Why I changed from Evernote

So I just converted over from evernote to Onenote. Blasphemy you say! Evernote has been the standard in noting in the cloud for a while now.  They certainly where one of the first to have a really serious, cross platform facility with good features. However things change.  Competitors have sprung up.  Some note providers who were once abysmal and restricted to certain platforms, are now actively competing with Evernote.  But that in itself is not a reason to change.  So the question is, are these competitors offering anything new or better than Evernote?

What first started me thinking about changing to another note provider was the severe data limit on Evernote free accounts, 60MB, when I have several cloud providers who offer storage measured in gigabytes, not megabytes.  I’ve been wanting to extend my note taking to webpages and images for a while now, but the 60MB limit in Evernote quite simply puts a stop to that.  It’s a dream I have had to leave un-realised.

So the first alternative cloud provider I looked at was Dropbox.  I have a 9GB dropbox, courtesy of free space through inviting other people to dropbox (my friends and family were accosted, but they also got free extra space by virtue of accepting my invitation), so it makes sense to get more use out of it, since my main use of dropbox means I have about 4GB spare. I use Dropbox as my primary cloud provider for keeping my documents accessible where ever I am, and it has LAN sync option which cuts down on internet data use.    But unfortunately Dropbox don’t have a noting option ie you can’t sync notes to dropbox (though you could use a word doc or text files – but it is clumsy and doesn’t meet the purpose of noting software). Interestingly, though I didn’t know it until after I switched from Evernote, Dropbox will be bringing out something called ‘Dropbox Paper’ which looks like a noting solution with built in team sharing and other features.  I’ve signed up for the service once it becomes available so that I can check it out.  But for now, Dropbox is out as a note provider.

The next cloud provider I looked at was Google. I have a 95GB google drive (15GB free plus 80GB paid),  which I use for photo backup and the other things such as email, calendar and contacts syncing.  Google have a note option called ‘keep’ which is similar to Evernote, and would allow me to utilise my pool of Google data. However two drawbacks (both more or less deal killers); 1. There is no migration path from Evernote to Keep.  All Evernote notes would need to be manually cut and paste into new notes on Keep.  Also all the date, location and sequence information would be lost. And 2. there is no Windows Phone app for Keep.  Not that I use Windows Phone a lot, but when I do, I need it to have access to my current notes. Any note provider I go with was going to have to have cross platform accessibility.

So that lead me towards considering Onenote.  I was resistant to this at first.  I would much rather have gone with Keep. Also for a long time Microsoft have been pushing Onenote, making sure it gets installed at the drop of a hat (install any sort of MS product and you invariably get Onenote).  My attitude to companies trying to put crap on my devices that I didn’t specifically ask for is not particularly welcoming.  But a few things made me sit up and take notice.  Primarily, it has an Evernote importer!  So those migrating from Evernote to Onenote can automatically pull across all their Evernote notes.  On top of that, I have a 25GB Onedrive (Courtesy of a free loyalty upgrade when they changed from Skydrive to Onedrive) , and Onenote uses Onedrive data.

Onenote is cross platform, more or less – Microsoft have made sure apps are available for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone.  There are desktop clients for MAC and Windows.  Linux and ChromeOS miss out on desktop clients, but you can still use the web based version of Onenote via the Firefox or Chrome browsers.

Finally, Onenote has all the features of Evernote, (some available via free add-ins), close integration with Windows and Office, and includes a Onenote printer – you can send any webpage or document to Onenote simply by “printing” it to Onenote. Onenote also supports collaboration, shared whiteboard, live update and many other cool tricks.

So I went with Onenote!

Before making your own decision, it’s worth noting that overall Evernote has more mature features, especially for enterprise use.  However for personal use, Onenote is more than sufficient, easier to use, and has reasonable data.

Free Storage Sharing Migration tag notes Platforms Digital whiteboard (live collaboration)
Evernote 60MB Yes Import and Export as ENEX or HTML, Import direct from Onenote Yes Good cross platform support No, though available through paid add-ins
Dropbox  Paper (not yet available) 2GB Yes Unknown Unknown Unknown Yes
Google Keep 15GB (includes email if you have gmail account Yes Export to html, no import No No desktop app, but has Chrome App Launcher.  No Windows Phone app. Yes
MS Onenote 5GB (includes email if you have an MS email address) Yes Export to various (pdf, word etc), but not ENEX or HTML. Import from Evernote via add-in Yes Good cross platform support, no ChromeOS or Linux desktop app




~ by Max Riethmuller on April 26, 2016.

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