Why I went back to Evernote

unknownWith the recent terms of service communication snafu by Evernote this year I wanted to see if Onenote by Microsoft was a viable alternative.  I’ve been an Evernote user since April 2010 and have paid regularly for their premium offering.   I’ve also used Onenote on a somewhat regular basis through an Office 365 subscription.  I run a MacBook Pro running Sierra O/S and the latest versions of Evernote and OneNote.

When the terms of service were changed I thought it would be a good opportunity to use the new Microsoft Onenote converter tool from Evernote.  I converted a few of my most used notebooks and notes over and for a solid month tried to only use Onenote.  Here are my observations and why I decided to convert back to Evernote.

  • The importer tool did not convert 100% of the notes I needed.  I had to play with the import tool, export the notes from Evernote and then batch upload my notes.  When I got them in OneNote they didn’t convert flawlessly.  They were in page sections that were listed 1-100, 101-199, etc.  It took about 3 hours to get the layout to the point I could actually functionally use OneNote.
  • I enjoyed the text entry capabilities in OneNote. It felt more like an editor that was viable for everyday use and it mimicked the capabilities in Word more than Evernote.  I really found it great to use from an editing standpoint.
  • I found myself asking “why did it just do that?” frequently with OneNote.  When I was creating a long text document and wanted to put a text box of “ideas” to the right of my main text box.  I found it started to move my content in the main text box.  It was terribly annoying.
  • Even though Evernote and OneNote should help you not print so much paper, the reality is printing is something needed.  OneNote printing on the Mac is an absolute joke.  It doesn’t “fit to page”.  You might as well just not give the option if the output is terrible.
  • There is no ability to sort the pages by date created in OneNote.  Sort is kind of an important thing.
  • OneNote feels like it sits atop multiple Microsoft platforms.  From SharePoint to Word and OneDrive it just feels like it is stacked on top of many Microsoft platforms and it feels bloated.
  • The “experimental”features in OneNote try to mimic the left had format of Evernote, however it is an improvement, but not what I need because it continues to lack sort options. (why is this?)
  • OneNote on the mac crashes or locks about 1x or 2x per week.  Evernote rarely locks or crashes.  Like I cannot remember the last time it was unstable.
  • Tables in Evernote work much better than tables in OneNote – there are more formatting options and it is an important feature in note taking software.
  • The tags in OneNote I thought would be helpful just became annoying.  I’m sure if this was part of your workflow it might be useful, but the only one I used was “todo”.

Even though Evernote has made some bonehead decisions that they have had to change later, the reality is EverNote is still more robust and easier to use than OneNote.  I’m hopeful that EverNote will continue to develop it’s core technology, improve the editing capabilities, become a leader in security in the industry and normalize it’s leadership communication and direction.


When Worlds Collide: Healthcare & Homeless Ministry

12790452674_e7bff6f3d5_oLast night and this morning I was faced with a very frustrating situation in our attempt to help the unsheltered homeless in South Bend.  It’s one thing to write about how fantastic it is trying to do the things Jesus told us to do in Matthew 25 ( For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’), but the reality is that not every interaction ends in joy and celebration.

Last night at our Weather Amnesty shelter an individual arrived who was medically challenged.  I’ll leave off the details to protect privacy, but the individual was in a skilled nursing facility in another town prior to refusing treatment and walking away from that facility and getting a bus ride to South Bend.  Now This isn’t unique to South Bend as it happens all over the country. The individual grew up in South Bend, however no longer has relatives close and no family support system to lean on.  It was the city he knew.  He wanted to be free and to have independence.  He didn’t come to “mooch off the services of the  city”, rather in a passionate move to gain freedom from being constantly cared for, he left his primary care facility to do something he wanted to do.  He refused treatment.

Since being in the city for just a few days he has spent time in the hospital as well as time in our weather amnesty facility.  He is incredibly polite, respectful and has no mental issues that I could determine in the short amount of time that I met with him.  He has a deep desire to have freedom and be more self supportive.  But based on what I saw, that is going to be challenging at best.   I feel like the canary in the coal mine.  I’ve had a conversation with the local hospital and other homeless facilities in town in an effort to coordinate a plan.  I cannot imagine working on situations like this without a coordinated effort. I am beyond blessed to have worked 20 years in healthcare locally and have a fantastic relationship with the other homeless agencies in town, however I’m concerned….

As I recall my time in healthcare administration our guest is likely at risk for being a frequent visitor to expensive emergency hospital care. You cannot make someone receive treatment.  You cannot force a solution on someone who still has the capability to make choices for themselves.  This ends up being incredibly expense and frustrating. You can find countless articles about the expense to a hospital (and community) related to homeless medical expenses. (Here is an example) This was one reason six years ago we starting Project WARM (www.projectwarmsb.org) to keep the unsheltered homeless in a safe location outside of the local hospital emergency room.  Our goal was to develop a relationship with the unsheltered homeless, share the love of Jesus with them and get them to a next step in their life.  Over the last six years we have seen incredible stories of success, but today’s example is a heartbreaking reality when someone refuses help.

The reality is our guest this morning needed something deeper.  He desperately desires “meaning” in his life and “independence”.  Two things that even in a skilled nursing facility someone can find, but seemingly were not provided to him.  When he gets placed again (hopefully soon) in a skilled facility, without someone addressing a basic desire of “What’s the meaning of my life” he likely will not be content and could refuse treatment again.

From a ministry standpoint he needs to have a relationship with Jesus.  He needs to know what “love” is – he’s never experienced it in a meaningful way.  He can find meaning in who God made him to be, but that can take time. It is difficult to convey and show the love of Jesus when someone refuses treatment, refuses good advice and is in a emergent homeless situation.

I was able to pray for him this morning and suggest a next step….. But I’m still frustrated….

That frustration reminded me this morning of Matthew 26:11 where Jesus pointed out that  “The poor you will always have with you…”.  Likely this was a reference to Deuteronomy 15:11 “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land”.

So while I’m frustrated, I’m not giving up.  We are commanded to be openhanded toward the poor.  We are not commanded to be openhanded until you get frustrated and then give up and walk away.  The reality is for every individual who refuses a healthy next step, there are more who take steps to recovery and health.  As I write this I’m reminded of the individual listening to everything going on this morning at our shelter who said that he was looking for a job today and was ready to get off the streets.  I’m reminded of the gentleman last week who told us that he stopped drinking two weeks ago and had been sober longer than he had been in years.   I’m pressing on….