The days of writing notes in various notebooks, furiously scribbling research on notecards, and jotting down ideas on sticky notes that end up in unexpected places are on their way out. Electronic note-taking tools have become more popular for students, professionals, and, well, anyone with ideas, notes, or to-dos.
While some of us diehards still like putting pen to paper (you can pry my notebook from my cold, cramped hands), there’s no denying that note-taking apps make it easy to organize, save, and share notes with others in a way you just can’t do with physical notes.
Evernote has become synonymous with note-taking from its inception in 2008. But just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it’s the right tool for you.
An Overview of Evernote
Used by 225 million people worldwide, Evernote is a leading note-taking app, with cross-platform syncing so you can update notes on any device. A widely used Evernote feature is the Web Clipper, which allows you to save website screenshots, articles, and PDFs directly to your account.
- Find templates for notes like goal tracking, weekly planning, and budgeting.
- Go paperless with document scanning.
- Include information from the web with web clipping.
- Upload and search handwritten notes from Post-it notes, whiteboards, etc.
- Use centralized team spaces for shared team notes and resources.
- Compatible with Browser, Windows, Mac, Android, iOS.
- Integrates with Gmail, Outlook, Salesforce, Slack, Google Drive, and Microsoft Teams.
Best for: Anyone looking for a free version that’s packed full of value, or businesses that need an easy-to-use option for team sharing and collaboration.
Cost: Evernote Basic offers note-taking features for free. Premium ($7.99/month) and Business ($14.99/month) provide advanced features for organizing, sharing, and collaborating.
Top Evernote Alternatives for Better Note-Taking
Whether you’re looking for something feature-rich and complex or a simple text-based app where you can dump your ideas, you’ll love these Evernote alternatives.
Collect, develop, and prioritize the right ideas with the right people in one platform.
Marketed as the world’s #1 all-in-one innovation platform, Ideanote gives you one central hub to capture and manage your ideas, notes, and to-dos. This app makes it easy to collaborate with your team (or anyone else!) while developing, managing, and tracking ideas. Ideanote offers a customizable and intuitive workflow that makes note-taking easy and helpful.
- Use 100+ idea-collection templates for situations including efficient meetings, new customers, expansion, resources, and processes.
- Crete goal-oriented idea collections centered around a challenging question.
- Each member gets their own profile to manage ideas, see progress, and customize settings.
- Move, copy, edit, and archive your notes for better organization.
- Get real-time notifications on updated notes.
- Drag and drop files from your desktop to an Ideanote card.
Best for: Large teams that need an innovative and immediate way to exchange ideas and notes.
Cost: Starter ($249/month), Business ($649/month), and Enterprise ($2,899/month) plans all include unlimited members and their own innovative workspace, with different numbers of admins, ideas, criteria for each plan.
For a limited time, you can get a 1-year deal of Ideanote’s Business Plan at $59 on AppSumo.
2. Sticky Notes
Lightning fast, easy-to-use browser extension for taking notes in Chrome and Edge.
Sticky Notes is a browser extension that makes it easy to take notes in both Chrome and Edge. Accessing and organizing notes is also easy, and the app allows you to work offline so you can continue to jot down ideas, to-do lists, and other info at any time. With a range of beautiful themes, this browser extension allows you to personalize your experience while making note taking fun!
- Beautiful handpicked themes to create an experience that’s easy on the eyes.
- Open Sticky Notes in just one click inside your browser.
- Save your notes with optional Cloud backups and organize them into folders.
- Access notes quickly by clicking the extension icon.
- Works offline; take notes without an internet connection.
Best for: Busy entrepreneurs and business owners who want an easy and convenient way to store notes, to-dos, and ideas right from their browser.
Cost: The Free Forever plan is limited to three notes but offers basic themes and unlimited lists. Premium Plan ($9.99/month) gives you all nine notes, premium animated themes, automatic backup of notes, and multi-monitor support. Get lifetime access through AppSumo deals for just $49.00.
3. Google Keep
Google Keep is one of the simpler note-taking apps on our Evernote alternative list, with an easy-to-use, clean interface. With Google Keep, you can take notes on your phone, tablet, or computer, syncing across devices or sharing notes with friends and family.
