There’s nothing worse than not being able to read your own handwriting. Whether it’s project requirements, class notes or a list of brilliant ideas you’ve jotted down, losing your scribblings forever because you have the penmanship of a seven-year-old (or a doctor) hurts.

Happily, for those of us cursed with chicken-scratch syndrome, we’ve come a long way from reliance on post-it notes and cocktail napkins. The era of the cloud note-taking app is upon us, and it’s more than a little notable.

Being the types to dwell with our heads in the cloud, we previously went in search of the best note-taking apps available. One of our more surprising findings was that, while there are several options out there, only two have the features and flexibility to streamline and strengthen your note-taking needs: Evernote and OneNote.

In this article, we’ve decided to see if we can’t make a final determination which of the two is the better all-around solution by comparing them head to head. If you’d like a closer look, don’t forget to check out our separate Evernote review and OneNote review, too.

Evernote or OneNote: Choosing the Best Note-Taking App

OneNote has been around longer, having first been released in 2003, but Evernote has historically generated more online buzz as a capable note-taking tool. That, in turn, has led to an impressive 200 million Evernote users as of late 2017.

However, the narrative seems to be changing as Microsoft has continued to improve its product, and now offers several features you won’t get with Evernote (more on those later).

There’s no question, though, that Evernote and OneNote are easily the two best note-taking apps unless you’re just looking for a simple app to record voice memos and compile grocery lists. If that’s your need, you’ll be much better off with Google Keep (read our Google Keep review).

There are many things that make Evernote and OneNote so literally noteworthy, but for us, it all starts with organization and flexibility. The ability to create notebooks to contain your notes is something you won’t find with, for example, Box Notes (read our Box Notes review).

There are many more features to mention, which we’ll get to below as we break down both notes solutions through five rounds: cost and capacity, organization features, note formatting, collaboration and security.

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      Cost and Capacity

      Up first, we’re going to compare the subscription costs of each tool, as well as take a look at what kind of storage capacity, note size and bandwidth limits are attached to those costs.


      Evernote has a free plan available but imposes some caps that will become an issue for very active users. The most restrictive of those is a bandwidth of 60MB per month.

      While that likely won’t pose a problem for those just looking for a private journaling solution, if you’re a student or make regular use of the Evernote web clipper, you might need to pony up some dough. Other limits of the free plan include a two-device sync limit and a 25MB note size.

      The good news for those for whom such limits become an issue is that Evernote isn’t really that expensive. Evernote Plus is just $3.99 a month if you go month-to-month and $34.99 if you sign up for a year in advance.

      Evernote Basic
      • Total Storage: Unlimited Monthly Upload Cap: 60MB Synced Devices: 2 Max Note Size: 25MB
      Evernote Plus
      • Total Storage: Unlimited Monthly Upload Cap: 1GB Synced Devices: Unlimited Max Note Size: 200MB
      1-year plan $ 2.92/ month
      $34.99 billed every year
      Save 27 %
      Evernote Premium
      • Total Storage: Unlimited Monthly Upload Cap: 10GB Synced Devices: Unlimited Max Note Size: 200MB
      1-year plan $ 5.83/ month
      $69.99 billed every year
      Save 27 %

      With Evernote Plus, you get a monthly upload cap of 1GB, a max note size of 200MB and unlimited synced devices. If that’s not enough bandwidth, Evernote Premium ups you to 10GB per month for $7.99 per month or $69.99 annually.

      Evernote doesn’t impose any restrictions on storage space, no matter the subscription. Technically, the company bills itself as “unlimited.” Even more technically, with bandwidth caps, that claim isn’t actually true. Additionally, whether you upgrade or not, you can only have a maximum of 250 notebooks at any time.

      The costs themselves were actually increased substantially (relatively speaking) in 2016, but we still think Evernote is a good deal for all that you’re getting. Let’s see, however, if it’s a better deal than OneNote.


      The cost of OneNote is actually integrated with Microsoft’s cloud storage service, OneDrive. OneDrive itself is a reasonably strong product, ranked among the best cloud storage options today (use our chart to compare online storage solutions).

      The result of that integration is that notes created using OneNote share space with other files you upload to OneDrive, including Microsoft Office documents, photos and videos. That means you need to be a little more diligent about how you manage OneNote than you do with Evernote, although there are no monthly bandwidth caps to work around, at least.

      The OneNote app itself is free. You can download it in the Microsoft Store for Windows 10, and there are versions available for MacOS, iOS and Android, too. Additionally, Microsoft will currently give you 5GB of storage just for signing up for OneDrive. While that doesn’t rank among the best free cloud storage offers, it’s something.

      If you need more space for your notes, you’ll need to purchase a OneDrive plan. Microsoft has a 50GB option for just $1.99 per month, but the better deal is it’s $6.99 1TB plan, which also grants you access to Office 365, arguably the best office suite available.

