Can someone recommend an Evernote alternative?

I’m looking for potential alternatives to Evernote, my current choice for taking notes.

The note-taking application needs the following:

  • Desktop application (Windows7) with local storage of notes
  • Cloud sync (can be self-hosted if needs be)
  • Browser accessible notes
  • Android App

Why am I investigating alternatives? I’ve been finding myself less satisfied with Evernote’s performance over the last while: I frequently find Evernote is maxing out one of my CPU cores; the changes from 3.0x to 3.5x were poor in a lot of ways and introduced the need for extra actions to achieve the same tasks; the destruction of most usefulness of the screen capture tool; and the android app is extremely dissatisfying (for example I often find that searches yield no results unless I’m searching for a specific tag, and that Android app taken notes either don’t sync or take an incredibly long time to do so).

Also, to be honest Evernote has a host of functions that I just don’t need. My note taking tends to be plain text, with very very occasional embedding of images. I don’t need handwriting recognition, I don’t really need full web page embeds, I just need a fast, eminently searchable set of text notes.

In addition, whilst I’m  all for a decent rate of application updates, Evernote 3.5 has them with such a frequency that I often find when I need to make a note I’ve got Evernote bugging me to update. Not only this but I just noticed that Evernote was using up 471.8Mb by storing every single update.exe, as demonstrated by the image below.

Evernote storing all app updates

As you can see each update necessitates a complete application download (would they not save a fortune on bandwidth by implementing a patch system rather than a complete application download?), and these application updates have slowly increased from 35Mb to 40Mb.

So if you’re an Evernote user and you’re wondering why your main drive is running short on space, just navigate to (on Windows 7 at least) C:\Users\~username\AppData\Local\Evernote\Evernote\Updates and empty it out.

If you’d like to do some more investigation into disk usage check out this handy application, Foldersize, which visualises disk usage for you.