EverNote over OneNote

Jul 29, 2008
Updated • Sep 14, 2010
Microsoft Office, Software

I never had any experience with using Microsoft OneNote before getting the Microsoft Office 2007 Home Edition.

I’m a university student and having spent a few weeks attempting to organise my notes with MS Word (Trial Edition) I was quite excited to discover this great note taking application. OneNote really is useful, but I just couldn’t help feel as though it was a little overkill for me and how I would use it.

OneNote is targeted more at people working in business of course, which is shame because Microsoft is really losing out on the student market. In fact there are two main reasons I couldn’t effectively use OneNote:

  • Organisation: Like many students I’m very unorganised. In fact considering most students are, designing a note taking program with this in mind would be a good decision.
  • Too much for too little: What other reason aside from lectures and tutorials would I use OneNote? Sure I tried using it for some other things as well, but really it just feels like too big an application for what I need it for.

Enter EverNote.

I had a beta invitation to EverNote months ago, however based on reports of bugginess and performance issues I waited till the service has improved a little.

After the latest version 3.0 update yesterday I have begun to use EverNote for all my notetaking needs. I quickly discovered it’s a fantastic application for what I need it for. Here is why:

  • Synchronisation: EverNote is running a ‘freemium’ model for their service. What? Pay?! I’m quite glad of this as it means EverNote is very likely to stick around as they have an actual business model! You will get 40mb free data synchronisation each month between different computers and mobile devices.
  • Organisation: Is far easier and simpler, Use notebooks, tags and attributes to organise all your content. It is much quicker to just get in and start working and easier later to locate what you wrote through the search focused toolbar.
  • Search in Images: It could still do with a lot of improvements but the Image searching feature of EverNote is pretty impressive. It will locate any text within any image you paste into your notes. You can also take screen clippings like OneNote which is handy.

In essence EverNote is a killer note taking product I couldn’t recommend more.


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  1. Sagron said on November 5, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    OneNote 2007 is far better than Evernote

  2. Kafa said on January 29, 2009 at 1:19 am

    Does OneNote have a pretty accurate handwriting recognition setup? Say you have sloppy handwriting; is it a pain to get it converted from handwriting to text?

  3. Caroline said on July 30, 2008 at 7:41 am

    I use both –

    Evernote for all those page snippets of interest, like tech, or passwords (encrypted), or all my hobby stuff. Easy to put in one or several categories. Also synchronize to a stick so that I have info at clients’ computers.

    For writing articles I use Onenote, as I can click in different areas of a page just to make a note of a thought (or sub pages for sub thoughts). After organizing the thoughts I can copy to a word processor.

  4. Josh said on July 30, 2008 at 4:42 am

    Oh yea, I think OneNote is a great product! It just isn’t suitable for me and how I use it… as a business user I would definetly go for OneNote. Actually not even business, for any multiple purpose notetaking like Steve mentioned.

    @Jayson, there is a link.

  5. Jayson said on July 29, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    How about a link to the Evernote page?

  6. Rich said on July 29, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    I agree with Steve on this one. I love OneNote and use it for school, work, planning (yep planning), and my website:

    — On the left-hand side of the screen (Notebooks) are “Website”, “Grad Plan”, “Fall 07”, “Winter 08” etc.
    — Across the top (Sections) is class names (school) or months (website.)
    — On the right-hand side (pages) is individual classes (school) or individual posts (website.)

    OneNote helps me so much; however, this suits my personality, and I know it’s not for everyone.

  7. Steve said on July 29, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    For business purposes I find OneNote much better than EverNote. I’ve tested both at the same time and found OneNote much more intuitive and capable and it supports better organization. Evernote appeared to me much like just a better data collecting tool. Normally I’m not a user of MS products at all, use OpenOffice and we just have MS Office to open documents that clients send us. But surprisingly OneNote became invaluable in no time.
    I guess it all depends on the users needs or “taste” ;-)

  8. Al Williams said on July 29, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    I’ve used EverNote on a USB stick for some time. However, another online product that isn’t bad — especially if you are using the whole suite — is Zoho Notebook: http://notebook.zoho.com

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