- Label, pin, and color-code notes.
- Collaborate on notes in real time.
- Speech-to-text functionality for note dictation.
Best for: People looking for a simple note-taking app without all the bells and whistles.
4. Microsoft OneNote
Microsoft OneNote is marketed as a digital notebook where you can “gather your notes and make them even better.” OneNote makes it easy to organize your thoughts across notebooks, sections, and pages with quick navigation and search to find what you’re looking for.
- Use on unlimited devices for free.
- Draw thoughts and annotations with your finger or a stylus.
- Use Web Clipper to save web content with one click.
- Share notebooks with coworkers, friends, or family.
- Include mixed media notes like audio, video, and other files.
Best for: Entrepreneurs already using Windows, Office365, or OneDrive, and those who want a free app with lots of features.
Notejoy has become a well-known product for teams that want to share and collaborate on notes with others. With real-time editing by multiple users and threaded discussions, Notejoy has some of the best team collaboration features of any note-taking app. Integrations with Trello, Slack, and scanner apps also make it a must-have for teams.
- Edit notes in real time with multiple team members.
- See who has viewed and added to notes.
- Threaded discussions with @mentions and reactions.
- Embed Google Docs, Microsoft Office docs, PDFs, videos, and audio.
- Clip any webpage or forward emails to Notejoy to create notes quickly.
- Organize notes with nested notebooks, nested tags, team libraries, pins, and archives.
- Available on a browser, Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.
- Integrates with Google Drive, Gmail, Microsoft Office, Slack, Trello, HubSpot, and scanner apps.
Best for: Teams looking for a single, well-organized place to collaborate, store, and share knowledge with others.
Cost: Free option includes up to 5 users, 3 team libraries, 5 notebooks, 10MB per file upload, and up to 100MB library storage. Paid plans start at $4/month and offer additional features and more storage.
A newcomer to the note-taking software game, Bear allows you to create and sync notes across your Apple devices. A unique feature of Bear is the hybrid markdown editor that offers a full range of formatting options. This feature, along with the ability to export and get important stats like word/character count, read time, and paragraph numbers, make this app ideal for authors and students.
- Compatible with Mac and iOS.
- Format text as you type with a hybrid markdown editor.
- Organize notes using hashtags and slashes for nested tags.
- Use focus mode to concentrate on the task at hand.
- Beautiful themes and typography, including a Dark Mode.
- Encrypt individual notes with a password or Face/Touch ID.
Best for: Writers and students who need the option to take notes or write long-form content they can format before exporting.
Cost: Free option: Create notes, add tags and attachments, and export notes. Pro subscription ($1.49/monthly or $14.99 annually): Syncing, themes, and more powerful export options.
Simplenote‘s appeal is described in its name — it’s a simple app with a simple user interface. Simplenote offers a no-frills experience with minimal features, making it ideal for those who tend to get overwhelmed or distracted by all the options and functionality of other mobile note-taking mobile applications. If you’re looking for a distraction-free experience with simple text notes, and you don’t need advanced features, Simplenote may be your new go-to program.
- Available for Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows, and web browsers like Chrome.
- Automatic and real-time sync.
- Add tags to find notes quickly with the instant search feature.
- Share notes with others or publish notes online.
- Write, preview, and publish notes in markdown format.
Best for: People who prefer simplicity over fancy features or want a distraction-free note-taking experience.
8. Dropbox Paper
Dropbox Paper is another powerful alternative to Evernote that’s ideal for team collaboration. In addition to allowing you to add and edit notes as a team, Dropbox Paper offers a task management tool that lets you assign to-do lists, add due dates, and mention team members in real time within the document. You can also drop a link to nearly anything in your note — YouTube video, Pinterest board, Google Map, SoundCloud clip, GIF — and Paper displays the preview properly.
- Compatible with Windows, iOS, and Android.
- Variety of templates, including meeting notes, launch plan, brainstorming, creative brief, project plan, new hire onboarding, and product spec.
