How I Use OneNote and Evernote to Stay Organized

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I have learned how to do lots of things over the years, and have hobbies that come and go. It’s possible that I am a bit ADD. I get distracted by some cool new thing to try, then learn all that I can learn till the next thing comes along. I do come back to old skills and hobbies, though, so I like to save instructions and memories. Whenever I learn a new skill, I keep track of how to do things in Evernote and Microsoft’s OneNote. The programs are similar enough that I could use just one for everything, but I love them both. I use them together and separately to schedule my days, write out step-by-step processes, store ideas, and more.

I love OneNote

I use Microsoft OneNote for: planning, ideas, daily journaling, how-to instructions, and info about the websites I run. I use the desktop version most of the time to take screen shots and scan old notes from when I used to use paper. I also use it as a digital scrapbook to directly scan programs from concerts I played in, and keep other memories. When I travel, I use a tablet or my phone and a small keyboard to write in my daily journal. Here’s a link to the program: (May open a pop up window).

I love Evernote

I use Evernote for: my daily schedule (every day is different when you’re a freelancer, but I like to have structure), step-by-step processes for complicated repeating projects, check lists, my goals, and trip planning. It’s easy to check things off with my phone when I’m out and about. Here’s a link to the program:


OneNote notes are easy to format by using familiar Word commands. Words after periods and I are automatically capitalized. Tables look great. You can choose which notebooks to sync to different devices. It has macro capabilities through a plugin called Onetastic. And OneNote has limited but useful integration with your other Microsoft Office products.

Evernote is very simple to use. You can save searches in the sidebar to make things easier to find. Checklists are very easy to set up and use.


Both OneNote and Evernote are available from anywhere. You can install them on your desktop computer, laptop, phone and tablet. Both sync with the cloud, so as long as your device is synced, you can access all your information no matter where you are.

They are actually freeform databases, so the programs run pretty fast and efficiently.

Both programs are great for online research using web clipping.

You can find anything in your notebooks by searching, so there is no need to try to remember where you put something. Both programs are fast and accurate when you search.

Both have multimedia support. You can record or insert audio, insert video, or use a finger or mouse to draw inside a note.

Both programs provide easy ways to make internal links between notebooks and notes.

Both are backed up to the cloud by default; I feel that my information is safe because both programs have been around for a long time. And I use strong passwords for each.


Whether you choose to use Evernote or OneNote, you will be happy. You can set up notebooks like file cabinets, or like binders with tabs, or like random pieces of paper. Both of mine are jam-packed full of information, and I open them both almost every day.

In the coming months I’ll show you how I use each program.