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Richard Feynman

(Archived) Question for Those of You That Have Switched from OneNote

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I would like to hear about why you switched, what you like better with EN, and what you miss from ON. I don't mean to be rude, but if you switched because of price, I don't care about that part of the equation, I am interested in functionality observations only. Thanks in advance for any insight.

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Thanks for the link. I read it, but I disagree. EN does many of the things ON does beautifully, while surpassing it in many areas (IMO). The single thing that has kept me on ON is the ability to have a hierarchical structure, which as you know from my other threads I'm considering whether to try to live with a workaround.

I'm sure using both works for you, but it's not what I'm after. Just as it's important for some people to be able to categorize information hierarchically, some of us want as little fragmentation as possible when using software.

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For me, it was the fact that I could take the notes that I had made in EN with me...

I had only recently started using ON so wasn't too hooked up on it, and was trying to use it across different computers (by having the notebook stored on a mem stick) and it was rather cumbersome.

With EN I can write in one place, switch to another pc, or even my ipod and use it there. For me this is the major factor.

I also felt that ON was just full of so much stuff, it took me ages to work out what everything did, while EN has a much simpler approach. I will say that ON has better capability for ink, but that is understandable, given EN is more about the text notes etc.

If really need the features for ink from ON then I will use it, but I don't think I have used it since I installed EN :)

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I'm so glad you asked! I've been using onenote for over 5 years. I'm extremely happy with it, but lack of mobile integration (yes there is mobilenotr) and integration with 3rd parties has made me try several times to migrate to evernote - unsuccessfully.

The biggest reason is lack of content hierarchy. I think in outlines and have been doing this since 3rd grade. I want to organize my content (not tags) this way. subnotebooks will not do it. actually, the solution is quite simple: have both tags and content in a hierarchy as a different view. autotag when you use sub pages.

The other issue is the "canvas" in onenote. I love to take a page and put bits and pieces on the page to see how they related and then create some structure (like a mindmap). the linear wordprossing tool in evernote is way too limiting. It also lacks zoom and nice graphic integration. i want it to be a piece of paper, not a word document.

Finally, search, drag and drop and office integration are sensational in onenote. its a really well designed application. i use the sync features, but evernote cloud could eliminate that (although the biz model with limitations really annoys me - i want to put everything in the cloud...)

Evernote is trying to be ubiquitous w/ a great api, integration to 3rd parties, taking advantage of mobile, etc. they are the future, but they are not right for me .... yet!

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Glad to see this thread get some more responses.

So Shawn, am I to take from your response that you are still using ON? I agree with you on the hierarchy issue. I'm trying to switch over myself, I can't say yet whether I'll revert. I am finding that with EN one really needs to be fastidious about using tags, and count on them to filter views. Otherwise due to the lack of hierarchical navigation, you just end up with endless lists of notes. However I'm also finding those tags to be awesome and far superior to ON.

dan7000, great post, if you don't mind I'm going to copy and paste it into this thread below. Many of the items you point out are the same ones that attract me to EN. The tagging is infinitely better. Tagging in ON sucks, and it's also a PITA to actually use them, they really aren't very useful as navigation/filter elements. Of course on the mobile front EN rocks. I'm using it on my phone, iPad and PC's. ON can also be access on mobile devices, and they now support it on skydrive, but it's not even close to EN on that front.

Really the only things that you've got going for you over OneNote is the web access, syncing, and more platforms than just the windows box and the windows mobile phone.

I have OneNote and EN. I never use OneNote, even though I don't really need any platform other than Windows. For me, EN has "going for it":

- a much cleaner, less cluttered and better UI (for me),

- real, highly-functional tagging*

- much faster data entry,

- better web capture -- with the ability to tag and organize as I capture without launching EN

- ability to easily import emails with all attachments intact

- ability to quickly see a list sortable list of all notes on one subject, along with date created (when I used ON, I always wanted to do this -- there is a powertoy that you can use to do this but it's sad when you need a powertoy add-on to generate a list of your notes).

*When I say "real tagging" I am talking about delicious-style tags: the ability to create hundreds of tags and apply many of them, easily, to the same topic. OneNote just doesn't have that type of interface. It's slow to create a new tag in OneNote, and you can only see 3 or 4 tags at a time in the tag list. Compare the way delicious does it, or most blogs like lifehacker or gizmodo. That's the way I like to organize my data, and OneNote can't handle it. EN is betting that this tagging metaphor is the way of the future. I am historically terrible at predicting future tech trends, but I think that the fact that gmail is following the same approach means that EN is probably right.

