Show Notes: Over the years I’ve talked a lot about how to use Evernote and Snagit. Both are amazing tools for research and make it easy to do web clipping. If you’ve been wondering what the difference is between these two powerful tools, or if you haven’t and you’re trying to figure out which one you should start using, you’re in the right place. Today we’re doing a head-to-head comparison of Evernote and Snagit (with a focus on web clipping) and figuring out which one is best for you and your genealogy research.
I got an email from one of our Premium Members named Nancy, and she says, “Can you help me understand why I would need Evernote and Snagit? I have both installed on my computer, but need to spend time becoming proficient in both. If they duplicate one another wouldn’t want to spend time learning both if Snagit is superior.”
This is a really smart question because like the old saying, time is money. And in the case of genealogy, time is ancestors! No one wants to stop and learn yet another tech tool if they don’t have to. So, let’s look at Evernote vs. Snagit, in a head-to-head comparison, and dig into their strengths and weaknesses. If you have both, this will also help you decide what to use in any given situation.
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Comparing What They Can Do
Evernote is a cloud-based notetaking tool that includes a web clipper.
Snagit is a screen capture / AKA web clipper tool.
So, first and foremost the thing they have in common is that they both can capture all or a portion of content that appears on your computer screen. You can clip exactly the part you want and save it as an image for future reference or use.
That’s a pretty simplified description – but essentially, web clipping is the common denominator. But from there, they diverge.
Evernote is primarily a note taking tool. It takes all kinds of notes (audio, photo, video, documents, web clipping, typed, handwritten.) All notes are added to it, and you work in it like a workstation where you can organize and quickly search and retrieve your notes. It can apply OCR to your screen captured notes, making them keyword searchable and editable. Evernote allows you to instantly access your notes from any device that you are signed into your account.
Snagit is primarily a screen capture tool. In fact, it’s screen capture on steroids compared to Evernote. It’s not a place to store notes, but it’s a fantastic way to web-clip or capture information, edit, annotate and manipulate it, save it, and use it in other programs (and we’ll talk more about that in a moment.) Snagit can capture both images and video of content on the web, and it can do other things like use OCR to convert the text that appears in the web content you’re clipping as an image and turn it into editable text. When you web clip with Snagit, you are creating an image. That image must be saved to a cloud service like Dropbox in order to be able to access the note from all your devices.
You can learn a lot more about what these two tools do in my other videos:
You’ll find many more videos on Evernote and Snagit at Genealogy Gems Videos page under Technology.
Another thing they have in common is that they are both software programs.
Evernote: In addition to being able to use it as a software program on your computer, you can also use Evernote on your mobile device by downloading the app from your app store. You can also use it on any computer by simply signing into your account at Evernote.com. That being said, the software is preferred over the website because it resides on your computer and is faster.
Cost: About $9/monthly or about $80 for the yearly subscription ($6.67 / MONTH).
There is a free version, but you can only use it on 2 devices, it doesn’t include OCR and there are very strict limits on storage, which we’ll address in just a moment. If you’re going to use Evernote for your research and other things, you’re going to need the yearly subscription.
Snagit: Snagit is software that you download to your computer (whether desktop or laptop.) You can buy it as a stand alone purchase, or you can also purchase an ongoing maintenance subscription which provides you with upgrades. There is not mobile app.
Cost: About $64 for one software license + 1 year maintenance (free upgrade). You don’t have to pay for ongoing maintenance.
Conclusion: Unless the free version of Evernote is adequate for your needs, Snagit it more economical. 10 months of Evernote on-going subscription would cover the cost of the one-time purchase of Snagit. However, if you need all the features of Evernote, then go for the yearly subscription to keep the cost down.
Storage and Retention
Because Evernote is a subscription, this brings up the question of whether you can use your notes after you stop subscribing. And storage limits are also a concern.
Snagit: No storage limits. All the content you capture is stored on your computer, not the cloud. It’s yours forever. There’s no limit to how much you can clip or create.
Evernote: Evernote does store your notes on your computer, but it also stores them in the Evernote cloud. While Evernote doesn’t have an overall storage limit, it does have limits on how much you can create each month. There is a free version that allows you to 60 MB of monthly uploads. This is talking about the size of your notes. If you add photographs to Evernote, you’re going to use that up very quickly. There’s also a 25 MB maximum note size limit. No note or clipping can be larger than 25MB. With the subscription you get 10 GB of monthly uploads (which would be pretty hard to max out) and the note size limit is 200 MB.
