11 Best Alternatives to Microsoft OneNote 2020

Microsoft OneNote is one of the most popular note-taking tools, but it is primarily for Windows users, and limited functionality with Linux, macOS, Android, or iOS. 

If OneNote isn’t your cup of tea, We’ve handpicked 11 alternatives to OneNote for you to choose. Let’s get right into first.

 Alternatives to OneNote

1.    Evernote

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Even if you’ve never used it, you’ve probably heard of Evernote. It is probably the most popular note-taking app today. And we pick it as the first and best alternative to OneNote.

Firstly, it offers the same basic functionality as OneNote – the ability to create, organize and sync notes among multiple platforms, including Windows PCs, Macs, iPads and iPhones, Windows Phones, Android devices and the web.

Then, Evernote has a handful of features that support collaboration. Among them, you can share any notebook by right-clicking on it and selecting “share notebook.” Input the email addresses of those with whom you want to share your notebook and select the type of access permissions you want to grant them: view, edit or edit and invite.

Finally, Evernote has a handy chat feature that can be used to discuss notes.

Related Post: Evernote vs OneNote: The Best App for Note-Taking in 2020

Pros:

  • Offline access
  • Syncing across multiple platforms and devices
  • Quick to capture notes and thoughts
  • Sharing capabilities
  • Easy to use layout

Cons:

  • Web application has limited features especially with respect to images.
  • No option to record audio and video directly from Evernote.

Pricing: Evernote Basic- Free, Evernote Premium- $69.99/year, and Evernote Business- $14.99/user/month.

Evernote

2.    Notion

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Web

Notion is an all new task and project management tool which stands out different from the peers. It’s basically like a folder that contains everything you need such as documents, notes, tasks, wikis, database, and more to help you manage workload quite efficiently. 

Pros:

  • Allows flexible management of individual and team projects
  • Easy on-boarding
  • Provides for unrestricted access including offline
  • Customizable and distraction free

Cons:

  • Offline access is limited to only recently opened pages
  • No handwriting support

Pricing: Notion has four pricing tiers—a Free plan, a Personal plan for $4 a month, a Team plan at $8 per member per month, and an Enterprise plan at $20 per member per month.

3.    Google Keep

Platforms: Android, iOS, Web

Google Keep is similar to OneNote but with a simpler approach. It lets you take down short notes with just a basic title and your note content. You can also choose to add an image to a note and color code each note.

Pros:

  • Create notes and lists, set time and place reminders, and check off your completed tasks.
  • Add a collaborator to your notes and lists, then get things done together.
  • Search notes by automagically created topics.
  • Integrated with Gmail and Chrome to easily create notes
  • Access your notes on any device – synced automatically to your phone, tablet, watch, and laptop.

Cons:

  • Google Keep is best for short notes or short-term notes. But if you have a long list of notes, it might be unmanageable.
  • It never notifies when some new notes are added to the shared list.
  • You may notice some problems with syncing data between devices

Pricing: Free

Google Keep

4.    Apple Notes

Platforms: iPhone/iPad/Mac

OneNote is default for Windows users. Similarly, as for Apple users, Apple Notes is the default option for them. Starting with Apple Notes, the software allows you to create multiple notebooks. You can create sub-notebooks inside it. When editing a note, you can choose from Title, Headings, Subheading, Monospaced, Bullet list, and Numbered list. Users can also integrate photos and documents inside a note.

Pros:

  • Nativity with iOS
  • Simple yet useful app

Cons:

  • There is no way to tag;

Pricing: Free

5.    Notability

Platforms: iOS, macOS, Android, Chrome, and Windows

Notability is a powerful note-taker to annotate documents, sketch ideas, record lectures, take notes and more. It combines, typing, handwriting, audio recording, and photos so you can create notes that fit your needs. 

Pros:

  • Audio recording
  • Vertical and horizontal scrolling
  • Change size and color of pen after it’s written
  • Color picker tool, making it super easy to match your pens to your planner colors
  • Can add gifs
  • Syncs with iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox and works perfectly

Cons:

  • Can’t select all pages or move multiple pages at once
  • Can’t open 2 planners at once
  • No conversion from handwriting to text

Pricing: $8.99 on iOS / $4.99 macOS/In-app purchases in the Notability shop.

