OneNote vs. Evernote: A personal take on two great note-taking apps

What’s the king of the note-taking apps?There are two main contenders for the crown: Microsoft’s OneNote and the impartial Evernote. Launched in 2003, OneNote was added to the Microsoft Workplace suite (most variations of which are actually referred to as Microsoft 365) in 2007. OneNote is now additionally bundled with Home windows 10 and 11 and supplied free of charge as a standalone product.Evernote launched in 2008 and has loved steadily growing consumer numbers since then; the corporate says it has 225 million customers worldwide. (Microsoft hasn’t launched consumer numbers for OneNote, however between Microsoft 365 and Home windows 10 and 11, greater than a billion customers seemingly have a model of it put in on their machines.)OneNote and Evernote can be found for all the key desktop and cell OSes, they’ll every sync your notes to your whole gadgets and the net, and each promise to be the one note-taking app you want. However in addition they have some very distinct variations. So which is healthier for enterprise customers?I’m a longtime consumer of each purposes, so I’ve taken a have a look at the most recent model of every for Home windows, macOS, iPad, iPhone, and Android. This isn’t a deep-dive evaluation, however relatively a private have a look at what I like and don’t very similar to about every — and the details of distinction between the 2. I spend extra time on the Home windows model of every, however I’ll notice similarities and variations in different variations as properly.Word that after a number of years of Microsoft complicated everybody by having three totally different variations of OneNote, there may be now just one model that the corporate will proceed to replace, referred to as OneNote for Home windows. (OneNote for Home windows 10 is not being distributed, and it’ll attain finish of help in October 2025.) This evaluation relies on OneNote for Home windows. OneNote: An effective way to get organizedOneNote could be very a lot a full-blown utility. It helps you to create easy or advanced notes from scratch, set up them into searchable, browsable notebooks, and sync them amongst quite a lot of platforms, together with Home windows PCs, Macs, iPads and iPhones, Android gadgets, and the net. IDG

OneNote presents top-notch instruments for creating notes from scratch and organizing them intelligently. (Click on picture to enlarge it.)

It bristles with note-creation instruments for drawing, recording audio and video, scanning photographs, embedding spreadsheets, and reviewing the edits of others (though the skills of these instruments differ considerably relying on the platform). In reality, its note-creation instruments are extra complete than Evernote’s. The organization-minded will respect OneNote’s fundamental construction. You create particular person notebooks; inside every pocket book, you possibly can create part teams that include a number of sections. Every part has particular person pages, with every web page a separate notice. It’s splendid for organizing content material with a logical construction.For instance, in the event you’re utilizing OneNote to maintain monitor of notes about your gross sales workers, you may have a Gross sales Employees pocket book, then part teams for every salesperson, and inside every of these part teams there is likely to be sections for every of their prospects. Inside every of these buyer sections, you may have particular person pages, with notes in regards to the salesperson’s relationship with them, and embody hyperlinks to gross sales figures.OneNote is progressively turning into extra built-in with the remainder of the Microsoft 365 suite. For enterprises, stay collaboration is particularly necessary, and it really works precisely the best way it does in different Microsoft 365 apps, so there ought to be no studying curve. (To get began, click on the Share button on the higher proper of the display screen irrespective of the place you might be in OneNote.)Making OneNote much more highly effective for companies is that it integrates fairly properly with Microsoft Groups. You may add a OneNote pocket book to Groups, and everybody in the identical Groups channel can view it and make edits to it, so long as they’re granted entry. Net clippingAs good as OneNote is at creating notes, it falls wanting Evernote’s appreciable capabilities for clipping content material from the net. OneNote presents a browser add-on for Microsoft Edge, Chrome, and Firefox referred to as the OneNote Net Clipper. Word that it is advisable to register to the extension with a Microsoft account to make use of it.The OneNote Net Clipper interface is usually the identical in all browsers. If you’re on an online web page from which you wish to clip content material, click on the Clip to OneNote icon within the browser’s toolbar and select to clip the complete web page, a piece of the web page (click on and drag to pick out it), or simply the article. It’s also possible to save the web page as a bookmark. When you resolve the sort of clip you need, it can save you it on to any OneNote pocket book. IDG

The OneNote browser add-on helps you to clip a complete net web page, a piece of the web page, or the article textual content and save your clipping in OneNote. (Click on picture to enlarge it.)

