onenote vs evernote

tthere is no tl;dr version of this.

somewhere between jul 2006 and mar 2008 I paid for 2 copies of onenote. i didn't like the price ($100+ cdn) but i loved the organizational abilities of the note taking software.

and then in mar 2008, through no fault of windows (but who knows? :) ) rollback rx (similar to norton's goback) BSOD'd on me. i had a good up to date backup (using redpaw's backup box) but i just didn't have the will to get back up and running on the laptop with windows. most of my windows sessions tended to be pro-active preventative measures to guard against viruses, hacks, and crashes.

I knew that putting linux on that laptop was going to be a day wrecker with drivers. that saturday morning i didn't have it in me to spend the entire day fixing linux driver issues.

so i went out and bought a 15" macbook pro. tiger was on it, but leopard had been released so i did the paid upgrade.

8 years later and i haven't really looked back. i've since added a win10 laptop to my tool kit and a rotating linux distro laptop. but for now osx is my main os.

what was fun and a little bit of a pita on osx was recreating my hobby environment under osx. gone were my favorite editor boxer which i'd been using since '87. and treepad. and my video conversion/editing software. and of course, onenote.

it was a mac so video software was a no-brainer. the hardest part was picking which software to use. coding editor was tougher. to this day i jump between komodo, atom, and my goto: vim. i can already hear the cries of "bbedit,dude"

yeah, no.

as a minimum for an editor i need code folding and bookmarking. bbedit, for as long as it's been around has no bookmarking (last i checked). seriously? i have registered it and every now and then fire it up but always get stopped in my tracks due to the lack of bookmarking.

notetaking. treepad makes a great outliner, but it's not cross plafrom and only portable between windows computers. it may have been a twit ep that mentioned evernote, but i don't remember. three days after i got a mac, i got an evernote beta invite. so i was on board pretty early.

the evernote interface on the mac was great. not so much for the web interface and at the time the windows version sucked dead bunnies. loud.

the designers must have known that the osx evernote interface was superior to the other two, because eventually they followed suit. even all the mobile versions were similar to the osx version. i lived on evernote at work.

what can you say about the cross platform syncing? nothing. it just worked, and it worked great. you can already see where i'm going with this.

on jun 28/2016 evernote users got an email telling us that the evernote basic was changing. we could not sync only over two devices. and we had 30 days to decide which ones. I went online to see how bad the complaints where, and probably to just register the software and get it over with. the only reason i hadn't registered to date was because the feature of searching pdf's (at the time) was something i was never going to use.

on the evernote forums the vitriol level was high . very entertaining with some good points being made on both sides.

three points led me to my decision:

  • i was becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the osx interface. ui bloat drove me to switch to alternote. it had a clean and functional ui.
  • there was no linux version. that's my os at work, so that means using the web ui
  • i'm sorry evernote, i'm not paying $100+ for a note taking app. not to sync across three devices.

thanks for giving us 30 days to decide which ones, but it only took me about an hour to switch back to onenote.

now i'll live in onenote.