Evernote for the Mac disappoints

Update: Evernote Support got in touch pretty quickly and I’ve been sending them reports from Activity Monitor and Console. Hopefully they will help.

I updated my Evernote app on my Mac to what I believe is version 1.6 (for reasons which will become apparent in what follows, I haven’t been able to check this within the app). Since that update the Mac app has become a memory sink of note, so much so that I just posted the following to the user forum:

The latest Evernote for Mac update is a shocker! I upgraded when I was prompted to do so and found that the app typically takes a few minutes to load and become usable (before then it is either unresponsive or I get a spinning beachball). It starts up using around 300MB of “Real Memory” (I believe that is the correct metric) and as I type this it is using around 435MB and the app still haven’t become usable yet. I left the app running on my MacBook during the day yesterday or so and found it was using around 700MB. This update seems to have converted Evernote into a memory sink.

I also find that the Mac app is incredibly sluggish for me. I have roughly 4 500+ notes and of those notes, around 3 500 to 4 000 are PDFs (I scan straight to PDF using my ScanSnap). The app is very sluggish when I try accessing notes, navigating to other notebooks and search for notes. I don’t know if the PDF volume impacts on this or not or whether this means the underlying database is bloated/broken but the end result is that Evernote is becoming more of a chore to use than something I want to use every day, all the time. I haven’t been able to load the app and view the version number for the purposes of this post so I have included the file name in the subject line.

Heck, this morning I wanted to type up a shopping list and it was quicker to open TextEdit, type up the note, print it out and give it to my wife than it was to open Evernote and create a new note.

Evernote is supposed to be my constant companion on my Mac. I used to have it open automatically when I booted up my Mac because I use it for everything. One of the reasons I have so many notes and PDFs at that is because I have been dumping all my old documents into Evernote to make it all easier to find and more useful to me.

This sluggish behaviour isn’t new to this version. I just noticed I filed a similar post for version 1.4.9 and I was told that the app would “pause for a bit” when loading large PDFs. This isn’t pausing “for a bit”, it is stalling and crashing. It is also tremendously disappointing. I have been evangelising Evernote here in South Africa and a number of people have started using it because I have been so passionate about the app and the service. Surely this must be something you can fix?

This is what my memory usage looked like shortly before I force quit the application (it was not responding):

Evernote memory usage.png

This screenshot is a reading that was increasing steadily towards 1GB. Not good.







  1. Allan Kent avatar

    Just did the 1.6 upgrade and so far so good. Memory usage is up to 54MB in 1.6 from 50MB in 1.5.2 – granted I don't have as many notes as you, and I don't store PDF's within Evernote, so hopefully I won't suffer from the same issues as you have. I'll leave it running all day (as I usually do) and see if the memory spirals up. I have the disk image for 1.5.2 handy if you need it.

  2. pauljacobson avatar

    Thanks Allan. I wonder if the volume of notes and the proportion of notes in PDF ramps up that memory usage? Based on your experience and other reports it seems that does have a fairly dramatic effect. Evernote is running at the moment and my usage is around 512MB after an hour or two.

  3. Allan Kent avatar

    3 hours in and it's still at 54MB. I'm evaluating Leap and Yelp as options for managing my (PDF/Word/PPT) documents, so hopefully won't ever run into the same problems as you're having. Also, I'm running Snow Leopard, which may affect the performance.

  4. pauljacobson avatar

    I am also running Snow Leopard. I had it running earlier and the memory
    usage went up to about 500MB after about 15 minutes or so. I restarted the
    app twice and while it is working at the moment, it is using roughly 775MB
    of system memory. This really looks like a memory leak of some kind. I
    don't remember the previous version more than 300MB or so. I have put quite
    a lot into Evernote and am very loathe to switch to a new platform. I am
    sure this is a fixable issue.

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