I have been an avid OneNote user for as long as I can remember. This is especially true after I took the cloud leap and began heavily using Microsoft OneDrive, thanks to my Microsoft 365 home subscription that comes with all the Microsoft applications I need, plus 1 TB of storage for each member of my family. As you may already know, OneNote is free for anyone to use, but the fact that I could so easily store all of my information, attachments, pictures, and everything else on OneDrive (which syncs seamlessly with OneNote) meant that I was using it more than ever.
Against my better judgment, I spent weeks transcribing and scanning all of my paper files to OneNote. I cleaned out my iOS notes, email, and trello boards. Everything that could be stored within OneNote was moved there with the intention of making my digital life more organized. Before long, I had a shiny new notebook for all of my Color My Life project ideas and information. It was organized beautifully with every single idea, project timeline, prototype, and research bookmark ready for me to use.
I was feeling more organized and productive than ever. That is, until I tried to open the Color My Life notebook only to discover that it had somehow corrupted and been wiped clean. I’m talking…
I checked the deleted notes. Nothing. Archives? Nothing. I spent days searching and trying to find some sort of explanation or solution, to no avail. All of that time, energy, and hard work was gone in an instant.
Fortunately, I am in the habit of backing up my information every 2-3 weeks. Because of this, I was able to access my backups and retrieve about half of what I had lost. The day that I finally gave up on the rest of my missing information, I decided to jump ship and pay for Evernote because I felt like I just couldn’t trust OneNote to keep my notes safe.
Now, to be honest, I have no intention of throwing Microsoft or its products under the bus. I never had a problem like this in the past or I wouldn’t have taken the risk of keeping all my information in one place. It’s possible that I just got very unlucky or I discovered a bug that no one else seems to have had an issue with. I still stand behind OneNote in saying that it is a fantastic application and if you haven’t spent much time with it, you may be missing out.
If you decide to use OneNote, or any digital note-taking application for that matter, I would strongly advise you to back up any information that you feel is important. Make a habit out of creating and updating your backups as frequently as possible, preferably more frequently than what I was doing. My experience would have been a lot more painful if I had lost everything instead of just half.