How Do You Take Notes?

How do you take notes? For years I’ve used (or tried to) OneNote on my desktop. And for the past six months or so, I’ve been using NoteBook.app on my laptop.

I’ve never really loved OneNote. I can’t really put my finger on exactly why, but I think it’s because OneNote doesn’t really do anything to help me keep my notes organized. Between notebooks and tabs and pages and unfiled notes, my OneNote notes end up just as cluttered as text files lying around my desktop (both physically and digitally).

I liked the more rigid structure of NoteBook.app – you can write on lined paper, with categories and tabs, but far more organized than OneNote. Plus there are lots of niceties, such as being able to make a note a to-do item with a keystroke, and then easily search your notebook for finished or unfinished to-do items.

However, the big, big, BIG downside to both of these – no syncing. I now work at home on a Windows 7 box, on my work laptop which is a Macbook, and I also do light work away from both on my phone. Finally, last week, when I was sitting down to transcribe physical notes into a digital copy, I went searching for something better.

Helllooooooo Evernote. How have I missed out on these tool? First of all, it’s free. Second of all, the OS X application is very, very well done. There is a Windows application as well, which is – well – good enough. And there’s an iPhone application which is very nice with lots of animations and pretties.

But on top of that, my notes now sync effortlessly between my desktop, laptop, phone, and the web. There’s a very serviceable web interface to my notes at evernote.com, and I am also able to publish any of my notebooks online, either publicly or opting to invite individuals via email.

I’ve only been using Evernote for a few days, but I’m really pleased so far. There are some font oddities, and some weirdness with nested bullets in notes authored in the Windows software. But all-in-all, I’d highly recommend Evernote. I’ve pulled NoteBook.app off my dock, and unpinned OneNote from my Windows 7 taskbar.

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4 thoughts on “How Do You Take Notes?

  1. Stacy Spear

    Store your onenote file online and you have full sycing. The thing that is making it harder to keep loving OneNote is that it doesn’t have a BlackBerry client.

    Reply
    1. nwoolls Post author

      How do you mean store it online? I thought, at one point, of using Dropbox to store my OneNote notebooks, but didn’t actually try it as – at that point – I was also looking for solutions in the long run for both my Macbook and phone as well.

      Thanks for the feedback!

      Reply
  2. Stacy Spear

    Exactly, something like DropBox, other websites, online storage drives, or even shared from a computer (too complicated). I have multiple notebooks stored in Skydrive and Office Live locations. Both work great from home, office, and Win mobile devices. But, not my BlackBerry.

    Going to play with Evernote on vacation since it does do BlackBerry. Just sad for me since I love OneNote.

    Reply

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