Tabaldo on Tech

Teaching with Technology in the 21st Century

Tabaldo on Tech - Teaching with Technology in the 21st Century

Evernote vs. OneNote

Evernote vs OneNote

Recently I was asked “How different is Evernote from MS OneNote” in a comment to my post How Evernote Changed Me, so here will be my attempt at a feature to feature comparison.

Let me start with an explanation of what these programs are intended to do. Evernote and OneNote are software applications (apps) that allow the user to collect digital information, save and organize it in virtual notebooks. That is the simple explanation. This digital collection is organized by virtual notebooks that can be grouped, labeled or tagged, hold just about any digital data (including; audio files, video files, links, websites, documents, files, pdf and images) and be shared.

Collecting the data was not the problem for me. It was the retrieval of the data that caused my frustration. I know I saved that article. Now where is it? What did I name it? Was it a website url or a pdf? I needed one location to collect my digital data and find a way to organize it for simple retrieval later. For me that solution was Evernote (I did try OneNote first, back when my main computer was a PC.)

What is important to remember as you explore these apps is how you like to work and what you are comfortable with. If you are a Windows user and just love it then you might be more comfortable with OneNote. If you are a Mac user or dual platform, then Evernote might be a more seamless solution. Whatever the situation as long as it works for you, that is what is important.

Below is a feature by feature list comparing Evernote and OneNote.

Note Taking
Evernote OneNote
  • Clean blank area to type.
  • Easy to navigate.
  • Nice interface.
  • Microsoft Word style Ribbon.
  • Looks and feels like Word.
  • Click anywhere on the page and a text box appears and will expand as you type.
Media in Notes
Evernote OneNote
  • Ability to upload: images, audio, video, pdf & documents.
  • Attaches the files, audio & video.
  • Embeds image files inline into the note.
  • Can access the webcam to get an image.
  • Audio limit is 2 hours for free version (4 hours for Premium.)
  • Ability to integrate mobile phone recorded.
  • Indexes spoken words, words in images and documents for searching.
  • Ability to upload: images, audio, video, pdf & documents.
  • All media can be placed anywhere on the note page and become icons to be played.
  • Images are inline with text-boxes.


Handwritten Notes (tablets)
Evernote OneNote
  • Penultimate by Evernote works nicely and has the handwriting recognition. It will also upload & sync the entire Notebook.
  • There are other third-party applications that sync as well.
  • Once note is uploaded to Evernote it cannot be edited in Evernote.
  • Handwritten ink can go anywhere on the page and can be moved.
  • Note can be edited at any later time.
Evernote OneNote
  • Only has the ability to bullet, number and checkboxes.
  • Third party apps usually have templates available.
  • Comes with many preinstalled templates for personal and business use.
Evernote OneNote
  • Has a strong presence in the mobile arena.
  • Available on more platforms.
  • Strong “sister” apps including Hello, Skitch, Peek and Food that integrate into Evernote.
  • Superior mobile editing
  • Not a strong mobile presence (just recently released the Apple version).
  • Limited platform availability.
  • Weak mobile editing features.
Organization & Retrieval
Evernote OneNote
  • 3 levels of organization:
    • Stacks of Notebooks
    • Notebooks
    • Notes
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for searching images, notes, documents, etc.
  • Tagging notes allows for quick retrieval
  • Mimics a spiral notebook
  • 6 levels of organization:
    • Notebooks
    • Sections
    • Subsections
    • Pages
    • 2 levels of subpages
  • Allows for links to other pages, notes, web, documents
Web & OS
Evernote OneNote
  • Web version closely matches the Desktop and Mobile.
  • Available for Windows, Mac OSX and Windows version will run on Linux client under Wine.
  • Linux can also fine third-party apps (NixNote) that work well with Evernote API
  • Web version closely matches the Desktop app.
  • Only available for Windows clientsNot included with Office for Mac.
  • Not compatible with Linux.
Sync & Collaborate
Evernote OneNote
  • Syncs settings are 15min, 30min, 60min or daily.
  • Share notes with others via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email, or direct URL.
  • Collaboration only with Premium or Business versions.
  • Syncs in the background.
  • Keeps previous versions of the notebook just in case.
  • Collaboration is not a premium feature


Techhive article
Evernote Blog
OneNote Blog

(For more information on going Paperless, check out the links under my Articles/Paperless section.)

Category: Resources, Thoughts

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