However, if tags don't work for you, and you'd rather use 3 sets of tabs (one on the top, one on the left, one on the right) for organizing your data, then OneNote is probably great for you. For the life of me, I can't see why anyone would think that 3 different layers of tabs surrounding my text frame is a model of good UI. But again, that's just my opinion.

For those asking for folders, I am confused about why you like OneNote so much. OneNote doesn't have folders either. It has a confusing (to me) mix of 'notebooks', 'sections', and 'pages'. It seems odd to call that mix of metaphors "heirarchical" and -- at the same time -- to claim that EN's tags -- which are organized in a classic tree view -- lack heirarchy.

I have to disagree here slightly. Forgetting the semantics of what qualifies for the word "hierarchical", the ON metephor is pretty clear:

Notebooks

Section Groups

Sections

Pages

Subpages

And you can actually stack section groups on top of one another as many times as you want. So that gives the user an ability to outline their information in any way they choose. That's simply not possible with EN no matter how you cut it, BUT that doesn't mean that users can't develop a method they feel works even better using EN's "metaphors".

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Glad to see this thread get some more responses.

So Shawn, am I to take from your response that you are still using ON? I agree with you on the hierarchy issue. I'm trying to switch over myself, I can't say yet whether I'll revert. I am finding that with EN one really needs to be fastidious about using tags, and count on them to filter views. Otherwise due to the lack of hierarchical navigation, you just end up with endless lists of notes. However I'm also finding those tags to be awesome and far superior to ON.

dan7000, great post, if you don't mind I'm going to copy and paste it into this thread below. Many of the items you point out are the same ones that attract me to EN. The tagging is infinitely better. Tagging in ON sucks, and it's also a PITA to actually use them, they really aren't very useful as navigation/filter elements. Of course on the mobile front EN rocks. I'm using it on my phone, iPad and PC's. ON can also be access on mobile devices, and they now support it on skydrive, but it's not even close to EN on that front.

Really the only things that you've got going for you over OneNote is the web access, syncing, and more platforms than just the windows box and the windows mobile phone.

I have OneNote and EN. I never use OneNote, even though I don't really need any platform other than Windows. For me, EN has "going for it":

- a much cleaner, less cluttered and better UI (for me),

- real, highly-functional tagging*

- much faster data entry,

- better web capture -- with the ability to tag and organize as I capture without launching EN

- ability to easily import emails with all attachments intact

- ability to quickly see a list sortable list of all notes on one subject, along with date created (when I used ON, I always wanted to do this -- there is a powertoy that you can use to do this but it's sad when you need a powertoy add-on to generate a list of your notes).

*When I say "real tagging" I am talking about delicious-style tags: the ability to create hundreds of tags and apply many of them, easily, to the same topic. OneNote just doesn't have that type of interface. It's slow to create a new tag in OneNote, and you can only see 3 or 4 tags at a time in the tag list. Compare the way delicious does it, or most blogs like lifehacker or gizmodo. That's the way I like to organize my data, and OneNote can't handle it. EN is betting that this tagging metaphor is the way of the future. I am historically terrible at predicting future tech trends, but I think that the fact that gmail is following the same approach means that EN is probably right.

However, if tags don't work for you, and you'd rather use 3 sets of tabs (one on the top, one on the left, one on the right) for organizing your data, then OneNote is probably great for you. For the life of me, I can't see why anyone would think that 3 different layers of tabs surrounding my text frame is a model of good UI. But again, that's just my opinion.

For those asking for folders, I am confused about why you like OneNote so much. OneNote doesn't have folders either. It has a confusing (to me) mix of 'notebooks', 'sections', and 'pages'. It seems odd to call that mix of metaphors "heirarchical" and -- at the same time -- to claim that EN's tags -- which are organized in a classic tree view -- lack heirarchy.

I have to disagree here slightly. Forgetting the semantics of what qualifies for the word "hierarchical", the ON metephor is pretty clear:

Notebooks

Section Groups

Sections

Pages

Subpages

And you can actually stack section groups on top of one another as many times as you want. So that gives the user an ability to outline their information in any way they choose. That's simply not possible with EN no matter how you cut it, BUT that doesn't mean that users can't develop a method they feel works even better using EN's "metaphors".

