All posts

5 Best Evernote Alternatives & Competitors for Note-Taking in 2024

AFFiNE
01/02/2024

Evernote has been one of the most popular note-taking applications for years, but it's not without its flaws. Evernote has been in the news a lot, with their recent price hikes to allegedly laying off almost all of their existing workforce. It's not wonder that more and more people are taking the time to explore Evernote alternatives, so let's go through some of the competitors to Evernote along with their won advantages and disadvantages.

kJ2oIcYeq7nJ80PC3swg19iJXW0WN0xNNcDkk5zOD8c=

What is Evernote?

First launched in 2008, Evernote gained a significant user base as a popular note-taking and organisation application that allows users to create, capture, and manage various types of information.

Users can create individual notes within the app, which can contain text, formatted content, and multimedia attachments. Then your notes can be organised into notebooks and tagged for easy categorisation and retrieval. Which is made even easier, as Evernote enables users to access their notes across different devices and platforms - from desktop to mobile.

Reasons to look for an Evernote Alternative

1) Pricing and Subscription Model

Evernote offers both free and premium subscription plans. The free plan has limitations on features and storage capacity, while the premium plan comes with a monthly or annual fee. If you find the pricing structure of Evernote to be restrictive or if you're looking for a more budget-friendly option, exploring alternatives can be beneficial. There are several note-taking applications available that offer competitive features at a lower cost or even for free.

2) Real-time Collaboration

Want to share notes and collaborate with teams? That's made a little difficult with Evernote, as there is no real-time collaboration offering. As technology and the web grows, the idea of multiplayer and real-time interactions becomes not only increasingly more common but almost even a necessity.

3) Lack of productvity features

For an app that's all about productivity, here's an intersting quote from an ex-Evernote employee

95% of our [Evernote] users, use just 5% of the features

So you might not think a lack of features would be a problem, the main things this show is rather it's not about the features you have but rather the features your audience and users want. It's important to have useful features for your users.

The best Evernote Alternatives for 2024

1) AFFiNE

qsk5CeSlOqBvX5OZXaVZzPjLRa6Ktz6-e6MiQawgmVk=

AFFiNE is an interesting app because it caters to so many possible users and use cases. This all-in-one KnowledgeOS combines the likes of Notion and Monday to offer you a unified application whereby you can write, draw and plan all at once. On top of that AFFiNE is open-source which means that AFFiNE and its code will always be available in some form - so your data will always be available to you!

Advantages

  • Free and opensource: No other software on this list can claim to be free and open-source. This enables users to wield a powerful productivity app without cost, but also gives them the power to control their note taking experience. Developers can integrate and make improvements to AFFiNE directly, which makes this a very powerful solution that can continue to grow.
  • Multi-platform support: Starting out as a web-based app AFFiNE offers support across modern desktop systems. And with that comes a consistent experience with tailored platform features, such as styling, which create a more native experience. And with mobile support coming down the line, practically every device can be supported by this note-taking tool.
  • Real-time collaboration and easy syncing: With real-time collaboration AFFiNE allows multiple users to edit a document at the same moment, with real-time updates. And no matter you work offline/online or on various devices your data and changes sync easily and trouble free. No conflicts and clashes to deal with - just easy simple syncing where we do all the heavy lifting.
  • Community and build in public: There are lots of communities that follow different projects and can help support different apps. With AFFiNE it's less about building a community solely with the purpose of supporting AFFiNE - but rather to grow open-source communities, developer communities, productivity communities and more. You can engage and interact with lots of great and interesting people - while also being able to feedback on the application and directly impact the future development - from brand new feature requests to improvements.
  • Actively developed: Many apps just work but that's it. They don't offer more features or continue to develop the project or software further. AFFiNE is different With lots of future enhancements that will continue to strengthen AFFiNE as an all-in-one solution you can be confident that AFFiNE will always be a next-gen solution that continues to shape with cutting-edge approaches and user requirements.

Disadvantages

AFFiNE is feature-rich but there still may be some features that users might be looking for which have not been added (yet). This can be overcome with the vast community support and the growing plugin community to come.

2) Google Keep

uTY57PujmoqVr4JPS2b9y787eBVZsBSxfHzs_x0YmrI=

Google Keep is another free note-taking application. It's pretty basic, but it's an excellent option for those who prefer a clean, straightforward note-taking experience. Google Keep integrates with other Google apps like Gmail and Calendar, making it easy to access your notes quickly.