Notability

6.    GoodNotes

Platforms: iOS, iPadOS, and macOS devices

GoodNotes is a note-taking app, but it’s nothing like note-taking apps you’re used to using. It isn’t meant to be used for typing (though you can type). It’s specifically designed as a handwriting app so you can use your Apple Pencil or another stylus. You can create sketches for presentation, annotate PDFs that you’ve imported, and even search all of your notes — handwritten, typed, or imported as a PDF. Here are dozens of paper styles, including lined paper in a variety of sizes, dotted paper, grids, column pages for accounting, and more. 

Pros:

  • Three custom pen colors always available and just one tap to switch between them
  • Pictures inserted into the notes are able to be moved around
  • The *NEW* unlimited organization of notebooks within folders
  • THE SEARCH FEATURE!

Cons:

  • The pages don’t auto-lock to the width of the screen.
  • The developers do not let you decide the backup file format.
  • There is no voice recording function.

Pricing: GoodNotes 5 costs $7.99.  If you previously purchased a prior version of the app, there is a Complete My Bundle option that lets you just pay the difference between whatever you previously paid and $7.99.

7.    Simplenote

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS

Simplenote is another good alternative to OneNote. It offers markdown support, cross-platform apps, and can be accessed through most web browsers. On Simplenote, users are permitted to record an almost unlimited number of text-based notes on the platform. Once the note has been composed, it can be pinned to the top of a list for immediate access.

Pros:

  • Simple and clean UI
  • Markdown support that allows users to write, preview, and publish notes
  • Instant searching through tags
  • Users are allowed to export data
  • Collaborative features to work together

Cons:

  • No reminder
  • No social media integration
  • Poor save-to-disk feature

Pricing: Free

Simplenote

8.    Zoho Notebook

Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android

Zoho Notebook sets itself apart by allowing you to incorporate graphics, colors, and photos into your notes. If you’re a visual person, using these features to store your notes will help simplify the organization of your data⁠. You can also add multiple types of media to your notes, including audio, checklists, and files.

Pros:

  • Audio notes
  • Cloud Syncing
  • Pre-built checklist
  • Completely free and ad-free

Cons:

  • No text formatting
  • Lacks some features like tag search

Pricing: Free

9.    Bear

Platform: iOS, Mac, Apple Watch

This simple note-taking app was released in 2016 and has quickly become one of the most popular tools of its kind thanks to its simplicity and clean, intuitive UI. Also, It features powerful Markdown capability and an excellent writing experience. 

Pros:

  • Multiple themes and rich previews
  • To-dos and Hashtags
  • Focus mode
  • Multiple export options
  • Advanced Markup Editor

Cons:

  • No tabs, so you can view only one note at a time
  • Only available for Apple devices

Pricing: Free or $1.49 monthly and $14.99 annually

Bear

10. Laverna

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Web

Laverna is a JavaScript note taking application with Markdown editor and encryption support.

Laverna’s main selling point is its focus on privacy. Your notes are never stored on the company’s servers. However, you can store your data on Dropbox or RemoteStorage if you want to sync across devices. It’s also possible to set a password that’ll encrypt your notes, too.

Pros:

  • All notes are written in Markdown with a live preview window
  • It has three levels of organization; profiles, notebooks, and tags
  • It has distraction-free editing mode

Cons:

  • Cannot drag and drop images for upload
  • A few bugs in the system

Pricing: Free

11. Turtl

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android

Turtl is a secure OneNote alternative. It lets you take notes, bookmark websites, and store documents for sensitive projects. From sharing passwords with your coworkers to tracking research on an article you’re writing, Turtl keeps it all safe from everyone but you and those you share with.

Pros:

  • Turtl stores your info encrypted
  • You can easily share boards of bookmarks & notes you can synch files & images it’s cross platform & free

Cons:

  • Limited storage on its free plan

Pricing: Turtl has a free to use plan that allows you to store up to 50mb of data and it’s paid plans start at $3 a month. 

Turtl

Summary: Best OneNote Alternative

To wrap it up, there are many note-taking apps are better than OneNote for specific tasks you’re doing.

Evernote is still the top pick for most people who looking for a OneNote alternative. Its vast feature set ensures that it does everything well enough and has the fewest quirks

For Mac and iOS users, Apple Notes and Bear might be good OneNote alternatives.

If you focus on privacy and data security, Laverna and Turtl are good choices.

Finally, the true best OneNote alternative is the one that fits your needs.

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