OneNote, I’m Done With You?

Long ago, I was using a Google Notebook that has since been killed by Google and migrated into Google Docs. Then, I switched to Evernote for tracking all manner of information. When Evernote decided to limit the number of devices you could use, I switched to OneNote. I was already paying for the Office 365 subscription so it just made sense to me rather than paying for another product from Evernote.

OneNote has never worked on Linux. The saving grace is that they have a webapp that works just fine. I simply pin my work notebook and my personal notebook tabs in Chrome. It gets the job done. Plus, I have the android app so that I can access the information from my phone while out and about.

What’s changed? I’ve gotten frustrated with sync errors. It’s at the point that OneNote is unreliable, and I can’t depend that it will actually save. I left a question mark on the title of this article because I want to change, but I’m unsure of what to change to. So, the decision isn’t quite made yet.

Sync Errors

I’m at the point that I can’t create a particular new page that I want to create:

Sync Error on the New Page

Notice the spinning icon on the top and the red text. That means those changes are unsaved on my new page. If I refresh, the new page is totally gone.

There is another page that is just lost. It can’t seem to load it at all:

Page that won’t load.

I do have a virtual machine running Windows. So, I checked to see if it would handle the sync error better. It does show the Sync error icon at the top:

Sync error warning icon

When I click on it, it doesn’t give much help. It says the Deleted Pages are not syncing and two other generic messages:

Sync errors

I tried to delete some of the page histories to make the Notebook smaller. I also tried to delete the deleted pages permanently. It didn’t help.

So, the big question is … do I try to recreate this Notebook, or do I find a different tool?

What my note tool needs

  • Formatting … I want to be able to paste pictures, organize with headings, save code snippets, etc.
  • Search … notes are no good if you can’t find them and get back to them when needed
  • Access anywhere … I like being able to see and change my notes from my phone and tablet (different types of notes and situations require different types of devices)

OneNote seems to do all of that. Code is the only issue I have. For example, if I save SQL in a note, when I paste it back into SQL Studio, it is double-spaced.

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