Are you looking for a OneNote alternative?
Don’t you hate when your brain conjures up ideas at the wrong moments?
Like when you’re about to go to sleep.
In the past, when this happened, you either had to forego the idea and go to sleep or get up, look for a book and pen, make a note, and ruin your sleep cycle.
But nowadays, there are apps that simplify things. You can just reach out to the phone that ‘sleeps’ next to you and use an app like OneNote to jot down your idea.
The light from the screen might ruin your sleep (hint: turn on your phone’s night mode), but hey, you will at least have the idea that will make a massive difference in your business.
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What is OneNote?
OneNote is a digital notebook app on steroids. You can scribble quick notes, prepare checklists, draw, and even incorporate other items such as photos in it. It also makes it easy to collaborate with your team.
Pros of OneNote
- Take various kinds of notes, in text format, audio notes, drawings, etc.
- Add highlights and ink annotations to get important bits to stand out.
- Notebooks, sections, and pages make it easy to organize your notes and navigate.
- Share notes and collaborate with your team.
Limitations of OneNote
- You can’t buy it individually. You need a Microsoft Office 365 plan, which comes with a suite of all their apps like Skype, Word, OneDrive, and Excel.
Best suited for: Freelancers and businesses already using Microsoft Office 365.
Pricing: You can start with a free one-month trial. After that, you can go with the $6.99 per month plan or the $9.99 per month plan.
OneNote is a great tool with a lot of wonderful features. But it is mainly for people who already have a Microsoft Office 365 plan and want to combine it with the other apps. If you use something else like Google’s apps, there are better OneNote alternatives. I have listed some of them.
The Best OneNote Alternatives
Sticky Notes by Ukiv is a simple note-taking app with over 1.5 million users. It’s great for saving your ideas and making to-do lists. It’s not as advanced as OneNote, but it’s a good choice if you want something straightforward.
- Very fast and easy to use.
- Browser extensions for Chrome and Microsoft Edge.
- Makes it fun to take notes with beautiful themes and fonts.
- Notes get backed up on the cloud automatically.
- Only works on browsers with the extension.
- No mobile version available.
- No collaboration/team features.
Best suited for: Solopreneurs and business owners.
Pricing: Free plan available. Paid plans are $9.99 a month, $99 a year, or $999 for lifetime access. Discounts for students, schools, and nonprofit organizations. But on AppSumo, you can get it for life for a one-time payment of $49.
NoteDex is a notetaking app built to function like a collection of digital notecards. You can create digital index cards and flashcards on your computer. Enjoy multiple colors, text formats (including handwriting), and images to organize your notes, projects, and workflow. It’s an ideal tool for individuals looking to stay organized on the web.
- Use stylus to take digital notes by hand
- Easily organize different projects, plans, ideas, meetings, and lessons
- Stay organized with folders and categories
- Easily share cards to view on the web, save as images, or print to PDF
- Doesn’t suit most businesses. Mainly meant for one-person businesses.
Best suited for: Consultants, freelancers, and project managers.
Pricing: 7-day trial. After that, you can choose to pay $2.99 monthly, $24.99 annually, or purchase lifetime access for $49.99. Plus, if you buy on AppSumo, you can get a lifetime deal on NoteDex for just $39.
Ideanote is an idea-generation software for businesses. It helps customers, team members, partners, and guests brainstorm ideas and collaborate. It ensures that your company is only working on plausible features that your customers want.
- Contains 100+ templates that help create the right idea-collection campaigns for product improvement, boosting productivity, marketing, sales, etc.
- Helps capture the right ideas.
- Collaboration features help you filter the best ideas and set timelines.
- Helps you track ideas, too.
- Doesn’t suit most businesses. Mainly meant for online businesses such as SaaS companies.
Best suited for: SaaS companies.
Pricing: 7-day free trial. Plans range from $249 per month to $2,899 per month.
Evernote is one of my favorite note-taking apps. It works on multiple devices, you can take many types of notes, and it has several other features.
- You can record audio, take notes, prepare checklists, save pages on the web, and more.
- Automatically saves your notes to the web.
- Access them from multiple devices via the web version and the app even when you’re offline.
- Easily search for your notes.
- Notes take time to sync and appear on the other apps.
Best suited for: Individuals to large businesses.
Pricing: Free plan available. 14-day free trial for paid plans. Paid plans are $7.99 per month and $14.99 per user/month.
As the name suggests, Simplenote is a simple note-taking tool. It’s free and available on multiple devices.
- Completely free to use.
- You can use the web version or an app. It has apps for Android, iPhone, iPad, MacBook, Linux, and Windows operating systems.
- Notes get backed, synced, and shared across all devices.
- Tag notes to make them easy to find.
- Team members can access shared notes.
- Too simple
- Dropbox sync no longer supported.
Best suited for: Freelancers.
6. Nimbus Note
Nimbus Note is a comprehensive platform for organizing notes, documents, and projects from multiple sources into a collaborative digital environment.
- Easily manage all workspaces, team members, and notes in a nest structure
- Scan documents with your phone and add them straight to your notes
- Embedded widgets and websites like Google Maps, YouTube, Google Docs, and Google Drive
- Whitelabel capabilities when you’re on a Team plan
- Limited calculation options for tables
- The lack of backlinks (this feature is currently in the roadmap)
Best suited for: Project managers, marketers, and creative teams looking to organize and collaborate on all their documents and info.
