A bit off-subject: OneNote vs Evernote

Just as the title suggests, figured this is the best place to ask as people here take organization seriously :-) I am using both OneNote and Evernote (premium subscription). That can’t last long - having my info split between two apps is chaotic. Does anybody here have strong thoughts on using one over the other? Money is not the factor - quality of the product is main question.

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Folks swear by the DevonThink products.

I use and highly recommend Curio instead of OneNote.

I’m using Evernote and considering to move to DevonThinkToGo instead.

@SupportHumans --> This topic belongs in the Lounge.


I am using the Notebooks App. It’s somewhat lower level than OneNote and Evernote, but very functional. There are versions for Mac, Windows and iOS. I can store text notes, rich text, PDFs and images, and it syncs using Dropbox so there is no cost other than for the app.

I’m using DEVONThink after switching away from Evernote. For me I never got on with OneNote - the layout of the application seemed odd to me. I like DEVONThink because what I save in is what I get - a PDF remains a PDF, and a text file remains a text file. Whereas in Evernote they would be embedded inside a document and getting them out when I needed to was a bit of a pain.

I’ve just switched from Evernote to DevonThink for collecting information - works and syncs really well, great searching and a lot of additional scripts - also, really very good support. I switched because (a) I don’t like the way EN is going and (b) I can keep y data on my own server, instead of ENs.

I like OneNote, but there’s something about the UI that makes it hard for me to use. I used Circus Ponies Notebook for years, but it’s dead (even though it still works). I tried Notebooks, but it doesn’t work for me. There’s a thing called Outline which has a similar UI to OneNote but better functionality.

I’m now trying Curio for organising information (the next update will search DevonThink directly - big plus), but I haven’t yet found a reply good notetaker. Curio has no IOS equivalent, which is a problem for me.

The nest I’ve found for actual note taking are iThoughts (Mac and IOS - mindmapping but good for notes) and. of course, OmniOutliner. The combo of one of these, Curio for planning/organising and DevonThink for info collection seems to be working out quite well

Thank you for suggestions, everybody. A few of my limitations are OCR and multi-platform. Hence Devon would not work - no Android client. Notebooks does not do OCR at all. The only two tools that perform OCR and are available on iOS/ Android are OneNote and Evernote, unless I am missing any.

OK - in that case, I think it’s just down to which interface you prefer. Functionally, I don’t think there’s much between them on mobile.

If you use a Mac, I’d go for OneNote - for all that I don’t like the interface very much, I like it better than EN and I think it provides a lot more if you’re attempting to collect information, organise thought, make notes, all in one.

I too struggled using both for several months until I was being (and doing) double. It came down to which of these presents the easiest, seamless, useful features that integrate into calendars, web browsers, email functions and Evernote came out the winner. OneNote had too many flashing colors. Like an old library card catalog OneNote was buried under so many bells and whistles that it seemed to me to have lost site of its primary mission, at least to me. Since dropping OneNote I’ve never looked back.

I used to use Evernote heavily and switched full time to OneNote. If you ever feel too limited by Evernote, give OneNote a try. Before, I frequently had to resort to making Pages documents to have the freedom to position things as I needed, e.g. a table on the right of some text, multiple columns of text, putting an image anywhere I want and add an annotation under it, etc.

Evernote just always felt really restrictive with weird behaviour with its editor. OneNote feels more flexible and modern, like Word and Pages behave.

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I have Evernote and OneNote.

Evernote is sort of an archive of important docs, use for OCR to search against, but not a note taking app for me. I used it heavily for years, now it mostly gathers dust except when I travel and tuck travel docs in their for easy access (much of its purpose other than OCR I now use with Dropbox and Box).

OneNote is where I will keep some light notes for work projects and organize information for projects and some papers I working on. The folder structure and ability to mix media in a page / note is helpful. The down side is lack of OCR and dealing with PDF (annotation in general and non-destructive annotations - Evernote wasn’t great with annotations). I also use OneNote for writing notes in meetings where I need to connect things and annotate around objects (I usually take notes in markdown other than this), but this has been replace by Apple Notes to a large degree this year for me.

On my MacBook Pro I have a DevonThink repository for documents that (on SSD and 16GB of RAM) works really well for ~60k documents, which are mostly PDF and academic papers, archived web content, product manuals, my own notes, and my own documents. I also have OmniOutliner and OmniGraffle files in this (OO works well for search, but OG is just lite search and viewing). The DT ToGo doesn’t work as an interface for this, but does work for capture and syncing that into my main repository. Most things I want to have and read on my iOS devices I have access to in a Dropbox reading folder. I

My use of OneNote is basically a curation and organizing place for things I find in DevonThink. I will copy text out, or bring documents into OneNote around something I am working on. I will start making notes and structuring a work plan in a page for a project. It is my curation and jumping off point.

I use OmniOutliner to frame a report / paper or work plan, which builds off of thing things I have roughed out in OneNote. OmniFocus comes into play with to do and milestones for a project that link to OneNote resources (often to Dropbox reading folder items as well). Nothing is finished in OneNote as it is mostly just an organization and curation stage, it links out to external content well.

Evernote is horrible.

I loathe both Evernote and OneNote, albeit for different reasons.

Evernote - fine for clipping and storing information (if you’re OK depending on theirs security and privacy); unusable (IMO) for creating and working with notes, other than for the very basics. Separately, I don’t like the way their subscription model’s going.

OneNote - confusing (to me) interface; no ability to save/work locally (without an O365 subscription). But, you can create decent notes and if you like the interface, it’s good for working out long documents, collecting information together and so on.

Both do have the benefit of Windows and web interfaces.

I switched from Evernote to DevonTHINK Pro Office last year - one-time licence fee (no subscription) and choice of where I keep my database (security) - for collecting info and to Curio to replace OneNote and Circus Ponies Notebook. It works for me because I can be Mac-only

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OneNote is my first choice