- Easy to learn and use
- Good organization
- portable - an app for my iPad
- Searchable notes
- Not too expensive
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Paperless - Evernote or OneNote?
Having decided to move to paperless genealogical research, I’m trying to choose between the two main note-taking programs, Evernote and OneNote. Since I don’t know how to use either of them, I’m having lots of trouble deciding. So I had to figure out just what I want to do with the program. Basically, I want to duplicate my existing paper and notebook method. I want a place to store bits of information and notes that I’m not yet ready to input into my family tree software. I want a holding place where I can analyze the data I’ve collected. I’ve been using Clooz to organize my documents and link them to my people, but I haven’t yet been able to find a method that works for me for analyzing the documents and writing down my ideas and thoughts about each document or potential research avenue.
Evernote can sync across many devices, and the app seems to function almost fully like the desktop version. It also has a great add-on web-clipping tool for desktop that will automatically save items I clip from the web to Evernote. It has three levels of organization: stacks of notebooks, individual notebooks, and notes. Evernote relies on a tagging system for searching and there seems to be an unlimited amount of tags one can create. The program is free to use across all platforms, however if I want extra features like more storage and no ads, the cost is $45 per year.
OneNote is organized like a virtual notebook. Each notebook can have a section, which can be divided into subsections, and then into pages. Hyperlinking notes to other notes, webpages, or notebooks are a nice feature. I don’t see a web-clipper, but digital images and audio files can be dragged into the notebook. OneNote also employs tags for easy searching, but supposedly has an instant search feature. Notes are automatically saved as I type and syncs to all devices if I sign in to SkyDrive. The app is free, but I learned that after 500 notes, you must pay $15 for the iPad version, which has limited functioning. OneNote 2013 is reasonably priced at $69.99 for standalone or it is included in the Microsoft Office Suite bundles.
I think the choice depends on style rather than features. I’m leaning toward OneNote because it mimics my own style of organization a little bit better. What do you think? Which program do you use and why? I’d love to hear how you use either program for genealogy.