Long time Evernote user - Questions

Copper Contributor

I have been using Evernote for years, and have a ton of NoteBooks. Since they have moved to a pay model, I'm looking to switch to OneNote.


I know OneNote is very capable of meeting my needs, however I've run into some "issues" after importing all of my notebooks into OneNote.


1. Search - With Evernote, every notebook within Evernote is searchable, and just there. After importing into OneNote, nothing was there. I have to browse to the Notebook, open it, then it is searchable. In having so many notebooks, I need to open every notebook one by one so I can search across them all? I don't see a way to open all notebooks at once in OneNote 2016; it's one at a time. This is going to take me a while, and I need to figure out of all this time is worth it.


2. Sync across devices - Related to the above, I can see and open all of my notebooks from the mobile app, however since I haven't opened them all on the mobile app as well, nothing is searchable. So I need to do the same thing on the mobile app, as in open every notebook one by one so it "caches" them where they are searchable? 


3. Rename - Some of my notebooks have this "Imported from Evernote <date>" appended to the Notebook name. You can't rename the notebook in OneNote, as far as I can find. You can change the display name, but why have this underlying file name that isn't what I want? I saw an article that said to browse to my OneDrive and rename the notebook files there. I tried that, but that left a bunch of X's in my OneNote, since it can no longer find the file. I was able to fix a few by closing the notebooks with the X, then reopening it.


4. QuickNotes - I have no idea where it saves these. I created a test QuickNote from my phone. It shows up nowhere in OneNote 2016. I don't think they are syncing properly, or at least I don't know how they sync. I see a QuickNotes at the very bottom in OneNote 2016, but it's not the same as what I see on my phone.


I really want to like OneNote, but I'm really struggling with the transition. What am I doing wrong? Is there a better approach?

2 Replies

Hello, Frank.  Fellow Ex-Evernote Enthusiast.  I've run into many of the same problems with the transition to OneNote, so maybe I can help a bit.


1.  Search - Yep, the notebook has to be open before it is included in the Search.  Conventional advice is to 'have a notebook for everything."  However, as you've noted, this cripples the search.  I've gone with a single notebook approach, based on time periods.  Right now, I open a new notebook every quarter, and then close out the one for one year past (example: At the end of September I will open a 2018Q4 notebook and close the 2017Q4 notebook.)  Still limiting, but it's better than having to figure out which notebook I put that great SharePoint time saving tip in.....


2. Mobil sync - Yep, thus the single notebook. For mobile access, I find that the last quarter is usually sufficient for things I want at my fingertips.


3. Renaming - MS OneNote really, really does not like renaming notebooks.  I've lost data when trying to go back and make file names consistent.  I would not do it if you can avoid it.


4. QuickNotes - By default, they go to a semi-hidden notebook called, wait for it, "Quick Notes."  What I prefer is to create a tab (i.e., Section) that displays across the top called QuickNotes.  I then go into options and set all of the "Send Tos" to that section. Essentially, this becomes my In Box.  The only thing I do with pages in the In Box is make annotations so I can find them later (Project Number, Actions, etc.)  I then move it to my current period notebook.


Heads up: OneNote is way behind on Tags. In fact, ON Win10 has yet to roll out the promised 'tag search'.  Until that happens, I cannot make the move to ON Win10.

Thanks for the reply! Confirmed my suspicions.