Evernote vs OneNote

Evernote Icon One Note Icon

If you find yourself regularly on customer sites then you will have encountered the issue of taking notes. Personally I find I can hand write notes in a meeting while still concentrating on what has being said. Typing notes I find is distracting not only for me but I detect others at the meeting don’t like people typing whilst they are talking.


Up until recently I have found one solution to this is to use the iPad and hand write notes on it. I have used to apps for this: Evernote and Noteshelf. Noteshelf is better at taking handwritten notes, Evernote has the ability to share and sync these notes across all devices. There are a number of draw backs to this; the most important of which has been being beaten up by Garth for using non-Microsoft technology in front of the customer.


I have considered OneNote before but have found it tricky to tune in to, it has a different structure to Evernote and it has not had the multi-platform support that Evernote has. Finally however decent versions have been released for the iPad and iPhone that does enable note editing with limited formatting, in fact more formatting than the free version of Evernote. The only issue is the iPad version does not support ink notes, but the tablet version does.


From an organisational perspective Evernote has a relatively simple structure of having notebooks that contain notes. For example I had a notebook called customers and it contained a note per customer. In OneNote notebooks are really a level up from the notebooks in Evernote so you may want a notebook for work and a notebook for personal stuff. These notebooks can stored locally or in the cloud and are automatically synced using your windows live account. Notebooks then have sections, these are the equivalent of the Evernote notebooks, and sections can have pages which are the equivalent of a note in Evernote.


Evernote Customers


Customers in Evernote


One Note Customers


Customers in OneNote


OneNote also has a very useful feature of being able to share notes publicly via SkyDrive, this will be useful if meeting notes get minuted and then need publishing.


Currently I’m still in the same situation where I need to take pen notes in NoteShelf on the iPad, I now publish these via email and send them to OneNote from Outlook. Of course the ultimate solution will be to take notes directly into OneNote on the Surface Pro with its digital pen.


Surface Ink

Written by Russell Smith at 00:00

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