      OneDrive Basic 5GB
      • 5 GB Storage
      OneDrive 100GB
      • 100 GB Storage
      Microsoft 365 Personal
      • Comes with Office 365 Personal
      • 1000 GB Storage
      1-year plan $ 5.83/ month
      $69.99 billed every year
      Save 17 %
      Microsoft 365 Family
      • Comes with Office 365 Home
      • 5000 GB Storage
      1-year plan $ 8.33/ month
      $99.99 billed every year
      Save 17 %
      OneDrive for Business Plan 1
      • Price per user
      • 1000 GB Storage
      1-year plan $ 5.00/ month
      $60.00 billed every year
      OneDrive for Business Plan 2
      • Price per user
      • Unlimited GB Storage
      1-year plan $ 10.00/ month
      $120.00 billed every year
      Microsoft 365 Business Standard
      • Price per user
      • 1000 GB Storage
      1-year plan $ 12.50/ month
      $150.00 billed every year
      Save 17 %

      If you’re a student, you can actually get Office 365 for free, too, which is one of the reasons we think OneNote is the best note-taking app overall for students. You can read more about that offer here.

      Round One Thoughts

      Our first go at picking one notebook over the other doesn’t make for an easy decision. Both services offer good value even though that value plays out a bit differently. Evernote, for example, gives you unlimited storage, even on its free plan, but with monthly bandwidths, you’ll never be able to take full advantage of that.

      OneNote, meanwhile, doesn’t have bandwidth limits but does have a storage cap, and shares cloud storage space with other OneDrive files, too. Even if you don’t plan on using OneDrive for anything but OneNote storage, that 5GB may disappear faster than you’d like.

      On the other hand, a 1TB OneDrive plan only costs $6.99 a month and you get a bunch of other useful tools with it. Evernote Plus is three dollars less per month, however, and surpassing a 1GB monthly bandwidth is harder than you’d think.

      If you need a cloud storage tool, too, and you like OneDrive, OneNote is probably going to be more cost-effective. For those who already have cloud storage, for example with Dropbox or pCloud, and for those that don’t care for Microsoft Office, Evernote provides more value.

      Since we’re specifically looking at note-taking apps in this article, we’re giving the slight edge to Evernote. We don’t blame you if you disagree, however.

      Round: Cost and Capacity Point for Evernote

      Organization Features

      More than value, one of the areas that set both Evernote and OneNote ahead of every other note-taking app available today is how well-designed they are for organizing thoughts and research. Round two takes a closer look.


      Central to Evernote’s approach to keeping work organized is the use of notebooks. You can create individual notebooks for your personal diary, classes, projects, book ideas or anything else.

      The only limit, as mentioned earlier, is that you can only have up to 250 notebooks altogether, which is kind of a bummer if we’re being honest. Each notebook can, however, hold as many notes as you need.

      While Evernote’s layout is straightforward, reminding us a bit of Outlook, once you’ve created dozens of notebooks and hundreds of notes, it could all get pretty difficult to sort through. For those occasions, Evernote has two solutions: search and tags.

      The search feature works like you’d think: type the string you want to look for and algorithms will go to work for you finding relevant notes. You can either search specific notebooks or your entire Evernote account.

      Tags may be even more useful. A tag lets you sort related notes using custom identifiers. For example, you can create a tag called “recipes” and apply it to any note containing a recipe. You can also search for notes containing a combination of tags, such as “cloudwards” and “web hosting.”

      Another organization feature of Evernote that we love is its web-clipper add-on, which works as a save button for the internet, useful for gathering research or capturing articles you like to read later.

      You can clip a full page, just the article text or a simplified version of the article. You can also take a screenshot or just bookmark the page with a link. However you decide to clip it, Evernote will let you pick which notebook you want to store the clipping in, plus add tags and remarks at the same time.

      Evernote also lets you save important emails by forwarding them to a unique Evernote email address that every user receives.

      If you prefer to automate that function, both Zapier and IFTTT work with Evernote, letting you do things like send emails from certain individuals to a specific Evernote notebook. Many other recipes for both automation tools are available, too, like for syncing notes to Google Drive, tracking Facebook likes or creating a note when an iOS calendar is updated. Finally, you can attach files to notes, both uploaded locally and from Google Drive.

      Overall, for those that take full advantage of Evernote’s organizational capabilities, the software can really do wonders for keeping your notes, research and ideas in order.


      OneNote shares many of the same features as Evernote for organizing work, with notebooks for gathering related notes being the most important. Evernote actually takes things a step further: each notebook can also have multiple color-coded “sections” to subdivide projects even further.

      Additionally, OneNote doesn’t impose any limits on how many notebooks you can create like Evernote does.

      You can search for notes containing specific keywords by clicking the magnifying glass icon near the top-left corner of the OneNote software. You can restrict the search to a specific notebook section or notebook, or search all notebooks.

      OneNote also has pre-defined tags for sorting related notes. However, these are limited to the point of being almost useless for serious note takers, having just six rather vague options available (e.g., “important,” “question,” “critical”).

      While OneNote 2016 lets you create custom tags, the version of the app available in the Microsoft store does not, and Microsoft has decided to sunset OneNote 2016. Hopefully, Microsoft will fix this, but for now, it’s a limitation you’ll have to live with if you choose OneNote.

      OneNote’s web clipper is less troublesome, even if it isn’t quite as nice as Evernote’s. You can clip full pages or articles, take screenshots and add notes to your clippings to remind yourself why you’ve saved them later on.

      Like Evernote, you can also convert emails to notes by setting up an address for OneNote and a default notebook. Going forward, you can forward emails to that address for preservation.

