Evernote vs Dropbox: The Pros and Cons of Both
In this modern day and age, it’s important to be organized even when using the computer. However, you might be finding it difficult to transition from paper and pen to keyboard and mouse. Evernote and Dropbox are two of the main programs out there that can be used to help you get organized either on your home computer or on the go with your mobile device. If you can’t decide which is right for you, check out this list of pros and cons for both programs. First, here’s a quick synopsis on both of the programs. Learn how to use Evernote for professional use in this course.
With Evernote, you can create or upload documents to the cloud. No matter what document type it is, it becomes an Evernote type document when uploaded. You can save photos and audio files within the Evernote cloud as well, and the mobile feature makes this program great for professional use. Keywords and tags make searching through your documents easy, and Evernote can even search through the text of a document – even handwritten documents. Evernote does have a Premium membership that has a small fee of $5 a month, but it gives you many more great features. If you want to learn how to use Evernote, try some hands-on training.
The Pros of Evernote
Evernote is often considered the sticky notes of the modern age. In fact, it is often used for items most people would grab a sticky note to jot down. Use Evernote for your online marketing, as you can learn in this course. Here are a few of the great features available on Evernote:
- Web clipping: There is an add-on available for most browsers that will allow you to clip things from websites and save them in your Evernote notes. Rather than writing down the website on a sticky note or cluttering up your bookmarks with websites you only need temporarily, you can easily save them to Evernote.
- Storing business cards: Many professionals still use business cards, and many agree that it is very difficult to keep track of all those cards. If you find yourself with a lot of business cards and no place to store them, you can use Evernote. You can easily scan them onto your computer and upload them to Evernote, or you can simply snap a quick photo of them with your mobile device and save them in your Evernote app. This is especially helpful for business professionals that don’t want to save every business card to their contacts.
- Saving recipes: With Evernote’s web clipping feature, it’s easy to save recipes you find online as well as any recipes you create yourself. Storing them all in a single notebook gives you a cookbook that you can access on your computer, through your mobile device, or even on your tablet.
- Instruction manuals: You have likely needed an instruction manual at one point or another. There was probably one included in the box that your mobile phone came in. However, it can be difficult to find what you need when you needed, and you can waste a lot of time flipping through pages and pages of stuff just to look for that one thing you needed to know. Using Evernote to store all of your instruction manuals allows you to search pages, and you can organize each one into a separate notebook or just keep them all in one single instruction manual notebook.
The Cons of Evernote
With so many amazing features, it’s almost shocking to think that there could be any downside to either program. However, there are a few depending on your situation and what your needs are from any organization programs out there. Here is a short list of cons for Evernote:
- The premium membership: If you’re a college student on a budget, you might find $5 a month too costly for you, and Evernote is pretty limiting with a free account. Though it can still work for some people, if you plan to use it for a lot of stuff, you’re going to find yourself sorely disappointed to find that your data uploads are limited every month. Plus, with the syncing ability only available with premium membership, you’re going to have to use Evernote on one device and one device only. So, instead of becoming a handy little notebook or stack of sticky notes readily available in your pocket and on your computer, all of your Evernote notes will only be available on your mobile device, your tablet, or your computer.
- The Evernote market: While these items are not required in order to use Evernote, you might be tempted if you are a major gadget guru. There are plenty of fascinating things available in the Evernote market from notebooks to styluses to bags to carry all your devices and other items in. For a writer or student, the Evernote notebooks will be especially hard to resist. Designed by Moleskine, these notebooks are specially designed to work with Evernote. The text written within them will be easily recognizable when you snap a photo with Evernote. Using smart stickers included with the notebooks will allow Evernote to recognize what photos go in what notebook on your account, eliminating the need for you to go back and organize them. Many items also include a complimentary three months of Evernote Premium.