YES. I can't seem to express the difference between the two products. It is exactly that. With EN you get cross platform access ... with ON you get beauty, simplicity, structure ... and never the twain shall meet, going by some of the caustic responses I've gotten so far.

That said, I've not given up completely on EN. I'm told that "saved searches" are pretty powerful but, like most EN features, are not well documented so I'll have to dig out the information by experimentation.

Also, unmentioned features of OneNote are: hot links, cross references, linking to Outlook tasks, linking to Word documents and Excel spreadsheets. Evernote is walking a fine line, I think. If Microsoft ever wakes up and makes OneNote a REAL cross platform product, EN will die a quick death, IMO.

Also, EN has to find a way to say what it IS. Cataloging wine labes and finding where you parked your car is just not going to cut it. And it REALLY has to step up and document the product. It is not that hard ... we used to document the hell out of products before we even released them. The knowledge of how to do it is out there. Hell, for a few six packs I'd offer to do it. ;-)

But the bottom line is that it is really a shame that EN can't get its act together. There are so many good things about it ... but it just can't seem to really NAIL it.

O.K. Time to cinch up the ol' flack jacket ;-)

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Also, EN has to find a way to say what it IS. Cataloging wine labes and finding where you parked your car is just not going to cut it. And it REALLY has to step up and document the product. It is not that hard ... we used to document the hell out of products before we even released them. The knowledge of how to do it is out there. Hell, for a few six packs I'd offer to do it. ;-)

But the bottom line is that it is really a shame that EN can't get its act together. There are so many good things about it ... but it just can't seem to really NAIL it.

Yup, Evernote markets itself essentially as a notepad and a to-do app, when it's real strength is in it's ability to store much more complex forms of information.

OneNote KNOWS that the ability to store more complex information is an important strength, and SHOWS that it knows it.

I like the ubiquity of Evernote -- I can clip something from the web regardless of what web-browser I'm at or on what computer, and have it synch back to my main computer at home. I can check things via the web interface from any computer. But then I can use the client when I am at home. It has much better mobile integration than OneNote. EN has much better tagging abilities than OneNote.

But the fact that OneNote UNDERSTANDS that people will be using it to store complex information, and ALLOWS for things like true hierarchies... occasionally I get frustrated enough that I'm tempted to switch over. I just don't want to lose the ubiquity of Evernote.

(plus, OneNote has to justify the price of Office all by itself, since it's the only reason I'd consider purchasing the suite. So it's got a tougher sell than it would otherwise.Edit: Looks like MS does let you buy just OneNote now, rather than making you buy the suite. That lowers the bar a little bit. But there are still many things I like about EN. And I'll confess, I've still got some leftover bias where not-being-Microsoft is a plus-point on it's own).

But sometimes I am tempted, when it looks like Evernote is determined to be just a notepad/todo app.

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But the fact that OneNote UNDERSTANDS that people will be using it to store complex information, and ALLOWS for things like true hierarchies... occasionally I get frustrated enough that I'm tempted to switch over. I just don't want to lose the ubiquity of Evernote.

(plus, OneNote has to justify the price of Office all by itself, since it's the only reason I'd consider purchasing the suite. So it's got a tougher sell than it would otherwise.Edit: Looks like MS does let you buy just OneNote now, rather than making you buy the suite. That lowers the bar a little bit. But there are still many things I like about EN. And I'll confess, I've still got some leftover bias where not-being-Microsoft is a plus-point on it's own).

But sometimes I am tempted, when it looks like Evernote is determined to be just a notepad/todo app.

There's a reason Onenote isn't multiplatform. There's a reasonable chance that it's because all it's features would be difficult to implement on all the platforms that EN lives on.

Additionally, IMO, OneNote & EN are not competitors. Onenote is overkill for many things that Evernote is perfect for. I have both & use Onenote occasionally & Evernote is open on my computers 24/7 and on my iPhone. Probably not an hour goes by (when I'm on the computer) that I don't use it at least once & normally more often.

And, BTW, Evernote's focus is not a to do list/task manager.