      OneNote also works with both Zapier and IFTTT, with similar recipes to what you’ll find with Evernote. Automatically piping important emails from Gmail to a notebook, saving iPhone screenshots and saving liked Tweets are just a few examples of what you can do.

      Round Two Thoughts

      Evernote and OneNote are the two best tools out there when it comes to organizing cloud-based notes. Also, there’s not much to set them apart from each other.

      Two key advantages of OneNote over Evernote are that you can create unlimited notebooks and you can subdivide notebooks into sections. Evernote’s biggest advantage over OneNote, meanwhile, is letting you create custom tags. Also, it has a slightly better web clipper.

      As with round one, there’s not much there to suggest that either tool has a real leg up over the other. However, we think the use of custom tags is more useful than notebook sections, and most people will probably be fine with the 250 notebook limit.

      Once again, we’re going with Evernote, even though a strong argument could be made for OneNote.

      Round: Organization Features Point for Evernote

      Note Formatting

      In this third round of our head-to-head, we decided to take a look at note formatting features. As with organization, this is an area where many lesser note-taking apps, like Zoho’s product (read our Zoho Notebook review), fall short, but both Evernote and OneNote more or less excel.


      Evernote has most of the same rich-text formatting options you’ll find in a modern word processor. These include dozens of different font types, different font sizes and options for bolding, italicizing and underlining text.

      You can also create bulleted and number lists, as well as checkboxes, useful for making to-do lists. Evernote lets you create tables within notes, too. All of this is done from an editing ribbon found at the top of each note.

      While there are many formatting options, notes in Evernote are fixed when it comes to layout. You can’t, for example, insert text anywhere on the page, such as around hand-drawn diagrams.

      In fact, basic notes don’t actually have draw capabilities. To handwrite notes or sketch, you have to create a special “ink note.” These are useful for those using tablets, but we wish we could combine ink and text notes to create something more dynamic. Additionally, Evernote doesn’t have an ink-to-text conversion feature.

      Evernote does have options for creating audio notes, as well as screenshot and webcam notes. Webcam notes, however, can only be used to take a snapshot, you can’t create video notes.


      OneNote has all the formatting options you’d expect from a Microsoft Office product. You’ll find pretty much any font type you could want, you can change font sizes and colors, bold, underline and italicize text, and choose from various header options.

      You can add lists, both bulleted and numbered, and checklists to track tasks. OneNote even has a format painter to quickly duplicate formatting.

      Within notes, you can insert links, pictures and audio notes. You can also add meeting information (location, time, invitees, etc) to notes directly from Outlook.

      OneNote 2016, the version that is set for sunsetting, has many more formatting options than the OneNote app in the Microsoft Store. That includes video recording, useful for capturing lectures, screen clipping and various page templates (academic, business, planners, etc). As with the lack of custom tags, this is something we really hope Microsoft will fix.

      Either version of OneNote is great for sketching, diagramming and taking handwritten notes, however. The OneNote app has a drawing toolbar, where you’ll find various pen and pencil options, shapes and other tools to create visuals.

      There’s also an ink-to-text conversion option for those that like to handwrite notes but want a typed version of them later. This is useful for class notes, especially, as it’s generally accepted that writing facts down by hand helps commit them to memory.

      In addition to excellent text formatting and drawing options, OneNote lets you layout your notes any way you want. By clicking on any area within a page, you can create a text box there to add your notes. The result is an experience that closely mimics an actual notebook page, which we especially like for blackboard copying.

      Round Three Thoughts

      OneNote is easily the most versatile note-taking app we’ve tested here at As wonderful as Evernote is, it’s not nearly as flexible when it comes to layout. Additionally, you can add drawings to your text notes in OneNote, while with Evernote you have to create separate ink notes.

      While the first two rounds fell narrowly in Evernote’s favor, round three is no contest for OneNote.

      Round: Note Formatting Point for OneNote


      Up next, we’ll take a look at sharing notes with others and co-editing options.

      For some users, notebook collaboration features won’t matter one bit. Notebooks are more often used for gathering personal thoughts, not for group work. However, the ability to share does have its uses, such as putting together group research or distributing meeting notes.


      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.

      You can also share individual notes if you don’t want to allow access to an entire notebook. Plus, you can generate note links, which will let anybody view a note in a browser. Or if you prefer, you can just email a note to someone straight from within the app.

      Since collaborations can sometimes go the wrong way, Evernote lets you access a note’s history to view and rollback to previous versions in case of unwanted changes. Just click the info icon on the top-right side of the note and select “view history.”

      Finally, Evernote has a handy chat feature that can be used to discuss notes. While not as feature-rich as a dedicated chat app like Slack, it’s still useful for quick communications built around specified notes and notebooks (read our best cloud storage for Slack article).


      You can share any notebook in OneNote by clicking the share icon near the top-right side of the app, then inputting the email addresses of those with whom you want to share. View or edit permissions can be granted.

      While you can’t share individual notebook sections or pages the same way, you can at least email the text within notes from the app (it opens Outlook to do so).

      There’s no chat option like you get with Evernote and no option to comment on notes within the app. That absence of commenting is surprising and unfortunate since it’s available in Microsoft Word and a very useful feature there.

      OneNote doesn’t give you the ability to view recent edits or rollback changes unless you’re using OneNote 2016, which has a special “history” tab. Once again, though, we have to point out that OneNote 2016 is being abandoned by Microsoft. Starting to wonder why?

