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While the Evernote vs. OneNote Evernote vs. OneNote: Which Note-Taking App Is Right for You? Evernote vs. OneNote: Which Note-Taking App Is Right for You? Evernote and OneNote are amazing note-taking apps. It's hard to pick between the two. We compared everything from interface to note organization to help you choose. What works best for you? Read More battle rages on, alternative note-taking apps continue to be ignored. And for good reason.

Evernote and OneNote are two hugely popular note-taking apps. If you’re looking for ways to better organize and utilize your digital notes, choosing between Evernote and OneNote will be the toughest note-taking decision you’ll make.

If you decide to use Evernote, its basic and advanced features Maximize Evernote with 5 Powerful Features Maximize Evernote with 5 Powerful Features With over 100 million users, Evernote is arguably the web's favorite productivity and note-saving tool. We are putting the spotlight on 5 under-appreciated Evernote features and detail their value. Read More make this a worthy choice (huzzah!). But if you decide against Evernote, you’ll be dizzied by the number of alternative note-taking apps Springpad vs Catch vs Evernote vs OneNote - Which Is Best On Android? Springpad vs Catch vs Evernote vs OneNote - Which Is Best On Android? At one time, people actually had to carry around notebooks if they wanted to take notes - remember the once-big fad of Moleskine notebooks? Nowadays, smartphones have made most pocket objects obsolete. Why carry around... Read More available.

Let me make this decision easy for you. If you’re looking for an Evernote alternative, choose OneNote.

evernote-vs-onenote-644x250

Note: I am an active OneNote and Evernote user. Both of these apps have their drawbacks, but between them, they should cover pretty much every note-taking need you have.

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Most of the other alternatives aren’t terrible. Many are perfectly…respectable. But after I’ve introduced you to these alternatives, I’ll show you exactly why OneNote should (with respect) be your only real alternative to Evernote.

Evernote Alternatives & Their Drawbacks

When you search the web for alternatives to Evernote, you’ll find plenty of apps. Some of those recommended most often are listed below. They may do some tasks well, but I wouldn’t put them in the same league as Evernote and OneNote for note-taking functionality.

Simplenote: Nice, But too Basic

Simplenote is a free, light-weight note-taking app available on most mobile platforms and as a web app. It works well for keeping searchable lists, or text-based notes (it’s kind of like Notepad 2.0).

Simplenote

Main Drawbacks: Lack of data types. If you want to save web clippings, images, videos, and scanned documents, look for something else.

Google Keep: Google Will Probably Kill It

Google Keep (Web, Android, iOS) fits somewhere between SimpleNote, and OneNote. Notes can consist of text, images, and audio, and are easily shared with other users. Reminders can be set, and basic OCR features are available. Keep also has a Chrome extension, so you can clip webpages, quotes, and images to your account.

Google Keep

Main Drawbacks: You can’t organize notes into notebooks. If you have a ton of notes, this will soon become a nightmare. And Google keeps killing their services (hello Picasa, Reader, iGoogle!). How long until they kill Keep?

DEVONthink: More of a File Organizer

DEVONthink is a Mac application (from $49.95) that’s great for organizing files and documents (rather than creating notes) using folders and tabs. Virtually all file types are supported. Images and PDFs can be converted to text for easy searching. You can even host your files on a local web server. If all you want to do is organize your files, DEVONthink is a powerful option. But if you want a note-taking and organization app, this isn’t it.

DEVONthink

Main Drawbacks: The user interface is pretty horrible. The up front cost is high. On mobile, functionality is extremely limited. It’s only available on Mac. This is a document organization app, rather than a note-taking app.

Quip: Struggles With Lots of Docs

Quip is a collaborative app specifically designed for teams to create and edit documents (mainly text files and spreadsheets) in real-time. Its revision history and document chat features make this a fantastic alternative to Microsoft Office or Google Docs for teams. What it’s not built for, though, is capturing a wide variety of content, thoughts, and ideas, then organizing these.

Quip

Main Drawbacks: Limited organization options makes sorting a large number of documents difficult. Re-finding your notes/documents is also more difficult in Quip than in both Evernote and OneNote. No Tags.

And Then There’s OneNote

I love OneNote, and much of this document is about me convincing you to use it if you decide to not use Evernote (another app I love). But before raising OneNote on a pedestal, there are two things worth noting:

  • The interface of OneNote looks similar to other Microsoft Office programs, but the workflow is entirely different to that of other note-taking apps. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s worth it.
  • The Mac version of OneNote The Essential Guide to OneNote for Mac The Essential Guide to OneNote for Mac OneNote is a free and cross-platform note-taking app for Mac, iPad, and iPhone. Our short guide summarizes everything you must know. Forget about your Microsoft hatred and try OneNote with us today. Read More has a lot less functions than the Windows version. If you’re a Mac user, you can’t use the OCR feature, or easily add documents created in other Office programs. You also can’t use the stylus feature. Hopefully Microsoft will show Mac users some mercy soon. But even without these features, it’s still a fantastic app on Mac.

