OneNote vs Evernote: What’s the best note-taking app for your business?

Note-taking apps provide business users with flexibility and a digital alternative to the traditional pen and paper method - with the added bonus that they are cloud-based and can be synchronised across devices from anywhere in the world.

Microsoft’s OneNote has been a popular choice for many professionals for taking notes while on the go. When Evernote burst onto the scene it also quickly became a popular choice for users who need to organise and manage tasks with their smartphone or tablet.

Features between the two vary slightly, and both apps offer free versions. However OneNote is completely free for personal use and is bundled in with most enterprise packages, and there are paid packages for premium versions of Evernote.

Here we examine the pros and cons of OneNote and Evernote to help you decide on the best note-taking app.

Read next: Nine best note-taking apps | What's the best note-taking app?


Microsoft OneNote users can enjoy access to notes while offline and its unique free-form canvas which enables users to write anywhere on the page to provide a similar experience to pen and paper.

Users can also save emails to notes and digitise business cards - a unique service that is especially useful for business users that work on the go.

OneNote has an easy-to-use interface, which includes a collection of sections that can be edited to meet your needs.

Evernote carries similar features but the free version is limited. For instance, users of the basic package are only able to sync notes across two devices and are required to upgrade to premium or plus for more.

The same applies to limitations with offline access, syncing notes to emails and the ability to digitise business cards on the app.

Also, on Evernote notes are organised based on the specific notebook they are added to with tags.

Both OneNote and Evernote are available on the iOS, Android, Mac and Windows platforms.


Although both OneNote and Evernote encourage collaboration, through features that enable users to share documents and photos, the function is easier to access on OneNote and therefore provides the better user experience.

They also both offer the clipping browser extensions feature, which works similar to a copy and paste function, but rather users are able to clip an entire screenshot from the browser, by region (to snap the full page or a part of it) or article mode (which will save the current webpage as editable text and images).

Using OneNote, users are limited to clipping on the current notebook being used but with Evernote new notebooks can be created from the extension with options to annotate, crop and more when a screenshot is selected.

The two apps support third-party integrations, along with import and export features that give access to other cloud or document apps.

In 2018, Microsoft announced the launch of Evernote for Microsoft Teams - a communication hub built in to Microsoft Office 365. The new integration is built to simplify teamwork across businesses, providing users with the opportunity to search, retrieve and share Evernote Business content in Microsoft Teams. There is also a Team Chat feature available.

Evernote for Microsoft Teams is now available for download here.


Evernote has a basic edition available for free. However, for access to all features its business package costs £10.99 a month, the plus package is £29.99 a year and premium package at £44.99 a year.

OneNote however, provides all features free of charge.


In everything, it all comes down to what suits you and your business requirements best when making your decision.

However, as some features appear to be the same or very similar, the decision is likely to come down to the user interface and pricing.

If you are more focused on how easy it is to use, OneNote might be the best choice for you as Evernote does appear to be more complicated in that area. However, Evernote became massively popular for a reason and will have its super-fans who love the user experience.

Still, Evernote can be difficult to work around when organising notes due to its setup but OneNote offers a much easier interface that helps in managing tasks. Then there's the fact that Microsoft’s OneNote provides the app and all its features at no cost.

Other alternatives

There are several note-taking apps available in the market, some free and some paid.

Although OneNote and Evernote have been recognised as two of the best available, there are other alternatives to choose from for those that may be in search of something different.

As the name emphasises, Simplenote is a simple note-taking app which is designed with a basic interface and a selection of features that are required to take notes. It is a free app available on IOS, Android, MacOS, Windows and Linux.

Another alternative is Google Keep. Although only available on Android, iOS and Google Chrome, it is a good free alternative to Evernote due to a unique interface which allows notes to be displayed in a simple card format, with a colour-coding option and the ability to share notes, add pictures and more.

Lastly there's Zoho Notebook, another free note-taking app which has some different features to the others mentioned.

For instance, Zoho’s Notebook app allows users to create notebooks for an organisation. The app also allows users to not only create text notes, but also voice notes. It also includes a web-clipping tool for users to save articles from the web, and add pictures. Zoho Notebook is available on MacOS, Android and iOS.


Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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