Sadly, clipping is a blended bag. As an example, clipping an article generally doesn’t seize that article. As an alternative, you get a headline, subhead, and a hyperlink. It’s not rather more than glorified bookmark. And if the location takes that web page down, it’s misplaced to you.The online clipper incessantly does a very good job with full-page clips, capturing the entire web page, together with all of the scrollable parts of it that you could’t see. However it may be temperamental and flaky. In some cases, it will probably’t seize full pages and as a substitute shows an error message that reads, “Sorry, one of these web page can’t be clipped.” When it does handle to seize a complete web page, it generally overlays content material with different content material, making the web page tough to learn. At occasions it appears to disregard the HTML instructions on a web page and shows a protracted scrollable web page with little rhyme or motive to it. And for heavy pages, akin to these with video on them, you’ll have to attend a number of seconds for the complete preview to load earlier than you possibly can click on the Clip button. Satirically, I most incessantly got here throughout these issues on Microsoft-created net pages, together with one within the Microsoft Retailer that describes the clipper and makes it accessible for obtain, and one other that describes OneNote’s new options.What’s extra, in the event you seize the complete web page or a area of a web page, the clip is saved as a graphic picture solely, in order that any hyperlinks or multimedia components on the web page don’t work. You may add your personal textual content above and under that picture, however you possibly can’t edit the content material proven within the picture.Along with net clipping, OneNote has a device that permits you to seize something in your display screen. To do it, right-click the OneNote icon within the system tray, choose Take display screen clipping, then draw a rectangle across the space of the display screen you wish to clip. You may then put it aside to any OneNote pocket book. It’s captured as a picture solely. IDG

OneNote can seize something in your display screen, together with what’s exhibiting in an app like Excel.

The variations amongst versionsIt’s in Home windows the place OneNote actually shines. That’s the place it has its full complement of note-creation instruments. It’s additionally the place its heritage as an Workplace utility is clearest, as a result of it makes use of the Workplace Ribbon as a strategy to provide you with entry to all of its options.OneNote for Home windows has eight Ribbon tabs — File, Residence, Insert, Draw, Historical past, Overview, View, and Assist — every of which supplies you entry to loads of options. (To save lots of display screen house, you possibly can press Ctrl-F1 to make the Ribbon instructions beneath the tabs disappear or reappear later.) The File tab helps you to open, print, share and export information; change settings; and extra. The Residence tab helps you to format textual content, add tags, mark gadgets as necessary and extra. The Insert tab presents instruments for inserting objects into your notes, together with spreadsheets, footage, audio and video you possibly can file, equations, and symbols. IDG

In OneNote’s Home windows app, the Workplace Ribbon presents the complete suite of OneNote’s instruments. (Click on picture to enlarge it.)

The Draw tab has the standard drawing instruments, whereas Historical past reveals you older variations of a web page, your edits, different customers’ current edits, and so forth. Overview contains acquainted Workplace options together with a spell checker, a thesaurus, and a translation device. View has loads of methods to alter the looks of your notebooks and their pages, akin to including strains, altering their measurement, altering the colours and so forth, and Assist helps you to seek for assist data, contact tech help, and provides suggestions to Microsoft. Evernote has nothing approaching this array of subtle instruments.Every web page you create is a clean slate that permits you to add textual content, photographs, media, and objects in a freeform manner, transferring them round and formatting them with ease. For many who wish to spend the time, it will probably imply creating extraordinarily wealthy pages. But when all you need is textual content, that’s easy to do as properly.The iPad and Mac variations have the identical fundamental look, really feel and group because the Home windows model, though with fewer options. (The Mac model has extra capabilities than does the iPad model.) They’ve solely 4 tabs throughout the highest: Residence, Insert, Draw, and View. IDG

The iPad model of OneNote is barely extra stripped down than the Home windows model. (Click on picture to enlarge it.)