OneNote Web

We’ve written another article that gives a complete introduction to OneNote How to Use OneNote Like a World Famous Scientist How to Use OneNote Like a World Famous Scientist Charles Darwin would have loved OneNote. He was an avid note-taker who recorded everything he observed. Here's how he might have used OneNote to organize his work and move his research forward. Read More . And another that shows you a ton of ways you could use OneNote 10 Unique Ways to Use Microsoft OneNote 10 Unique Ways to Use Microsoft OneNote OneNote is one of Microsoft's most underrated apps. It's available on almost every platform and can do many tricks you wouldn't expect from a note keeping app. Read More , including as a newsreader, media player, and OCR reader. But in terms of what makes OneNote really stand out from other note-taking apps, there are five major factors.

1. It’s Actually Free

If you’ve used the free version of Evernote for a while, you’ve probably been bugged repetitively to upgrade to the paid version. It’s the same with most other note-taking apps (unless they charge a one-time fee like DEVONthink).

OneNote is actually free. Even for people who don’t have Microsoft Office. This is a big benefit if you’re planning to use the note-taking app for years to come.

2. It’s a Completely Freeform Canvas

In paper notebooks 6 Simple Reasons Why Paper Can Still Be Your Killer Productivity App 6 Simple Reasons Why Paper Can Still Be Your Killer Productivity App Paper can be a more potent tool for productivity than a computer or a touch device, and shouldn't immediately be dismissed. Not convinced? Here are six reasons why paper is still relevant. Read More , each page is an entirely blank canvas that can be scrawled on and organized exactly as you like. Each page can be entirely different. Every app mentioned in this article limits the structure of your notes. OneNote, however, actually mimicks the paper notebook experience. This was a complete game-changer for me.

You can move every element of your note anywhere on the page. You can scrawl with a stylus. And you can include all forms of multimedia within each note. No other app makes it this easy, nor makes it feel this similar, to doodling on a paper notebook.

3. Organization That Makes Sense

As mentioned before, the organization tools for both Quip and Google Keep aren’t great. They are essentially lists of files within folders. Evernote works in a very similar way. Alternatively, OneNote has managed to find a visually clean way to organize a ton of notes that just makes sense.

OneNote

Each notebook is made up of tabs (much like ring-binder separators). Within each tab are a selection of pages (your notes). Each page is a freeform canvas. It may not sound like much, but once you start organizing notes like this in OneNote, it’s hard to go back.

4. Formatting You Understand

As OneNote uses the same text-formatting toolbar found in Microsoft Word, most people are already familiar with how it works, and where to find what you’re looking for. This helps you to make each note look exactly how you want it to look.

OneNote-Productivity10

5. And if You’re a Window’s User…

As mentioned, OneNote Mac users have a lot less functionality than Windows users (but they still have the four benefits above). If you are a Windows user though, you’ll really see the benefits of OneNote, with extra features 10 Awesome OneNote Tips You Should Be Using All The Time [Windows] 10 Awesome OneNote Tips You Should Be Using All The Time [Windows] I am going to ruffle a few feathers here by saying that Microsoft OneNote is just as good as Evernote. Evernote is probably more barebones and easier to handle, while OneNote is the digital equivalent... Read More including the following.

OneNote App

Will You Be Switching?

If for whatever reason, you’re still looking to escape Evernote, as I’ve tried to argue, OneNote is by far the best alternative. Migrating from Evernote to OneNote How to Migrate from Evernote to OneNote, and Why You Should How to Migrate from Evernote to OneNote, and Why You Should Do you think that Microsoft OneNote is better than Evernote? Or maybe, it just suits your project management style. Either way, here's how you can migrate all your notes from Evernote to OneNote easily. Read More isn’t too difficult, either.

OneNote offers a unique way of creating and organizing your notes that really helps to increase your productivity. As a Mac user, I found this to be a refreshing change from the more clunky interfaces that other note-taking apps were offering. And as a Windows user, you’ll have a host of other features to play around with, too.

That said, everyone uses note-taking apps differently. If all you want to do is write a shopping list, and a few reminders, SimpleNote will be the easiest choice. If you’re mainly looking for team collaboration, Quip’s collaboration features seem better than OneNote’s and Evernote’s.

