**UPDATE: Please take a look at my latest post called, “Holy Springpad, Batman — I’ve been Sprung … and Why I admit I’m now wrong” for a fresh new look at Springpad’s amazing updates!**
I must have downloaded Springpad … and then deleted it … and then downloaded it … and then deleted it a half dozen times. Why? Because I wanted to give Springpad a fair shake. I love the guys over at 40tech.com and it’s probably because of their post on Evernote vs Springpad that I decided to give it more of a serious look. Reading posts on why people are switching to Springpad from Evernote truly makes me wonder why they’re using Evernote to begin with if that’s the case. As you all know, getting back on task is huge for me.
Here’s the thing for me about Springpad: I just don’t get it … and I like to think of myself as a pretty smart guy. So, I’ve outlined two main (and fairly simple) reasons why I won’t ever switch: creating a note & creating a task.
Creating a note
I use Evernote on my iPad to create notes while I’m at a client meeting. Here’s how that process works in Evernote. Open App. Tap new note. Begin typing. Add tags. Happiness.
There’s nothing very mysterious about it. The same applies if I’m at my PC and on a conference call. New note. Begin typing. Add tags. Easy. Happiness.
Here’s how that process works in Springpad for the iPad.
Step 1: tap the “+” sign.
Step 2: tap “Add by Type”.
Step 3: tap “Note”.
Step 4: type the note.
Besides being convoluted and way too many steps — there’s no tags. You can add it to a list – but without tags, there’s no real efficient way of sorting through my meeting notes! I know fromreading comments on Springpad’s blog that there’s plan’s to add mobile tags soon – but until the do, where’s the real value?
Step 1: You have to first select the type of note you want.
Step 2: Then you need to title it.
Step 3: Then you need to click on edit once it appears in the drop down to begin typing out your note.
Step 4: Then, once you’ve typed your note and clicked on save,
Step 5: Then, you have to then go back to the list, click on the title to finally categorize and add any tags to the note.
Conclusion: Springpad is definitely not at the place it should be for anyone seriously looking (for whatever odd reason) for an alternative to Evernote; especially for business people!
Creating a task
Equally as frustrating is the ability to simply create tasks in a meaningful way. The big gripe for many in Evernote is the ability to use it as a GTD tool. Search for it on Google and you’ll see what I mean! I completely appreciated those comments; that is, until I downloaded Egretlist through Evernote’s new Trunk offering. See my last post. In any event, within Springpad’s iPad app & online, you can create a task and then enter a due date, category & description of the task. For anyone who is a serious follower of the GTD methodology, there’s substantive problems with this method.
For example, I’d want to be able to tag a task by context (i.e., @home, @office, @computer, @errands), Someday/Maybe, Waiting for, by project, and perhaps whom I’ve assigned the task to with tags (#joe, #chris, #sally). Within Springpad, you can only assign one category. I thought perhaps I might have found a workaround by tapping on “Add to a list”. When you do that, you can either create a list or add to an existing list. Technically, one could use category as context and then under list, add your projects & tags – or some various thereof.
As I pointed out in my post about Evernote & Egretlist, I can easily add tasks in Egretlist see them immediately in Evernote. I can create the tasks in Evernote and see them appear in Egretlist. Again, simple – the way I need it to be for fast moving and on the fly task & project management.
I think Springpad is okay for those people who don’t need a serious task & project management tool. It’s great for what it does, but I subscribe to the theory that your product should try to do up to 3 things right and do it at 100%; not try and be 1,000 things to attract the masses. Springpad I think is trying to do everything – create notes, create tasks, remember your favorite wine, book, restaurant, movie, business, provide reviews of products, helps you shop online, and you can download “apps” of varying types to throw into your account to help you do scores of other things. Again — it’s great, if you like that kind of thing.
Evernote’s core offering is creating notes … and it does a damn good job! It allows you to organize those notes easily through notebooks & tags. With its latest collaboration efforts with other companies through the Trunk, it offers integrations with complementary products to make Evernote more robust — while at the same time, not erroding Evernote’s streamlined interface that so many have come to love.