Get Organized With Evernote or OneNote
Often in your online travels, you'll finds bit of information that you want to save for later use or sharing. Cutting and pasting into a word processor file works fine for snippets of text, but not so well when you want to annotate, categorize, search and share. Read on to learn how a “personal information organizer” can help...
Post-It Notes are So 2005...
Are those yellow sticky notes covering up more than half your screen or desktop? Are you looking for something to help you organize all the nuggets you collect while you surf the Web, research a topic, or work on a project? Keeping track of text files, web pages, PDFs, images, audio and video, and having the ability to tag and search all of those things by keywords is crucial. Being able to use multiple devices and platforms, and collaborate with others while keeping everything in one central place is even better.
A PIO is useful for creating notes from scratch or adding notes to content that you grab from another source. A PIO lets you store notes in an organized set of user-defined folders. When you need to find a note a PIO searches high and low and inside of notes for keywords. Finally, a PIO lets you share notes with others, either “publishing” notes to a select group or collaborating with several people who may add their own notes to your note. Evernote and OneNote do all of that and more.
Both programs have apps for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, featuring a familiar word processor user interface with tabs and buttons for formatting text, inserting objects, and so on. “Objects” may include video or audio recordings, which both PIOs will attempt to search phonetically for your typed keywords. Did you catch that? You can stash a video or audio recording (e.g. a lecture, seminar, conference call) and later search for words that occur in it.
There are markup tools for circling, highlighting, and annotating objects. Basically, you can scribble all over an object any way you wish.
How Much Organizaton Do You Need?
OneNote’s note-organization is a bit more sophisticated than Evernote’s. In OneNote you can create multiple notebooks for broad subjects, e.g., “Recipes.” Within a notebook you can create sections and subsections, e.g., a “Beef Recipes” section with subsections for “Braised,” “Baked,” “Broiled,” etc. A note can be stored in a folder of any level.
Evernote has just notebooks and sections. I'm not hyper-organized with my notes, so that's actually appealing to me. I don't want to spend more time categorizing, tagging, and reorganizing my notes than I do finding and using them.
On the other hand, Evernote beats OneNote at clipping Web pages. OneNote will only save an entire page, not selected portions, and it saves Web pages as static images. Evernote provides half a dozen ways to clip part or all of a page; text is saved in editable form and hyperlinks work. Both programs let you annotate Web pages.
Notes can be stored in cloud servers provided by both companies, and cloud-stored notes can by synced to all of your devices. OneNote uses Microsoft OneDrive, of course, giving you up to 15 GB of free storage space. The free version of Evernote limits you to 60 MB per month; additional storage space and other features cost $5 a month or $45 per year.
Evernote has been around since 2008. But in the summer of 2013 Evernote suffered two massive denial-of-service attacks which disrupted its service, and many users went elsewhere. The company has struggled since then, and Microsoft’s decision to make OneNote a “freemium” app earlier this year hasn’t helped Evernote.
You know your business model’s in trouble when your online “Marketplace,” where people expect to find software that enhances your core product, has to be filled with unrelated products that might be found at The Sharper Image or Spencer Gifts. What, Evernote is selling Post-It Notes? And eighty-five bucks for five pairs of men’s dress socks with rainbow-colored arches seems a bit anomalous, if not desperate.
Setting that aside, both Evernote and OneNote are very useful tools for online treasure hunters, researchers, workplace teams, and even kids doing school projects. If you're still pasting snippets of text into Notepad, or using Post-It notes to keep track of things, give both of them a test drive, and see which one works best for you.
Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 10 Oct 2014
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Get Organized With Evernote or OneNote (Posted: 10 Oct 2014)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved