Not too terribly long ago I talked about leaving Evernote for OneNote. The main rationale? I was beginning to get tired of paying more and more for Evernote when I could just use my work account for OneNote and not pay anything.
Well, as of this week I switched back. Why?
Mobile was a big deal
At the end of the day, this was the biggest deal breaker for me. OneNote has a mobile app and it's not terrible. It just isn't as simple or easy to use as Evernote.
One of the things I liked about OneNote was the ability to create notes that spread across pages. I had a lot more working space on desktop. Unfortunately that experience didn't translate as neatly to a mobile experience. A lot of times, I like to take notes on the fly, whether it's a shopping list or jotting down things I learn during a sermon at church. Between the two apps, Evernote is considerably easier. OneNote was acceptable and I found a way to work with it but just didn't enjoy taking notes on it as much as I did with Evernote.
The work/personal divide
One complaint that I had heard from other friends about OneNote was the syncing problem. After a few weeks of using this, I saw what they meant. Syncing devices wasn't a super clean experience.
The biggest factor on syncing was keeping work and personal separate. I signed up for OneNote using the Office 365 account I had through North Highland. However, I don't use note taking apps just for work purposes. As mentioned earlier, I like using it to make shopping lists, take notes during church, draft blog ideas or clip ideas for large purchases (cars, big electronics, etc).
At the end of the day, I didn't love that all my home-based tasks were attached to my work account. Hearing how it's not easy to sync up a personal and work account into the same experience, I migrated back to Evernote. It's just easier to have one stream of conscious divided up only between notebooks instead of between accounts.
It took work
I didn't just jump back to Evernote. It took a bit of work.
I had been using Evernote for years. When you use a product like that for years, you tend to accumulate a lot of junk. Before I switched, I migrated a few mission critical notes from OneNote that I had been using for work projects. I also spent an afternoon (and part of a midnight baby feeding) deleting a lot of out-of-date or irrelevant notes. I probably discarded hundreds of notes. Cleaning up my folders made going back even easier. Felt more like a fresh start.
Sure, I'm having to pay a few bucks a month that I hadn't been for a while. I think it's going to be worth it. Evernote is something I can take with me beyond what I do at North Highland. It's also way easier to use on-the-go. It doesn't have as many features as OneNote but it turns out that I really don't even need most of those features.
What about you? Evernote? OneNote? Google Keep? A napkin? What's your note taking tool of choice?