But if you’re looking for a note-taking app that can store and organize a good number of notes, in a wide range of formats, and will be around for a long time to come, the choice should almost always be between Evernote and OneNote.

Do you agree? Have you tried any other powerful note-taking apps that surpass both Evernote and OneNote?

  1. Jamie
    September 15, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Microsoft OneNote is definitely a strong contender to choose, however, it has one KEY drawback and highlighted today (9/15/2016). OneNote absolutely relies on the Microsoft OneDrive server working. Microsoft's OneDrive server today has been down for the better part of the day. What does this mean? Well, unless you previously loaded the notebook you wanted to use before the server went down you will not be able to make any kind of note. Nothing! This kind of situation is crucial to consider when looking at which notebook system to use. I am at a loss right now and trying to figure out a good alternative that works on both Mac and Windows.

    • Rob Nightingale
      October 7, 2016 at 5:37 pm

      I've never heard of anyone having this problem before. Has it been a recurring problem for you?

  2. Alexlink
    August 15, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    I tried many notes app. All have nice things. Evernote is best for searching on Internet and taking notes. One Note is best for your personal notes organizing.
    But I love Google Keep! So simple but so practical. Became better and better. Free, in all devices, reminders on mail and on calendar, beautiful environment, tags (more practical than files) and many others things.

    • Rob Nightingale
      August 21, 2016 at 4:09 pm

      Google Keep is great, and I would probably consider it seriously, if it weren't for the fact that I just don't trust Google to keep services running for long periods of time...

  3. David H
    July 31, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    The Onenote Microsoft gives you with windows 10 is a stripped down version. I downloaded the full version but when I went to install it, said I couldn't install because I have some 32 bit office programs on my pc, and Onenote won't work. Not really excited about buying a new office suite, just to get a few more features in onenote, since I don't use office that often. Typical mess Microsoft makes of things.

    • Rob Nightingale
      August 21, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      True, Microsoft certainly doesn't try to make things easy...

  4. Dave
    July 17, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Try "Thinkery" ( https://thinkery.me )
    It looks like simplenote but way more better. It can highlight the texts ( by pressing "h" and change highlighter colors by pressing "o" when you're in reading mode not editing mode ) which Evernote web and Simplenote can't. It's much easier than Onenote.

    • Rob Nightingale
      July 20, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      Thanks Dave, I'll check this out!

  5. James John
    July 15, 2016 at 5:38 am

    Just imported Evernote (I HATE Evernote's buggy sync--for YEARS now!).

    Just tried to search OneNote for the word "checklist." Not found!!! I navigate to it manually--Whoop, there it is!

    Just cursed everyone who sold me on MSFT search. Just doesn't work, just like Windows search. Pinch me, is it 2016, or 1986? I bet text search worked in '86.

    • Rob Nightingale
      July 20, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      huh, that's strange, James. Did you try refreshing the app (closing it, then opening it again)... have you managed to get the search working yet?

    • Viktor
      October 19, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      Does not surprise me at all. This is the #1 reason I can't stand outlook.

      Example: search for a word, say 'examples'
      type 'exa' - matches for example appears
      type 'example' - matches disappear
      type 'examples' - matches reappear
      (not tested with this exact word but that's not the point)

      I was just trying OneNote. So far, I found those things will keep me from it. If I would have had a windows computer, would have been otherwise, but can't take the battery hit of running VMWare ALL THE TIME. (Maybe works satisfying on an iPad? Don't have one yet though. My urge for good notes organisation maybe calls for a windows tablet.)
      1. PDF-export breaks WITHIN lines (upper half of characters on one page, lower on next) - and I really need a way to export data for regular archiving, as well as for sharing with others.
      2. Language settings for spelling does not work on Mac when typing English on a Swedish keyboard. No global or per notebook setting. Does not follow "language settings" in macOS.
      3. Can not change datestamp on Mac nor web version.

  6. VanguardLH
    July 12, 2016 at 12:43 am

    Too bad Microsoft decided to punish Android uses. Yes, they have an Android version of OneNote. It does NOT support locked (password encrypted) sections in a notebook. That means all my notes are inaccessible on my smartphone (unless I go to onedrive.com to access my notebook via web browser but their AJAX2 web site is slow and clumsy). Their Windows app supports locking so they know the code needed to port to Android. They just don't do it. They've been promising for over a year to add locking/encryption support. Yeah, like I'm going to wait around for them to make up their mind whether or not to port existing code.

