Lined or unlined index cards. Traditional white or neon colors?
Or maybe legal pads. But? Yellow or white? 3-hole punched or not?
Perhaps a spiral notebook. But which color? How many subjects? With or without divider pockets? With or without perforated pages.
The way someone takes notes is personal. And the tools you use depend on a few things like, how you write, how you work [workflow], what writing instrument you plan to use, your unidentifiable personal preference, how you learned to take notes in the first place, how you plan to organize your notes, how you feel that day, how you were taught, whether you are left handed or right handed, etc.
It just depends.
So. Evernote or OneNote?
It just depends.
My suggestion is to try them both out. While OneNote can be purchased separately or with Microsoft Office, their free OneNote Web Application can be used. It doesn't have all the cool functions, but it can give you some kind of an idea. Plus? I have 2 OneNote videos that can give you some ideas about how it can be used for genealogy research.
Just like OneNote, Evernote has a free-version and a premium version. Obviously, my suggestion would be to try their free version, which isn't as full-featured as its premium version, but it's more than enough to give you an idea.
Also, there are some blog posts that deal with comparing the 2 note-taking apps. But caution! None of these blog posts are completely accurate as they are only one person's viewpoint, and they tend to only think about how they use the software within the particular way they take notes and within their own workflows. [Completely selfish of them, I know.] Plus, they were written at various times throughout 2012. And we're talking about technology here so that means updates, updates, updates. [Ohmigosh. How dare technology evolve, right?]
So when reading the comparisons and opinions listed further down in this post, you need to remember the following:
- the date it was written
- that these are someone's opinions
- that none of these folks are genealogists
- that even if they were genealogists, they'd still be note-takers who may or may not take notes in exactly the same way for exactly the same reasons
- that you need to check each website for the note-taking apps to familiarize yourself with all the new features that may have been added since these authors wrote their posts [Check Evernote then check OneNote.]
- that none of these bloggers got it all right, nor did they get it all wrong
- that once a person starts using some technology and they become comfortable in using it, they don't always check out the new features - even before writing a very opinionated blog post. [Kinda like how Grandma Pointer - who I absolutely love, BTW - decided to stop redecorating her house sometime back in 1975. Personally, I never was a big fan of the colors burnt orange and rust. But obviously she was.]
In other words, you need to use your finely-tuned research skills to make the very best decision you can make about some note-taking apps that are simply tools to help you find your ancestors and all their secrets. You know, the reason you needed these tools in the first place.
And then someone will probably come up and tell you are using the wrong one - that you chose the wrong one.
And then you can tell them it's the right choice for you because you think you know what you like. And also it's not because which one is superior over the other in general, it's about what's right for the individual person.
Just like back in the day I knew I WAY preferred the white legal pads ['Cause I'm left handed.] with a very stiff cardboard back with 3-hole punches already punched for me because then I could almost effortlessly place them in my color-coded binders with the very cool color-coded tabbed dividers with pockets, thankyouverymuch. [This is *probably* why I prefer using OneNote so much, but it's not for everyone. I dunno if it's right for you or not.]
So here are the links to the comparisons you should read and then go off and make your own decision:
- Comparing Evernote Vs Onenote by Admin on evernotevsonenote.com.
- Choosing between Evernote and OneNote by Stefan Johansson on steffanjohansson.com.
- Input from another Former Power User--Returning to OneNote (for now) by rogerroland on the Evernote Forums [And read the comments too. All of them. Even though some of them are a bit rude, IMHO.].
- Thing 8...Update on Evernote vs. OneNote by Kristine Mitchell on Bookatarian.
- Evernote vs. OneNote: Why I’m Choosing OneNote–HOLD ON, MAYBE I WAS WRONG(Revised 6/28/12) by Carol Mortensen on myweb4ed.com.
- OneNote vs. EverNote: A Side-by-Side Comparison by Howard M. Cohen on rcpmag.com.
And? Just to be difficult [Oops. I mean helpful.], here are 2 more alternatives for note-taking apps [You know, just to be sure. What do you mean, "You've already looked at them or tried them?" You mean recently? Go make sure you didn't miss an update.]:
Just remember: This isn't about what works for someone else even if they are a genealogist. It's about what works for you. And only you can figure that out.
Happy Researching! [Or, in this case, happy research tool researching!]