- Annotate specific parts of an image with feedback.
- Turn Paper docs into professional-looking presentations in one step.
- Simplify to-do lists with task management tools like task assignments, due dates, reminders, and task completion.
- Integrates with Sketch, Invision, Dropbox, Slack, and more.
Best for: Dropbox customers looking to collaborate on notes, or teams that need task management capabilities for project management.
Notion is another Evernote alternative focused on team collaboration. One of the best note-taking apps for teams, Notion offers a variety of project management capabilities, including Kanban boards, tables, and lists to customize your workflow. Unique to Notion is the team wiki feature, which allows you to turn your team knowledge into a database of easy-to-find answers. If you’re just looking for a personal note-taking solution, Notion may be overkill.
- Web app, desktop app, and apps for iOS and Android devices.
- Turn any type of project into a template, including multi-layered pages.
- Use tables to create databases or a team wiki.
- Nested hierarchical organization, including dropdowns.
- Collaborate in real time, mentioning coworkers when you need input or responses.
- Invite others to work on notes or share with your entire company.
- Embed 500+ other apps inside your Notion pages to create a hub for your team’s work.
Best for: Teams that need an easy way to collaborate on notes while accessing a team wiki.
Cost: Free plan allows unlimited pages and blocks you can sync across devices and share with five guests. Paid plans start at $4 a month and offer unlimited guests, unlimited team members, admin tools, and advanced permissions.
10. Zoho Notebook
Zoho Notebook is a unique Evernote alternative, as it takes a novel approach to creating note types by using different note cards. Zoho offers different formatting for text notes, checklists, audio notes, photos, files, sketches, and smart notes with advanced formatting. Another distinction between Zoho Notebook and other solutions is a beautiful visual experience, with separate images for each notebook and colored backgrounds.
- Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux.
- Use pinch and swipe gestures to navigate the app and organize notes.
- Customize notebooks with image covers and color-coded note cards.
- Search for and organize notes using tags.
- Secure notes with passcodes or Touch ID.
- Automatically sync notes to the cloud across all your devices.
Best for: People who need to manage many different types of notes within the same app, and people who are visually inclined and want a beautiful experience.
11. Apple Notes
If you have an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, you’re probably already familiar with Apple Notes. While simple, Notes makes it easy to capture thoughts, create checklists, and sketch ideas quickly. It comes loaded on your iPhone, iPad, and MacBook, so there’s no need to download the app. To create a note, open the app, tap the “compose” button, create your note, and tap “Done.” Then it’s saved and synced to all your devices. It couldn’t be easier!
- Use iCloud to update your notes across all your devices.
- Pin important notes, so they are easier to find later.
- Create checklists to mark off as you finish.
- Format with headings, bold, italics, underline, strikethrough, and more.
- Scan and sign documents within the app.
- Add attachments like a website, photo, video, or Google map.
- Organize your notes in folders.
Best for: Apple users who want a quick and easy way to save thoughts, ideas, to-dos, notes, and attachments.
Turtl is a close all-in-one Evernote competitor, with the biggest difference being that it’s a secure and encrypted open-source application. Turtl works well for any kind of notes or project, including passwords, shopping lists, bookmarks, and more long-form content. It also allows you to gain control of your data by installing your own Turtl server at home or work.
- Sync across devices, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android. An app for iOS is coming soon.
- Use bookmark browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
- Share and collaborate with teammates or family members who can access your data without compromising security.
- Protect note data with Turtl’s high-end cryptography.
Best for: Entrepreneurs and individuals who want a secure and encrypted notebook that’s collaborative.
Cost: Free for up to 50MB of note data and 3 collaborators. Paid plans start at $3/month and offer more storage and additional collaborators.
Owned by Salesforce, Quip brings all your notes, docs, and team members into one place where you can collaborate and chat with ease. A unique feature of Quip is its chat feature, which is built into every document. Quick to set up and easy to use, Quip makes it easy to get started with creating and maintaining living documents.
- Integrates with Salesforce’s CRM software so you can create spreadsheets with live Salesforce data.
- Streamline your workflow with a built-in chat feature, team chat rooms, and 1:1 messaging.