    As for Evernote, not an option, either. Why? Remember that OneNote is FREE. So stop comparing payware features when discussing comparison to OneNote. If an alternative does not have the same features in their freeware version then they are NOT an alternative. OneNote can use notebooks in the cloud (okay, a server-side copy of the notebook) but also supports a locally cached copy of the notebook. You can access your notebook when offline. You can NOT access your Evernote notes when offline. If you are out of range of an Internet connection or simply don't want one at the moment, forget accessing your Evernote notes because they are only in your online account. Yes, Evernote includes offline caching if you pay for it but OneNote has this in their FREE version.

    Evernote is really way behind the marketplace regarding their feature set. It's as if they don't care about being competitive.

    • Rob Nightingale
      July 13, 2016 at 11:58 am

      You make some valid points, but if a user doesn't use some of the differentiating features, then relatively, the two packages can most definitely be alternatives... it's all about figuring out which features you actually need.

  7. Stau
    July 11, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    I use memosnag (memosnag.com). If your main use case is saving stuff you find online and take notes / photos in an organized place, then memosnag is perfect and is 100% FREE!
    The browser plugin for Chrome and Firefox is a better option than clipper and pinterest. In fact you can capture pretty much anything: images, youtube videos, text, webpages...
    Everything is saved in the cloud and is accessed though you personal memosnag account across devices. There are no limits to the numbers of devices. You can also organize your content in folders (Collections) and share them with other users, publicly, or keep them private.
    The iOS app is very well done. Android as far as I know will come out in December.
    It's a startup and the functionalities are very simple and unsophisticated, which I actually really like. I love what these guys are doing.

    • Rob Nightingale
      July 13, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      Thanks! I'll check this out, though I'm usually dubious of startups as I never know how long they will be around...

      • stau
        July 13, 2016 at 2:37 pm

        Fair point. They are well funded. I think they are in it for the long :)

  8. david
    July 3, 2016 at 7:09 am

    One note is slow and heavy...

  9. Matjaz
    June 30, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Well, you didn't mention Nibmus Note.

    • Tina Sieber
      July 9, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      Maybe, that's because this article is about OneNote. :)

      • Stau
        July 11, 2016 at 9:05 pm

        hahaha

  10. Shon W
    June 29, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    I just got the message from Evernote about me being over the allowed number of devices too. Just signed up to Quip with a new account. They actually had an option to import my data from Evernote at login. All my information pulled over. Will give Quip a try for a few days. So far so good.

    • Rob Nightingale
      July 13, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      It's that limited number of devices that's either going to push me to use OneNote, or keep on with the Premium package from Evernote.. I've not decided which yet...

  11. Andrew T
    June 29, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    I just got word that Evernote is changing their free account, limited to just two devices. I'm using my phone, tablet, and computer web browser (no Linux version of Evernote). So I suppose I can live without the web browser, but if they're starting to put more limitations on basic accounts, how long before they kill basic accounts altogether.

    I found your article as a result... I'm no fan of Microsoft, but I'll give OneNote a try, and hopefully they don't follow suit and stop being free for unlimited devices.

    • Rob Nightingale
      July 13, 2016 at 1:50 pm

      What did you think of OneNote, Andrew?

  12. Brett
    June 28, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Rob -

    Quick question for you ...

    I tried importing my Evernote notebooks into OneNote using the Microsoft importer tool, but unless I'm missing something the URLs that appear on Evernote do not get transferred to OneNote.

    When I use the Evernote web clipper, the URL gets saved to Evernote in addition to the web content, so that I can easily access the original site again down the road.

    On OneNote, that URL is seemingly gone.

    Am I missing something? This seems like a critical oversight.

    • Rob Nightingale
      July 13, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      Do you mean URLS that you import from Evernote notes into OneNote are no longer linking to their respective sites (or are these internal links, linking to other notes?)

  13. Ashish Bogawat
    May 31, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Quip has been improving dramatically over the last few months and I have seriously started using it instead of Evernote for work related notes. It's writing environment is dramatically better than Evernote or OneNote, but the fact that I can have spreadsheets inside my documents just beats everything else out of the park by a long long shot.

    • Rob Nightingale
      July 13, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      I'll check this out, thanks Ashish!

  14. RedHotFuzz
    May 24, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    I love Evernote, but live in fear of a Google acquisition, wherein Google sucks years of my personal data onto its servers for thorough analysis/profiling for its advertising business.

    OneNote is obviously safe from such a fate, but as a Mac user I'd have to deal with Microsoft's notorious (and apparently continued) intentional gimping of its Mac software.

    • Rob Nightingale
      July 13, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      I'm not so sure if Google will buy out Evernote. If it does, we may as well jump ship, as Google will probably shut it down a few years later anyhow...

  15. Nicholas Dring
    May 20, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Same old M$. The PC version has all the bells and whistles where as the Mac version is like some kind of lite version that you get for free. The rule is simple never base your work life around an app built by an OS vendor as sooner or later you will have problems. History proves this to be the case. Read: http://www.infoworld.com/article/2940860/mac-os-x/microsofts-quiet-campaign-to-undermine-the-mac.html

    • Rob Nightingale
      July 13, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      True!

  16. GodSponge (EB)
    May 11, 2016 at 4:25 am

    I tried using OneNote a few times, and while I like the desktop version, the mobile app just sucks for me. I do most of my note taking as small snippets and OneNote is a little more clunky than I'd like on mobile. There have been many times that I had to force close the app because I couldn't interact with my notes anymore. The checklist in keep is much more user friendly than the one in OneNote. The freeform notes in OneNote are actually a con for me instead of a pro because I almost never use it and it makes using it for simple notes more cumbersome.

    That being said, OneNote on desktop is quite a nice app. Onetastic,if you haven't heard of it, is a great set of addons to extend OneNote.

    • Rob Nightingale
      July 13, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      Which note taking app do you mostly use now then?

      • GodSponge (EB)
        July 15, 2016 at 2:42 am

        Unless I have a special scenario where it doesn't work for what I need, it's Google Keep. It's simple, and easy to sync notes with my wife and family.

  17. Hildegerd
    May 9, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    I don't use either, I switched to Centrallo for my vault after Springpads demise.

    • Rob Nightingale
      May 18, 2016 at 10:34 am

      How come you chose Centrallo, Hildegerd?

    • Kelsey Tidwell
      May 18, 2016 at 6:02 pm

      :D

  18. Mike
    May 7, 2016 at 12:24 am

    Google Keep has labels (tags) that allow notes to be organized in a non-hierarchical way that I find useful. Some notes can fall into multiple categories and can be assigned more than one label. I can easily display any label combination of notes. By adding a "top" label to the notes that I'm currently working with I can quickly bring up a screen of those notes.

    • Rob Nightingale
      May 8, 2016 at 3:44 pm

      Notes seems useful for basic organization of simple notes, but I'm always wary of Google scrapping services (like it has with so many others) on a whim...

  19. Auldtwa
    May 6, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    I have just discovered a cool way to clip things to OneNote. If you have a Microsoft Mouse with multiple buttons, you can set one to be a clip to OneNote. Click, it brings up a screenshot, you highlight what you want and boom!

    • Rob Nightingale
      May 8, 2016 at 3:44 pm

      This is great to know. Thank you!

  20. patricia.levy
    May 6, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    I have used desktop Onenote for years and it does a great job at keeping me organized. I find
    sharing to be cumbersome though. It appears that the web version is more problematic.

    I find Evernote to be much easier when I want to make web content available to my other machines.

    • Rob Nightingale
      May 8, 2016 at 3:44 pm

      Do you mean sharing with other people, or sharing between devices?

      • Pat
        May 9, 2016 at 5:58 pm

        The problem is getting it up to the cloud, which applies in both cases.

    • Kelsey Tidwell
      May 8, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      There have been MANY syncing error episodes with OneNote. Lost notebooks, failure to sync at all, etc. It's not nearly as smooth or reliable as Google sync, but after using ON for a while, I've found that all of that can be worked around.

      • Rob Nightingale
        May 18, 2016 at 10:34 am

        Any tips on working around the issues, Kelsey? :)

        • Kelsey Tidwell
          May 18, 2016 at 5:56 pm

          Well, Rob, the most effective way of fixing a non-syncing notebook is to open another notebook, copy the contents of the first into the second, then delete the first. It's clunky, but it's saved me quite a lot of pain lol.

          This technique is actually recommended by the OneNote tech staff. Why they don't just reevaluate the syncing process, identify the holes in efficiency, and plug them instead of recommending a kludge like this is beyond me.

          Another sync situation involved (if I recall correctly) my having the same file open in two different locations at the same time, deleting an item in one, adding an item in the other, and something happening in between to where I got a message like, "can't reconcile differences" or some such.

          You'd think that it happened because of throwing too much at the system at once, but then isn't that episode the picture of collaboration? I'll say that Google Drive has never ever made a mistake in collaborative situations like that, so now if I use OneNote at all I have to be like, Step 1, now Step 2, now Step 3. Cautious.

