Sunday, November 02, 2008

A note on Evernote

This is just something I thought I'd share with Teh Wild Interwebs out there.

The short version: Evernote for Windows synchronization works only if Internet Explorer can access the web.

The long version

I use a pretty cool web service called Evernote. It has a desktop version too, for Windows and for Mac. To upload "notes" into it (such as images or text documents), I drag-and-drop them to the Evernote For Windows (the desktop application). At regular intervals Evernote synchronizes the local versions of those notes with the versions stored on Evernote Web. That way those notes are accessible to me anywhere over the web browser.

Sometime in the future I may blog about Evernote some more, once I figure out how to use it in ways that would totally enhance my life and scrub my kitchen sink. I've been doing that for the last few months a bit too sporadically, so I still haven't reached definite conclusions.

A couple of months ago for no good reason the Evernote desktop application stopped synchronizing with the web. Whenever I pressed the Synchronize button, I would get a message "Syncronization Failed". Not informative at all. support pages didn't reveal any clues, so I contacted their tech support. After a couple of back-and-forth emails they suggested I check whether I can access Evernote URL from Internet Explorer. Specifically from IE, not Firefox. So I did. And sure enough, IE said it was in Offline Mode. Once I unchecked the Offline Mode, Evernote synchronization started to work. So it turns out Evernote for Windows is dependent on IE. Who woulda thunk?

It should be mentioned that their tech support was fast and efficient in solving my problem. Very nice of them, considering that they are not making any money off of me (Evernote's basic service is free).


Dave said...

Yeah, networking from Windows computers is a tricky problem due to the millions of different ways that people set up their networks with proxies and firewalls and whatnot.
We try to solve this problem by using the same Windows HTTP networking libraries that are used by IE, so if you can get IE to work, Evernote will sync just fine. This means that you won't need to manually tweak all of the proxy settings (e.g.) in order to get Evernote to go.

Unfortunately, Windows provides some odd ways that you can screw up networking for IE, and that breaks Evernote, too.

Elze said...

I understand. I also think it would be helpful if you guys mentioned on Evernote help pages that Evernote depends on IE to work.

nerdjumbo said...

thanks a ton!! you saved me hours of research and frustration on the same. My Evernote showed same issues since yesterday.

thanks again. :)

Jeffrey said...

I think that you've described the problem I'm having with Evernote. But how can you determine whether IE is offline?

Elze said...

Jeffrey: for me it was as simple as going to IE Tools menu and seeing whether "Work Offline" was checked. Does this not work for you?

Kite said...

My Evernote stopped synchronising around the same time that I installed IECollections (a standalone collection of different IE versions). I had to repair my original IE via reinstallation because it acted funny. Since then, my Evernote cannot synchronise, and I've had no response from their IT support.

john said...

When I click Synchronize the messages say:
Retrieving Changes List 0% done
Updating Server database 0% done
25% done
Synchronization Failed
Next sync at HH:MM

IE is not set of offline support.
Also, SOME of the stuff updates while others never do.

What gives?

john said...

I finally solved my issue by reading the log (that is in the Evernote folder) and noting the first file that created an error condition. I removed it and the problem went away.

Evernote still has problems but the log may be a useful tool for debugging synchronizing issues.

Today's problem is on the IPhone side -- Evernote on my I phone now won't search (comes up empty on every search). Sigh, deleting the program from IPhone and re-installing.

Best to all,

Anonymous said...

Issue solved by allowing through our proxy servers.