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What are the main differences between these two tools? (If you want to bring in other note apps, that is okay - I am looking at Org-mode, Google Docs, and maybe Simplenote - although this would need another app for more powerful notetaking)

What sort of questions could I ask myself to determine or rule out a possible solution?

I am looking for something that:

  • can be accessed offline in some form, eg through an iPhone app or desktop client
  • has a native iPhone app, has an easy to use way of clipping web content into it
  • has voice notes on the iPhone and computer too, if possible,
  • I can add notes too on my iPhone while not connected to the internet.

Eg: Would you need to make many longer notes without access to the internet? If yes - then choose Evernote as Springpad doesn't have a desktop client, and the iPhone/Android clients aren't suited to longer text entry.

Answers will be voted up by how much easier they make my choice between note apps.

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3 Answers 3

Things Evernote does better:

  • Capture notes from anywhere: One of their main goals is to create a client for almost any product you own (e.g. iPhone, PC, Mac, iPad, Android, Blackberry), and only then fall back on to the web interface if your client isn't supported. Springpad is mainly web only.
  • Powerful tagging: You can use hierarchies as well as stemming. Tagging plays a central role in Evernote.
  • 3rd Party Integration: With the new addition of the "trunk" feature, you can find other solutions that work with Evernote. There are currently hundreds.
  • Embedded content in notes: Images, PDFs, audio notes, any file type is allowed for premium users.
  • Searching: In Evernote, you can search PDFs (if you're a premium user it will OCR it for you), images (OCR).

Things Springpad does better:

  • Social aspect: You can choose to share or hide individual notes. The interface is built for sharing with others. In Evernote, you can only share an entire Notebook, and it requires the premium version.
  • Note Types and fields: Springpad let's you choose the note type (e.g. movie, book, etc.) and based on the type will allow you to choose the attributes (e.g. director for a movie). It will even populate the information for you from sources such as Amazon and Netflix.
  • Notifications: Evernote does not have any notification features. In Springpad, you can set due dates for tasks.

Things that are about the same:

  • Email in notes.
  • Bookmarklet to capture web content.

Disclaimer: I have been using Evernote for 2 years, and only tested out Springpad for an hour or so yesterday.

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Currently, on Evernote for Windows Phone, it's possible to share notes on a social network, and to set a reminder date/time for a note. (I have Evernote Premium, so I'm not sure whether the same features are available without it.) –  Kyralessa Feb 17 at 18:32
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I'd suggest going with the clear winner: Evernote.

  • offline - yes
  • native iPhone app - yes
  • voice - yes

Evernote is clearly going to trounce any of the other suggestions you'd get in every category.

Disclaimer: I don't even really use Evernote, so I have no reason to suggest using them other than that is what almost everyone uses.

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Evernote allows you to access / organize your notes with native client (well, Air based client) on both Windows and Mac as well as on-line using Web. In addition you have iPhone application, iPad native application, and more - see Evernote site.

The base use is free and is limited not on amount notes stored but on monthly traffic. Subscription increases the traffic allowance by order of magnitude.

Evernote seems to be better established with good use base and sound business model so your notes will more likely be accessible year later.

Disclaimer: I am Evernote user with pro subscription.

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