Consumers tend to stick with what works for them. The more time and money they invest in a product or service, the less likely they are to venture out and try competing products.
So it's not surprising that once people pick Evernote or Microsoft OneNote as their repository of choice for digital scraps, doodlings and scanned documents, they usually stick with that choice. Once you have committed to one of these two popular products, it's not easy to toggle between them or switch entirely.
About a year ago, I chose Evernote over OneNote, and I started amassing my own digital archive. At the time, Evernote's Mac software was far superior to OneNote's Mac app. However, Microsoft has continually upgraded OneNote for Mac and iOS, and today it's a legitimate Evernote rival; if I were facing the Mac Evernote versus Mac OneNote decision today, it would be a different situation.
To help you decide between these two excellent notebook tools, I've come up with six things Evernote does that OneNote can't. Of course, this is only one side of the story. For the flip side, read "7 things OneNote does that Evernote can't."
1) Evernote's third-party apps and devices
Evernote's API helped make it the center of a thriving ecosystem of integrated third-party apps and hardware devices, including paper notebooks. Each individual tool makes Evernote an even more valuable service for growing your personal database.
Here are just a few examples of Evernote integration I use regularly:
- Some articles I save to Instapaper are keepers, and the service's Evernote integration makes it extremely easy to store them there, usually with few (if any) formatting gaffes. Instapaper recently updated its Evernote integration, and the company's free service is probably all you need; if not, the Premium plan costs $3 a month.
- FileThis is a fantastic freemium tool that automatically downloads bank, credit card, and other monthly statements and stores them in Evernote, Dropbox or Google Drive. The free FileThis plan lets you download statements from six different accounts, and its paid plans start at $2 per month.
- Powerbot for Gmail lets you clip Gmail messages and store and tag them in your Evernote notebook of choice. You can also add comments and reminders. It costs $2 a month after a 30-day free trial. Evernote's free "Web clipper" extension for Chrome, Safari and Opera also lets you send email to Evernote but it's less robust than Powerbot.
I'm not saying that you can't do some of these things with OneNote. There are IFTTT recipes, for example, that automatically send Instapaper articles to OneNote. And Powerbot for Gmail also clips email to OneNote. What I am saying, however, is that Evernote has hundreds of apps and devices that utilize its API; I found only 24 apps and devices that integrate with OneNote.
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