      Round Four Thoughts

      Between Evernote and OneNote, it surprised us to find that Evernote has the more versatile collaboration features given Microsoft Office’s place in the business world. However, it’s pretty clear that Evernote does come out on top here, giving you the ability to not only share notebooks but notes too, as well a handy work chat feature.

      Round: Collaboration Point for Evernote

      Security and Privacy

      Our final round will be used to measure the security of each note-taking app. Given that both Evernote and OneNote save notes to the cloud, that’s an important consideration. After all, you don’t want someone running off with your family’s secret recipe for chocolate cookies.


      It may alarm some readers to learn that Evernote doesn’t maintain its own data centers but instead uses Google Cloud. Google hasn’t always demonstrated the best privacy practices, after all, as you can read about in our Google Drive review.

      However, most of those concerns have to do with Google using consumer cloud data stored for Google Drive, Gmail and other Google services for marketing purposes. There’s no indication in Evernote’s privacy terms to suggest it permits Google to access the private thoughts of its user base.

      In fact, Evernote itself claims to never look at user content unless given permission by you or compelled to by law enforcement. Your notes are also encrypted at rest using 256-bit AES, a protocol not known to be crackable.

      Notes are encrypted in transit (i.e., over the internet), too, but encryption isn’t end-to-end by default. Upon arriving at the server facility, notes are decrypted for indexing before being encrypted again. This helps speed up retrieval later.

      Interestingly, Evernote does offer private, end-to-end encryption, but limits it to highlighted text. You can set this yourself from within the app by selecting the text you want to encrypt, right-clicking on it and choosing “encrypt selected text.”

      While we’d prefer the company extend private encryption to entire notebooks, it’s the only cloud notebook tool we know of to even go as far as it does. If you do require more security, Evernote is also one of two note-taking apps compatible with SafeRoom, a private encryption tool that will prevent anyone at Evernote from decrypting your notebooks, even under the authority of a warrant.

      As a measure of security against someone cracking your Evernote password, you can also turn on two-factor authentication. This is a really important feature that far too many cloud services don’t offer, including some of the otherwise best online backup options.

      With two-factor authentication on, even if someone steals or brute-force cracks your password, they likely won’t be able to use it, as Evernote will require an additional credential if it detects a login attempt from an unfamiliar computer. This credential is a security code that will be sent to your mobile device via text.


      Notebooks and notes created using OneNote, as we mentioned earlier, are stored in your OneDrive cloud storage space. As such, we take a similar view of OneNote security as we do of OneDrive. That’s not an especially good thing.

      Our biggest concern is that OneDrive doesn’t encrypt files at rest on the server unless you’re a business user. That leaves your notes open to easy pickings in the event of a breach.

      You can password protect notebook sections directly from the client. However, that only prevents someone using your computer from reading that notebook’s contents. It doesn’t scramble files sent to the cloud.

      The good news is that OneNote is the other cloud notebook supported by SafeRoom, so you can add zero-knowledge encryption to your notebooks that way. The product is downloadable from the Microsoft Store and costs $2.99, a price well worth paying if you intend to store confidential information in OneNote.

      OneNote does protect files in transit using transport-layer security (TLS), too, so your files should be safe from online eavesdropping, though we still recommend using a VPN over public WiFi (read our best VPN guide for suggestions).

      Like Evernote, OneNote provides a two-factor authentication feature, too, to protect your notebooks should your password be stolen or cracked.

      Round Five Thoughts

      With more and more cybersecurity threats popping up, choosing cloud services committed to protecting your data are more important ever. That’s why we often recommend zero-knowledge cloud storage services to our readers, such as and pCloud.

      While no cloud notebook provider that we know of offers full, native zero-knowledge protection, Evernote at least lets you privately encrypt highlighted text. It’s a bit of a pain to manage your security that way, but it’s something.

      Microsoft, meanwhile, doesn’t even encrypt your notebooks server-side using a managed encryption process, unless you’re a business user.

      Round: Security and Privacy Point for Evernote

      Final Verdict

      Evernote took four of five rounds in our head-to-head, but the first two rounds (cost and organization features) were so close that it might as well have been two rounds to one.

      Likely the most compelling reason to choose Evernote over OneNote comes down to security. OneNote, meanwhile, should appeal to those that need more freedom in how they create notes thanks to its drawing tools and more dynamic layout options.

      The biggest reason to choose Evernote vs OneNote right now, however, is likely the impending abandonment of OneNote 2016. The Microsoft Store version of OneNote, which the company is going to keep, is missing important features you get with both OneNote 2016 and Evernote, including custom tags and versioning.

      Final Winner: Evernote

      For now, Evernote remains, in our eyes, the best note-taking app on the market. Care to weigh in? Drop us a note below, and thanks for reading.

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      68 thoughts on “Evernote vs OneNote: Note-Taking to the Extreme”

      1. I liked OneNote, but my friend keeps getting notification of my notes. I didn’t know how to stop it, so my last resort was to uninstall it. I will start fresh again in One Note.

      2. I use both, but are probably in going migrate everything to onenote to save some $ and consolidate. I do like evernotes integration with scannable which i will miss 🙁

      3. Sadly the update to OneNote in Office 365 has destroyed many of the things that made OneNote a great tool. I am very sad to report that this version on my Win 10 computer sucks. I need to find a way to roll it back..

