I never thought I would say this, but I am quickly approaching the point of dropping Evernote for OneNote.

I have been an avid Evernote evangelist for years. I have more than 7,300 hundred notes in my Evernote account. It has been an integral part of my digital experience for a long time. If I do decide to break up with Evernote, it will be painful to unencumber myself for good.

Bottom line, Evernote has stopped developing and innovating at the rate that it was. Since Microsoft finally released a version of OneNote for Mac about a year ago, it has been a legitimate contender in the digital note-taking space. Given my relentless curiosity about productivity tools, I decided to give it a try.

Here is what I enjoy the most about OneNote:

  1. I can copy and paste content from a Word or Excel document, and it maintains its original formatting. This is very helpful if I am organizing agendas or project developments. It keeps from having to open every single file to find that sentence or cell and gives me instant “at a glance” perspective.
  2. I can also create a document in OneNote and copy and paste it into a Word document without losing the formatting. This is extremely helpful if I’ve created something in a meeting and can quickly piece together a follow-up document for my team.
  3. Each note is a “canvas.” That means I can type, add pictures, etc. anywhere and organize how I want it to look on the page. This is as close as it gets to working with a paper notepad.
  4. The organization of folders, and then pages within each folder, allows for better organization and much easier navigation. Evernote feels like a collection of index cards with a rubber band wrapped around them. OneNote really does feel like a legitimate notebook.
  5. The tags are visual and easy to use. I can quickly glance back through my notes and determine the to-do items, the breakthrough moments, etc.
  6. I can still email notes to myself, take snapshots of whiteboards with my app, and drag and drop images into a note. I can’t record the meeting within the note or attach documents in the Mac version…yet. I suspect that is coming soon.
  7. The sync feature is consistent and reliable. I’ve found Evernote to be less than reliable in recent months in its syncing capabilities with more “conflicting notes” experiences than I ever remember.
  8. The user interface is much easier on the eyes. This may not matter to a lot of people, but it does to me. I’m a sucker for a well-designed app experience.
  9. The iPad and iPhone versions are just as easy to use as the desktop version. This is a must in my book, and OneNote checks this box.

You'll want to try this for yourself.

If you’re disappointed or less than impressed with Evernote, I would strongly encourage you to give OneNote a try. I think you’ll find it to be a very helpful tool in your productivity toolbox. 

Of course, this doesn't have to be an "either-or" decision. I'm considering keeping Evernote as my digital filing cabinet and using OneNote for more traditional notetaking. Maybe some of my frustration with Evernote comes from placing too much expectation on one app or service. 

What’s been your experience with OneNote?

Image Credit: OneNote.com

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