OneNote and EverNote together at last: how you can use them to complement each other

OneNote001I’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.  EverNote001 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. 

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8 thoughts on “OneNote and EverNote together at last: how you can use them to complement each other

  1. Just curious, are you still using OneNote?

    I like OneNote for taking notes and the flexibility of organizing everything, Evernote for receiving information from an email and accessing something from pretty much any device (laptop, pc, android, netbook and iPad), SpringPad for keeping a wine list, Mobile Noter for displaying OneNote notebooks on my iPad and DropBox for storing files using a hierarchical folder structure.

    My biggest frustration is not being able to email something to OneNote and the slow response time on the windows live version. I haven’t found my best system yet. 😦

    Any new suggestions?

    • Hi Maralyn,
      Yes, I still use OneNote. I am using OneNote 2010 at home and syncing some of my notebooks to the ‘cloud’ service. I also use Evernote, but less and less, Mobile Noter and, now, OneNote for iOS.No perfect solution yet.

    • Hi Mz Maralyn,

      I’m with you! I use OneNote, EverNote, SpringPad and Dropbox and Google Docs for personal and business use. The best workarounds I have found so far in bringing everything together on one platform is Podio. Podio is a task/project management app recently acquired by Citrix. It lets us customize everything to work with our unique workflows. The best part – it features integrations with Dropbox, Skydrive, Evernote and Google, and then some. It doesn’t have Springpad, which I love for clipping and saving webpages, but I trust you will find the integrations it does have, very useful. Especially if like me, you use these apps to collaborate with a team. Podio’s free account gives you about 90% of the functionality of their paid account. Worth a try. Oh, and check out Xobni.com. Xobni has apps for Outlook, Google Mail, iPhone, Android, Blackberry and then some. It too brings Dropbox, Evernote, and SkyDrive Access to your mail clients and devices. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions. I love researching apps, and I love to share what I find.

  2. OneNote is one of MS product that I would really like to use. . But its really painful that they dont have a OneNote for MAC; even with the Office 2011 for MAC. Badly waiting for a software that will sync one note notebooks from my skydrive …. please let me know if any one is aware of any syncing workarounds for onenote and any MAC notes applications…. (prefferebly evernotes – thats the best available for MAC, as far as I know)

  3. I now use Evernote almost exclusively instead of OneNote. One thing that annoyed me most was that there was no OneNote for Mac (like Sunish), and that you couldn’t type anywhere on the note in Evernote. However, I got around this by downloading the Evernote application on all my computers (including Mac) and using a 2 column table whenever I make an outline or take notes for class. In the first column I type my outline normally. In the second column I type whatever side notes I have, like I used to do in OneNote. It’s been working well since!

    • @msm697, thanks for the tip, that’s a great idea. I think One Note is far and away better but, like you and Sunish, I think there should be a Mac client and a much nicer iOS client too. I am forced to use Evernote simply because it works better on my iPad than the iPhone client. Fortunately, I can keep it all in sync. Evernote is, I must admit, far more ubiquitous than OneNote. Microsoft is really missing the boat here.

  4. I too am a OneNote power-user. I love it beyond any other application. In my opinion, it is Microsoft’s saving grace -well, that and Outlook 2010, after customizing it a bit. However, I am endlessly frustrated at how limiting OneNote is in comparison with the ever-ready, EverNote. For example, EverNote seems to work as a web page clipper, and integrates with slews of other project management and online apps. OneNote does not, but, OneNote let’s me create docked side notes, automatically linking the notes to the other webpage or desktop document I am viewing. OneNote is powerful. The more I dig around, the more functionality I find. I’d like to see OneNote and EverNote play together – sync seamlessly to create a user experience like no other multi-tasking, jot-anything app can provide. In the meantime, these are my recommended workarounds. 1) Install Xobni for Outlook and you get both Skydrive, EverNote, and Dropbox access via Outlook – stellar product in so many ways. Need project/task management that you can customize to work the way you do? Try Podio, by Citirix. Podio features integrations with both EverNote, SkyDrive, Dropbox, SugarSync, Box, You Send It, Google Drive and more. This is the number 1 way I have been able to link my use of OneNote, Evernote, Google Docs, and Dropbox together. If you try either of these (very decent free versions available) Let me know what you think!

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