Evernote vs. OneNote

I know: I haven’t updated this blog much this year… mea culpa. I’ve been writing other things, and I won’t fill this post with excuses… I’ll just go right into the content of this post:

Evernote and OneNote: Compare and Contrast

Both programs have use for writers as you will learn.

Evernote (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



This has both free and paid versions. I’ve been using the free one for a long time, and I’m not lacking any functionality. It’s a software app as well; in fact, I first began with it. The Website came much later.

This is icon for social networking website. Th...
This is icon for social networking website. This is part of Open Icon Library’s webpage icon package. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is available on tablet (both Android and Ipad) as well, so if you have a WiFi connection, it’s portable. It can also be installed on your Smartphone, so you can easily take photos as notes.

Wi-Fi Signal logo
Wi-Fi Signal logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the features that I like is being able to add tags to every note. Once there are a lot (I have 340 already!) tags become easier to find what you most need.

Another feature that I like:unlimited notebooks, and they’re all accessible in the same place. You can make a new notebook for each project or series. For example I created a separate notebook for my research on Boston for my Rigger, Mortiz and Shivver series (more on that in another post). I save that in my Scrivener binder for my novel (also more another time).

One disadvantage: It doesn’t have a lot of formatting available. You can make checkboxes for ToDo lists, or indents, even change the font for a whole note, and do bold, italics and underline, but you can’t  do all of the formatting of a word processor.

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What Reason for These Programs?

As the app names imply, their purpose is simple: they are used to take and store notes. Not just for prose; for anything. Evernote claims to be the way to keep many of the things that you can’t keep in your head. It’s claimed as an extension of your brain.

In their own way both are ways to help a writer, as I’ll explain later on.



There are many similarities in the pros for this: it’s also free, it syncs with a Website (also free), there is an ability to create multiple notebooks. There’s also a version for Ipad. It syncs between all versions via WiFi.

Unlike in Evernote all formatting is available. That makes sense, as it’s a part of Microsoft Office, and they all share similar features.

Because it’s part of Office it allows Excel spreadsheets to be embedded within notes. You can add them to Evernote too, but only as images.

As for cons, there are a few: first, while it allows you to have multiple notebooks, each one is separate. Each one has separate sections and pages, but they have to be chosen separately at load-up. Also, there’s no feature that I’ve seen to tag notes.

A caveat: as of writing this blog post I’ve only used OneNote for less than 2 weeks. Others may well know it better than I do and can point me to other advice I’ve missed. Feel free to let me know in the comments.

I’ll post how I use them in my next post.


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