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Published on October 9, 2018

Evernote vs OneNote: Which Improves Your Productivity Better?

Evernote vs OneNote: Which Improves Your Productivity Better?

Note-taking is useful in helping improve your memory and increase your productivity at work. By writing down notes, you have something tangible you can refer back to, remember what needs to be done, and regain control of your work throughout the day.

There are thousands of different note-taking apps you can use on your desktop or mobile device. The two most popular are Evernote and Microsoft OneNote because they are incredibly efficient and effective that each has a following of extremely loyal users and advocates.

So if it comes to Evernote vs OneNote, how do they improve productivity?

An overview of Evernote and OneNote

First, an introduction to the two platforms. Evernote is an app that lets you store content, take down notes, write lists, and organize all of them. While these are stored in Notebooks, the whole concept behind this productivity app is more like a Universal Inbox where you can save everything you’ve collected so you can quickly find it when you need them through the use of tags.

Microsoft’s OneNote, on the other hand, works very much like a digital version of the notebooks you used to carry around in school. Aside from storing all your notes and different types of content you’ve collected, you can also organize them into sections, pages, and containers.

Each of these apps offers their users a host of features to help them improve their productivity and memory. Also, because no app is perfect, each also has their strengths and limitations.

To get a better idea of which app will be your best choice, we’ll be comparing the two based on three key features most used by their users: collecting information, note-taking, and mobility.

Collecting information

Both the OneNote and Evernote come with their own web clipper extension that allows you to quickly collect and store information from different websites as you find them.

Both give you the option to choose whether you’d like to save the entire web page as is, a simplified version without the ads, or just a section of the page. You can also add some notes before saving them to make it easier for you to remember why you “clipped” that particular resource.

Since OneNote gives you more structure to organize your content, its web clipper allows you to choose not just which notebook to save the details, but also what section within the notebook.

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    Source: OneNote.com

    Evernote gives you the option to add tags to your web clippings before you save it, so it’s easier for you to search for it later.

    Premium users get access to Evernote’s Related Results feature located in its Options section. When you search on Google, Evernote will launch a secondary search that will show all the notes related to the keyword you used in searching for information.

      Source: Zapier.com

      This feature, according to Jeremy Skillings, President of Youcanbefound.com, is beneficial because it lets you know what information you already have stored in your notes.

      “In some cases whenever I do my research, I find out through this feature that I already have the exact information I need stored in my Evernote account. That alone cuts back a significant amount of the time I spend on projects.”

      Note-taking

      Both of these productivity apps allow you to create and format your notes to create rich documents. Among these features include changing the font size and color, adding tables, and inserting media files.

      Evernote’s note-taking features are very similar to a Word document in that it’s very structured concerning how you input your notes.

        Professionals who need to be able to build and access well-structured docs in the field make up much of Evernote’s loyal fanbase. One such 2-year user in the real estate field, Anthony Gilbert of RealFX.com, liked the formatting options, but admitted that there were still some downsides to the rigidly formatted approach.

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        While he enjoyed the features, his personal experience with using it in the field revealed that the formatting features,“mean that if you need to change parts of your notes around, it can get tedious”. He continued, “the formatting features are quite finicky, so you may need a bit of patience to get the end results you are looking for.”

        Professionals who need to be able to build and access well-structured docs in the field make up much of Evernote’s loyal fanbase. One such 2-year user in the real estate field, Anthony Gilbertof RealFX.com, liked the formatting options, but admitted that there were still some downsides to the rigidly formatted approach.

        Structuring your notes properly from the get-go can have an effect on your productivity. A blank slate can sometimes be puzzling. Evernote allows the ability to use battle-tested templates and workflows that save you time. They can provide inspiration and structure on what’s possible.

        On the other hand, OneNote gives its users more versatility and flexibility in the way notes are created. You can click at any area of the page and begin typing. If you need to move things around, you can drag and drop sections of your notes to the right place.

        On the other hand, OneNote gives its users more versatility and flexibility in the way you create your notes. You can click at any area of the page and begin typing. If you need to move things around, you can drag and drop sections of your notes to the right place.

          Source: Lifehacker

          Also, it gives you the option to create Templates that you can use to layout your page properly, so all you’ll need to do is to fill in the information.

