I have been using OneNote since the days of Windows Phone 8.0 but since migrating to iPhone I have come to realize after all these years that I was wasting my time with this app.
OneNote on iOS is extremely slow and cumbersome to use. It takes 3-4 seconds just to open the app (on my iPhone SE), when all I want to do is to create a quick note or quickly look up my patient file number of the hospital I frequently go to, etc.
Then there are other problems, like the app always asking to sign in again, and searching inside notes no longer working in Spotlight Search of iOS (searching from Home screen).
But the biggest problem is not supporting background syncing. Once on my iPad’s OneNote I made some notes of book titles I wanted to check at the library, but on reaching there I found the notes had not synced to my iPhone’s OneNote, and I had to go back home just to get them synced! (You have to open the app for syncing to start).
That’s when I started to seriously consider the native Notes app in iOS, and decided to copy all my notes from OneNote to Notes, and create any new notes there.
Here’s how I’ve found Notes compared to OneNote:
– Simple and uncluttered interface.
– Notes open much faster.
– Faster and seamless background syncing across devices (even on icloud.com!)
– Extremely well integrated into iOS and macOS (whereas in OneNote the only integration with Windows 10 is you can create a quick note from the Action Center).
– Allows creating notes directly from the Control Center, including scanning documents (OneNote has to rely on widgets to do this).
– Never fails to appear in Spotlight Search (whereas in Windows 10, Cortana can’t even search inside OneNote notes).
– Allows locking notes with TouchID.
– Notes are more accessible and easier to read, especially on smaller screens.
To be sure, Notes has its own shortcomings (not being able to create subfolders in the iOS app, not being able to change font size or color) and has much less features than OneNote (no text recognition inside scanned documents, not solving math equations, no handwriting to text, and biggest of all, not being cross-platform), but superiority of OneNote in these areas is not enough to justify using it instead of Notes, at least on Apple devices.
Perhaps the same could be said of Google Keep for users of Android devices?