Using OneNote with Nextcloud instead of OneDrive

I was motivated to stop using OneDrive to store and sync OneNote between computers 1) in order to “own” my notes utilizing my own NextCloud server 2) To resolve the 5 GB limit for free OneDrive.

I have went to the Internet in order to find commentaries on doing what I have done and found that there was surprisingly little information about using OneNote with NextCloud (as opposed to OneDrive). I am starting this discussion because there are likely others who would also like to make this transition to Nextcloud from OneDrive.

Other then not owning the data and dealing with the 5 GB limit, I have been pleased with the performance of OneDrive. I have now been living with the transfer from OneDrive to Nextcloud of my OneNote data for about 6 months.

Here are the disadvantages I have experienced so far:

  1. I experience a lot of conflicting pages in OneNote that don’t seem to get automatically resolved. It has not been easy to detect what is in conflict between pages inside of OneNote (maybe I am unaware of a OneNote feature that helps with reviewing conflicts). The issue is not so bad as to disuade you from making the leap from OneDrive to Nextcloud, but it is an annoying problem I have not been able to remedy.
  2. Onedrive and Iphone allowed me to utilize a OneNote app to actually see my notes on my Iphone. So far, haven’t figured out how to connect the OneNote app to the Nextcloud files, but I suspect that Microsoft has desiged the OneNote app to ONLY look at OneDrive.

The advantages:

  1. Certainly haven’t had issues with the 5GB limit as I have far surpassed that after my transition from OneDrive.
  2. Synchronizing between computers works fairly well with the exception of the conflicts mentioned above.

My motivation to publicize my experience has only risen to do this post, not to actually do a youtube video of the installation and setup. However, I mention this because it would be a good youtube video for someone to do as I would think there are others like me who are attempting to use OneNote with Nextcloud.

Have you had any thoughts or experiences or questions regarding using OneNote with Nextcloud instead of OneDrive. Given the current vacancy of information on the internet regarding this topic, I encourage you to comment and reply here.

1 Like

I am revisiting this topic with this forum in order to nudge the topic. I am surprised no one, to date, has commented on this topic of using OneNote and Nextcloud instead of OneNote and OneDrive. The issues I relayed in my original note remain.

I’ll remind the reader that I am using OneNote and have to continue to use OneNote because that is where the “application” is built that I want to use. I have no intention of myself trying to rebuild this “application” outside of OneNote. So, I am not looking for alternative note applications, I actually want to use NextCloud with OneNote.

The amount of conflicts is nearly unmanageable given the way NextCloud presents these conflicts. It seems like if NextCloud could at least enhance the way conflicts are dealt with, that would go a long way in making NextCloud a viable alternative to OneDrive.

Hi @godfearer

I don’t think that Nextcloud can do much in this regard. For Nextcloud the OneNote notebooks are only visible as a single file. But in fact these files are more comparable to a database, where OneNote continuisley writes to. In order for OneNote to sync properly to Nextcloud, OneNote would have to support webDAV as a storage backend. But for obvious reasons, Microsoft would rather have you using OneDrive. And they will hardly ever make an effort to improve integrations with 3rd party services.

1 Like

Hi @godfearer
I found your topic because I am looking to resolve the same issue.
I am forced to keep one email address with Microsoft in order to use OneDrive.
I had a few Hotmail email addresses, even my main account which I had to delete because of spams, hacks and security issues, unfortunately Microsoft’s team doesn’t help or responds to users in order to resolve such threats.
So I would be interested to find an alternate solution to sync OneNote with my NextCloud server and keep my data @Home.
thank you

Hi rony. I am still “experimenting” with nextcloud, but so far, the experiment has resulted in poor performance. I am currently counting on some things from syncing of OneNote and for those notebooks that were syncing to nextcloud, I was just getting too many conflicts which, in OneNote, creates a separate OneNote page which makes a mess of things. To add insult to the injury, the Nextcloud clients have a terrible interface and a challenging tool set to resolve the conflicts and sync errors. If the NextCloud client could have handled processing of errors and conflicts better, then I could have probably lived with having all my OneNote notebooks stored on NextCloud. As it is, I have given up for the moment, though I am still testing. I am really disappointed to have to give up because it means I have to go back to OneDrive and I have more than 5GB of data I am using so I have to buy a OneDrive subscription.

While I am impressed with the basics of Nextcloud, I am a little perplexed at what the developers are morphing Nextcloud into with the features they have been adding. I am ok with the features, but WebDav would seem like a core feature they would be focusing on since it could similarly spark FOSS OneNote alternatives. Thanks for the reply and I encourage you to add more about your experience here since I’ll bet there are more people than just you and I who have been trying to make NextCloud work with OneNote.

1 Like

Microsoft is the one to blame here. Nextcloud does support WebDAV just fine. Windows and Microsoft’s apps do support it poorly or not at all anymore, like the current OneNote app from the MS store.

WebDAV is a core feature of Nextcloud. But obvously not for Microsoft, when you looking at how poorly it is integrated into their operating system and applications. It doesn’t even work smoothly with their own products like SharePoint. Sync conflicts are a common issue, even when your entire software stack is based on MS products, and not only with OneNote, but also with Office documents.

But yeah, your best bet to make it work, at least most of the time, is to connect Nextcloud to Windows via WebDAV and access the Notebooks via the WebDAV share and not using the SyncClient. But this will probably only work with older versions of OneNote, the ones which were real desktop apps and not just a frontend for their cloud service.

4 Likes

Hi @rony & @godfearer, you should probably better ask Microsoft that they support Nextcloud, an open source project, rather than ask Nextcloud to better integrate a closed source application. :thinking:

Simultaneously with the decision to use Nextcloud, I immediately looked for alternatives for my everyday tasks. Sometimes there are no really good alternatives, then you just have to change your own way of working or organizing things. My two cents… :man_shrugging:

Thanks for posting this comment @bb77 . I am fresh to NextCloud and I’m not a very technically savvy person. I just installed NextCloud on a Ubuntu PC on my home network (not accessible outside my firewall) as I just want to us it at home.

Is there any blog post that provide more detailed steps on how to do what you mentioned above? If not, could you please elaborate how I would go about configuring what you’ve mentioned above? Being a newbie, I’m just not sure where to start.

Like @godfearer and @rony , I too am a OneNote user and would like to give this a try and see if I can get this to work so I can migrate away from using OneDrive.

Thank you.

Hi @JMLatNC ,
You probably did not read well my post: unfortunately Microsoft’s team doesn’t help or responds to users
So I can spend my whole life asking, so posting here is one of the alternatives that you seem best to know.
It would be more helpful to post a solution than just criticize, this is not really constructive for the time being, thank you anyway for your 2cents.

1 Like