In some cases, the tabs are as absolutely featured as within the Home windows model — the Mac’s Residence tab, for instance, contains all the formatting and different capabilities of the Home windows model. (The iPad doesn’t have as many capabilities.) Different tabs have fewer options — notably the Insert tab. There, the Mac and iPad variations will let you insert a lot of fundamental gadgets akin to tables, footage, information, hyperlinks, PDFs, equations, and the date and time. It’s also possible to file audio and take screenshots (on the Mac) or photographs (with the iPad’s digital camera) and insert these. However you possibly can’t insert spreadsheets or on-line movies, or file video as you possibly can with the Home windows model.The online model of OneNote options the tabbed design because the Home windows, Mac, and iPad variations, with the identical fundamental function set because the Mac and iPad variations. It additionally helps you to open a web page or pocket book within the shopper model of OneNote on the system on which you’re working, if the system has OneNote put in.The Android pill model appears and works very similar to the iPad model, with Residence, Insert, Draw, and View tabs, though it’s not as absolutely featured. For instance, the Insert tab solely helps you to insert footage, audio, information, to-do gadgets, tags, and hyperlinks.The interface for iPhones is way easier than on PCs or tablets. You see your part teams in a scrollable record, and may then navigate simply down into particular person sections and pages. It doesn’t have tabs, given the restricted display screen actual property on telephones, and it’s constructed primarily for quick-and-dirty notice taking or checking your current notes.AI on the wayMicrosoft will sooner or later ship AI options into OneNote that might drastically enhance the way it works. Microsoft 365 Copilot, which is powered by Microsoft’s generative AI chatbot, will likely be built-in into OneNote, in keeping with a weblog put up by OneNote product supervisor Greg Mace. Copilot inside OneNote will have the ability to “draft plans, generate concepts, create lists, set up data, and… remodel current textual content by summarizing, rewriting, formatting, and including visible context,” wrote Mace.For instance, listed below are two particular duties that Mace says Copilot will have the ability to do:
Summarize notes into bullet factors on a brand new web page.
Generate a listing of matters and speaking factors to be coated in an annual investor replace assembly.
After all, these are solely guarantees. We don’t know in the event that they’ll work in follow. And there’s no date for when Copilot will likely be built-in into OneNote. When it occurs, although, we’ll let you already know.Storage and pricingOneNote syncs its content material amongst your whole gadgets and to the net through Microsoft OneDrive or SharePoint. It comes with the subscription variations of Workplace (Microsoft 365 or Workplace 365) however isn’t included within the non-subscription variations. When you obtain the OneNote app however don’t use Microsoft 365/Workplace 365, you stand up to 5GB of cloud cupboard space for the whole lot together with your OneNote content material, though you should purchase further cupboard space.When you or your group pays for an Workplace 365 or Microsoft 365 subscription, you get rather more storage — 100GB as much as 6TB, relying on the plan you purchase. Companies get 1TB or limitless storage per consumer, relying on the plan. (See OneDrive and Microsoft 365 plans for private and enterprise use.)Evernote: The most effective web-clipping device you possibly can findEvernote is a totally totally different beast than OneNote. Though it presents the identical fundamental performance — the power to create, set up, and sync notes amongst a number of platforms, together with Home windows PCs, Macs, iPads and iPhones, Home windows Telephones, Android gadgets, and the net — it sports activities a way more colourful and welcoming interface. And it completely excels at clipping and saving content material from the net.When you haven’t used or up to date Evernote for a while, you’ll be shocked by the brand new residence display screen interface, which bristles with widgets for fast entry to notes, notebooks, not too long ago captured photographs, and extra. On the one hand, it offers you a number of methods to view and create notebooks and notes. On the opposite, it may be a little bit bit overwhelming. However you possibly can at all times discover what you need by utilizing the search field on the higher left of the display screen or clicking or tapping the pocket book icon to see your notebooks listed. You may add or take away widgets on your house display screen to make it look and work precisely the best way you need.The left-hand facet of the display screen is used for navigation; click on or faucet Notebooks to see record of your whole notebooks, after which click on or faucet every particular person pocket book to see all of its notes in a scrollable record. When you choose, you possibly can faucet or click on Notes within the left-hand navigation to see your whole notes chronologically in a scrollable record, whatever the pocket book by which they’re positioned. For straightforward looking, you possibly can add tags to every notice whenever you write it or seize it; the primary navigation additionally helps you to view your notes by tags. IDG

Evernote’s options and structure are related amongst all platforms; that is the Home windows app. (Click on picture to enlarge it.)

I discover Evernote to be extra visually compelling than OneNote. The show is especially engaging whenever you scroll by a pocket book, with the record of notes within the pocket book exhibiting small graphics pulled from every notice.Evernote doesn’t have almost as many note-creation instruments as OneNote. There are the standard textual content formatting instruments, and you’ll embed tables, information, and footage in your notes; use digital “ink” on them in case you have a contact system with a pen; and file audio and video as a part of your notes. It’s also possible to join it to Google Calendar so that you just’ll have the ability to see your schedule and conferences from inside Evernote, create notes based mostly on these conferences, and extra. (As I write this, Evernote is engaged on an identical integration for Outlook.) It’s also possible to hook up with Google Drive and embed information from there into your notes as properly. It’s an inexpensive choice however doesn’t embody OneNote’s superior options, akin to reviewing the edits of others.Net clippingWhere Evernote actually shines is in capturing content material from the net, organizing that content material, and making it simple so that you can discover it and use it.Its web-clipping device is exemplary. The device runs as a browser add-on for Chrome, Firefox, Web Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and Opera; the precise options fluctuate considerably from browser to browser. Usually, I’ve discovered it to be probably the most sturdy in Chrome and Edge, capable of deal with even probably the most advanced net pages. IDG

Evernote’s exemplary clipping device runs as a browser add-on and allows you to seize content material utilizing quite a lot of choices. (Click on picture to enlarge it.)