      4. Thank you for you comment. I am in the process of re-evaluating a note system for genealogy records. I loved OneNote 2010 and then tried a later version which I hated it. Since I have the 2010 disk and it works well and I don’t want online storage or to collaborate and because I can export the entire contents to a pdf I will stick with ON 2010.

      5. OneNote 2010 had great features (still does)
        OneNote 2010 had corruption problems
        OneNote 2013 had corruption problems
        OneNote 2016 had corruption problems
        Forums suggest 2010 was the least of the problems.
        Time to start an open source solution anybody?

      6. No mention of how OneNote’s search function is complete garbage?
        If I search for a sentence I get EVERY SINGLE WORD as a hit to skip through.
        A 10th grader can write a better algorithm.

        1. This is the reason I choose Evernote over One Note. The search function is critical to the whale experience, and the terrible implementation of it in OneNote means that I can’t really use it.

          1. Hey Jake, why don’t you try searching for “000001” and watch OneNote give you hits on any notes with the number 1 in them. The OneNote search engine is an EPIC FAIL.

            1. Another example … try searching for “[]” (two square brackets) but this results in a message that OneNote cannot search for square brackets. EPIC FAIL.

              1. Bro, you flew off the handle about this thread. You need to power down and go take a walk or something.

              2. OneNote fixed both those issues. My system: 2010 MBP, MacOs 10.13.6 High Sierra, OneNote version 16.35 (20030802)

                Using your example “000001” did not find anything. Using your other example (left and right bracket) [] returns many notes having left and right bracket.

      7. I use Evernote although I have access to OneNote through my Office 365 subscription. I find the note tagging feature to be the most powerful reason to use Evernote. For me cross-referencing notes is key because that is how I think and OneNote does not do this in any type of efficient way. I have about three thousand notes and use about 88 notebooks with no problem in Evernote.

      8. I find the UI from OneNote much more appealing. Also I don’t like the idea that Evernote staff can (and does) read my notes. However, if OneNote will indeed drop versioning, that would be a huge bummer as this is essential for me. I would still not use Evernote but would look into other alternatives. No matter how powerful EV is, it’s ways too ugly for me to consider making it my main tool for every day use.

      9. Evernote is my number one app of any kind and the first thing I install on any OS. It’s organizational features is the reason. You mentioned the Web clipper, but there’s also an Outlook e-mail clipper. Reminders was a big feature addition. And tags are the feature no one else can touch. It’s a flexible blank slate. Spend some time to develop a personalized system of tagging, then it is a life changing tool.

        1. I agree. I’ve used both since adam and eve but Evernote just works. Onenote looks nicer but it is more buggy than a garage of cockroaches, and always has been. As for Onedrive being a competitive cloud service, pass the joint. Nothing compares to Dropbox, and Evernote is a dream in that regard. The brain dead version of Word 365 has now infected Onenote (guess it didn’t get its vaccination?” and both should be avoided for serious work.

      10. I have been using both Evernote and OneNote for years… OneNote has always been the pretty one but Evernote contains almost all my notes because it’s always my default choice… mostly because I love the tagging system and search capabilities.

        I also appreciate a company that sticks to doing one thing really well.

        1. Well, I think there are some groups at Microsoft that qualify – Excel for example. I’ve been migrating a lot of stuff to Libre Office lately. I don’t need to worry which version works on what, but like a lot of good ideas it appears to be java based and that is a real dealbreaker for long term commitment.

      11. I believe I’ve seen some advanced integration with the Samsung Note phones. The ability to be editing a note via laptop and then seemlessly move to the phone to draw a picture that is automatically embedded into your note … and back and forth. Is that right or rumor? Is that OneNote or Evernote? That type of integration would be the deciding factor for me.

        1. - Chief Editor

          That sounds like something your could do using IFTTT or Zapier. In that case Evernote would be the way to go for you. Let us know how you get on.

      12. The OneNote online version is pityfully slow and for some reason the Android app (on a Chromebook) requires a work login to access personal notes.

      13. I love Evernote, have for years. It’s faster than OneNote (except the new Windows 10 version), the sync is fantastic, and I love that it has been so ubiquitous for so long. The only reason I don’t use it anymore is that I have four devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, and phone) and cannot sync them without a paid subscription.

        To be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Evernote choosing to make this a feature of paid subscriptions. But that is literally the only feature that I found myself needing from the paid subscription in the year that I was using it. The offline mobile was also nice but not a necessity for me. At that point, I switched to OneNote. It’s speed is still something I want to see across all devices (not just Win 10) but for now I use a combination of OneNote and Simplenote to get my notetaking done.

      14. If you have a Microsoft Office subscription, it’s a no brainer: use OneNote, because it is essentially free. I used Evernote for years but it has gotten expensive. The premium subscription runs around $80 a year now. For $99, you can get (5) complete Microsoft Office Suite subscriptions (for BOTH desktop and portables), and (5) 1-TB OneDrive accounts. Plus, of course, you can use OneNote with all those OneDrive accounts. It’s a MUCH better value than Evernote. So I’m saying goodbye to Evernote.

