When it comes to note taking, Evernote and Springpad are two big contenders, each becoming better with each update. Personally I used both of them, because I really love to compare a few apps before deciding which is the best for me, I’m sure that’s the reason why you are here too. Probably you want to find out what works best for you, to put up all your notes, shopping lists, travel checklists, recipes, all in one place.
Your favorite choice of note taking app, will depend on your usage, how you use it, what you use it for. So here we go:
Factors determining which is best for you – Evernote vs Springpad
Springpad is a cloud-based service, and you’ll need to get connected to see your notes, images and stuff. Users on gadgets without a connection will not be able to add your notes. However you can still use Springpad on your computer/laptop offline by using Chrome extension. Get the extension here.
If you are looking for accessibility and 100% reliability, then using Evernote will be a better choice. Evernote allows you to access notes while offline. You can add stuff, and when you re-connect to the Internet, the data will be synced.
Useful for both work and personal life. Great for sharing your task-list with colleagues, travel plans, recipes, and notes. Notes that are shared or public, can be edited or deleted with by that particular group.
You can also share your notes on social networks such as Facebook, twitter and email. Probably we’ll get a few more as the two giants fight to out-win each other.
Springpad is free, and there’s no cap in the data-usage, so no worries even if you upload lots of files eg. PDF or Powerpoint. On the other hand, Evernote (free version) caps the data limit at 60 MB monthly, which is very little in my opinion. Once you burst that limit, no more note taking for you unless you upgrade to the premium version. The premium version is ad-free and is $5/month or $45/year, with the limit bumped up to 1GB new data per month. When it comes to this factor, Springpad wins hands down. However paying for premium with get you something that Springpad doesn’t have.
4. Searching within PDFs and Images
Evernote premium versions comes with OCR technology that allows the user to search for words on photos such as wine bottles, street signs, receipts, images, PDF, etc. If this is your work habit or you are simply a search-freak, then you may want to consider paying for this feature alone. Pretty useful when you have lots of notes, and you want to search everything including images for all related information. However if you organize your files, folders, and notes using tags and notebooks, it should work fine.
5. Barcode Recognition
I love this feature. Springpad allows you to scan barcodes. Whenever I see a bottle of wine, a PSP game, or book that I’m interested in, I just need to scan the code, and voila!, all the information appears and I just add the note in. For books, you’ll see details such as sources (e.g. Amazon), the author, price, cover (paperback), and a short description of the book. This feature is not available on Evernote.
6. Collaboration & Setting Privacy
The Collaboration feature released by Springpad in May-2012 is awesome. Using this neat feature, I have created travel checklists and itinerary together with friends. After working collectively to create notes/documents, or lists (e.g. best movies), you can even make the notebook public for individuals with the same interests as you. Not available on Evernote.
7. Speed on Mobile Devices
After Springpad had a major revamp, the loading of the notebooks is too slow. On a PC, the speed difference isn’t big between Evernote and Springpad. However, Springpad makes up for it, by improving on the intelligence of its Quick Add Bar. It tries to guess and suggest relevant actions depending on what you typed.
Tasks: Call, Remind, Remember, Confirm, Get, Don’t Forget… and many more!
Events: Meet, Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast… We’ll also set the start time based on what you type in.
Alarms: Remind, Alarm, Email… and many more!
Last edited: May-24, 2012. To be revised when there are new updates again.
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