            Source: MakeUseOf

            This is a particularly handy feature that stood out to many of the people who shared their love of OneNote with me. Steve Lionais, longtime user and Co-Founder & CEO of Dr-Bill.ca, claims that this feature helped him build his business by affecting his memory in a powerful and helpful way.

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            “This [feature] is what makes OneNote great memory retention app,” he said of the templates. “I find that I remember things more when they are arranged in a certain way. OneNote allowed me to do that for my meeting and presentation notes, so I don’t have to spend a lot of time trying to find the next point!”

            However, what really makes OneNote the winner of this round is its ability to allow you to embed media files from other sources like Youtube. In addition to including the link, OneNote launches a media player, allowing you to watch the video or listen to the audio file directly from the page where you saved it.

              Source: Windows Central

              Mobility

              Evernote and OneNote can be used both on desktops and mobile devices. At the same time, they provide their users with the ability to sync the content from one device to the other.

              Judging which of the two productivity apps is best here is quite tricky because it greatly depends on several factors. One of these is the operating software you use.

              Many of the power users we asked were using iOS, and that put some points toward Evernote. Greg Reese of AmeriEstate.com found himself frequently using the built-in camera option (and other iOS integrations) to manage his daily duties as President.

                Evernote’s camera also integrates with Post-It, Moleskin notebook pages, and business cards. When you take a photo of any of these, the camera will capture the information and format this for Evernote so that it’s quick to find it when you search.

                OneNote, on the other hand, dominates the Android environment. In addition to the app, Android users will also find a OneNote floating badge on the side of the home screen. So you can take notes on the go very quickly.

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                  Source: MS Power User

                  Another factor to consider is the cloud storage you use. For you to sync OneNote across different devices, you’ll need to first set up an account with OneDrive, which is Microsoft’s cloud storage service.

                  “This is something that Evernote users like me don’t have to worry about,” according to Matt Willens, Head Attorney for Willens Law Offices. “Whether you use a free account or one of their paid plans, you can immediately sync your devices without having to get a separate cloud storage account.”

                  The drawback here is the amount of storage and number of devices that you can sync. Free users are only given 60MB of storage space and can sync up to two devices. If you need more storage space, you’ll have to get the paid plans.

                  Which app is better for improving memory and productivity?

                  The honest—and most straightforward—answer is:

                  It depends on you.

                  While Evernote and OneNote have their strengths and weaknesses, how well it will help improve productivity and memory greatly depends on what works best for you.

                  If you find that you’re able to work best and remember things more using visual cues, OneNote will be the best productivity app to use. However, if you consider the speed and ease of finding the information you need as your top priority, Evernote will be your best option.

                  Since both productivity apps have free versions, you can give both a try and see where you’re most comfortable. In the end, the right productivity app to use is one that complements the way you work and do things rather than dictating to you how you should get them done.

                  Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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                  Dmitry Dragilev

                  Single-handedly grew a startup from zero to 40 million page views, Dmitry is a role model for aspiring entrepreneurs.

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                  Last Updated on September 18, 2019

                  15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

                  15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

                  You may think that you don’t have time for office organization, but if you really knew how much time that disorganization cost you, you’d reconsider.

                  Rearranging and moving piles occasionally doesn’t count. Neither does clearing off your desk, if you swipe the mess into a bin, or a desk drawer.

                  A relatively neat and orderly office space clears the way for higher productivity and less wasted time.

                  Organizing your office doesn’t have to take days, it can be done a little at a time. In fact, maintaining an organized office is much more effective if you treat it like an on-going project, instead of a massive assault.

                  So, if you’re ready to get started, the following organizing tips will help you transform your office into an efficient workspace.

                  1. Purge Your Office

                  De-clutter, empty, shred, get rid of everything that you don’t need or want. Look around. What haven’t you used in a while?

                  Take one area at a time. If it doesn’t work, send it out for repair or toss it. If you haven’t used it in months and can’t think of when you’ll actually need it, out it goes. This goes for furniture, equipment, supplies, etc.

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                  Don’t forget about knick-knacks, plants (real or artificial), and decorations – if they’re covered with dust and make your office look shabby, they’re fair game.

                  2. Gather and Redistribute

                  Gather up every item that isn’t where it belongs and put it where it does.