        1. I have an Office subscription, but use EverNote – and pay for the Plus plan. The reason – OneDrive does not have custom tags, which is the most useful feature of Evernote. Most notes I have at least 3-4 tags, some notes up to 15 tags

      15. I was disappointed to discover that the word processing capability of onenote wasnt suitable for academic writing. The one thing I needed was the ability to add footnotes. Im assuming evernote is the same? Does anyone have any suggestions how to overcome this?
        Should I stick to folders and word documents?
        Thank you for the comprehensive review.

        1. - Chief Editor

          Well, neither is fit for full-on writing, they really are just for taking notes.

        2. Footnotes can be added in Evenote notes by inserting a note link, linking to a note with the further information.

        3. Why would you be using note-taking software for word processing, especially for academic writing?

          1. the only way I can do when it comes to adding footnotes in Evernote is to use ALternote add-on. It’s really disappointing that Evernote has not added this important feature after many years of development.

      16. Evernote is my first tool on any device. I keep there almost 12000 notes in about 10 notebooks. These are just for temporary projects, as tags, powerful search and cross references are the features I need to find anything. Without them, OneNote may have a nicer interface, but it’s useless to me.

      17. It’s worth noting that as of April 2018 all One Drive premium accounts are using at rest encryption. So if your One Drive account states “Premium” your files are encrypted at rest.

      18. I am trying to move over to OneNote and the importer tool I downloaded is telling me I have an Error 10008. More than 5000 of something. I thought MS fixed these space and file limitations.

      19. great article, but you didn`t mention the notebook stacks, which will give the same depth as with one note

        1. I just discovered stacks the other day and am uber excited about it. That was the one thing I was bummed out about was that it didn’t look like Evernote had the same depth.

      20. I’ve used evernote for years. I decided to migrate to OneNote once I received a warning that I had just about maxed out my 250 notebook limit. Almost immediately after I started to complain about the limit and while I was in the process of converting to OneNote, a company rep notified everyone in the forum that Evernote had increased notebooks to 1,000 up from 250. Guess what? I was already involved in the swtich to OneNote and liking what I saw. The interface is a lot nicer. There is greater flexibility in how you arrange notes and sections – drag and drop ordering. You can insert spreadsheets into notes – something evernote folks have ben clamouring for over the last several years. Yes, it’s a little slower than Evernote. But not a whole lot. I takes a little effort to convert even with an automated converter. I’m an attorney, so My basic file structure in evernote was to use stacks for clients, notebooks for client matters, and individual notes for different topics in a case (people in this file, status report, etc.); I had to map the evernote notebooks into OneNote sections, but basically, doing that as I work with each file. This way it isn’t an overwhelming task. I will eventually phase out Evernote. Just not happy with the way things have gone ith it over the last several years.

      21. I have about 48,000 notes in Evernote and the most useful function for me is auto-categorization function, which was not even mentioned as a feature in the article. Evernote Clipper automatically suggests a Notebook to file a clipping to. While this is not available for every browser/source of notes, it is a huge time saver when scanning web articles.

      22. You forgot “ease of use” and “appearance/interface”, which OneNote wins by 100 stars. I tried many times to use EverNote because of all the buzz surrounding it and it is simply one ugly piece of software.

      23. I have been using Evernote for 5 years with at one point up to 11,000 notes. However, I switched to OneNote mainly due to sharing feature. Yes, Evernote has the ability to share page or notebook. I have a workflow system where each notebook as step in a process. Examples new order request, order booked, order active, order ready to invoice, order complete by year. If I share these notebooks in Evernote, the other user can view and edit pages but they cannot move a page from one notebook or stack to another notebook. With OneNote, if I share a notebook and have subsections. The other user can move pages between sections. I believe if you have a business Evernote account the shared users can move notes but not with the premium. Also, I found with Evernote, when I search and if I make a typo, the desktop app will temporarily freeze up and take longer to wait and search.

      24. I use both but I’m gravitating to Onenote. They seem to have improved it gradually, and it’s bundled nicely with other Micorsoft products and cloud storage.

        Additionally, I put my money on Microsoft for the long haul. They are the biggest company in the world, with a ton of cash, and I don’t know if the Evernote crew are even a profitable entity. I worry that Evernote could pull the plug at some point

      25. I recently tried switching to from EverNote to OneNote and found the free-form layouts a significant drawback especially considering the lack of grid functionality. Tables appeared to be a good option but were missing features (most notably cell merging and adjustable row height) that would have really made this work for me.

        Oddly enough, OneNote’s free form layout reveals a weird inflexibility in the program that could be resolved with either a template or a preference. Basically, I think OneNote could be improved by giving users the option of a more structured page layout more like MS Word.

        Anyway, just my two cents worth.