Pricing: Free plan available. Paid plans are $3.99 per month for personal use and $6 per user per month.
As the name suggests, Encryptic is a note-taking app with a focus on encryption. The security is so high on this app that only you will know what you type.
- The app runs directly on the browser. Your writings are stored in the browser’s cache using encryption. It never leaves your device.
- The markdown formatting syntax makes it easy to take notes.
- You can create to-do lists with progress bars to see how far you are from completing goals.
- Too simple.
Best suited for: Freelancers and solopreneurs.
8. Google Keep
Google Keep is a note-taking tool from Google. You can use it to take a variety of notes on multiple devices. It also integrates with Google docs.
- An excellent app for taking notes. You can create checklists, add notes to images, color-code notes, and do so much more.
- Helps you get the most out of Google docs, Drive, and other Google tools.
- You can also set reminders and invite collaborators. It makes it easy for multiple people to work on a project.
- It’s not too simple, but it isn’t as sophisticated as Evernote or OneNote.
- Formatting needs improvement.
Best suited for: Google Docs and Drive users.
Pricing: Free to $10 per user per month. You don’t pay for it separately. You pay for it when you subscribe to Google Workspace.
Roam Research is an excellent note-taking tool, but it has many more purposes. For example, you can use it as a writing tool to write pages of text. It’s good for writing and researching as a team because of its robust collaboration features.
- You can either use it as a note-taking tool or a complete writing tool.
- You can use it for various other things like tracking goals, as a personal CRM, and for organizing your research.
- Create several notes and connect them using “networked thought.”
- Useful drag-and-drop features.
- There’s no mobile app.
- Requires a bit of a learning curve to get the most out of it.
Best suited for: Individuals to small teams.
Pricing: 31-day free trial. Plans are $13.75 a month (billed annually) and $8.333 a month ($500; five-year commitment). Discounts for researchers, those under 22, and others.
Notion is more than just a note-taking app. It’s an all-in-one workspace made for teams. Individual teams or the entire company can work on projects together on it. It can actually replace popular project management tools like Trello.
- You can use it to execute tasks such as product visualization, running design projects, planning your marketing and sales, etc.
- A team wiki helps organize knowledge into easy to find answers.
- Kanban-style boards help plan and manage projects.
- Create notes and docs and share them with your team.
- The mobile version needs an upgrade.
- Because of the many features, there’s a learning curve to understanding and getting the most out of the software.
Best suited for: Small businesses to enterprises.
Pricing: Free plan available. Paid plans are $4 and $8 per month, billed annually. Free for first responders and others fighting COVID-19. Custom enterprise plan available.
Bear is the note-taking app for writers, as you can take simple notes and write detailed essays with it. It comes with beautiful themes, typography, and a dark mode that make writing a pleasurable experience.
- Has extensions for Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera and apps for iPhone and iPad, making it accessible on multiple devices.
- You can organize notes with hashtags and even link them to each other.
- Focus mode and advanced markup options make it easy to write.
- You can also check word count, read time, paragraphs, and characters if you want to meet a writing goal.
- Very affordable.
- There’s no app for Android
- No collaboration/team features.
Best suited for: Writers and bloggers.
Pricing: Free plan available. Free trial. Paid plans are $1.49 a month and $14.99 a year.
Notes is a simple note-taking app from Apple. There’s nothing special about it. But if you are looking for a OneNote alternative just for taking notes, it will suit you.
- Create simple notes and format them with checklists, titles, tables, etc.
- Add photos, maps, and other elements to illustrate your points.
- Collaborate with others.
- All notes get backed up into iCloud.
- Only available for MacOS and iOS users.
- Very simple.
Best suited for: Apple users.
WorkFlowy is an app for taking notes, organizing your workflow, and planning simple projects. You can use it on multiple platforms.
- Create notes and tag them into groups.
- Create lists and place them in other lists to create a hierarchy.
- Apps for desktop, iOS, and Android.
- Use templates to create complex structures.
- Mobile versions’ user interfaces need upgrades.
- Features are limited.
Best suited for: Small businesses.
Pricing: 15-day free trial. Plans are $5 a month or $49 a year.
Notejoy is the note-taking app for teams. 40,000+ professionals around the world use it. It also integrates with many apps and works on several devices. These options make it very convenient to use.
- The focus view helps with distraction-free writing.
- Create checklists with action items.
- Team members can offer feedback on each other’s notes.
- Easily organize content to make stuff easy to find. If you still don’t locate something, you can use the search option.
- Requires a learning curve. It can take some work for your entire team to understand how to use it.
Best suited for: Businesses with small teams.
Pricing: Free plan available. Paid plans are $4, $8, and $12 a month, billed annually.
Which OneNote alternative do you like most?
These are the 12 best OneNote alternatives. They range from extremely simple ones that just let you jot down your ideas to sophisticated apps that let you write essays, plan projects, and more.
So, think about your and your team’s needs and decide which one will suit you best. All of the above apps offer either free trials or free plans. Some are even completely free.
You might also want to give the pen and paper option a go. I use it and am completely happy with it. I reserve apps for when I am on the go and don’t have access to a book. I also use them to set reminders.
If you are on the lookout for note-taking apps and other productivity tools, make sure you check out the AppSumo store. It regularly has lifetime deals that provide access to top-quality tools for a fraction of the price.