Should I Use Notebook (Circus Ponies) or Evernote For College?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Tydog07, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. Tydog07 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I will be entering college this year and I will be taking notes on my macbook and I'm having trouble deciding on which workflow/apps I should use to accomplish my note taking needs. I have Cirus Ponies Notebook, and it looks like a nice program to use but I also have Evernote, which although is free, is very well developed as well. I'm having trouble deciding, cost isn't an issue, it wouldn't matter to me if I use the free app over the paid one, I just am having trouble making a decision. I am also looking into purchasing a live scribe pen, but I'm starting to think that would be overkill for me, but I know that they work well with integrating with evernote. I plan to have an iPhone within the next 6 months, so that could affect my decision one way or another.
     
  2. cuestakid macrumors 68000

    Joined:
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    Location:
    San Fran
    #2
    Circus ponies notebook is good as well. I also recently tried out SOHO Notes and liked it.


    I also just want to throw out one thing, since you did say cost is not really an issue.

    Do you have any affordable means to use Vmware Fusion with Windows and Office? I only say it because OneNote still is the king and no Mac based app even comes close. If you are in college you likely can get Windows and Office relatively cheap and I am almost certain Vmware Fusion has educational pricing. I know this method is by far the most expensive, but the features of OneNote are unmatched-I know because i tried other mac not taking apps and while some were good, not a single one could match what OneNote provides in terms of flexibility and features.
     
  3. Tydog07 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Well I strongly considered doing that because I'm well aware of how well the Onenote software works, but I'm not all that crazy about using bootcamp/virtualization software just for the sake of Onenote, I know I want to eventually start using it, but every time I want to edit/view my notes, I have to use windows and start that. I rather just find an all mac alternative. If Livescribe worked with CP Notebook, I think it would influence my decision.


    Well I strongly considered doing that because I'm well aware of how well the Onenote software works, but I'm not all that crazy about using bootcamp/virtualization software just for the sake of Onenote, I know I want to eventually start using it, but every time I want to edit/view my notes, I have to use windows and start that. I rather just find an all mac alternative. If Livescribe worked with CP Notebook, I think it would influence my decision.


    I'll take a look at soho notes as well since you mentioned it.
     
  4. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #4
    i used one note for a long time and finally abandoned it out of frustration. i grew to dislike the organization scheme it forced on me, and felt my creativity withering away like a rotten banana on the hot summer sidewalk.

    i highly recommend voodoopad for a personal wiki approach to notetaking. i feel like it is what one note would be if they let users roam free.

    i spend most of my time in evernote, though. it takes some getting used to, but there are wonderful tips available online. it is famous for its wonderful syncing, but its most powerful features are only available to power users (big spenders willing to drop $5 a month); you can view notes/notebooks offline and you get a CUMULATIVE 1GB upload allowance per month. This means that by the end of a four-year stint in college you will have 48GB of stuff stored in Evernote. If you digitize your stuff (articles, books, handwritten notes, handouts, etc.), that means you are pretty much free to work wherever and whenever you want with mobile devices like the iPad.

    i've heard good things about other notetaking systems, and tried a bunch, but i am so impressed with evernote, i haven't been tempted to switch yet.
     
  5. franmatt80, Aug 14, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011

    franmatt80 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    #5
    I've been trying CP and Soho recently in my constant quest for the ideal note taking app. I really like so many of the functions within them. However, when it comes down to it, I always end up opening Evernote... There's something great about its simplicity, the fact that it syncs automatically so my notes are always safe, it's instantly ready for notes rather than having to sort through various tabs and sections, that the iPad / iPhone/ web apps work really well and are incredibly handy when you have a sudden thought you want to add to a previous note on the fly.... And I've been messing around with it a bit more lately, and have discovered some really handy functions like adding task checkboxes and filtering for incomplete tasks etc...

    Boils down to personal preference I guess - maybe worth trying out 2 or 3 over a few weeks until you really know what your requirements and priorities are....
     
  6. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #6
    i agree with franmatt80. so far i haven't found anything "wrong" with the other options out there, but evernote is so simple. everything is in there somewhere, because that is where i put it all. i can access it on the train from my ipod, in a coffee shop from my ipad, or at home from my mbp without even thinking about it.

    it has folders, you can make subfolders, the tag feature is really nice, and of course the searching can't be beat. but, as franmatt says, the best thing is that you can just make a note. if you want to organize it later, fine. if not, fine. but, the note goes in there.
     
