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6 things Evernote does that Microsoft OneNote can't

James A. Martin | July 16, 2015
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.

2) Evernote's awesome 'Web clipper'

Evernote and OneNote both offer browser extensions for "clipping" articles and other online content to your digital notebooks. But Evernote's is more robust. For example, it lets you highlight portions of Web page text before clipping; add multiple tags and comments; and choose between clipping a full article (with all its contents), a simplified version, the full Web page, a bookmark or just a screenshot. Evernote's Web clipper is available for Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer 7 and later, Firefox and Opera.

OneNote's Clipper for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari has steadily improved, but it lags behind Evernote's clipping options.

3) Effortless access to all Evernote notes 

All of your Evernote notes are accessible wherever you have Internet access, regardless of the computer or mobile device you use. As long as you're signed into your account, you can search for and find any note.

OneNote takes a different approach. When you install it on a mobile device or computer, you may not see any of your notes. You have to manually open each notebook to access it using that device. (Once you open a notebook on a device, though, it remains accessible.)

Some might see this as a benefit -- why clutter up your OneNote iPhone app with all your notes when you only need a subset? Me, I want full access to all my notes anytime, anywhere, without having to think about it.

It's also worth mentioning that for offline access to Evernote notebooks, you need an Evernote Plus ($25 a year) or Evernote Premium ($50 per year) subscription. OneNote's offline access is free.

4) Evernote notes in Google search results

Google searches are even more handy thanks to Evernote's Web Clipper extensions. When you perform a keyword search in Google, your relevant Evernote notes show up in a box to the top right of the results. It's a quick way to find what's on the Web, as well as in your own notes. OneNote's clipper extension doesn't currently have a similar Google-search feature.

5) Evernote's easy reminders

You can quickly add reminders to Evernote notes by clicking the service's alarm clock icon. OneNote doesn't let you add alerts to notes. Instead, you need to select text in your OneNote note, create an Outlook task and then add a reminder to that task in Outlook. Microsoft could add a reminder feature to OneNote at any time, of course, especially when you consider Microsoft's recent acquisition of Wunderlist, a terrific to-do list app that has reminders.

6) Evernote notebooks as presentations

Evernote's Presentation mode lets you easily turn notes into presentations. Evernote-based presentations aren't quite as slick as PowerPoint or Keynote slide decks. However, the feature is useful for turning notes into rough drafts of presentations and then showing them to colleagues for feedback. Presentation mode requires an Evernote Premium ($50 per year) or Business ($12 per user, per month) plan.


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