- Not designed for large documents: Evernote is really meant for notes, like post-its you might put on your computer screen or a little notebook you keep by your mouse to jot down quick ideas or to do lists in. If you’re a student, it might be better to use this as a place to store study guides as storing all of your notes from every class would likely take up all of your upload availability for the month. If you’re a business professional, you’re going to want to use it for the items you need to have on you at all times. Do not use it to replace your business notebook but rather use it to keep notes of the items you need to do on some project or other.
Dropbox has often been compared to a filing cabinet because you can upload documents from your computer and file them away in different folders. Using Dropbox makes it easy to share very large documents as your limit is only as great as the limit of space you have on your Dropbox. Like Evernote, Dropbox does have other plans available if you need more space. Dropbox also has a desktop application allowing for easier access to your Dropbox documents. Learn how to use Dropbox with an online course.
The Pros of Dropbox
As Dropbox is considered the filing cabinet when comparing the two programs, it’s obvious that the pros for Dropbox are not going to cross the pros of Evernote. Here are some of the great features that Dropbox offers:
- Use it to store your music: If you want to be able to access your music on any computer, you can easily store it in your Dropbox. Again, the amount of songs you can store only depends on how much space you have on your Dropbox. Be sure to keep that in mind if you plan on storing a lot of music as you might want to consider purchasing a Dropbox plan with more available space. Once your music is stored on the cloud, you can use a web player like DropTunes to access your music on any computer. If you want to access it on any of your mobile devices or tablets, simply download the Dropbox app and use a Dropbox-friendly music player app like BoxyTunes. DropTunes is also available in the iOS app store. If you have an Android device, try using Beat.
- Store all those family memories: If your family is like most families, you probably have a lot of photos on a number of devices. If you are worried about losing those photos, simply use Dropbox to store all of your photos on all of your devices. If your hard drive ever fries or you drop your phone in the toilet, you’ll have all those precious family memories saved. Plus, they’re easily accessible from any device using the Dropbox app so you don’t have to lug around a photo album if you want to show a family friend your vacation to Hawaii.
- Save important documents, and share them with others: Dropbox has great use in the professional field as well. If you’re working on a project with a team, you likely have important documents you need to share with them. By sharing a link to a document, others working on the project can look it over without having to download it onto their computer or device. They also have the option to download the document if they need to, or they can simply add it to their Dropbox if they have one. This is also great for school projects if you’re a college student.
The Cons of Dropbox
Like Evernote, it’s difficult to see any downside to such an amazing program. Again, just like Evernote there are a few out there that should be addressed so that you know exactly what you will have and what you won’t have at your fingertips. Here’s a short list of cons for Dropbox:
- The available plans: Like Evernote, if you’re on a budget it could be difficult to enjoy Dropbox to its full potential if you don’t have enough space. A free account starts with 2 GB and can earn more by fulfilling a few requests from Dropbox. These include things like touring the basics of Dropbox, connecting your Facebook account, connecting Twitter and following Dropbox on Twitter, and even just leaving feedback for Dropbox. If you are a lucky individual who refers friends to Dropbox, you can earn up to 16 GB more of free storage, but if you’re an antisocial college student just trying to get the grades to get out, 2 GB might be all you get. If you don’t have enough for a plan, you’ll have to carefully pick and choose your documents.
- Collaboration can be difficult: There are a number of great programs out there that allow you to share and work on documents with others. While Dropbox is great for sharing documents with others, it doesn’t do so well as far as collaboration. When you share a document, the receiver will have to download the document to work on it on their computer then resend it to you. Other programs allow users to collaborate on files directly through the web, and any changes made to the document can be seen by everyone that has shared access to it even as those changes are occurring.
All in all, both programs are useful in their own ways, and it would be difficult to say whether one outperforms the other. Evernote is the little notebook you might usually carry around in your pocket, or its the sticky notes cluttering your desk and monitors. Dropbox is the filing cabinet in your office now available in your pocket and on your computer. If you’re looking for programs to help you get organized, there’s no comparing one to the other. You’d be better off getting both, each to be used for their designed purpose.
Last Updated May 2015
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