  7. Tydog07 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Hmmm….I think evernote may be it then, it's funny how a paid option can still lose out to a free one, maybe because it seems so open-source or what have you, in that case, I might have to look out for a live scribe pen too then.
     
  8. macking104 macrumors 6502

    macking104

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    #8
    Why don't you download/ listen to a lecture from iTunesU and try out the different programs now. That way you can beta practice and get good before struggling in class and missing important info...
     
  9. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #9
    lol. good point. i take all of my notes by hand, scan them into pdfs, and upload them to evernote. my scanner (scansnap) is even built to send the scans there automatically.

    as for the "free" evernote beating out "paid" competitors, don't forget that there are many of us who pay for the premium service. give it a try, and if you like it, i highly recommend upgrading. the increased functionality and cumulative data storage are very much worth it.
     
  10. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #10
    I used to be a One Note evangelist until I got used to Circus Ponies Notebook, now I hate One Note.

    You have to learn Notebooks keyboard shortcuts and its way of doing things. After that its really nice.
     
  11. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #11
    Please ignore my recommendation of Evernote. I just lost a huge chunk of data today, because it failed to save changes to a note. On the Evernote forums other users have had the same problem. I don't know if this is because of a buggy update or what, but it is clearly undependable (in my opinion). I have contacted support. I wonder what they will say.

    I am a premium user, and have been thrilled with it up until today, but this is unacceptable. The history function, by the way, brought up earlier versions of the note, but they were from so long ago they were useless. In other words, whatever great features Evernote has, the task of actually writing a note seems to have become unstable :(

    deeply disappointed...
     
  12. Tydog07 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Hmmm… I'll look out for that problem, and I certainly won't be scanning my notes because for one, I won't bring a printer, and my handwriting is bad, so that leads me to believe that using a live scribe pen would be useless. What are the premium features of evernote are useful over the normal version?
     
  13. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    #13
    i have a printer in another country, and i think i have used it once in the last couple of years. scansnap, on the other hand, i use every day. it scans notes, handouts, pamphlets, books (if you tear them apart), etc. revolutionary.

    my handwriting is bad and i write in several languages. handwriting recognition software has failed miserably so far. i don't know about live scribe. although it sounds very cool, the ink problems, pen size, pen price, and doubts about the software (purchase separately) for interpreting my handwriting have kept me away from it.

    premium evernote gives you 1gb a month of uploads (cumulative), you can upload just about any kind of file, you get pdf searching, and offline notebooks. it is undoubtedly wonderful for web clippings. but, as my problem today showed, it may be undependable for taking notes. i am very annoyed at the moment.
     
  14. Tydog07 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 10, 2011
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    #14
    Well a scan snap seems very expensive, I can find a $100 all-in-one printer that can scan for that price. I think I'll give CP Notebook a try, I bet I can scan what I need to at the library for PDFs and import them into CP Notebook, I really need to take a look at them and see what they can do. I'm sure they will all work just fine, I just need to find out what works best for me. Once I get there, I'll gain a better grasp on what students use to take notes.
     
  15. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    #15
    Scansnap isn't cheap, but it is under 200, so not terribly bad. It also fits easily into your backpack. I doubt your all in one printer will do that (all in one printers are a scam, by the way, because you will have to sell plasma to pay for the ink). And, most importantly, Scansnap is a document feeder, so you just stick them in the top, and they come out scanned from the bottom, in a lot less time than it takes most scanners to do it.
    http://www.amazon.com/Fujitsu-SCANSNAP-600DPI-Mobile-Scanner-PA03610-B005/dp/B004ISGG7Q

    But, whatever scanner works best for you is the way to go. As long as you get it into a program, you are all set.
     
  16. Tydog07 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    I'll look into it, do people use live scribe pens around your college?
     
  17. Mac In School macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #17
    I'm a big Evernote fan. If money is no object, I'd probably go with a premium subscription. That way you can do a full sync to your iOS devices.

    I also love how cross-platform it is. It covers all the bases I work on: OS X, Windows XP (at work), iPad and iPhone. Even a Web-based interface for those special situations on other people's machines.

    Add to that the ability to share notes. I could see that coming in handy in college, when working on group projects.

    I even share a notebook with the world (my recipes), but that may not be too terribly useful in your situation.

    With that said, I wasn't aware of the problem with people losing data. It's never happened to me, but apparently it has to others. If I was worried about this happening, I might be inclined to type my notes in a text editor (TextWrangler) and paste them into Evernote. I'd hold onto the TextWrangler copy until I was confident Evernote synced properly.
     

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