  21. Ron
    May 6, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    OneNote has garbled my notes on several occasions, crashed on other occasions (thus losing the projects I'd been working on), and cannot maintain consistency across multiple platforms. I find all this positive praise to be counter to my experience. Coupled with Microsoft's latest creeping around like malware, and I'll just have to believe those of you having a great experience are the lucky ones. Granted, Evernote has its issues, which I'm desperately trying to get away from and looking for a viable alternative, but OneNote has been painful to use. I don't like these options.

    • Kelsey Tidwell
      May 7, 2016 at 4:06 am

      Due to much of the same issues you're having, I'm using Google Drive as a pseudo-OneNote. It's not that hard to pattern Docs along the lines of OneNote pages, but it's also not as smooth. I can overlook that since all Docs format files take up ZERO Drive storage allotment...which begins at the free 15GB mark (as OneDrive USED to before the great New Years Day screw the pooch-fest).

      I was really getting into the handwritten note function in OneNote, and had a bit of angst over how that would survive going to Google Drive. Fortuitously, Google Keep had a recent update adding that very thing! Yay! I'm on Android, so when I make a quick handwritten note, I simply share it to Google Drive...done!

      My setup isn't flawless, but in lieu of not having a team of engineers to code another slick solution for me, it works pretty well I'd say.

      • Rob Nightingale
        May 8, 2016 at 3:46 pm

        Using Google Docs is an interesting alternative! I've always hated the user interface of GOogle Docs though, so doubt I'd go down the same route.

        • Kelsey Tidwell
          May 8, 2016 at 4:06 pm

          Yes, the interface is bland in typical minimalist Google fashion lol. OneNote wins hands-down there for sure, and it's the one biggest feature I hated leaving for Drive. However, Drive's appearance can be drastically improved by displaying the files as graphical tiles, as in the various speed dial examples in Chrome and Opera and other browsers, or the Win 8/8.1/10 Start Page.

          Thanks for taking the time to reply! Happy Mother's Day!

      • Peter Buyze
        May 8, 2016 at 4:27 pm

        There is of course 1 important issue with Google Drive: privacy. Everything you put in there is accessible & copied by Google. With the desktop version of OnNote you can save everything locally, encrypt, then upload to the cloud.

        • Kelsey Tidwell
          May 8, 2016 at 4:44 pm

          I agree Peter. Nice to talk with you again, BTW. I don't ever put ANY sensitive information online. That issue has been brought up a few times on Google Forums, and Google reps assure over and over that all of your data is encrypted and secure.

          Google's assurances don't hold water with me because I don't trust Google at all, but neither do I trust ANY online service. There are no wholly honest companies, because they always reserve the right to change terms. No guarantees, so...no critical data online.

        • Kelsey Tidwell
          May 8, 2016 at 4:50 pm

          Addendum: case in point on no guarantees...Microsoft abruptly took away the free 15gb OneDrive limit, along with the companion free 15gb gained if you linked your phone to upload photos automatically to OneDrive. They dropped the limit to 5gb in total.

          Even though they later allowed previous users to sign up to retain their 15 or 30gb levels, it wasn't out of integrity. It was because of the firestorm that broke out over their scummy methods.

          But the point is, in both cases, they made major changes arbitrarily, because THEY wanted to...not because users had any control over it. How can they or any other online service be trusted?

          Well, none of them can.

        • Rob Nightingale
          May 18, 2016 at 10:30 am

          There's always going to be an issue with privacy and security. In my own view, there is little choice but to make a trade between privacy and innovation. Data is currency these days. if you want great service, you need to abandon some of your privacy. Just be careful what, exactly, you give up.

        • MaMtt
          May 10, 2016 at 3:00 pm

          How would one do this encryption process?

        • Kelsey Tidwell
          May 18, 2016 at 6:00 pm

          MaMtt, The encryption I mentioned re:Google Drive is an automatic process that (I don't believe) the user has any control over.

  22. Sanjay
    May 6, 2016 at 11:17 am

    What about price?
    Evernote free version has monthly 60mb which is enough for enough savings
    But onenote has now only 5gb storage which is one drive storage
    Sooner it's going to be a issue
    That is the only reason that's stopping me to switch back to one note

    • Herman
      May 6, 2016 at 6:40 pm

      Indeed Sanjay, it seems nobody know that...
      I've EN Premium and I can upload 10GB each month ($45/y)!
      When I look at my Lumia 920 (Windows Phone) the 1N app works bad and looks bad. It's seems to be better on IOS (see images above).
      Anyway, it's EN for me and for some jobs 1N will do.

      • Kelsey Tidwell
        May 8, 2016 at 4:31 pm

        I've never had a Windows phone, though I've always wanted one, and it's really surprising that a Microsoft app looks worse than on an iPhone. BUT....

