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Evernote vs. OneNote


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Our municipality/township is about to decide the what all our schools should use: PC or Chromebooks. The main argument for choosing PC and O365 is OneNote.

I’ve not used either OneNote or Evernote, but to me it looks like Evernote is far behind OneNote in many areas. Like for instance organizing your stuff colorcoded and OCR-extracting.

I was so happy about the announcement of Google Drive integration, but I can’t find the Evernote App in the Chromebook store so now I’m disappointed. And then I read this thread and became discouraged: https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/66103-alternatives-to-en-discussion

What are your experience with using OneNote and Evernote in K-12?

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I have been using Evernote since 2011. Evernote lets you search in pictures for text. I have tried to switch to OneNote because the company I work for uses Office 365, but I find Evernote much more usable. The design of Evernote allows you to concentrate on the information you are taking. You can search across notebooks very easily. I have not tried to extra text from a pic (OCR-Extracting) because I can search within each of the pics that I add as well as PDF, Word, etc (with Premium). I also find that sharing notes and notebooks is much more convenient, the security setup on note / notebook level is clear and easy to manage.

Having used both Evernote and OneNote I find Evernote much more valuable and functional. Tagging is another part of Evernote that I think is setup very good. Tags are metadata in Evernote where in OneNote they are just text added to the note. With the use of Reminders, Checkboxes and Shortcuts you can create many different workflows to help through normal day.

An example of my workflow is that I have one notebook called "Inbox", this is my default notebook that everything goes to unless I specify a different notebook. I clear this notebook up on a daily basis. I also have shortcuts based on searches that will find notes filtered for work and personal that have unchecked checkboxes and shortcuts that show me notes with specific tags in them.

I am working on a blog series of the values and how I use Evernote at rainaldi.org.

I hope this is helpful, let me know if you have any questions, I would be more than happy to offer my thoughts.



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  • 2 weeks later...

I love Evernote. I originally used Onenote, but I switched to EN and have never considered switching back. I find EN much better, and much easier to use.

You can read how to use it as a task manager here, and how I use Evernote here.

I love it. It's a great app. :P

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

(first, sorry for my english level, it is no my native language)


I find, sometimes, Onenote better than Evernote on my PC, for several reasons.

It allows to organize myself a more visual way, like I'm on a paper notebook.

The main Onenote feature I love is the way to hyperlink or tag not only notebook, but each paragraph I wrote. This is something Evernote can't do, at the momen (hope...).


Going on the mobile side make Evernote win by KO with a huge advance. At least for Android I only know, Evernote is full of great feature, while Onenote is weak, poor, not ergonomic, empty of all the features I like in the desktop app : no way to tag, link, filter, etc. In a word: unusable.

That's why I keep with Evernote (desktop and mobile), beacause of the reliable ecosystem it offers.

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I don't have direct experience with this but I work with a company that installs O365 for schools and their opinion is that O365 & OneNote for schools is excellent and Google Apps For Education is also excellent and works well with Chromebooks.... unfortunately neither builds EN into the equation.

The big benefit of Chromebooks and schools is that they are dirt cheap and dead easy to manage.... can save a fortune on admin costs.

I think EN has an opportunity to create something very powerful for schools but in my opinion they need a better sharing system and folder/notebook organisation structure..... plus a visible undo button ;)


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  • 6 months later...

I have used Evernote since 2009 as an educator, CIO and now education strategist. My company uses Microsoft also and I have tried out OneNote mulitple times - it does have more features, but that makes it less easy to use and does not increase your productivity. I have seen schools spend countless hours training teachers on how to use OneNote and they never get to the important part of how to use OneNote in education. Too high a learning curve. 

Evernote has a lot of great features and can easily be used for pretty much anything.

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