                  3. Establish Work “Zones”

                  Decide what type of activity happens in each area of your office. You’ll probably have a main workspace (most likely your desk,) a reference area (filing cabinet, shelves, binders,) and a supply area (closet, shelves or drawers.)

                  Place the appropriate equipment and supplies are located in the proper area as much as possible.

                  4. Close Proximity

                  Position the equipment and supplies that you use most within reach. Things that you rarely use can be stored or put away.

                  5. Get a Good Labeler

                  Choose a label maker that’s simple to use. Take the time to label shelves, bins, baskets drawers. Not only will it remind you where things go, but it will also help others who may have a need to find, use, or put away anything in your workspace.

                  6. Revise Your Filing System

                  As we move fully into the digital age, the need to store paper files has decreased.

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                  What can your store digitally? Are you duplicating files? You may be able to eliminate some of the files and folders you’ve used in the past. If you’re storing files on your computer, make sure you are doing regular back-ups.

                  Here’re some storage ideas for creating a smooth filing system:

                  • Create a meeting folder – Put all “items to be discussed” in there along with items that need to be handed off, reports that need to be given, etc. It’ll help you be prepared for meetings and save you stress in the even that a meeting is moved up.
                  • Create a WOR folder – So much of our messy papers are things that are on hold until someone else responds or acts. Corral them in a WOR (Waiting on Response) folder. Check it every few days for outstanding actions you may need to follow-up on.
                  • Storage boxes – Use inexpensive storage boxes to keep archived files and get them out of your current file space.
                  • Magazine boxes – Use magazine boxes or binders to store magazines and catalogs you really want to store. Please make sure you really need them for reference or research, otherwise recycle them, or give away.
                  • Reading folder – Designate a file for print articles and documents you want to read that aren’t urgent.
                  • Archive files – When a project is complete, put all of the materials together and file them away. Keep your “working folders” for projects in progress.
                  • File weekly – Don’t let your filing pile up. Put your papers in a “To File” folder and file everything once a week.

                  Learn more tips on organizing your files here: How to Organize Your Files for Better Productivity

                  7. Clear off Your Desk

                  Remove everything, clean it thoroughly and put back only those items that are essential for daily use.

                  If you have difficulty declutter stuff, this Declutter Formula will help you throw away stuff without regretting later.

                  8. Organize your Desktop

                  Now that you’ve streamlined your desktop, it’s a good idea to organize it.

                  Use desktop organizers or containers to organize the items on your desk. Use trays for papers, containers for smaller items.

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                  Don’t forget your computer desktop! Make sure the files or images are all in organized folders. I’d recommend you clear your computer desktop everyday before you leave work.

                  9. Organize Your Drawers

                  Put items used together in the same drawer space, stamps with envelopes, sticky pads with notepads, etc.

                  Use drawer organizers for little items – paper clips, tacks, etc. Use a separate drawer for personal items.

                  10. Separate Inboxes

                  If you work regularly with other people, create a folder, tray, or inbox for each.

                  11. Clear Your Piles

                  Hopefully with your new organized office, you won’t create piles of paper anymore, but you still have to sort through the old ones.

                  Go through the pile (a little at a time if necessary) and put it in the appropriate place or dump it.

                  12. Sort Mails

                  Don’t just stick mail in a pile to be sorted or rifle through and take out the pieces you need right now. Sort it as soon as you get it – To act, To read, To file, To delegate or hand off. .

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                  13. Assign Discard Dates

                  You don’t need to keep every piece of paper indefinitely. Mark on files or documents when they can be tossed or shredded.

                  Some legal or financial documents must be kept for specified length of time. Make sure you know what those requirements are.

                  14. Filter Your Emails

                  Some emails are important to read, others are just not that important.

                  When you use the filter system to label different types of emails, you know their priority and which to reply first.

                  Take a look at these tips to achieve inbox zero: The Ultimate Way to get to Inbox Zero

                  15. Straighten Your Desk

                  At the end of the day, do a quick straighten, so you have a clean start the next day.

                  Bottom Line

                  Use one tip or try them all. The amount of effort you put into creating and maintaining an efficient work area will pay off in a big way.

                  Instead of spending time looking for things and shuffling piles, you’ll be able to spend your time…well…working and you’ll enjoy being clutter free!

                  More Organizing Hacks

                  Featured photo credit: Alesia Kazantceva via unsplash.com

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