I’ve continued to use the Notes app in iOS 9 and it’s been a great, simple scratchpad for ideas and compiling research links. However, the kicker is that it’s just not accessible on my work PC. The Notes app is available as a beta within iCloud.com, but it’s not nearly as powerful as the version on my iPad.
However, a coworker recently turned me onto another cross-platform possibility: OneNote. I’d never really considered OneNote before because I thought it was best used by students. My sister did some incredible stuff with OneNote in her psychology courses, but I hadn’t realized that you could store files within OneNote in much the same way that you can with Evernote.
So for the past two days I’ve been figuring out the best way to migrate 2700+ notes from Evernote to Microsoft’s OneNote, just so I can try their software out in a full-fledged capacity. This has proven tricky because there isn’t any official way for OneNote to import data from Evernote, but there is an unofficial open source tool called Evernote2OneNote. This utility does a lot of the heavy lifting (it even saves metadata like creation dates), but it’s only usable on a PC, so I lost some time downloading everything in my gaming PC.
As I started the import process, I ran into my second issue: OneNote treats each notebook as an individual file, which means that uploading my 2700+ notes has been going very, very slowly. I don’t think Evernote does this, or if they do, they’re very efficient about syncing these changes. I thought that leaving my computer online overnight would do the trick, but when I came back to OneNote on Thursday morning, several large sections of the notebook remained un-synced. I’m going to try uploading my Evernote notes in chunks, by year, but that process is going to take a little while.
That said, if OneNote loads up faster on the iPad and allows me more reliable and flexible ways to manipulate files + text, then this will all be worth it. The reason I feel comfortable trying this experiment in the first place is because Microsoft has been doing a ton of updating in the mobile app arena over the past few years, and I trust that they’ll continue to do so for a while. Evernote’s app development, on the other hand, has felt stagnant. The core service works well, but little things like text formatting and the speed of the app on iOS could really use improvement.
I’ll continue to use OneNote while I’m on vacation in Portland this week, so I’ll have more to share soon. If you anyone has made the switch, or has cautionary tales about OneNote, tell us about your experience in the comments!