Evernote Acquisitions

May 08, 2012 by Gabe | [mmd] |

Michael likes where Evernote is going with their acquisitions of Skitch and Penultimate. I'm not as enthusiastic.


I was an ardent Evernote user from the early days. I started exploring it when it was still web centric. When Phil Libin focused like a laser on the Mac, I was thrilled. I pumped massive amounts of info into it. I had two pro accounts just to support the company.

My enthusiasm waned when I wanted to extract my info into an archive. Evernote provides simple export tools but most of the information is lost or mangled. I decided to future proof all information I wanted to keep for more than a week. I still use Evernote as a central multi-platform clipboard. It's my short-term memory. Everything else goes into plain text or standard file formats like PNG, JPG or PDF.


Skitch is one of the original Mac screenshot apps. It was ground breaking when it first came out in 2010 but development slowed and the application began to feel like abandon-ware. Evernote acquired Skitch in August 2011. I was intrigued by the potential future of the application.

In the 9 months since the Evernote acquisition, Skitch released an iPad app that was attractive but lacked a lot of the features I needed. I stopped using it within a couple of weeks. The app was updated 4 times with bug fixes but never really earned its way back to my iPad. I also haven't opened the Mac version of Skitch in a couple of months. It just feels stagnant and anachronistic.

I'm dissapointed Skitch has not progressed more. I'm dissapointed integration with Evernote is not better. I can appreciate the idea of single-focus apps but Evernote needs a built in image editor.1 It feels like the only thing Evernote bought was an extra sharing button in Skitch.


Penultimate is consistently one of the top rated sketching apps and I like it a lot. The ink system is impressive, but like Skitch, Penultimate development has slowed way down. There is still no option to zoom in Penultimate and the last couple of updates were minor bug fixes or Retina iPad support.

The Penultimate acquistion feels just like the Skitch acquistion. I'm sure Penultimate will get a more direct method for sharing with Evernote but I'm doubtful there will be much more.

Tear Down These Walls

I'd prefer if Evernote went Full Monty with these acquisitions. Integrate Sktich image editing into Evernote. Provide direct support for Penultimate sketching in Evernote. Both of these apps have overlap with the reasons I want to use the Evernote app. I'd like Evernote to stop buying sharing buttons and start buying Evernote enhancements.

  1. Perhaps this applies more to the iOS version of Evernote, but I'd still rather have the functionality built right into Evernote on the Mac.