Comparing Note Taking Apps: Evernote, OneNote, Simplenote, Zoho Notebooks

Picture of different note taking apps

The Story So Far…

The Problem of Plenty While Taking Notes

Choosing Among Multiple Options

Apps for writers- image on Blog post by Amar Vyas

Dropbox Paper

Pros:

  • Instant Backup in your Dropbox Account
  • Access through App (Android, iOS) or web browser (phones, tablets and laptops)
  • Intuitive user interface, short learning curve
  • Great for Collaboration

Cons:

  • Using the app or the web version requires a working Internet connection.
  • Slow to load even on my home wifi or 4G data connection.
    (Note that the requirement for Internet may not be a ‘con’ for some people, but for us, net connectivity is really bad while we are on the road.)
Screenshot of Dropbox Paper- Mobile App: blog of Author Amar Vyas
Screenshot of note takin app Dropbox Paper

Evernote

  • Cross Platform (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, even Linux though not officially supported)
  • Beautiful intuitive interface
  • Powerful collaboration tools
  • Backup and Sync functions are great
  • Ability to create separate notebooks, tag them as per topic or geography.
  • Integration with Dropbox, Google Drive through third party apps.
  • Internet Connection Not required to create, update or read notes.
  • Evernote Clipper is a great way to save web pages and articles of interest into your Evernote account.
  • High level of automation through IFTTT makes it a great productivity and collaboration tool.
  • Free tier is for two devices only. But frankly, that is hardly a reason to reject Evernote.
Screenshot of Evernote on Mobile
Screenshot of Evernote on IFTTT: Blog of Author Amar Vyas

Google Keep

  • Cross, platform, can sign on through multiple devices
  • Offline mode,as well as a Web version
  • Fast, yet packed with features.
  • Colour coding of the notes.
  • Browser extension is a great plus!
  • Can’t really think of any specific cons.
Google Keep- Mobile App Screenshot on Blog of Author Amar Vyas
Screenshot: Integration of Google Keep with Google Calendar
Screenshot of Google Keep on Google Playstore: blog of Author Amar Vyas

One Note

  • Great interface, integration with MS Office.
  • High level of automation through IFTTT makes it a great productivity and collaboration tool.
  • Web clipper, similar to Evernote.
  • Mac, Windows, iOS and Android- multiple devices.
  • Documents get saved in OneDrive
  • Ability to import notebooks from Evernote.
  • Slow to load on mobile phones.
  • No Linux Client, but access through web browser possible.
OneNote- Screenshot. Blog post on Amarvyas.in
Screenshot of One Note- Android App on Blog of Author Amar Vyas

Simplenote

  • Fast, easy to use, short learning curve.
  • Night mode is great way to reduce strain on the eyes.
  • Cross device, cross platform has a web version as well.

Cons

  • Text only
  • Lacks many of the bells and whistles that other products offer.
Scnrenshot of Simplenote on Mac, Night mode- Blog of Author Amar Vyas
Screenshot of Simplenote- Android App- Blog of Author Amar Vyas

Zoho Notebook

  • Easy to use interface
  • Fast, responsive
  • Features similar to Evernote, making it a great alternative to the latter. You can read more about the features of Zoho Notebook here.
  • Maybe it is just me, but I could not find a way to share the sample story that I had created using the mobile phone app. (See the screenshot below).
  • No Linux client. I am really surprised by the this, because they have a Linux app for Zoho Docs (drive).
Screenshot of Android App for Zoho Notebook- Blog of Author Amar Vyas
Screenshot of Android App for Zoho Notebook- Blog of Author Amar Vyas

Conclusion:

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Creator- Gaatha Story- Podcast of Children's Stories. Cofounder Kamakshi Media and Author. Husband, dog lover. Country Manager for FSC, India. www.amarvyas.com

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Amar Vyas

Amar Vyas

Creator- Gaatha Story- Podcast of Children's Stories. Cofounder Kamakshi Media and Author. Husband, dog lover. Country Manager for FSC, India. www.amarvyas.com