The whole window.

It’s a say day today. :(

New theme and yes, that’s my real desk

That’s it! I like this theme a lot! I saw it on a website I shouldn’t have been on because no, I haven’t finished my writing today and it’s not dinnertime.

That desk is where I sometimes work. (Update: pic is gone because it was a header pic and another theme change obliterated it.) I have moved it though. Now it’s at a right angle to that window and in the “command position” in that very small room. Oh, and I have a new chair. I wrote posts about both of those things but I can’t remember when. :D (Found them.)

The only thing I don’t like about this theme is how links aren’t underlined and the text color is almost a match for the link color. Hmm. I might have to tweak it! We’ll see, but absolutely not right now.* I must turn my attention to writing or I’m going to want to kick my own rear later tonight. :o

*Ta-da. I fixed the links anyway. Took about 5-10 minutes to install Child Theme Configurator, generate a child theme, find the link css in the original stylesheet, copy it, paste it in my new child theme, and save. I still shouldn’t have done it. :( Boo on me.

Jeeves and Wooster

I’ve been watching Jeeves & Wooster and boggling over a young Hugh Laurie of House fame. :) He was such a cute young man, and of course, Bertie Wooster is nothing like Dr. House so that just makes it all so much more unbelievably fun.

Jeeves & WoosterI would have never realized this show existed if I hadn’t been reading P. G. Wodehouse of late, and then at my latest visit to my favorite bookstore within 200 miles (McKay’s) I came across a set of DVDs for the show.

Jeeves & Wooster covers ground that several of the stories in the collections I’ve read so far covers, but I don’t mind. Now every time I read more in the Jeeves and Wooster series, I hear Hugh Laurie’s and Stephen Fry’s voices. It’s not a terrible hardship. :)

Bought a pretty journal (can’t bring myself to write in it)

Isn’t that ironic? I bought a lovely journal to write in, but now I can’t bring myself to write in it because it’s so pretty.

Persian Splendor Journal

This isn’t a surprise to me. I have lots of pretty journals that I haven’t been able to write in. When I get ready to write, I end up pulling out one of the hundred or so spiral notebooks I got for $0.10 apiece at Walmart about eight or nine years ago. I love writing in those things and I don’t know why. I guess it feels disposable. A hardback journal doesn’t and I worry about mistakes.

(I have a real soft spot for blues. Definitely my favorite color!)

I deleted all my tags

I wanted to do a clean up on them and it was taking too long. I admit I’m supposed to be writing right now, and deleting them seemed the quickest way to accomplish my goal of getting myself back to work. :) No tags = nothing to clean up!

I’ll probably bring some of them back later, when I can do it without wasting good writing time, because they do make it a bit easier to find related posts. :)

On to the next book

Okay, I stayed up until 4 am getting that publishing stuff done. But it’s done. :)

I really wish I’d been able to sleep later than 7:30 this morning, because yeah, that’s some serious sleep deficit there. I feel it. Surprisingly I’m not sleepy, but I am very tired. Thinking about taking a cool bath and falling asleep in the tub tonight. ;)

Tomorrow I won’t have any excuse to fail when it comes to my schedule, so my number one priority tonight is not to stay up too late!

My telephone cooperative is more responsive than I thought

My phone is fixed.

The repairman showed up at 9 am sharp when I was supposed to start writing so I’m getting a late start today. Apparently the lightning fried the filter that separates data from voice transmissions, which also explains why I still had internet service but no phone service. Once that was fixed, I discovered that my two downstairs phones had also been fried. I do have working phone service now though, using my old upstairs phone that’s probably 25 years old. I do miss my cordless! I’ll have to replace it ASAP, but I’m relieved that I won’t have to worry about this any longer.