        It does seem to me that I remember when I started experimenting in earnest with OneNote back last July, there were several situations where the iOs version actually had better features, at least for a while. I don't know if that's the case now. It will pay to keep checking in from time to time for comparison's sake.

    • Rob Nightingale
      May 8, 2016 at 3:47 pm

      I've never really had an issue with either storage options. Upgrading when needed doesn't seem to be expensive in either case.

  23. Jerome
    May 6, 2016 at 8:31 am

    I keep looking for a way to (partly) sync those both OneNote and Evernote app.
    Any idea?

    • Rob Nightingale
      May 8, 2016 at 3:48 pm

      I'll look into it, Jerome, but I've never heard of anything like this yet... Why would you want this setup? You could just migrate from one to the other...?

    • Kelsey Tidwell
      May 8, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      Perhaps there's an IFTTT (is that still correct or is it just "IF" now lol?) recipe that might help you. I've dabbled with them before, but was never truly satisfied, however it may work for you.

      It does seem that the recipes seem to be more favorable to syncing OneNote items into Evernote, rather than the other way around, so that would mean mainly using OneNote day-to-day, which might not be comfortable for you. You may see the recipes differently.

      There's other services like IFTTT out there too, but I have no experience there. Good luck and Happy Mother's Day!

    • Daniel DiBs
      September 29, 2016 at 8:27 pm

      Have you tried Zapier its what I use.

    • Daniel DiBs
      September 29, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      Jerome have you tried Zapier - https://zapier.com/app/explore. Hopefully this helps.

  24. Auldtwa
    May 6, 2016 at 12:10 am

    I've been using OneNote for years. The huge feature is the Notebook/Tab/notes you mention. I used it for my law practice and kept copies of the statutes I used all the time on it. I was legendary for being able to find cites instantly. Before I traveled for 3 months in Europe, I made myself guidebooks from stuff on the web: Wikipedia, Lonely Planet, museum sites,city websites, etc. You can cross reference, for example, from museums to artists (you can use hyperlinks within OneNote notebooks or sections or pages). You can actually make PDF e books from your collection. My travel was before iPad came out, so I read my homemade guide books on a Kindle DX. Now any tablet would make it really simple.

    I keep my daily journal in OneNote on pages I set up as a template so that I always cover the basics of what I want to record. I've done this since 2013: I can instantly, for example, search and find when exactly I read Ready Player One or when my dog's last vet appointment was. The search feature is fantastic. Clip to OneNote is often clunky, but you can PRINT to OneNote for anything that you can print on paper. It is, in fact, my default printer. When you use the print-to feature, you can choose exactly where you want to stick the item. Even on the same page as something you saved earlier.

    I use Evernote for stuff I scan since my scanner has a direct-to-Evernote feature. I use Evernote for things I know I'm going to want to save from the web and mark up (like a page of book recommendations) --it is a little bit clunkier to check items off a list from a "printed" OneNote page. I'm now using Vivaldi as my browser (love it!!) and it doesn't seem to have a direct to OneNote gadget yet. But Safari does, and Firefox and the Microsoft twins.

    Basically, Evernote is good for quick notes and quick saves and for situations, like my scanner, where interconnected functionality is built in. But OneNote dances rings around it for rational organization.

    • Kelsey Tidwell
      May 7, 2016 at 3:58 am

      You might research using Chrome extensions in Vivaldi, since it is actually a child of Chromium. I also like Vivaldi very much, though I've opted to use Opera Developer for now...another Chromium descendant. However, I'm keeping up with and installing every Vivaldi update that comes along...you never know lol.

      Anyway, the point is, I can run Chrome extensions in Opera due to the similar code, and I'd wager you can too in Vivaldi. I just haven't tried it yet. :) That would allow you to use the OneNote clipper extension...which I'm using in Opera.

      Good luck, and happy day.

      • Peter Buyze
        May 8, 2016 at 4:22 pm

        I recently switched from Chrome to Opera Developer too because of the "VPN" feature. I can confirm Chrome extensions can be added to Vivaldi, but often don't work well, they work a lot better in Opera.
        I had high hopes from Vivaldi but have been disappointed by the clunkiness, perhaps because I am not patient enough, not indulgent enough with this new program. I think I will stick with Opera.

    • Rob Nightingale
      May 8, 2016 at 3:48 pm

      Agreed! I still haven't abandoned Evernote, despite loving OneNote.

