On a search for a notes app

I've been an Office 365 subscriber until lately, when I decided to jump ships to Google One, mainly due to my wife needing more drive space and her reluctance to switch emails to an outlook email. Google One got some cheap plans with an option to share the allotted space with other gmail accounts.

Now, with that said, this would certainly affect my OneNote usage, which has been my preferred go-to note taking app on both the phone and in my mac. This gave me an opportunity to "jump ship" to Notion, using up the remaining cash that would've been spent with an annual Office 365 subscription (Google One's subscription is around 25% of my Office 365 Personal subscription).

Notion

One complaint that I had with OneNote was the lack of a decent code-highlighting block or extension. Notion, on the other hand, supports code blocks and supports typing in markdown which I prefer, as this is how my blogs are written.

I decided to transfer almost everything to Notion, which went well. But I did hit a road block... When I traveled up north to my wife's province to attend a funeral, I realized one glaring flaw of Notion: The lack of offline support. I couldn't start up the app at all without internet. It would've been understandable if I had to launch a browser and navigate to their website, but this wasn't what I expected for a desktop application.

OneNote on the other hand had some pretty decent offline support, wherein the only limitation in offline mode is that I could not add or delete notebooks. That is fine as most of the time, I find my self only adding new pages or sections. The app would then proceed to sync up once I get back online, which is exactly what I expect for a desktop application.

A quick googling lead me to a Notion article that did admit that this is one of their limitations right now, and proceeded to commit that this would improve on later versions of the app.

But as I've been traveling to places without decent data connection on my phone (which I sometimes use as a hotspot for my mac), I figured out that offline support is a must-have feature for my next notes-taking app.

Google Keep

Since this whole search was triggered from me switching to Google One, I thought of trying out Google Keep instead. I've used it in my phone before, but not that quite intensive on a desktop environment. Well, as should've expected, the main issue with google is that in the desktop, everything is a web application. With that said, accessing keep.google.com wouldn't work if I do not have any internet connection.

They have a chrome app with offline support though, but I couldn't figure out why some of my contents that I could access in keep.google.com aren't showing up in the chrome app.

But their mobile apps is decent, and I am inclined to stick with google keep as a quick-notes app. It also works even if I do not have any internet connection :D

Evernote

I was inclined to also try out Evernote, and it felt very similar to OneNote. I thought of switching over to Evernote for my personal private blog, but the plan comparison table made me decide against it. I say, sticking with Microsoft OneNote for my personal private blog would be better rather than moving to Evernote with a monthly limit on uploads.

Conclusion

After trying out 3 different apps, I decided that my bookmarks, study notebook, and other programming related notes would go to Notion, as there's a very high chance that I would need internet anyway when I am working on programming related activities.

As for my notes taking, I'll stick with google keep, using my phone as a fallback if in case I got no internet connection.

Personal blogs will remain in OneNote, although I'm thinking of using Typora + Google Drive for that instead. I'll have to get a feel of it first if the 5GB OneDrive limit is too limiting. I like to blog in Notion too due to their markdown support, but my recent travel to a place with bad internet connection when I had an urge to blog made Notion as an unreliable offline blogging app since I usually shut down my laptop when I plan to drive on long trips.

Others

I also used to rely on Microsoft Outlook as my desktop email client and Microsoft Excel as my spreadsheet software. Good thing that I'm on a Mac and there's a "free" fancy email client called as Spark which I am now using as an Outlook replacement. I was also able to connect my work email's calendars to it just like Outlook.

I do not really need Microsoft Excel either, since Google sheets would just serve me just fine. If in case I do need a spreadsheet software that I can use without the internet, I can always fallback to Apple's built-in Numbers application.