Evernote is putting free users on a strict diet with its latest experiment

Evernote logo on a phone screen
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Evernote is considering a significant downgrade to its free plan, limiting users to a single notebook and 50 notes.
  • The company is currently testing this restricted plan with a small fraction of its free users, and if it's successful, Evernote may implement it across its entire free user base.
  • Existing notes will remain accessible and editable, but free users will not be able to create new notes without upgrading to a paid plan.

Evernote is shaking things up by testing severe restrictions on its free plan, limiting freeloaders to a single notebook and 50 notes, leaving them with no choice except to upgrade to a paid plan or say goodbye to the service.

According to TechCrunch, users are getting a push towards premium plans with a pop-up message introducing a restricted free plan. Otherwise, the app would not allow them to create any more notes. Evernote sweetens the deal with a "special 40 percent off" offer, tempting users to upgrade for unlimited note creation.

evernote limited free plan experiment pop-up message urging users to upgrade

(Image credit: TechCrunch)

That said, Evernote's website hasn't been updated yet to reflect the changes to the free plan. A company representative told TechCrunch that it's holding off on making it public because the change isn't final yet.

If you're using Evernote's free plan, you're currently limited to uploading 60MB of data per month and creating notes up to 25MB in size. If you need more space or want to upload larger files, you'll need to upgrade to a paid plan. The personal plan costs $14.99 per month or $129.99 per year, and it gives you 10GB of monthly uploads and 200MB note size limits.

Evernote is currently trying out the limited free plan with less than 1 percent of its free users. Depending on how the trial run goes, the company will decide whether to go full throttle with the change.

If Evernote actually goes through with it, the proposed changes would make the free tier virtually unusable for many users. This means people might start eyeballing competing note-taking apps like Google Keep, OneNote, or Notion.

Even if you don't want to upgrade, you can still access and manage your existing notes. You can also export them to another app if you decide to switch. The limited free plan won't stop you from using your current notes, but you won't be able to create new ones without upgrading.

Evernote, which was acquired by Bending Spoons last year, is rolling out this test in an effort to boost its cash flow. The platform has been struggling financially, and its new owner laid off employees last year. Bending Spoons said that the company has been unprofitable for years, and it hopes this new plan could help change that.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.