Replacing OneNote

Ok so I’ve used OneNote for years because it was free with O365. But I’m loving what I’m building on Coda. I have some concerns though so maybe someone can help here.

  1. OneNote has a desktop and a web version so I feel like I have a little more control and that if OneNote web crashed I’d still have all my data on the desktop at least until I synced. But things go into the deleted folder so easy to recover.

  2. Size – I’ve not found any size limitations to OneNote. I have notes on every book I’ve read, videos I’ve watched, etc. I have notebooks for each subject for school for my children in our homeschool, etc.

  3. Automation through Power Automate works and doesn’t cost me any more money. Sometimes it’s ugly to build, and not my favorite platform but if I create a new page I can have it add a link to my calendar, send me an email, all sorts of things and it costs me no extra per month to do so.

Ok. But I love Coda, I love the tables, I love the automation that is in it, buttons are great. So what I’d like to do is move all my OneNote notes to Coda and get rid of OneNote completely.

But I worry about losting data. Some of my OneNote data doesn’t exist outside of OneNote so how do you back up Coda automatically?

I also worry if Coda can handle it. I see that I could do cross doc so I could make a new doc for what I have as different notebooks in OneNote and then make some master page in my primary doc to link to all those separate docs and that might keep me from hitting some size limit that would make it slow.

But I’m concerned that the cross doc won’t be enough because it says I have to pay more to get actions to work cross doc. I can’t afford more. Single mother, 6 kids, homeschooling, not working until the last one turns 18 so we have a tight budget.

If I put all my info into ONE doc will that doc get too slow to be useful? Will I need to pull out each year’s data and store it separately to keep it from getting slow?

Right now I have basically a planner built and put a record into several tables for each day, tracking various things. No row has a lot of data in it but there should be 365 rows at the end of each year. I’d like to be able to analyze things and see how I did in a particular week, month or even year or compare from one year to the next so having all my data in the same table is preferred and if I have to break it out by year to keep it from growing too large that would be a problem.

If I move all my data from OneNote how secure is it? How do I auto backup? what happens if Coda collapses and I lost everything?

Automation with coda and Zapier works really well but I cannot afford the $30 a month to pay Zapier to get more than 5 zaps. I would love to get Zapier included with Coda or get Coda’s api to work with IFTTT which is much cheaper than zapier and I can afford since they just did a set your price for life for their new pro option.

So should I wait longer and just leave my old stuff sitting out in OneNote until Coda grows up a little more and there is some cheaper automation option available? Right now I’m posting links of things into Coda from OneNote so that I can access my data there but it is annoying to always be going back and forth. In Coda I could just search for something I had done in the past just like in OneNote. I want to make Code like my personal life management tool and keep it open all day and everything I do gets recorded in there.

So…thoughts, ideas, comments? How big can one doc get in Coda? When you open a doc does it load the entire thing into memory or does it just load the page you open?

Also web usage is a concern as I live and travel fulltime in an RV so I only have cellular internet. Although I have a grandfathered, unlimited Verizon plan at any moment Verizon could cancel that on me so I try to keep my data usage below a certain point. If it’s constantly loading the entire doc each time I open it, putting more into it would cause more data usage. If, however, it only loads the actual page inside the doc that’s not bad.

Thank you for your input to help me make the best, informed decision I can.

1 Like

These are some good questions, which I have as well. Especially regarding single doc size and performance.

As far as automations are concerned, have you looked at Integromat? It’s my service of choice.

@Sarah_Arminta no I haven’t used that one. Does it play well with Microsoft as well as Google? That’s always my challenge. Microsoft is so cheap for me that we use it for email but Google has some good calendar functions so I wind up duplicating my calendars across both Google and Microsoft so I can use whichever is easier. But the email is always O365 and some apps don’t play well with Microsoft. :frowning: I dream of a day where everyone in the IT world works together rather than trying to force you into their systems. I’m going to check it out. Thanks for pointing it out.

:thinking: possible, @Susan_M_Davis, but please pursue with your eyes wide open

“people keep thinking information management is easy or should be easy, but the truth is, it just isn’t” - William Porter (2020-01-29)


Schema Design (click to expand)

All note taking applications (OneNote/Evernote/Google Keep/Notion/Roam/etc.) have boundaries on their functionality. When a user reaches the boundaries it may be frustrating especially when comparing to other apps. If you move your personal information management (P.I.M.) system to Coda it is a double edged sword – you gain flexibility but you are now solely responsible for designing a schema that won’t lead you down a canyon with no outlet (input speed/retrieval speed/sharing limitations/search limitations/etc.)
Maria works at Coda and is has videos about this topic


Coda is a Doc (click to expand)

Paul is a freelance designer often using Coda and is passionate about this topic


Coda Performance Expectations (click to expand)

Ben works at Coda and is passionate about this topic


Bonus (click to expand)

Angad works at Coda and is passionate about this topic


Did you ever end up switching from OneNote to Coda for notetaking?

I did. I switched everything, built even more and have been tracking everything in it for months. I am loving what I built.

Now I’m trying to see if I can take my web site and blog over to Coda.

1 Like

I bounced between TheBrain and OneNote. Then searched around for a bit, including MIRO (still use it to draw schemas. Then found Notion, loved it, found CODA, and bounced between Notion and CODA for a bit. Were always a little troubled with the tables in Notion, and whe I wanted to do something serious, tried it in Notion, got stuck, got it done very easily in CODA, and will stay with CODA going forward. But also using Prezi.

1 Like

@Piet_Strydom @Susan_M_Davis how did you convert all of your notes in OneNote to Coda? I would like to transfer 6 notebooks, each with 5-8 sections, each with ~20 pages. And it’s difficult to just C/P when data is split into different “windows” within the pages :open_mouth:

I have not yet moved everything from OneNote to Coda. I have way too much stuff in OneNote mostly printed docs.

I did, however move some of them by just linking to the Google document. Seems to integrate well.

I have 12 years of notes from books, conferences, classes and I have no idea how to move that or if I want to move that. Since many of these conferences I attend yearly don’t have internet available and OneNote works offline, I’m not sure moving them would be the right thing to do.

I do some linking between OneNote and Coda. I keep a dream journal and a journal in OneNote but don’t write daily in them. On days I do, I link the items back to my daily routine.

Did not convert. Most of the information is related to projects that I work on. (I am a SAP consultant.) When the project is over, it does not make any sense to convert the info.