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Why I switched? At the time, there was no OneNote for my iPhone. There was no note sync between devices / computers for OneNote. There was no searching within images in OneNote. (There's no searching at all in OneNote for iPhone. wth?) There was (is?) no usable tagging in OneNote. There still is no audio note in OneNote for iPhone.

The one, biggest, most important thing that I miss was said most elegantly by shawnholt:

i want it to be a piece of paper, not a word document.

That's a profound statement and is the main reason why I'm trying to get OneNote to work again.

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There's a reason Onenote isn't multiplatform. There's a reasonable chance that it's because all it's features would be difficult to implement on all the platforms that EN lives on.

True about the technical trade-offs between richer functionality and multi-platform compatibility. Thus it's not surprising that EN has one and ON the other.

Additionally, IMO, OneNote & EN are not competitors. Onenote is overkill for many things that Evernote is perfect for.

True, but for how I'm using Evernote, some of that "Overkill" would come in very, very, handy. Don't know whether I'd still use EN for some things if I ever switched to ON. If I did, it would be in a much lighterweight fashion.

And, BTW, Evernote's focus is not a to do list/task manager.

Which is why that was in response to a comment about needing to market themselves better. 80% the time I hear about Evernote, it's in the context of it being treated like a notepad or a to-do list.

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I've been trying Evernote for years, from time to time. I have friends who tell me how good it is, some new feature that just came out, so I go try it, and then (always) go back to OneNote. Why?

In a single word --hierarchy. I know we live in a world of unstructured information, and rely on search to find what we're looking for. But I think that misses a lot of things.

First, it's great that you can search, but what do you do when you've done searching? Suppose I'm trying to put together an outline for a paper I'm writing. With ON, I have enough hierarchy that I can build the outline in real time using research notes I've collected. I can move things around, put in many levels, flatten things, etc. Same thing when writing a book --I can go take copious notes, then organize them within the software to mimic the outline of the book. Even when writing fiction --I can write snippets, or scenes, then move them around as the pieces develop. You simply can't do that in Evernote.

Imagine reading a book with random sentences that have been tagged with the order in which they were intended to be read. All the sentences are in a single file, but they've been metatagged with some obtuse system to show the order in which they were designed to be read. You can search through the file, but you can't actually move the sentences around so they're in order. It would be maddening.

The second point is that Evernote doesn't encourage browsing. Again, I know, the modern world wants the search, not the browse. Yes, browsing takes too long, and requires actual processing of information as you read. You can't just reach out and find the quote that supports your point of view, and "you're done." Structure promotes the idea of context, but searching destroys it. This might all be a bit metaphysical, but I would rather the world didn't go down this "search for everything path." If you don't learn how to structure data, you're going to be a mess when it comes to real work. And yet, almost none of the tools we use on computers encourage, or even support, any real structure within which you can browse for information.

Now, on some of the other points... ON does allow you to work on your notes from any machine with a web browser. There is now an apple app, I suppose --though I don't have an iPhone, nor do I use an iPad (I do use a mac laptop). I can modify any notes I want to put up on the 'web through the 'web interface. I lose some functions, but I've found I can live with those restrictions.

So ON isn't cross platform, but it's enough to get by --and the ability to structure information is something I just can't live without. Hence, no switching to Evernote for me, for now.

Oh --I am glad to see Evernote get linking. I actually think EN's linking is better than ON's now. That was what prompted me to go look at it again, to see if I could switch to get the cross platform capabilities EN has --linking is a critical function.

Just thought of something, so I'll stick in here randomly through an edit --I don't think you need full capabilities in terms of linking and deep hierarchy on every platform. ON only supports deep hierarchy on the PC and web app, not on the Win 7 app, for instance. I won't be working on books on a smart phone, so there's no point. I do collect information on the smartphone, and then pull it into deeper organizations. Part of the problem with the crossplatform support here might be that EN wants to look the same on everything --I've seen this mentioned in several places, in fact. Looking the same is nice, but when you do that, you end up restricting to the lowest common denominator --which is why EN is effectively seen as a todo list application, rather than a serious information organizing tool.

Russ

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I don't think Evernote is ever going to have the structural organisation that you need and so it's never going to make you happy - unless you can change the way you think/work.

As to your comment about Evernote being a todo list application, well :lol: , don't tell Evernote, because this is the last thing it is. Perhaps you need to use a little imagination and see what Evernote can do for you.

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I tried switching to EN several times over the year but kept going back to ON. Mainly because at the time I wasn't interesting in multiple platform syncing or sharing, I just wanted to a way to store notes and information for an RPG campaign. ON beat EN hands down, every single time. The canvas style pages; the Notebook, section, page, sub page hierarchy; all were invaluable. (Stacks and Tags don't even come close to the sheer simplicity that I enjoyed when organising notes). Plus I was able create hand-outs that I could print from within ON without having to go to an external program to do the layout.

So why have I swapped now?

Well, a while back my computer had to go into the shop but I still needed to use ON for work. I didn't have it on my backup machine so I was forced to look for an alternative solution. That's why I came back to EN. It was more of a stopgap solution than anything else. Something I could use in the meantime until my primary machine came back.

So why have I stayed?

Mainly for the cross-platform syncing. I miss being able to organise my notes in ON's style. I'm still trying to decide whether to have one note book for the entire project and use tags to replicate the sections. Or use sub notebooks within a stack instead. Neither solution is totally perfect but tags are proving to be a welcome addition. I can create a Tag that ties together all the notes on characters, locations, vehicles, equipment, misc info that appear or are needed in a single session and then just have those notes displayed in the Note List panel. I wish that some of the UI was a little more intuitive (right-clicking and drag-dropping notes into the editing window for example), and I wish that I could wrap text around images to save on white space. But I probably won't be going back to OneNote.

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I don't think Evernote is ever going to have the structural organisation that you need and so it's never going to make you happy - unless you can change the way you think/work.

This is just what annoys me about these forums... It's never that the software really can't solve everyone's problem, or that some new features would make it much better, it's that those people like me are too stupid, or not imaginative enough, to figure out how to adapt their lives and thinking to the way the software works.

Seems like I've heard this before... Oh, yes, some thread about links seems to have gone down this same path. Now, for some reason, links are being touted as the best thing since sliced bread --when just a year ago, they weren't needed, as long as you could be more imaginative, and adapt your thinking to the way the software works.

The point of software is to gain features to work the way users want, not for me to adapt my life to the way it works.

Tags might provide grouping, but they can never provide order and context. Don't confuse the ability to search with the ability to find information quickly, and don't confuse grouping with structure. Both are just subsets of the concepts, not total instantiations of them.

Russ

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I think you can, to some degree at least, get around the organizational limitations of Evernote by using the new note-linking feature: you simply pop a blank note out of the frame and then build up an outline on it using note links. This is not as simple or intuitive as the tree panel that many note-taking programs have, but it can be done with a little effort.

I've been experimenting with this technique. Has anyone else tried to do it? I'd be interesting in hearing about the experiences of others.

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I don't think Evernote is ever going to have the structural organisation that you need and so it's never going to make you happy - unless you can change the way you think/work.

This is just what annoys me about these forums... It's never that the software really can't solve everyone's problem, or that some new features would make it much better, it's that those people like me are too stupid, or not imaginative enough, to figure out how to adapt their lives and thinking to the way the software works.

Seems like I've heard this before... Oh, yes, some thread about links seems to have gone down this same path. Now, for some reason, links are being touted as the best thing since sliced bread --when just a year ago, they weren't needed, as long as you could be more imaginative, and adapt your thinking to the way the software works.

The point of software is to gain features to work the way users want, not for me to adapt my life to the way it works.

Tags might provide grouping, but they can never provide order and context. Don't confuse the ability to search with the ability to find information quickly, and don't confuse grouping with structure. Both are just subsets of the concepts, not total instantiations of them.

Russ

You completely misunderstand me - I am saying that Evernote have said that they do not intend to implement structural organisation in the way that you require. So, you have three options, don't use Evernote, change the way you work so that if fits in with the Evernote model or come up with some hybrid method that allows you to use it for some things.

I don't think Evernote ever said that they didn't want to have note links, they just wouldn't give a date when they would be available.

You the user is responsible for choosing the right software, no one is forcing you to use Evernote and if it isn't right for you for whatever reason then use something else.

There is a load of further discussion about this here - viewtopic.php?f=30&t=15071&hilit=folders. In the end, Evernote is what it is.

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When I graduated, I no longer needed a tool for lecture notes. That's when I switched. ON was better at lecture notes. EN is better at providing simple, anywhere access to notes. So EN became my tool of choice. FYI, by order of importance, here are the features that I think EN would need to displace ON as a lecture notes tool:

1) the ability to start writing/typing anywhere on the page.

2) the ability to print any document into a note and annotate it.

3) the ability to use tags with parts of notes.

4) some simple shape tools for line drawings.

5) ability to turn any selection into a to-do item.

So if you want to put the nail in ON's coffin, I think you should add these features.

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I don't think Evernote is ever going to have the structural organisation that you need and so it's never going to make you happy - unless you can change the way you think/work.

This is just what annoys me about these forums... It's never that the software really can't solve everyone's problem, or that some new features would make it much better, it's that those people like me are too stupid, or not imaginative enough, to figure out how to adapt their lives and thinking to the way the software works.

That's not what what Metrodon said at all. If a user states they absolutely need ___ (fill in whatever feature you'd like) for their app and EN doesn't have it & has pretty much indicated EN never will have it, then it's best for the user to find an app that fulfills their need. Not a darned thing wrong with that.

Sure, code can be changed to pretty much do whatever the developer wants it to do, as long as it's realistically possible. Fortunately, EN doesn't try to be the be all/end all app for everyone. They have a clear road map on where they want to take it & they stick with features that work across all the platforms they service & that will scale well. As I've said before, there's a reason Onenote isn't on all the platforms Evernote is.

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Nice walkback, but...

"...unless you can change the way you think/work."

And the clear statement about "if you were just a bit more imaginative..." What was said that if EN doesn't work for you, then you need to change the way you think/work, or be "more imaginative."

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I completely stand by what I said. Given the way that Evernote is designed and what Evernote staff have said, you will need to change the way you work or find another application.

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I tend to agree with @metrodon and @BurgersNFries. EN is a commercial product and the developers have to make their business model work. At present they are using half a million or so paying customers to support ten million total users, with little advertising compared with many free services. The service provided, even to the 95% of non-subscribing users, is pretty good compared with many other free products out there. Clearly they are finding a balance between offering an ever-increasing feature set and delivering a reliable, stable and secure app that works reasonably well on an almost unprecedented number of platforms. Therefore, for each idea arising from the forum, the team has to make decisions about the costs of devoting resources to developing and stabilising the new feature against the benefits of the predicted increased customer base that will eventuate.

Imagine if motor vehicles were developed in the same way, with the Toyota Corolla forum suggesting that every Corolla be fitted with a back massager, microwave and the ability to climb steep, muddy slopes because a number of forum posters wanted a relaxing, lightweight SUV with food-heating capabilities!

If the product suits, then show your support by purchasing it, otherwise search the market for one that is a better fit for your needs, but there will always be compromises involved.

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It looks like many people here really like the ability to subdivide info into many different hierarchical levels. I find that surprising. While I prefer many things about ON, I actually didn't like all the different hierarchical levels in ON. I found it excessive. Who needs a subpage? Anyways, that's my $0.02

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Therefore, for each idea arising from the forum, the team has to make decisions about the costs of devoting resources to developing and stabilising the new feature against the benefits of the predicted increased customer base that will eventuate.

Couple of supporting viewpoints:

* 'That's a great idea, it's on the list

* Minus 100 Points

If the product suits, then show your support by purchasing it, otherwise search the market for one that is a better fit for your needs, but there will always be compromises involved.

That's about the size of it...

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And there's also UserVoice.

That's only a different sort of grist for the same decision-making process that is used to determine feature priorities.

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It looks like many people here really like the ability to subdivide info into many different hierarchical levels. I find that surprising. While I prefer many things about ON, I actually didn't like all the different hierarchical levels in ON. I found it excessive. Who needs a subpage? Anyways, that's my $0.02

To each their own but I use subpages in ON all the time. When I'm making notes on a subject I don't like it when it runs on and on. So I use subpages like subsections of a document. For example, I use half a dozen different programming languages at work so I have to keep notes on the details of the features in each one. So say I have notes on how Arrays are handled in PHP for example. I can find the information faster if I don't just have one "Arrays" page on my PHP tab. So I have:

Arrays

As Maps

As Stacks

Set Operations

If I want to implement a stack in PHP I can get to that info faster because I've called it out in a sub page.