Stressed (and frustrated)

I didn’t succeed in writing much today. I ended the day at 393 words. I spent a lot of my writing time reading sections of a previous book in the series for one of the books I’m starting next. For the moment, I’m working on two books, because I haven’t decided which one I want to dig into. I know which one I should dig into, but I rarely let that stop me from doing what I want instead. :)

A lightning strike this evening knocked out my phone service. It’s Friday night, so yippee. I have no idea how I still have internet, because it’s DSL (through my phone line) because I definitely don’t have phone service. I unplugged every phone in the house and tried each one all by its lonesome and still no service. Tomorrow I’ll unplug the modem and see if any of the phones work while it’s unplugged. That’s the one thing I forgot to try.

I now have a headache, because I hate stressful things like the phone thing. I won’t stop worrying about this until it’s fixed. Considering where I live and how small my local telephone cooperative is, I’ll probably be lucky to get it back on Monday.

I still haven’t finished the copy edit of my latest book because I can’t bring myself to sit down and read my book for more than half an hour at a time, followed by a 5 hour break! I have no idea why this is a problem.

I’m ready to just go to sleep and wake up tomorrow and start over.

Yep, that’s right. I’d like a do-over, please.

Tomorrow I make my adjusted schedule work for me.

Tired of this cold and tired of not having a better routine

It’s day 7 of the cold. I want to write more today than yesterday. I never got to it, although I did read two more of the series books that precede the book I’m working on now. I feel like I have a good handle on the story to date and I’m ready to write, except, well, I’m tired. Colds will do that to you I guess. I read on one of the health sites that they typically last one to two weeks. I’ve developed a bit of a cough that’s irritating my lungs and throat. I’m hopeful I’m on the downward slope here, but I think I’m going to try to doze for a bit before I start writing today.

I have a routine I want to settle into and this is really messing with it, but I want over this cold, the sooner the better, and honestly, I’m barely keeping my eyes open right now. I think I need the rest.

Here’s the routine.

Write from 7 to 2. This isn’t “sit down and write and do nothing else” time. I just want to start fitting my writing in between 7 and 2 so I can stop living in the moment all the time. I have a lot of trouble prioritizing when I’m in the moment. :) In fact, living in the moment is exactly the opposite of what I need to do more often because I do it all the time. I really think that the living in the moment philosophy was created for people with distinctly different personalities than the one I have.

Other stuff after 2 pm. Publishing stuff, life stuff, that kind of thing. Since the publishing stuff I need to do right now is to finish formatting those paperbacks I haven’t done yet, that’s really all I have to do right now other than personal stuff after 2. I do my folks’ taxes and that’s on my list these next couple of weeks, and my own taxes of course. If I can get ahead of my 2,000 a day average, I could take a whole day for the paperbacks, but until I get this next book finished, I’m not going to do that unless I do get ahead. There will definitely be some days where I take the whole day to do publishing stuff, such as after I actually finish a book, but during the writing of said books, I’d like to stick to this routine.

Read through the day’s writing from 7 to 8 pm. Or however long it takes. I doubt it’ll take an hour to read a couple of thousand words. I haven’t changed my overall desire to write an average of 2,000 words a day, although I did have to reset my expectations already when I noticed my expectations creeping up. That happens a lot apparently. I get really bogged down in the copy editing and stuff when I’m done with a story, and I get super nervous worrying that I might have missed something important, and I think this might help. I’ve stopped reading through the previous day’s writing as I’ve become more focused on my words per hour rate and more than just making that final read through more stressful, I also think it’s hurt my enjoyment of writing. This way I can make corrections as I go and when I do that final read through I might not worry so much that I’ve missed something—and maybe I’ll enjoy it a bit more too. ;)

Read fiction from 8:30 til bedtime. This way I can fit in all the reading I want to do this year!

That’s really it. I don’t consider this a schedule, although I’m sure it fits that definition for some folks. For me, it’s just the routine I’d like to find myself slipping into so that I can concentrate on getting all those books I’d like to write this year written.

Now, time for that rest. I’m sleepy and my chest is hurting and I can’t believe it’s just 8:38 am. Hopefully I’ll wake up all energized and ready to write. I’ll probably need to get started by 10 if I want a chance of reaching 2,000 today without writing past 2 o’clock.