      26. Great article. I have an Android phone and Apple lap top. Will I be able to access Evernote between the two?

      27. While kinda torn, I’m leaning toward Onenote. OneNote has better table features as well as built in Exporting from Outlook. Onenote tables allow for quick Ctrl-A -> Ctrl-C/V for stuff I need to repeatedly copy/paste into and out of other apps.
        In OneNote 1×1 tables also make for easy hacks to make colored sections inside pages.
        But right now its the ability to create app reminders out of Evernote notes that prevent me from putting it away. Although the MS way of doing this is to use the Outlook app. I would still like the Reminder to reference the note i make, rather than to copy an Onenote page into an Outlook reminder/todo item. (which is annoying to do on mobile, easier on pc)

      28. I’ve been using EN(basic) over the past 8 years and enjoying it till the latest versions which
        1. does not allow me to highlight and bold my notes.
        2. Evernote constantly stops working and you to upgrade to Plus or Premium which very annoying.
        3. If I send a note to someone via email or whatapp, it’s a problem if that person does not have EverNote because he\she can not open the document, it means he\she must have Evernote to be able to open it, meaning forcing people to download the app, surprisingly that was not mentioned in the review.
        That prompted me to download and use OneNote which I found very user friendly in that category compared to Evernote.
        But I still have the app while trying to find a way to transfer all my notes to OneNote.

      29. If you try onenote beware that you will go insane trying to figure out and manage your data. Before you put much time into it, understand the issues because the various convoluted alternatives are not well documented, obvious, or the same version to version. If you travel to remote areas, Evernote just works. Onenote almost never works. I can sync up a new laptop as fast as my line speed will allow with EN, but ON almost never completes except on the simplest notebooks, and the error codes are usually not defined or written in some language only alleged to be English.

      30. I’m a long time user of Evernote (over 8yrs). I have a paid subscription and even bought the EN notebook that made scanning written notes to EN alot easier,especially with the OCR functionality. I recently started testing Onenote again, because the handwriting features seemed better. I use an iPad/apple pen combo instead of traditional pen and paper for note taking and ON performs way better. The free form layout is huge for me because of the way my thought process is. ON is also more visually appealng

      31. One very large difference between the two is that Onenote gives you no way to export your notes. You are stuck with them and can do nothing with the stored data. Evernote on the other hand can export notebooks into XML (which is a format that other programs can work with). I spent a frustrating hour trying to move a notebook from OneNote 2016 to OneNote for Windows 10 (all you get is a sorry something went wrong message). I had used Evernote, switched to OneNote, and now I’m looking to switch back to Evernote.

        1. “…One very large difference between the two is that OneNote gives you no way to export your notes….”.
          You can export singular notes: File > Save as PDF.
          Sorry hearing you spent frustrating time moving from OneNote 2016 to OneNote Windows 10. If your OneNote 2016 was backed up to OneDrive I would think logging in to OneNote Windows 10 then BAM! all your data auto-magically syncs.

      32. I find both products seriously flawed. OneNote is castrated by Microsoft’s alleged network integration, giving it slow performance and its error prone. Now they are adding a Windows 10 limitation? OMG
        Evernote’s will only search PDF files of 100 pages or less and less than 25 MB, and no “note” can be over 200 MB. About 1/3 of my pdf files contain over 100 pages or are over 25 MB. I have 108 that are greater than 200 MB, 2 that are are more than double that. All files are OCR’d by scansnap. Evernote tech support says you can link or files over 200MB using google drive, but had no idea if any file on google would be integrated beyond the 100 page limit or 25 MB size if it was already OCR’d. They told me the result would be just a link to the larger file. The 25/100 limit appears to be their OCR software limit but no one knows if a file OCR’d externally but less than 200 MB would be searchable, and clearly “linking” to google is probably a limitation for searching. Bottom line – don’t stop using paper, the American tech community is almost dead. If either company ever makes anything that actually works I think I’ll go see Dr. Kovorkian’s PA. For a workable solution you need 4 products routinely used at the same time, which means no single solution exists for a PC yet. As for IBM, they might have something. This is why we really need AI, but my guess is that its all hype, and we are so far away from real AI, most of us will never see it – but the brokers will take your money.

      33. I have been using Evernote since its inception. But recently decided to save some money and move over to One Note. But one of my primary needs is having PDFs OCR’d. Apparently, One Note used to do this but was sandboxed without notice. Is anyone else aware of this or have information about MS sandboxing the feature? Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

      34. There is one thing that I absolutely hate about Evernote (have the premium subscription): I can’t see the pdfs inline on my android phone and tablet! I use separate notebooks to organize my reference papers and having to use different tools to annotate and view the pdfs makes me question why I still use it. I believe OneNote allows you to include pdfs as printouts, which is why I’m gravitating towards it.

        1. I left Evernote in 2018 because there were no plans for a native digital inking experience. My use case may be unique but with Microsoft OneNote I don’t miss Evernote at all. Appreciate the video as I was an Evernote early adopter and I still want to see Evernote succeed.

      35. I appreciate the article itself, which has a lot of useful info. However, I don’t appreciate the deception in the title of this web page: “Evernote vs OneNote 2019 Comparison: What’s the best note taking app?” The first comments are from 2016, indicating that was when the article was first written. Then there is a note at the top of the article indicating that it was last updated May 27, 2018. That’s all well and good. I appreciate knowing that. But the html title on the page seems to have been written to generate more search engine hits or to hype the article by way of deception by putting 2019 in there. I fully understand that there *may* not be any significant changes in this space in the last year, but please stick to the real dates of the article and let the readers decide if the article is still relevant or not. Don’t lie to us about it.

        1. - Chief Editor

          Hi Steve, the article was most certainly updated this year, the person in charge of that simply forgot to make sure the date reflected that. The oversight’s been fixed, thank you.

