OneNote vs. Evernote vs. Google Keep

Comparing OneNote and Evernote might be missing misreading Microsoft’s intent behind recent announcements.

OneNote has gotten lots of attention this week when Microsoft release OneNote for Mac. Microsoft also made OneNote free for Windows users and is opening up a cloud API for integration.

This recent activity has prompted many to compare OneNote to Evernote. Evernote is a popular third-party note taking tool with great support on most platforms.

While the effects of the announcement may impact Evernote, I suspect the real target is Google Keep. Google Keep is part of a much larger ecosystem of productivity tools by Google, including Google Drive.

All three products exist within an important category that I call “memory augmentation”. They are distinct from traditional productivity tools such as word processors and spreadsheets. They allow for the capture of unstructured (or lightly structured) detail.

I have been a OneNote user for years, and enjoy the pen input capabilities on Windows. But that power is useless without ubiquity of access, and that is what the OneNote announcement provides. Google needs to step up here and start providing access to their services on Windows Phone and Windows if they want to compete.

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