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Google vs. Zoho for Handouts: Reader Feedback

Zoho Notebook vs. Google Notebook for Handouts: Which Would You Use?

Google_notebook_sampleI'm prepping for the webinar I'm doing on Using Free Tools to Create an Online Portfolio for Work or School on March 27 and was looking for the best way to create my handouts. I knew I wanted to do something online because there were a lot of samples to share, so I started thinking about my options.

Initially I was going to set up a wiki, but then I saw some samples using Google Notebook that I really liked. It seemed like it would be an easy way to pull together various resources and create links for people to be able to check out later, so I started working in that. You can see a sample here.

As I kept going, though, it felt like one big long screen scroll. I had a lot of info to cover and it felt like it might overwhelm people if it appeared for them in a long list, rather than in smaller chunks, even with the Table of Contents. I also thought that the layout was a little boring. Zoho_notebook_sample_2

Then, Zoho Notebook popped into my head. I'd experimented with it a long time ago, but had never really gone back to it. What I liked was that it would allow me to create individual pages and the look and feel was a little more attractive than the plain Jane Google Notebook. You can go here to see a sample I created.

Now I'm wondering which is the better tool to use. Zoho Notebook looks more attractive to me and I like the way that you can embed web pages directly into the notebook. With Google Notebook you can only create the links. But I'm also wondering if Zoho is harder for people to navigate--the scrolling between each page isn't entirely intuitive, nor is the scrolling on individual pages. Depending on what you put into a Zoho page, you're actually dealing with different frames and for some people that can be really confusing.

What do you think? If you were going to be getting online handouts, would you prefer a Google Notebook or a Zoho Notebook version?  Drop me a line in comments if you have some specific thoughts or just answer using the poll. And if you have some other ideas, hit me with those.


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Which would I prefer? I'm not sure. The Google Notebook is certainly easier to read and digest... so I'd probably go with that...

The Zoho notebook was a little chaotic and tricky to navigate.

Love this idea! My vote is for Zoho. I think the tab navigation is super simple and I like the ability to embed items. Is there an option for a printable version from Zoho? That would be really nice if it could be done.

I liked Zoho better--more "digestible." The only issue I ran into was that for the samples, the descriptive text about the sample was actually on top of the sample, so it was hard to read. Might be a browser issue?

Of course I was hoping that there would be a clear consensus, but I have a 50/50 split in polling here, plus two votes for Google and 2 for Zoho (one for Google came to me via email). So basically I'm back where I started. :-)

Claudia--I think you're right that the text issue may be a browser thing. My other option is to use the "comments" feature, but then I have to make sure that people know to go to comments to find that.

I actually considered doing a screencast showing how to navigate, but then I thought, "Does this say something about the tool if I have to show people how to use it?"

@Mike--you bring up a good point. There isn't a good way to print from Zoho because it uses frames, which is a definite down side. I was actually going to do a separate printable version if the Zoho interface was clearly superior, but I'm not sure that it's SO much better that it makes up for the fact that I have to do a separate version to print. At least with Google, although it isn't as pretty, the printable option is there. That may just tip me over to Google.

Darn. I was loving the Zoho and was going to give it my vote. I really didn't think the navigation was difficult. However, when I got to Sarah, Aaron, and Shari's examples....kahpooey. I had the same issue with the overlapping text. Boo hoo because Zoho is so much more attractive. Plus, I like it that everything is above the fold.

Michele, I liked Zoho too except for that problem on the samples page. If that can be fixed, my vote is for Zoho. Otherwise, I'm a Google Girl.

Shari :-)

Thank you for your comments on Zoho Notebook. We had the overlapping text issue which was fixed in the recent update.


Michele, I liked the embedded web pages in Zoho, but I encountered two problems. On my Mac using Firefox there was the overlapping text issue mentioned above, and using Safari Zoho would not load at all. It's looking like Google is it for now.

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