  25. Praveen
    May 5, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    I tried migrating from Evernote to Onenote last week. The features are all same. However, I find two main issues because of which I traced back:
    1. Onenote web is less responsive then Evernote web.
    2. Onenote firefox addon features are way below the evernote firefox addon.

    • Rob Nightingale
      May 18, 2016 at 10:23 am

      Not sure if it would help, but if you use OneNote a lot, would it be worth changing browser (perhaps to Chrome?)

  26. Peter Buyze
    May 5, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    I used Evernote for 2 years but got fed up with its poor, amateurish editing & formatting. Also it was terrible with tables. Then there is the organisation: Evernote relies on tags & a powerful search syntax, which is fine & necessary to find your notes, but I prefer the visual to the bucket-type organisation of Evernote. OneNote's search is more than adequate.

    1 year ago I decided to switch to OneNote & have never looked back. I have worked out an organisation model which combines notebooks, tabs/sections, tables & tables of contents, and keeps my pages/notes to a minimal level. This way I have everything within easy reach, particularly with the visual & OneNote's search.

    1 thing about the free version of OneNote: it has 1 or 2 fewer features than the desktop version. I don't use the free web version but if I am not mistaken 1 of the missing features is OCR.

    I have looked at a number of other note-taking apps, including wiki-style apps, some of which have features OneNote does not have. Nothing is perfect in life so one has to set priorities & make compromises. Each time OneNote came out on top, hands down.

    All of these comments represent my humble opinion & are based on my use case.

    • Rob Nightingale
      May 8, 2016 at 3:49 pm

      Yea, I think it's the same with the Mac version. One crazy thing I really miss in OneNote is the ability to search for notes using Mac's spotlight. If they had that feature, I would probably abandon Evernote altogether.

  27. MrBrady
    May 5, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Interesting article. Thanks for posting!

    I've always shied away from OneNote only because it's part of Microsoft Office and I don't like Office, especially the Mac version. But after reading this article I'll give it a try.

    • Auldtwa
      May 6, 2016 at 12:15 am

      I believe OneNote was originally an independent app that Microsoft bought and simply provided along with Office. So you can think of it as the UnOffice part of Office.

      • Stefan Wischner
        May 6, 2016 at 6:07 am

        Not exactly. To be precise OneNote was a "private" side project from a Microsoft employee (John Guin if I am right) and soon became the "killer app" to promote the unsuccessful Windows XP for tablets in 2003. After that died OneNote has been a rather expensive stand alone program and was bundled into MS Office 2007 for the first time. It received a few connectors to other office modules to make it look as a part of the office suite but works perfectly without Word or Excel installed.
        OneNote 2013 was the last version which could also be bought separately. In 2014 Microsoft started the Mac version, offered a stripped down version of OneNote 2013 for free (basically without the option to store notes locally and without the connectors to other Office modules), rebuild the iOS version and introduced an Android version. All for free except the one still bundled with office and offering the most features.

        Greetings from germany, Stefan Wischner, Microsoft MVP 2015, 2016 for OneNote.

        • Auldtwa
          May 6, 2016 at 6:27 am

          Thanks. I knew it wasn't entirely Office-y. I used it before 2007, so my company must have bought the stand alone part.

    • Rob Nightingale
      May 8, 2016 at 3:50 pm

      It's definitely worth giving it a try MrBrady :)

  28. Roberto
    May 5, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    I was used to use Onenote along Keep, Asana and the paid version of Evernote. Since I have subscribed to Office365 I decided to get rid of all note taking apps but Onenote. Because of the nice integration of Onenote with Outlook Tasks I don't need neither Asana anymore.
    I have used a free tool to import all my notes I had in Evernote to Onenote. So far I'm still happy with the decision and I'm not going back.

    • Rob Nightingale
      May 8, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      Did you find reorganizing your Evernotes in OneNote easy? I might do this soon, but I have well over 10,000 notes, so am a little scared of the mess it could make...

      • Roberto
        May 9, 2016 at 12:38 am

        Migration wasn’t so flawless especially with the notes that were clipped from web pages. (formatting issues, missing pictures)
        If I could go back I would at first delete all irrelevant notes from Evernote.
        For clipped webpages I would open the pages in the browser from the original link in Evernote then clip them again with Onenote clipping tool as the result with Onenote clipping tool is far better than with the Evernote one.
        Reorganization in Onenote is more easy as you can easily drag and drop pages from one tab to another or copy/move a whole bulk of pages at once.
        I didn’t have so many notes in Evernote like you. I had "only" about 2000.

        • Rob Nightingale
          May 18, 2016 at 10:22 am

          Thanks Roberto. I'll get around to this one day, when I have some spare time :)

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