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The Beast of Burden

In the early days of computing, computers were physical beasts that took up an enormous amount of space on your desk. They occupied large rooms and even whole buildings, where gaining access to them was very closely monitored. Owning a computer was generally reserved for people who worked in the field. Outside of that, you were lucky if you even saw one up close.

Fast-forward to 2020, computers are now the norm and using them is how we get most of our personal and professional work done. Heck, it is how we meet our love partners, now! We accomplish such tasks using smartphones, laptops, tablets, phablets, desktop computers, etc. All sorts of devices and operating systems serving all sorts of different purposes.

The beast of burden lies within variety. We have way too many options now, which can, well... be a burden! A gift and a curse.

On the software side of things, note-taking applications are a trending topic on Reddit right now (in their respective subreddits). With options like Evernote, Nimbus Note, OneNote, Standard Notes, Simplenote, Google Keep, Clickup, Clipto, Journey, Day One, Diaro, Apple Notes, Joplin and many more, how do we know which one to choose?

For the past year, this has been my one gripe with the industry. There doesn't seem to be a perfect solution. They're all competing against each other for attention. My focus, as a result, diverts. Finding an all-in-one tool seems nearly impossible. I’ve gone between Google Drive + Docs, Evernote, Nimbus Note, Journey and Notion.

Journey was great, until Google deprecated the Drive API. Now, certain files become corrupt and the Android synchronization process falsely categorizes some media as corrupt. File transfer times can also corrupt media, if you’re using Google Drive as back-end storage. Google Drive itself works perfectly fine, on the other hand. There exists the Drive REST API, but I’m not the developer of Journey, so I can’t make that transition as a user.


Most recently, I began examining Evernote again and fell in love with how productive it made me feel. I took notes and organized the contents of my second brain with ease. The problem that came up early on for me was their pricing model. $69 per year just doesn't make sense to me, as their competitors offer more functionality at practically less than half of Evernote's fee.

Take Nimbus Note, for example. It essentially offers the same set of features that Evernote offers, but only charges its users $25 per year. Evernote doesn't have a variety of paid tiers. You jump from having free access or having to pay $70+ per year to use their service. This, to me, is a deal-breaker. A small jump in fee, via multiple paid tiers from low to high makes sense. Jumping from $0 to almost $100... doesn’t.

Oh well, Evernote has been losing their direction as a company for the past few years now, and it seems like a bunch of their users are ready to jump ship. Don’t get me wrong, though, I see the value in Evernote and consider it to be one of the best tools out there today. It doesn’t mean I’m willing to pay a high price for their product.

Enter, Nimbus Note.

First, their editing experience.

The editing experience is sleek and distraction-free (if you choose such a layout). See:


On top of being able to organize by notes using Folders, Nimbus Note offers Workspaces in addition to Tags. This is brilliant.

When editing a note, you organize text in blocks and have a hover toolbar, in which you can choose a variety of options from font formatting, to attaching items to notes, to embedding bookmarks/URLs.

Price: $25 per year. 5 GB of transfers per month and up to 1 GB of an attachment per note.

The bit that worries me is that the tools for such wide-spread software often have more demand than they do supply. How will Nimbus Note compete effectively with Evernote? Granted, Nimbus Note has been successful and has been around since 2010, but still. In the age where new apps pop up every day, even Evernote is struggling in some areas.

I wouldn't worry too much about it because better pricing usually means more users would be willing to pay for it, especially in the personal note-taking area. I see Evernote better for teams, as $70 for a personal tool seems way too steep, in my opinion.

Enter, Google Drive

It seems needless to provide screenshots for something almost everyone uses, so I won’t. Google Drive allows me to easily organize my content in folders, and Google Docs allows me to create documents with a great WYSIWYG editor. Nothing to share here, word processors have been around for a very long time. So, while taking notes the traditional way is no novel idea, it is, at the end of the day, very effective for me. I would like a more robust note-taking layout; for example, being able to swipe through different notes or see a list of my notes in a compact way, but we all have to compromise somewhere.

Side note: a lot of note-taking applications seem to forget people who are visually impaired. Choosing from S M L (Small, Medium, Large) isn’t enough for me, so the traditional font size option works great for me, in Google Docs. Something more and more apps are forgetting, especially on mobile, which is where you probably need it the most!

At the end of the day, Nimbus Note is my choice. In the world of endless productivity tools, adapting to new trends and ways of working is important. Like Evernote (but better), Nimbus Note adapts to my workflow and I'm able to quickly create content: as simple or as complex as I want, in one click.

My review should be coming soon...

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