In Search of Ideal Cloud for OneNote Sync

all clouds

 

You know we’ve recently released Outline v.2.5 for iPad. This update has been long awaited, as it contains SkyDrive sync. How is it different from other kinds of synchronization? Will you benefit if you switch to SkyDrive? -these are just one of the most frequently asked questions Outline users are interested in. To make it clear we decided to provide you with some brief comparison of the three online cloud storage services we currently support. So here we go:

Dropbox

Pros:

  • Better file backups in the cloud. You can restore any of the previous versions
  • A wide range of platforms: Web, Windows, Mac, iOS
  • You can use it with OneNote 2007
  • Can share notebooks with others

Cons:

  • When sharing a notebook cannot restrict access to read-only
  • Bad for simultaneous edits of the same section on different devices (conflicted copies)
  • Non optimal for bulky sections. Entire file is transmitted when changed.
  • Requires additional software on PC
  • 2 GB of free storage

Box

Pros:

  • 5 GB of free storage (every personal account is provided with 5 GB of space)
  • Sophisticated Enterprise cloud (security, authorization and authentication features that your company IT admins will love). This doesn’t mean it can be used by Enterprises. Box has three types of account – Business, Enterprise and Personal.
  • Reliable. Better file backups in the cloud. You can restore any of the previous versions
  • Works across various platforms (modify your data on Windows, Mac, iOS)
  • You can use it with OneNote 2007
  • Can share notebooks with others. Can select type of access: read-only or full.

Cons:

  • Bad for simultaneous edits of the same section on different devices (conflicted copies)
  • Non optimal for bulky sections. Entire file is transmitted when it is changed.
  • Requires additional software on a PC

SkyDrive

Pros:

  • 7 GB of free storage (SkyDrive is the only cloud storage service which offers more free storage space than the other two)
  • Built-in OneNote 2010/2013. No additional Software is needed on a PC
  • Incremental updates. Only changes are transmitted over the network
  • Works across various platforms (modify your data on Windows, Mac, iOS)
  • Optimized for simultaneous editing of the same section on different devices.
  • Has OneNote Web app in which you can view and edit your notebooks stored in the cloud. No client software is needed, only web browser
  • Can share notebooks with others. Can select type of access: read-only or full.

Cons:

  • Very slow service response time. Initial notebook sync can take a long time.
  • Technology is very complex from inside, so the case of error is more likely. Generally, the more complex the technology is, the more likely errors occur.
  • More expensive if you run out of free space

Additional Note: you can see the status of SkyDrive service on this page: https://status.live.com/detail/skydrive

As it turned out, there is no perfect cloud for OneNote yet. We pinned our hopes on SkyDrive, but as statistics show, it still has some drawbacks. Mainly that’s because of the speed it synchronizes files. Anyway, our aim was to show you some benefits and downsides, as an independent party, who spent a significant amount of time implementing these sync solutions.

Outline is an app which is used by different people. We have businessmen, students, lawyers, and writers among our users. All of them use the app in their own way and prefer one of the three file hosting services for their own reasons. Tastes differ and it’s up to you which one you like best. On our part, we really did our best to provide you with a variety of them, so that you can have a choice.

Please share you experience using Outline with particular cloud. We would be happy to hear how you use Outline – what works better, what does not. This will be really helpful for the community!

18 thoughts on “In Search of Ideal Cloud for OneNote Sync

  1. One correction: Skydrive is in fact *much less expensive* if you want to upgrade space. Dropbox is $100/yr for 100gb, with no lower option. Skydrive offers smaller increments (like $10/annually for 10gb–something in that range). It’s much more cost-effective, whatever its other drawbacks.

  2. Please continue to provide a choice of syncing options. I’m always miffed when apps enforce a single method of syncing. Personally I use Dropbox for just about everything. so I’d be annoyed if I was forced to use Box or Skydrive just for this app. I’m sure that some users of Box and Skydrive feel the same way, in reverse. If you have to choose just one syncing method, use iCloud, as it doesn’t require a file-based system at all. I use some apps which sync via iCloud, while keeping my ‘files’ on Dropbox, and I have a colleague who does the same thing with Skydrive (keeps ‘files’ on Skydrive but also uses iCloud syncing for some iOS apps). Having two different ‘file systems’, though, would be messy and irritating.

    • Hey Stephen, thanks for leaving your feedback.
      Truth be told, we realize that tastes of our users differ a lot. That’s why we try to provide you with a variety of syncing options.
      We’re not going to force you to use some particular:). The other way round, in the next update we’ll implement SharePoint to expand the choice.
      Thanks for your interest. Stay tuned!

    • Vladimir, expect to release this feature this summer.
      We guess in the upcoming update along with SharePoint our users will also have improved selection and encryption:)

  3. I would prefer to utilize iCloud for synchornizing betweent the Mac version of Outline with the iPad version of Outline. I have been converting from Windows to the Mac and this is one of the most heavily used peiced of software that I use in Microsoft Office next to the core applications. I currently use SkyDrive, but since switching to using the iWork suite from Microsoft Office, I would like to rely less on Microsoft backend as well. I love the fact that you have taken the approach that the customer should choose the synchronization tool that they want to use rather than forcing customers to sign up for yet something else to keep up with.

    • That’s a great idea,indeed!Utilizing iCloud will certainly ease the whole thing.
      We will give it a thought and hopefully this feature can be integrated with time.
      Yes, we think providing users with a great variety of cloud storages is pretty helpful. We don’t mean to impose anything, we want you to choose.

  4. Why is there no Sync Option to Standard SMB Servers? With this possibility I could sync my confidential data, where I want to. For example via VPN on my company share. Best regards, Georg

    • Georg, thanks for your answer.
      Currently Outline supports such syncing methods as SkyDrive, Dropbox and Box.
      In no time SharePoint will be available as well. We regard it a truly secure and safe syncing option.
      Thanks for your suggestion. Gradually we’ll expand the number of syncing methods and we’ll consider some more options.

  5. What are the possibilities for other clouds, in particular ownCloud (owncloud.org)? OneNote is the last item outstanding in enabling me to move off of public clouds entirely as the iOS app does not support syncing to anything but SkyDrive as far as I know.

    • Thanks for your question, Brian. So far we can only consider this possibility.
      Truth be told, Outline does provide users with a variety of syncing methods. Apart from SkyDrive we offer Dropbox,Box and iTunes.
      Sharepoint support coming quite soon in the next update!

  6. I am having difficulty using Outline on my MacBook Air and iPad. I cannot get the program to sync. I have choosen Dropbox as the way to share the files, but it does not seem to work. Is there someone with whom I can speak for assistance? Thanks.

    Darlene

    • Hello Darlene, we are sorry you faced this issue. Could you please contact our customer support at support.outline.ws? Our team will definitely help to resolve this issue.

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