          1. Thanks for the clarification, and that being the case I recognize that my initial comment was too accusatory. Obviously, it stems from a frustration of not being able to tell how current information is, which is a crucial factor when researching something related to technology or software. At least has a date on the articles to help with that problem, which is more than can be said for some sites. Since technology and software tend to change so rapidly, any article about it that doesn’t give a clear indication of the age of the information presented is completely worthless to me.

      36. I have been a long time Evernote user and just recently had to start using OneNote for work. One thing I noticed right away is that Evernote’s search feature is much better. Evernote actually indexes attachment files and even does OCR on photos/images. So in Evernote, I can search for a word and if the word happens to be on a sign or document I took a picture of, it will return it in the search results. That is impressive!

        1. Totally agree. Surprised OCR and searchable PDFs wasn’t mentioned in the article. It’s a big win for the Evernote side of the equation. Another is the security of the company. Evernote has had dicey moments in the past few years. I guess Microsoft could abandon OneNote as a product if they chose to, but the company itself isn’t likely going anywhere in the near future.

      37. i must be the only person in the world bothered that sorting anything in onenote is a 100% manual process, rather than the familiar “right-click, sort by” available in evernote and outlook and file explorer and….

      38. I disagree with almost everything in the article, especially when looking at the free versions of the software. I have used both, and originally started with Evernote, but use OneNote the most these days.

        The claim is made that Evernote is a better deal, but the free version capacity beats the first subscription option that is claimed to be a better deal. In Evernote, the free version is unusable to me due to its number of devices and storage limit, but I have never needed to upgrade to a OneNote subscription. Point to OneNote.

        Organization was given to Evernote as well. However, OneNotes organization far outshines Evernote (which is why I have migrated to OneNote). Evernote does to levels of notebooks with stacks, and notes. One note does Notebooks, sections, sub-sections, pages, sub-pages, color coding, and tags. With the current software, I have not issue creating custom tags, so I don’t believe you are accurately portraying tags. I have come to loathe Evernote “organization”, which is pretty poor in comparison. Point to OneNote by a million miles on this one.

        The collaboration tools and capabilities of OneNote far outshine Evernote, especially in Office365 which is free to students and available at many work locations such as mine. Even the free version of sharing notebooks is fine. Sure, I can’t share individual notes in a collaborative method in the free version, but giving Evernote the win here when it is about 90% less collaborative shows that either there is bias or the author just is not very familiar with OneNote. Point to OneNote on this one.

        Security, this section amuses me. Evernote has a history of being the last adopters of security features. They have had millions of users data breached and also have had issues for their entire history of user data loss. Microsoft has a much stronger security environment, and password protected notebooks are encrypted, counter to the claims in this article. I have actually lost data that was unrecoverable by Evernote on two occasions. I’ve never lost data in OneNote nor had to deal with a security data breach as has happened while I have been a user of Evernote. Point to OneNote.

        Are you sure you arent hired by Evernote to write this article?

        1. - Chief Editor

          Hi Chris, you’re of course entitled to your opinion, but I do find it striking that you, like many others who disagree with us, automatically assume we’re paid by the service you don’t like. If you had bothered to read our “how we work” page, which is linked at the bottom of each article, you’d quickly see that, while we do make our money off of affiliate relationships, we remain independent. I’ll link it here, just in case you have trouble finding it

      39. Thanks for the article. If Evernote upgraded their basic inknote feature, then it would be even better. It used to be great when you could sync Samsung notes to evernote. Do you know any solutions that have great ink note capability and file management? OneNote writing capability is OK, but the file management system is limited.

      40. Nice article. In Apr 2020, I use both Evernote and Onenote extensively. Evernote for work notes, reminders and personal stuff.

        Onenote is for project management, keeping stuff like POs, Signoffs etc. All these are small files <5MB. Migration from old versions of Onenote is seamless. Just upgrade the app and reopen. Due to security restrictions, I can only sync on Public wifi, therefore it is slow. Not a showstopper. I don't think I can do this on the free tier of Evernote.

        There is a difference not raised. Archival of old notes. Evernote notebooks are kept in a central database. Whereas OneNote is kept in individual files. Not interested in 2013, close that year. If you need to review, reopen.

      41. The reason I am finding myself on this string is that I keep having to create new notebooks for new businesses that I open. I want to share/collaborate with my business partners, but doing that with onenote has become exceedingly difficult.

        First off, I purchased the buiness premium package specifically to have the ability to add partners/co-workers so they can collaborate on company notes. After going into the admin area and creating a new user, it asks if I want to assign a microsoft business standard license or a microsoft power automate free license. Well, I’m not going to ask people to pay a significant monthly premium just to collaborate on onenote and I don’t thenk the automate free gives you the ability to collaborate. So, I’m at a loss. I have been using onenote for years and love the way it works. However, microsoft’s user license management has always been difficult to work with (I used to be a Microsoft Partner) and is impractical for users that ONLY want to collaborate in onenote.

        Unless someone else can shed some light on this for me, I am going to make the move to switch to something else. I honestly hope I don’t have to, but I this is the third time this year I’ve run into this situation. Thanks

      42. I have been using Evernote from the beginning but the free version does not allow one to access it on the phone without internet access. So if I am travelling without data I can’t use Evernote. Went on an extended sailing trip and took notes on OneNote.

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