The Surface Pro 3 is fueling my move from Evernote to OneNote

The Surface Pro 3 is fueling my move from Evernote to OneNote

Summary: Microsoft's new Surface Pen on the Surface Pro 3 offers enhanced OneNote functionality that is showing me how much better OneNote is for my note-taking needs.

The Surface Pro 3 is fueling my move from Evernote to OneNote
(Image: Microsoft)

I have been a paid subscriber of Evernote for years, yet I don't capture as much as I should and for some reason just can't get that excited about using it. However, my new Surface Pro 3 and the Surface Pen do have me fired up about OneNote and I am in the process of transitioning to using OneNote across all my devices and platforms.

The ability to simply press the top button on the Surface Pen and have OneNote open to take a quick note is extremely useful and this functionality alone is seeing me carrying around my Surface Pro 3 more than I ever carried my original Surface Pro. I setup my Pro 3 to launch the full OneNote 2013 client to use the ribbon and more easily access different notebooks. However, the slick radial dial menu in the OneNote app may have me using that for quick launch usages.

OneNote has a much better organizational format than Evernote and I don't feel as lost in OneNote. OneNote is more of a digital notebook than Evernote and plays to my style of entering notes better. They are both excellent clients, but I have to say I am enjoying the OneNote experience much more today. I am in the process of converting my more important Evernote notes into OneNote using the Print to OneNote method and should be done later this week.

With the Surface Pen and the Surface Pro 3, I am also finding I use this new computer much more in tablet mode than I did with my original Surface. It also helps that the new Pro 3 has a better tablet form factor and doesn't feel as odd as the original Surface Pro while being held in portrait orientation.

As I start using OneNote as my primary note tool, I found there are also methods to easily capture notes on all the mobile platforms. In Windows Phone 8.1, Cortana works well for capturing notes using your voice. You can also create notes using Siri on iOS after setting up the ability to send notes to OneNote via email. Even better though is the Android integration where you can use Google Now to speak a note that gets added directly into the OneNote app installed on your Android device.

One other aspect of deciding on a note/data capturing service is determining whether or not that service will be around forever. We recently saw Springpad shut down their service and Google tends to shut down services as well. Evernote has been around for a long time and is doing very well, however Microsoft is fully engaged with OneNote and I can rest assured there is no way this service is ever going away. That peace of mind adds to my list of reasons I am making the move from Evernote to OneNote.

Topics: Mobility, Microsoft, Tablets, Microsoft Surface

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  • OneNote has always bewn underrated.

    It's one of Microsoft's best gems in terms of programs.
    • Killer App

      Is OneNote the killer app that will make the digitizing pen popular. Maybe it is the other way around. Maybe it is symbiotic and together they will unseat the iPad.

      For me I have been able to get rid of my 3 pound portfolio of paper and now carry less weight around.
      • Surface 3 ANd One note

        One note is nice but.... it lacks some features :

        Zoom in and Zoom out
        Free infinite panning on all direction
        free Image rotation
        Insert small icons from a quick menu
        Insert graphics (Pie charts, Bar) that could be adjusted by touch or pen
        Simultaneous multiple user entry
        Embed Video or audio capture

        Microsoft...are you listening ?
        • They do want your feedback

          Head to the OneNote UserVoice site and post your ideas there. I do like some of your ideas and would love to see them come to life.


        • Zoom in/out works

          I use "pinch to zoom" all the time. There's infinite panning downwards, but I'm not sure if there is to the right. I'm pretty sure I've rotated images.

          My wife and I keep grocery (and other shopping) lists in OneNote on our phones. I'm not sure we've ever changed anything simultaneously, but it's pretty good at keeping track of both of us making changes. I've never tried any of the other things you point out.
        • MS taking a different direction with OneNote

          Some of the things you mentioned can be done within other Office apps with OLE type of connections between apps. MS is taking a different approach to OneNote to allow it to be more independant of full Office and make it compatible with web and mobile OS apps. So the trade off is less integration with complex apps and feature but more broadly supported by more platforms and speedier operations.
          Rann Xeroxx
    • For the life of me, I can't figure out why it's taken so long

      For Microsoft to properly promote OneNote. Had they shown what OneNote was capable of years ago, they might have been able to sell a few "Table PCs". My daughter spent 4 years (starting in 2007) in engineering school taking *all* of her notes in OneNote on a Lenovo Tablet. She couldn't figure out why she was the only one.
  • I like it too. I keep hoping MS will add mind mapping.

    There are a couple of major wishes for OneNote. Matt if you have any voice with Microsoft I would be obliged if you forwarded this to them.

    Blackberry 10 support: preferably native but if the android app would be allowed to work that would be sufficient the Android app seems to run fine through the various opening screens but it doesn't connect

    Mind mapping tool: or at least a light weight visio but I actually think direct mind mapping would make OneNote just a great way to communicate information - perhaps a killer enterprise tool.
  • underrated

    I still wonder why objective people still use evernote, when OneNote is (and always has been) a far better product. It's a shame MS didn't promote it as much, and why they waited until Office 2010 to make it part of the suite.
    • copy/paste Web pages

      One thing that keeps me with Evernote is its ability to do a great job with copy/paste of Web pages. I don't understand why OneNote does not catch up with this capability.
      • OneNote Clipper!

        What about the new OneNote clipper tool, it works great!
        • Does not work

          I do have the Clipper on the Bookmark Toolbar in Firefox. All I get when I want to save a Web page the Web page is shaded dark with a message "Sign in to save your clip" with a Sign In button. I am already signed in. Further, the Web page now stays shaded. That's what I was mentioning that it is not as flawless as Evernote.
          • Evernote has flaws too...

            so you might want to check your wording.
          • Perhaps you should

            use a proper browser like IE
          • Narrow thinking

            Is IE the only proper browser? Well in that case I am fine with Evernote. Also, OneNote clipper only takes snapshot of a Web page, which is inferior to how Evernote shows a Web page!!
          • It's a joke folks!

            ROFL... c'mon guys. It's a joke, just like Onenote! :D
            Technical John
    • back with 2007

      I'd contend that Evernote was actually the better product purely because it had cross platform back then when OneNote was essentially a standalone PC based tool. I used to use both and preferred Evernote because of that.

      However once the tie in to SharePoint and the cross platform releases happened then it was OneNote all the way.
    • Syncing across devices

      I started using OneNote a couple of years ago, but gave up after a while because syncing across my devices was unreliable. I'd lose data, or would wind up with multiple copies of notebooks which I'd have to keep cleaning up. I finally gave up and tried Evernote, which has worked flawlessly. I've seen no reason to switch back.
      • Never had that problem

        OneNote has never lost data, ever, for me. In fact never had any of the issues you noted and I connect both my work and personal notebooks together and now even connect my sharepoint ones also.

        I'm sure somewhere there is someone with the same issues with regards to Evernote as well.
        Rann Xeroxx
  • Really awesome functionality ...

    Simplicity in functionality makes for a fantastic product. Nice job MS, the SP3 is just that, and so much more.