As an IT Enterprise professional I am always trying to find the perfect tool to help me with my daily tasks. I have tried a lot of them, and it comes always to these 2: Evernote and OneNote.
This review its not about which one its the best (I will let you decide that), but as a professional I will tell you how I feel about using each of their features.
First a list of Pros and Cons with the most important features
- Great community around it, with several products and The Trunk
- Cloud service with apps in the major platforms, desktop, mobile and tablets.
- Free apps and applications for windows and Mac
- Free cloud service if you don’t use more than 60MB/month.
- Add-ons for browsers
- Tags management. Very easy to associate to notes and very easy to use them in searching.
- Geo Notes, if that’s important to you
- The search feature its very good
- Collaboration (at least in the Mac)
- Online editor
- Related Notes
- Attach Multimedia files to notes
- Share with social networks
- The applications are free.
- The notes editor could be better. I don’t like the way the tables are created, and most of the times the bullets creation follows a strange behavior after some clicking in Enter and DEL.
- In Windows the desktop version uses to many space with information about the notes. Ok, its possible to hide it, but then I will have to open and close to find what I want. (I accept some comments here! Its my UI feel, not a problem.)
- The “list of notes” doesn’t fit well with my expectations. It doesn’t help me find a note with a simple view., I will always have to use the search.
- Its only about single notes. You cannot create sections, or sub notes or some kind of marks inside a note.
- The note follows the pattern of a text editor (like WordPad), you cannot write in any place like a real notebook.
- Ink Notes just in desktop and the note must be or Ink or Text, you cannot have both at same time in the same note.
- Integrates very well in the Microsoft Office family products
- Cloud service using SkyDrive.
- Apps for Windows desktop, Windows 8 tablet, iOS and Android
- The limit online its the limit of SkyDrive (starting from 7GB)
- Search its very good
- Search with tags its great (although I think the tags management could be much more improved, here I like Evernote system)
- Great collaboration. I tried to use OneNote online and at same time using in my tablet and the experience was as expected)
- Online editor its great, very similar to the desktop edition but with some constraints (well, its online)
- The desktop editor is a pearl. You write anywhere, how you want it, like writing in a sheet of paper. (if you have a surface you can use it like a paper using the stylus). Great handling of tables. You can integrate, convert or use Excel tables in OneNote.
- Integrates with Outlook and Excel. The editor has almost all the tools you find in the Microsoft Word.
- You can integrate multimedia files along the note.
- You can have Ink and text in the same note. Great to take annotations.
- The online application its free if you have a SkyDrive account.
- The price of the final product its not expensive if you consider a one time buy. (The OneNote Metro application its free)
- You don’t have the concept of a note. You take notes like if you have a notebook. (could be a pro or not, depending of your taste)
- The handling of the tags needs a rebuild. Its a menu with a lot of tags already developed. You can create new ones, but its not easy to manage them like in Evernote.
- You have to buy the desktop version.
- The mobile apps they have a limit of notes before you have to pay them, unless you have an Office 365 subscription.
- Its note a very single simple note system, you start with a Notebook with a section and page, not a note like Evernote. Although you can create a notebook for very simple notes or use OneNote’s single notes system.
I have switched a lot of times between these 2 great notebook applications. When I want to take fast notes, save links, create list for shopping, simple to-do, or a lot of integration with third party apps in the mobile eco system, Evernote its first choice that comes to my mind. But if you work in a professional environment, and you have a lot of notes in some subject, and the concept of sections, sub notes its more intuitive for you, I think OneNote shines here.
Evernote its great sharing the notes between all the devices and very good to organize them with tags and Notebooks, but the notes are simple boxes of isolated information contained inside notebooks and associated with tags. Its about single notes, not books of information.
OneNote its great organizing information for enterprise or scholar environments. The notes are not isolated blocks of text, they belong to a section/sections inside a notebook. It works like a tree (or a notebook with bookmarks) in your mind. If you want the project X Notebook, with sections and sub-pages, where all is organized like in one place and very easy to find, the OneNote its for you!
Now I am using OneNote, because most of my time its working in IT Project, and I want that each project or company be in a Notebook, and inside it I divide by sections like configuration, applications, issues, daily log, etc., its very easy to find the information without using the tags (I just use them for TODOs and reminders). The editor its a joy and I can use my stylus in the windows surface, which mix very well with the text.
However, sometimes I miss the simplicity of Evernote. Its very easy to take a note in any device and find it using the notebook and tagging. But I will miss the great text editing capabilities of OneNote.
– Evernote its about getting notes, tagging them well and then searching, it gives you a lot of notes managing/organizing freedom. There are a lot of third party apps integrated with Evernote. You can, for instance, do a scan and send the photo to the Evernote from an iPhone.
– OneNote its about notebooks and organize them by project, company or class/course or something similar. Its like having real notebooks. Its great for project enterprise environments. (Did I mention the great text editor?)