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This is just what annoys me about these forums... It's never that the software really can't solve everyone's problem, or that some new features would make it much better, it's that those people like me are too stupid, or not imaginative enough, to figure out how to adapt their lives and thinking to the way the software works.

Seems like I've heard this before... Oh, yes, some thread about links seems to have gone down this same path. Now, for some reason, links are being touted as the best thing since sliced bread --when just a year ago, they weren't needed, as long as you could be more imaginative, and adapt your thinking to the way the software works.

I'm not sure that was Metrodom's intent but I do know where you are coming from. I've noticed this type of behavior on a few forums, and this is one of them, where you have a few fanboi users who seem more intent on defending the product and telling everyone they are wrong than listening to feedback and it create a toxic forum atmosphere that tends to drive people away. I won't name any names but I usually have mine with extra pickles and ketchup.

It looks like many people here really like the ability to subdivide info into many different hierarchical levels. I find that surprising. While I prefer many things about ON, I actually didn't like all the different hierarchical levels in ON. I found it excessive. Who needs a subpage? Anyways, that's my $0.02

The thing is there are certain features that add complexity or substantially change the way a program operates. There are other features that don't likes subpages . If you don't want a subpage you don't have to use them. I rarely ever use them in ON but it has no affect on me, because they are hidden under a right click feature or the drop down menu. IMO the same goes for the different hierarchies being "excessive" because no one needs to use them. In Windows Explorer does it bother you that you can create an almost infinite level of folders and sub-folders? I'm going to guess not. So we aren't talking about features here that would cause users who don't want or need them to lose anything, or substantially change the operational paradigm. EN already supports "stacks" so allowing additional levels (not holding my breath) would change very little. Bottom line, such features could be added without ruining your user experience since you could keep using it exactly the way you do. On the other hand not having them does limit my user experience. I think that's an important distinction for the developer when looking at potential features.

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I can't say that I've switched. I'm using Evernote quite a bit and OneNote less, but I have a lot of data in OneNote. I also use an application called ListPro that I used more when I had a Windows Mobile phone. I like it's ability to handle structured data better than Evernote. I also use OneNote because its tags are more global rather than notebook-specific. More can be found on my latest blog post at

http://straitadvisors.com/wordpress/?p=685

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I also use OneNote because its tags are more global rather than notebook-specific.

FYI, tags in Evernote are global -- you can use the same tag in notes that are in different notebooks.

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The iPhone app did it for me.

OneNote on iPhone cannot:

[*]Search

[*]Record audio notes

[*]Record ink notes (Unfortunately, neither can Evernote)

Oh, and the image OCR in OneNote is horrendous!

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[*]Record ink notes (Unfortunately, neither can Evernote)

You may already know this, so apologies if you do. A workaround is to use some apps mentioned in this thread.

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Thank you, BnF. However...

I also frequent the forums on Mark Forster's site. Mark Forster is a time management consultant that has developed a series of techniques or "systems". One of the tenets he has discovered is that you should capture everything in ONE place. David Allen suggests using as few "inboxes" as possible. It's a theme echoed many times over from many different "experts".

This is the main reason I struggle with Evernote on my iPhone. I want only one place to capture my notes. But I have to use a second app for handwriting. And I have to use a third app for rich text. (In the works, I know.) And I can't do mixed-content notes on the iPhone at all.

Another of Mark Forster's tenets is "simplicity". Switching to a second app for handwriting not only throws me into a second "inbox", but having to remember to send/sync/email that back into Evernote complicates the process... especially if I want to go back and edit that handwriting note later.

By the way, I apologize if my overall tone here sounds harsh. I'm not trying to be mean or anything. I still use Evernote. These are just some of the concepts that keep it from being "top shelf" for me.

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Since I started this thread I thought I'd report back. I've persevered and am sticking with EN and migrating my ON content over. I can say with certainty that having the relatively new ability to have stacks was crucial in allowing me to adapt, even though they are only one level deep, it gave me enough of an ability to create a hierarchical structure to adapt and move from ON. Overall I am very happy, in fact I'd go so far as to say I almost love EN, which is something I can say about very few products.

I think other users who want to switch will need to become comfortable with tags, which require some discipline to use well, but can also be much more powerful than a hierarchical structure. My only disappointment is that EN does not support a more powerful tagging system such as that used with Delicious' Firefox extension, but I don't ever expect to see that since it would affect existing users tagging system.

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