With most browsers, whenever you’re on a web page from which you wish to seize content material, click on the Evernote icon within the toolbar and the clipper seems on the right-hand facet with quite a lot of choices, together with:
capturing simply the article itself, eliminating adverts and different pointless materials
capturing a “simplified article” — simply textual content and graphics with out the unique structure or movies
capturing the complete web page as you see it
capturing solely a bookmark to the web page
capturing a screenshot of the web page
If you clip one thing from the net, you too can add tags and notes. And you’ll select which pocket book you wish to add the content material to or create a brand new pocket book on the fly. As well as, the clipper has markup instruments whenever you seize screenshots, to be able to annotate what you’re capturing by including textual content, highlighting, arrows, drawing on it, and so forth. In your browser after you save a clip, you’ll see a Share button that permits you to share the notice with colleagues or share a hyperlink to the unique supply through e mail or social media.When you’ve captured the content material, you are able to do extra with it. If you open the notice in Evernote, the textual content is stay — you possibly can copy it, paste to it, edit it, change the formatting, and so forth. The hyperlinks are stay as properly, to be able to click on any hyperlink and have it open in your browser. Any multimedia on the web page, akin to video, isn’t stay, although — click on it and also you’re despatched to the unique web page you captured.The variations amongst versionsEvernote sports activities an identical appear and feel throughout its Home windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android, and net apps. They function the identical widgets and structure on the house display screen, and related left-hand navigation. You’ll don’t have any downside in any respect switching among the many variations. IDG

The iPad residence screens widgets can really feel overwhelming, however you possibly can at all times faucet the search icon to carry up the search field or faucet the pocket book icon to get to your whole notebooks. (Click on picture to enlarge it.)

The iPad model’s residence web page bristles with widgets for fast entry to notes, notebooks, not too long ago captured photographs and extra, and generally is a little bit overwhelming. However you possibly can at all times discover what you need by looking; faucet the search icon within the left margin and the search field seems on the higher left of the display screen. And as with the opposite variations, you possibly can faucet the pocket book icon to reveals your notebooks listed alphabetically, after which flick through them. IDG

Evernote’s iPhone app appears and works like a simplified model of the Home windows and Mac variations. (Click on picture to enlarge it.)

On the iPhone, Evernote isn’t as advanced and crowded-looking as on the iPad. It appears and works like a extra streamlined model of its Home windows, Mac, and net variations. Faucet the three-line menu button on the backside left of the display screen to show navigation, faucet the New button to create a brand new notice, and faucet the Search button for Evernote’s well-done search capabilities.Storage and pricingThe fundamental model of Evernote is free, however it limits you to including 60MB of recent notes a month, helps you to sync between solely two gadgets, and doesn’t embody superior options. There are additionally Private and Skilled subscriptions accessible, which have differing options akin to whether or not you possibly can flip notes into shows; search inside PDFs and attachments; and combine with different software program and providers akin to Slack and Microsoft Groups. Private, meant for people, prices $80 a 12 months and allows you to add 10GB per 30 days. Skilled, additionally for people, prices $110 a 12 months and contains 20GB of uploads per 30 days.Evernote Groups is designed for enterprise collaboration, providing shared workspaces, a coaching program, and centralized administration instruments. It prices $150 per consumer per 12 months and presents 20GB month-to-month uploads plus 2GB per consumer.Backside lineAlthough Evernote and OneNote are each note-taking instruments, they’ve very totally different emphases and can be utilized for fairly totally different functions.When you’re primarily searching for a device that permits you to simply seize, set up, and discover content material from the net, you’ll need Evernote, as a result of its instruments for doing which can be exemplary. When you as a substitute wish to create notes from scratch and have them in well-organized notebooks, or in the event you’re a heavy Microsoft 365 consumer, OneNote is the best way to go.Then once more, it’s possible you’ll be like me. I’ve been utilizing each of them for years. OneNote is my go-to device for organizing and taking notes for initiatives akin to books and articles. I exploit Evernote for analysis. On condition that they’re each free (at the very least for the fundamental model of Evernote), it offers me the most effective of each worlds.This text was initially revealed in March 2014 and most not too long ago up to date in Might 2023.

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