So I was shocked recently when I couldn’t move my to-do note to the completed notebook. Turns out that Evernote had limited users on the free plan to a maximum of 50 notes and 1 notebook per account. Thus, I was inspired to write this post.

Here are the questions that I asked myself before I decided to upgrade Evernote to a paid plan. As an entrepreneur (especially if you just started your business), it is crucial that you buy and upgrade things that are essential. Consider asking yourself these questions before making a purchase for your business.

[Entrepreneurship Tips] 7 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying Or Upgrading Anything

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. I will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase through these links. Your support encourages me to continue blogging and help with the costs of hosting this site. Thank you!

1. How Essential Is It?

First, determine how essential the item is for your business.

Ask yourself: Can you complete your day-to-day tasks without it?

If it’s used for most of your work processes or an essential tool for the core part of your business, it shows how important the tool is for your business. How it’s needed for your business to operate smoothly. Bear in bear that it’s a need, not a want. Meaning that it’s necessary and indispensable.

If your business can operate without it, the item may not be as essential as you think it is. Instead, it might just be something nice to have.

Photo by George Milton on Pexels

2. How Often Do You Use It?

If you already own a trial or free version, ask yourself how often do you use it? Is it daily, weekly, monthly?

If you don’t own it yet, think about how often you’ll use it.

If it’s something that you’ll use every day, it shows how important the thing is to your business. Even if you don’t use it often, consider if this weekly or monthly usage is important. For example, I only use UpdraftPlus once a week but it’s crucial because this WordPress plugin helps to back up my website. If anything happens (such as hacking, server crashes or faulty updates), I can easily restore my website to a previous version.

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3. Do You Own Something Similar?

So Evernote isn’t the only note-taking app that I use. I’m also using Google Keep but it’s not as powerful. Hence, I only use it for simple notes. But If you have Microsoft 365 which includes OneNote, you can consider using this instead.

Likewise, if you have something similar to what you intend to buy, you can compare both of them and see whether you can use what you already own (rather than buying).

Try to compare everything if possible, including features, pricing, integration, learning curve etc. Identify areas where the item you own falls short of the item you intend to buy and decide whether you’re okay with it. If these are features that you can’t do without, you have your answer.

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4. Is Switching To An Alternative Easier?

Let’s say that you already own this item but are deciding whether to upgrade to a paid plan. Just like the situation I faced for Evernote.

If you don’t own anything similar, I strongly recommend that you research for alternatives. Try using (if there’s a trial version) and compare it to the original item.

If the alternative is cheaper and has better features than your original item, you can switch to this instead.

However, do bear in mind that relearning this new tool and importing data from your current tool to this new tool take time too. Also, you need to check if the data imported is correct and accurate.

Thus, you need to ask yourself whether switching to an alternative is worth it or is it better to continue using your current tool.

Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels

5. Is The Price Reasonable?

Next, check if the price is reasonable. If you already set aside some budget for your business’ monthly expenses, you can check if purchasing or upgrading to a paid version is still within your budget. If it exceeds your budget, check how much it exceeds and whether it’s worth it. You need to ensure that you can afford it.

If you’re already paying for some other item, do compare their prices, uses and importance. For instance, I’m already paying for Google Workspace monthly. But I personally use Evernote more often and the price is cheaper per month. Therefore, I decided to upgrade to Evernote’s paid plan.

Photo by on Pexels

6. Do You Need It Right Now?

How urgently do you need it? Or can it wait until a week or month later?

Figure out how long your business can continue operating without the item. You can choose to postpone your purchase until you really need it or when your business can afford this additional expense.

For me, I was enticed by the 40% discount so I upgraded to Evernote’s paid plan almost immediately. If you can wait, you can also consider buying or upgrading on Black Friday itself. Most businesses usually have huge discounts on this day.

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7. Why Do You Want To Buy It?

At its core, there must be a reason why you want to buy or upgrade this item. Keep asking yourself why until you figure this out.

Maybe it gives you something you don’t have now like seamless integration with your other tools. Maybe it eradiates a problem you’re facing now like the pain of tedious notes organization. Or maybe it makes you feel something like being happier, prettier, more confident etc.

For me, it’s simple. I want to make my life easier. I didn’t want to spend time relearning a new note-taking software. Because Evernote already works for me (where I use it for both personal and work), it’s easier to just continue using this. But I might compare it with OneNote if I ever subscribe to Microsoft 365 in the future (I’m still using the one-time purchase version).

Photo by TeroVesalainen on Pixabay

Now It’s Your Turn

What other questions do you ask yourself when buying or upgrading an item? Are there factors that you consider?


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Nicole C. W. All Rights Reserved.

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