Skip to content

How Bending Spoons Revived Evernote

Exploring Evernote's Renaissance under Bending Spoons

There was a time when everyone thought Evernote was dead. But in January 2023, a company called Bending Spoons, which I hadn't heard of before, acquired Evernote. This acquisition brought hope that something might come of it. Although Bending Spoons continued to improve Evernote, social media was abuzz with discussions, and everyone, including me, labeled Evernote as dead. People wrote posts and blogs about the best alternatives, and many loyal users, who had held on even during Evernote's downfall, finally gave up and started exploring other options. However, this didn't stop Bending Spoons. They continued to work tirelessly, improving the product relentlessly.

If you haven't kept up with the changes Bending Spoons has made, you can check out this page or watch their monthly recap videos, which they started recently.

Let's take a look at everything Bending Spoons has done with Evernote since taking over.

As soon as they took over, Bending Spoons initiated several measures to make the company financially stable. Among these, they increased the subscription price for both new and existing customers. This move was not well received, and many people felt the price increase was unjustified at the time.

Bending Spoons significantly increased the frequency of software updates, shifting from releasing every four to eight weeks to a regular weekly release schedule. This change allowed for faster delivery of improvements. Very soon, they announced the arrival of several new features, including real-time editing and AI capabilities like AI note cleanup and AI search.

In June, most of Evernote's operations transitioned to Europe, the home of their parent company, Bending Spoons. This move aimed to boost operational efficiency and leverage the strong Bending Spoons employer brand in Europe. Unfortunately, this transition resulted in layoffs for most of their Chile and US based employees. Despite this, Evernote's future plans remained ambitious. A dedicated and expanding European team was now taking ownership of the product, benefiting from the expertise and strength of Bending Spoons' 400-plus workforce, many of whom started working on Evernote full-time since the acquisition.

Bending Spoons’ main goal in 2023 was to,

  1. Make Evernote faster
  2. Make Evernote more reliable
  3. Make Evernote more secure

By the end of July 2023, Evernote had updated its navigation system for both desktop/ web and mobile platforms using native APIs. Although this change was almost invisible and appeared minor, it was crucial for enabling future expansions of the core system.

Previously, Evernote was a monolithic application, with the application layer and database residing on the same machine. This made the machines extremely heavy and difficult to manage, leading to significant technical debt in both the codebase and the underlying infrastructure.

Bending Spoons decided to transition to a more modern software architecture called microservices. They focused on cleaning up the codebase and addressing technical debt. Significant improvements were made by rewriting the entire production infrastructure using modern technologies. During this process, they also separated the application and database. The database was migrated to a new, much more modern infrastructure, substantially improving security and reliability.

Bending Spoons made numerous performance improvements to Evernote, including:

  • Instant sync and collaborative editing
  • Improved loading and sync speeds across all clients
  • An almost 17-fold increase in the speed of Evernote Web's initial downsync process

They also enhanced Evernote's reliability by:

  • Removing a lot of legacy code with the introduction of collaborative editing
  • Implementing timely in-app communications
  • Setting up advanced monitoring
  • Modernizing Evernote’s backend through extensive data migrations
  • Rewriting parts of Evernote’s client code

Additionally, they introduced crucial innovations to enhance security:

  • Transitioned to a new two-factor authentication process
  • Introduced intelligent rate limits to prevent abusive behaviour
  • Preemptively reset vulnerable passwords

All of this happened in 2023. In just one year, Bending Spoons took full control of Evernote and made sweeping changes to the backend. Though these changes might have seemed invisible or, at best, like a decent evolution to the end user, from the product development perspective, it was a revolution behind the scenes.

For 2024, Evernote set ambitious goals. Their main aim was to make substantial improvements to the user experience and rewrite the user interface. They also planned to replace their custom client-side database with a more modern solution.

In January, they unveiled their new desktop homepage.



Their goal was to create a modern, seamless, and visually appealing interface that complements their ongoing efforts to improve functionality. They aimed to respect existing workflows while enhancing focus, introducing modernity, and preparing for future updates through the adoption of a streamlined, more manageable design system.

They also phased out their legacy app versions, allowing them to streamline their backend code base significantly. By consolidating all Evernote users onto v10, they no longer had to maintain backward compatibility with older versions. This shift freed up valuable resources to focus on tasks that directly benefit the current version of Evernote and its entire user base.

Building on the extensive foundational work done in 2023, the team hit the ground running in 2024 and introduced 20 new features within just three months. These included editor enhancements such as slash commands, collapsible sections, and AI Edit. They also integrated Microsoft Outlook Calendar to sync events with Evernote's calendar, and implemented numerous quality-of-life improvements such as a new user interface and notifications. Additionally, they dedicated efforts to fixing nearly 100 bugs and began a complete rewrite of the search feature to enhance reliability and address minor quirks.

In April, Evernote introduced enhancements to tasks, calendar functionalities, and the Homepage. They also upgraded their personal plan to include unlimited notes, notes up to 8 times larger, increased upload limits, and syncing across unlimited devices.

Over the past few months, they've released numerous new features, primarily focused on enhancing the mobile experience. A significant update was the introduction of a new mobile Homepage, bringing many popular desktop features to mobile apps. They introduced a dedicated files section, a new daily notes feature, and most recently, a new voice-to-text feature leveraging AI to instantly and accurately transcribe audio and video files into written text. Each release has also included quality-of-life improvements while continuing to enhance the backend for reliability, speed, and security.

In addition to app updates, Evernote revamped its brand identity to align with interface changes. The Evernote website received a refresh, reflecting a more modern, warm, and vibrant look with elements of creativity, including bold icons and whimsical illustrations.

Bending Spoons has effectively overhauled nearly every aspect of Evernote. Across both the app and the brand, their new experience is prominently visible. While remnants of the old app can still be spotted with a discerning eye, it's clear they are tirelessly working to reimagine and rebuild nearly every facet of Evernote.

When Bending Spoons first acquired Evernote, expectations were modest. However, they have accomplished an extraordinary feat with a legacy app that was struggling due to its outdated technical foundation. Their achievements in just 18 months are beyond what many could have imagined. Though there's much ground to cover and market share to regain, every aspect of their strategy and execution seems aligned with their overarching goal.

Bending Spoons has executed admirably, striking a balance between iterative improvements and comprehensive overhauls. Their strategic approach, meticulous product enhancements, and evident dedication to revitalizing this beloved brand are commendable. Their efforts leave me optimistic and rooting for Evernote's success. For the first time in a decade, I find myself genuinely positive and enthusiastic about Evernote's future, eagerly anticipating their every move.