I’m a big fan of Microsoft OneNote, but I also use-as I have written about in the past-EverNote. EverNote has transformed from a OneNote wannabe into a rather rich, web-centric, multi device note taking application. There are EverNote clients for Windows, Mac, Windows Mobile, iPhone/iPod Touch and, recently, the Palm Pre. Of course, you can also use pretty much any browser to access your notes on the web, if you sync them. This web-centric nature is something that OneNote just does not do. At first, I did not realize just how useful this web-centric nature of EverNote could be. That is, until I got the Pre. Having the ability to carry around my OneNote information was something that I was already used to since OneNote has a Windows Mobile client. It’s pretty bare bones and lacks most of OneNote’s features, but I did have my notebooks. Problem was, however, that I had to connect my mobile phone to my computer and sync the notebooks. And then it was still cumbersome.
EverNote 2.2 also had a Windows Mobile client, but it was a beta and also pretty barebones. Problem with it is that it did not sync. You have to copy your EverNote database to the device. Well, with 3.0, they fixed that. If you have syncing turned on, your notes will automagically sync to your web based notebooks and with all of the mobile clients you have. This is particularly useful for note taking while in meetings or anywhere that happen to be without your computer. The iPhone/iPod Touch client is the most feature complete, but the Pre version is coming along nicely. I won’t discuss the Windows Mobile version. I had it, I used a little, I did not like it. I blame Windows Mobile and not EverNote.
Since I am primarily a OneNote user, I tend to throw a lot into my OneNote notebooks. Sometimes, though, I want the same thing on my phone. Now, I can export things to PDF and manually copy to my phone. But, there is a better way. You can email your OneNote documents to EverNote. When you create your EverNote account, you get an email address as well. There are a few ways to do this from OneNote: you can use the SEND TO menu to send the document as a PDF, you can use the EMAIL option, but remember to remove the .one attachment as it is not usable on the mobile device. You can also CTRL-A, CTRL-C and then create a new mail message in your favorite email client and paste in the content. No matter what method you use, however, the formatting will not be the same. OneNote is very flexible in where you can place your content, but EverNote is not. EverNote still retains the ‘paper tape’ like interface, though the messages are now visually separate. I think I like this better. Anyway, when you email the content, the web notebook will get it and then it will sync with your mobile devices. Yes, it is a bit clumsy, but at least you do not have to have the mobile device connected to your computer to get your OneNote content.
EverNote, on the web, also allows you to email content FROM your notebook. Simply select a note, then click Email and fill in the blanks. Works very well.
I have found myself backtracking a bit on EverNote 3.0. I had been deriding it every chance I got. EverNote 2.2 was an excellent application and when they introduced 3.0, they had removed most of the features I used. And I had purchased the application as well. So, they introduced 3, removed features, made it free and, seemingly, screwed their loyal users too. While I am still a bit bitter over having paid for 2.2 and having features taken away that I used, the combination of OneNote and the EverNote syncing is pretty compelling.