- Templates for sales, service, marketing, manufacturing, project planning, and more to kickstart your workflow.
- Collaborate on documents and edit with others in real time.
- Out-of-the-box security with encrypted, auditable, and controlled data.
Best for: Teams that need to develop and maintain documents that change over time or organizations already using Salesforce.
Cost: Starter ($10/user/month) plan includes unlimited documents, spreadsheets, and slides with group chat and 1:1 messages. Enterprise ($25/user/month) plan adds single sign-on, enterprise API and customization, and custom live apps.
14. Roam Research
Marketed as a personal knowledge management system, Roam is a note-taking tool that’s ideal for organizing ongoing research and collecting data. Roam was inspired by the Zettelkasten method of note taking, which involves writing lots of small notes on rearrangeable index cards instead of taking pages and pages of notes that you then have to sort through. Roam is unique because it allows you to collect notes using “networked thought,” which helps you discover and create relationships between notes and ideas.
- Available through web browser.
- Use bidirectional links to link existing topics or ideas together.
- Use in-text links or page links at the bottom of notes to jump from one note to another.
- Get a bird’s-eye view of all your pages and how they are linked using the graph overview.
- Insert code, images, videos, tables, nested lists, diagrams, and more.
Best for: Students and professionals who need to keep track of research or ideas over time and want to see how the ideas/data interconnect.
Cost: Professional plan ($15/month) offers up to three private or public Roam graphs, unlimited collaborators, and API access. Believer plan ($500/5 years) adds first access to new features, community calls with the team, and priority support.
A direct competitor to Roam, Obsidian markets itself as “a second brain” that helps you make connections between your notes and ideas. This knowledge base works on top of a local folder of plain text Markdown files. Encouraging you to make connections between your ideas, Obsidian makes it easy to connect notes with backlinks and a graph view. The ability to use offline may be a game-changer for those who want to collect ideas or make notes without the distraction of the internet.
- Available for macOS, Windows, and Linux.
- Use offline for a distraction-free experience.
- Connect ideas and notes using backlinks with a graph view for a bird’s-eye view of connections.
- Split panes infinitely, resize, and pin to keep content linked.
- Build your own note-taking toolkit with plugins like graph view, page view, backlinks, daily notes, word count, and search.
Best for: Anyone who wants to organize their notes, data, and ideas by connecting and linking based on themes or topics.
Cost: Personal plan is free for personal use; no sign-up or account needed. The Catalyst ($25+ one-time payment) and Commercial ($50/user/year) plans offer additional support and access.
16. Nimbus Note
Nimbus Note is the ultimate note-taking, sharing, and organizing tool for easy collaboration across team members and clients. This powerful platform eliminates the scatterbrained feeling of juggling tools, folders, and those pesky sticky notes on your monitor. With customizable workspaces for team members to get on the same page, simple tracking, seamless embedding, and even live desktop screen recording, productivity for your team just got a whole lot better.
- Use isolated workspaces, each with their own access permissions, branding, and third-party integrations
- Unlimited nested folders for each workspace to manage complex projects
- Assemble notes with a block editor, which lets you embed files, audio, video, websites, and widgets like Google Maps, YouTube, and Google Drive
- Mobile app lets you scan papers and add them straight to your notes
- Flexible tables that act as spreadsheets, databases, or both
- Nimbus Capture lets you record desktop videos with a live feed from your webcam, with the ability to take on-screen notes
- Public pages that you can share with teams and clients with ease
- Embeddable code of shared Nimbus Pages for your website or blog
Best for: Project managers of small and large teams looking to consolidate all their documents and info in one collaborative workspace
Cost: Pro Plan ($24.99/year), Business Plan ($70/year).
How to Pick the Best Evernote Alternative
If you aren’t loving Evernote as much as you thought you would, there are plenty of note-taking applications that are just as good as, if not better than, Evernote. The key to picking the best Evernote alternative is to choose a program that has the features you care about most, fits in your budget, and works with the technology you’re already using every day.
Start with a free trial from one of the contenders above to see if you like using the software.