Advantages

  • Seamless Integration with Google Ecosystem: Google Keep integrates seamlessly with other Google services and applications, such as Google Drive, Google Docs, and Google Calendar. This integration allows for easy sharing, syncing, and collaboration across multiple devices and platforms. If you already use Google services extensively, Google Keep provides a cohesive note-taking experience within the Google ecosystem.
  • Simplicity and Ease of Use: Google Keep offers a straightforward and intuitive interface that makes note-taking quick and effortless. The app focuses on simplicity, allowing users to create and organise notes with ease. It offers basic formatting options, such as bullet points, checkboxes, and text styling, ensuring a clean and uncluttered writing experience.
  • Multimedia Support and Visual Organisation: Google Keep supports various media types, including images, voice recordings, and drawings. This versatility allows users to capture and store different types of content within their notes. Additionally, Google Keep offers visual organisation through color-coded notes and labels, making it easy to categorise and locate specific information.
  • Reminders and Location-Based Notes: One notable feature of Google Keep is its reminder functionality. Users can set reminders for individual notes, ensuring important tasks and events are not forgotten. Moreover, Google Keep allows users to create location-based notes, which can be particularly useful for location-specific reminders or capturing ideas when visiting certain places.
  • Cross-Platform Availability: Google Keep is accessible across various platforms, including the web, Android, and iOS devices. This cross-platform availability ensures that your notes are synced and accessible from any device with an internet connection. The synchronisation is seamless, allowing for real-time updates and easy switching between devices.

Disadvantages

While Google Keep offers a lightweight and streamlined note-taking experience, it may lack some of the advanced features and organisation capabilities found in Evernote. If you require extensive organisation, tagging, or advanced search functionalities, Evernote might be a better fit. However, for users seeking a simple, intuitive, and integrated note-taking solution within the Google ecosystem, Google Keep provides a compelling alternative.

3) Microsoft OneNote

qGOpD8eOKisSo7f4l0n8piu1TMH_GCTrZerU9m-7YPU=

OneNote is a note-taking application by Microsoft that's included in the Microsoft Office suite. While it doesn't have as many features as Evernote, it's entirely free, and it's an excellent option for those who only need basic note-taking features. OneNote seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft products like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, making it easy to work across different platforms.

Advantages

  • Integration with Microsoft Office Suite: OneNote seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft Office applications, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. This integration allows for easy sharing, importing, and exporting of content across different Microsoft platforms. If you frequently use Microsoft Office tools, OneNote provides a cohesive note-taking experience within the Microsoft ecosystem.
  • Hierarchical Organisation and Note Structure: OneNote offers a hierarchical structure for organising notes, allowing you to create notebooks, sections, and pages within a logical hierarchy. This structure makes it easy to categorise and navigate through your notes, ensuring efficient organisation and retrieval of information.
  • Rich Formatting and Media Support: OneNote provides a wide range of formatting options to enhance your notes. You can format text, add tables, insert images, and embed files, videos, and audio recordings. The ability to incorporate multimedia elements into your notes makes OneNote suitable for capturing and presenting diverse types of content.
  • Ink and Handwriting Support: OneNote excels in supporting digital ink and handwriting. If you use a stylus or touchscreen device, you can write, draw, and annotate directly on your notes. OneNote's powerful handwriting recognition capabilities convert your handwritten notes into searchable text, enhancing accessibility and ease of use.
  • Collaboration and Syncing: OneNote offers robust collaboration features, allowing multiple users to work on the same notebooks simultaneously. Users can share notebooks with colleagues or classmates, making it an excellent tool for group projects and teamwork. OneNote also provides reliable syncing across devices, ensuring that your notes are always up to date and accessible from anywhere.

Disadvantages

While OneNote offers a powerful and versatile note-taking experience, it may have a steeper learning curve compared to some others due to its extensive feature set. Additionally, some advanced features in OneNote, such as version history and advanced search capabilities, may require a Microsoft 365 subscription. However, for users seeking a robust and integrated note-taking solution, particularly within the Microsoft ecosystem, OneNote provides a compelling alternative to Everenote.

4) Bear

AFyjrz6CDu0mWXkyilJ4PCBhYEMro4R0kNU0KqgZIIw=

Bear is the perfect option for those who prefer a minimalist interface. This note-taking app is only available on Apple devices, but it's well worth checking out if you're an iOS user. With Bear, you can create to-do lists, attach photos and files, and collaborate with others.