Conclusion: You’ll need the yearly subscription to really be able to use Evernote for genealogy. And while there are limits, you’re likely never to reach them. And you can use it offline because notes are on your computer.
Snagit has no limits and stores only on your computer unless you share your content to other sources. And that brings us to comparing how these tools allow you to export your content. In other words, can you get stuff out that you put into it?
The necessity for an ongoing subscription to Evernote brings up to the next important comparison: how can you export and use your web-clippings and in the case of Evernote other types of notes?
Evernote: Not easy. You can export your notes as the Evernote file format called ENEX or as HTML, which is used in structuring web pages. Keep in mind that web clippings are image files, and we normally need image files in JPEG or PNG format to be able to use them in a variety of other programs.
Snagit: Easy. You can export your clippings in countless ways. Pretty much all major file types are supported. You can easily add content directly to a large number of popular programs such as Word, PowerPoint and even Evernote! So, if you’re writing a family history story or book and you want to clip something on the web and include it, Snagit can send it right to your document with just a click.
Conclusion: If you need to be able to easily get web clippings and captured content out of the program and use it in other ways, use Snagit. If you want to keep your clippings and notes all in one place and be able to keep them organized and find them easily, use Evernote.
When it comes to sharing content with other researchers or your family, both Evernote and Snagit do a great job in their own way.
Evernote: Each note has a convenient Share button that allows you to invite other people to view just that note. It also gives you a unique link to the note that can be shared. And you can email notes. You can also put a group of notes into a notebook and then share the entire notebook. You can control whether the person being shared with can just view the notes or if they can edit them. So, it does facilitate collaboration by allowing you both to edit the same note. That permission can also be turned off. That all being said, Evernote is really a tool for you, and it’s not focused on sharing as a priority, or on sharing in order to be able to publish the content in many other ways.
Snagit: With Snagit, if you want to share with someone else to collaborate, you’ll need to send it to them, either by email or shared cloud storage. They can then edit the item in their Snagit software and send it back. So, it doesn’t offer the ability to collaborate quite as easily as Evernote. However, Snagit’s sharing and publishing capability is one of its greatest strengths and priorities. Just click Share in the menu and you’ll have the ability to save the content as a file to your computer, email it to someone, upload it to your own website, your printer, a wide range of software programs and cloud storage services, and yes, even to Evernote!
Conclusion: If you want to share with other people, both tools can do the job, although Evernote inches ahead because it facilitates both people being able to edit the same note within Evernote. If you want to share your content for use in other programs and publish it in other ways, Snagit is the best choice.
Evernote vs. Snagit Conclusions
After a head-to-head comparison, we’ve discovered that your selection between these two tools depends on your task and your goals:
Use Evernote if you want to be able to:
- keep all your work in one place organized and searchable
- create a wide variety of notes such as audio, video, web clippings, PDFs, typed notes, etc.
- have OCR automatically applied to web clippings and images
- collaborate with other people on your notes
- easily create notes on mobile
Use Snagit if you want to:
- create high-quality web clippings and videos in universally usable file formats that are exportable
- create web-clippings of hard to capture content like wide screen family trees, and information that appears further down a web page that you can’t see all on the screen at the same time
- be able manipulate your content with annotations or drop it into project templates
- easily export your captured content into a variety of other programs
- not have to pay an ongoing subscription.
Another way of looking at it is that Evernote is more of a final destination for content you’re collecting, and Snagit is a content collector that makes it easy to use that content wherever you need it.
If you want to have one place to store and use a wide variety of notes including web clippings, Evernote is the best choice. If you want full flexibility in capturing and creating online content and using it in other programs and projects, Snagit is the best choice. I like to use them in combination. I keep my genealogy and other notes organized in Evernote, and then I use Snagit to capture web content exactly the way I want it and send it into Evernote as needed. And I use both programs for a whole lot more than just genealogy! I clip recipes, projects and ideas, and I use Snagit for all the images I create for Genealogy Gems.
How do you use Evernote and Snagit?
Please leave a comment below.
- Downloadable ad-free Show Notes handout for Premium Members.
- BONUS: Evernote vs. Snagit Comparison Cheat Sheet for Premium Members.
- More videos on Evernote and Snagit at Genealogy Gems Videos page under Technology.