Advantages

  • Simplicity and User Interface: Bear offers a clean and intuitive user interface that focuses on simplicity and ease of use. It provides a distraction-free writing environment, making it ideal for users who prefer a minimalist design. The app's interface is uncluttered, allowing users to focus on their notes and content without unnecessary distractions.
  • Markdown Support: Bear has robust support for Markdown, a lightweight markup language used for formatting text. Markdown allows users to format their notes quickly and efficiently using simple syntax. This feature is particularly appreciated by writers, developers, and anyone who prefers a text-based approach to formatting their notes.
  • Organisation and Tagging: Bear offers a flexible organisational system with the ability to create tags and nested tags, helping users categorise and find their notes easily. Tags can be added to individual notes, allowing for a customisable and efficient way of organising content. The hierarchical structure of tags provides a logical and intuitive system for managing large note collections.
  • Multi-Device Synchronisation: Bear is available for macOS, iOS, and iPadOS, offering seamless synchronisation across all devices. This ensures that your notes are always up to date and accessible from any device. The sync process is reliable and fast, allowing users to switch between devices and continue working without interruption.
  • Focus on Writing and Note-Taking: Bear focuses primarily on the core functionalities of writing and note-taking. While it lacks some of the advanced features of Evernote, this simplicity allows for a streamlined experience, particularly for users who prioritise the writing process and organisation of their notes above additional bells and whistles.

Disadvantages

It's important to note that Bear does have some limitations compared to Evernote. For example, Bear has a smaller storage limit in its free version, and it may not have the same level of advanced features or integrations as Evernote. However, for users who value simplicity, a clean interface, Markdown support, and a focus on core note-taking functionality, Bear can be a compelling alternative to Evernote. And of course don't forget the iOS exclusivity.

5) Notion

eYLeYxhsRgRqga-XQ9masnD5QOeKVeov0aQ2LrQABZs=

Notion is a versatile and highly customisable note-taking and productivity app that caters to individuals and teams alike. With its expansive features and intuitive interface, Notion offers a unique approach to organising information. Whether you're a student, professional, or creative, Notion provides a dynamic workspace for capturing ideas, managing projects, and collaborating with others.

Advantages

  • Flexible Workspace and Customisation: Notion provides a flexible workspace that allows users to create a wide range of content, including notes, documents, databases, spreadsheets, task lists, and more. It offers a modular and customisable approach to organisation, enabling users to design their workspace to suit their specific needs and workflow. This versatility makes Notion suitable for personal note-taking, project management, knowledge management, and collaborative work.
  • Powerful Organisation and Database Features: Notion excels in its organisational capabilities. It allows users to create hierarchies, nest pages, and create interconnected databases. This means you can link and relate different notes, databases, and pages together, enabling a highly interconnected and structured knowledge base. Notion's databases support various data types, including text, checkboxes, dates, and more, making it a versatile tool for managing and analysing information.
  • Collaboration and Teamwork: Notion is designed for collaboration and teamwork, making it a great choice for teams and projects. It offers real-time collaboration features, allowing multiple users to work on the same document simultaneously. Users can assign tasks, leave comments, and track progress within the app, fostering effective team communication and coordination. Notion's collaborative features make it suitable for both personal and professional use.
  • Rich Formatting and Media Support: Notion provides a wide range of formatting options, allowing users to create visually appealing and highly customised notes. It supports various media types, such as images, files, and multimedia embeds, making it easy to incorporate different types of content into your notes. Notion's ability to handle rich media and customise note layouts sets it apart from traditional note-taking apps.
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: Notion is available on multiple platforms, including web, desktop (Mac and Windows), and mobile (iOS and Android). This cross-platform compatibility ensures that your notes and workspace are accessible from anywhere, regardless of the device you are using. Notion's synchronisation is reliable and seamless, allowing for uninterrupted workflow across different devices.

Disadvatanges

While Notion offers powerful features and customisation options, it's worth noting that its learning curve can be steep for some users due to its extensive capabilities. Additionally, the free version of Notion has certain limitations, such as a cap on the number of blocks you can create. However, for users who prioritise flexibility, customisation, collaboration, and a broad range of content types, Notion can be a compelling alternative to Evernote.

Conclusion:

Regardless of your need, there's an Evernote alternative out there that can meet your needs and budget. Whether you're looking for an all-in-one productivity tool like Notion or something more minimalist like Bear, there's a note-taking app that fits the bill. Whatever option you choose, you can feel confident in knowing you're taking steps to protect your sensitive information and improve your productivity in the coming years.

Get more things done, your creativity isn't monotone

Explore on Desktop
Stars on GitHub