Best Note-Taking App: Notion vs. Evernote vs. OneNote vs. GoodNotes vs. Notability vs. Roam?

Best Note-Taking App: Notion vs. Evernote vs. OneNote vs. GoodNotes vs. Notability vs. Roam?

    No matter it's at the office during an important client conference call, at home, or anywhere else, you have to jot down different types of notes and information on a routine basis. And with the wide availability of mobile devices, not least smartphones, note-taking apps gradually replaced the traditional notebook or binder. It allow you to make and use notes on the go, whether for inspiration, ideas, business insights, or event reminders. There are literally hundreds of note-taking apps on the market, such as Notion, Evernote, OneNote, GoodNotes, Notability, and Roam, etc. , so what's the difference between them? Which one is the best note-taking app for you? Maybe In this article, you will find the answer.

Cover Photo:evernote.com


Notion aims to be your personal and team productivity hub. The app allows users to create customized private or shared workspaces where they can then add versatile "blocks" that act like text snippets, bookmarks, images, toggle links, files, code snippets, discussion sections, and more. As a result, you can customize your workspace as you see fit, dragging and dropping blocks of content to where you want, without disrupting an entire document. Whether you're doing note-taking, spreadsheeting, or building a Kanban board, Notion's powerful building blocks make things a snap to set up.

Notion can be accessed via browser or app, and is supported by both iOS and Android operating systems. The free version of Notion allows you to save and sync up to 1,000 blocks of content, while premium subscription plans remove that content limit and add admin tools, permission settings, and other features, depending on which tier you opt for.

Platforms Supported:

  • Windows

  • Mac

  • SaaS

  • iPhone

  • iPad

  • Android

Price:Free (premium subscription is $4 monthly; team subscription is $8 monthly per user)



Key Features:

1. Get started with any of the ready-made templates.

2. Turn Notion into a blank, distraction-free writing surface.

3. The basic unit of any content is a “block” that can be a paragraph of text, a bullet point, an image, a row in a table, or a video embed.

4. Combine multiple “blocks” in different ways and drag/drop them around to create your own content.

5. Collect any information from the web and drop it in your notes with the web clipper.

6. Extend your workspace by integrating it with over 50 apps such as Slack, Typeform, Twitter, GitHub, Gist, and more.

7. Import data into Notion in plaintext, Markdown, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and CSV formats.

8. Create intelligent Notion databases with tables, Kanban boards, lists, timelines, etc.

9. Collaborate with teams and work in real-time with an unlimited number of people.

10 Share any Notion page with specific people, the whole team, or the entire web.


  • Very easy to use;

  • Great user interface;

  • Supports collaboration;

  • Strong support for templates;

  • Good track of tasks;

  • Great pricing.


  • No OCR, email forwarding, PDF annotation, sketching, scanning, or audio recording;

  •  Can’t keep track of multiple projects.


Evernote is one of the more popular cross-platform note-taking apps available today.  It has apps for Android and iOS as well as desktop apps for Windows and OS X. You can also access it through a web browser and use several different browser extensions to capture snippets of web pages for your notebooks.

Evernote lets you take notes in a variety of formats, including text, pictures, audio and video recordings, annotated Web page clippings and more. These notes can be organized into virtual notebooks and managed using tools such as tags and shortcuts. From checklists to external files, anything can be added to notes. You can add configurable reminders to notes, as well as share them with other users via e-mail. Evernote's Web Clipper extension lets you save Web pages with one click and annotate them with highlights and visual callouts. Using your smartphone's camera, the app can scan and digitize everything from documents to business cards in a snap.

Platforms Supported:

  • Windows

  • Mac

  • SaaS

  • iPhone

  • iPad

  • Android

Price:Free (premium subscription is $7.99 monthly; business subscription is $14.99 monthly per user)



Key Features:

1. Clip web pages, PDFs, images to your notes.

2. Access your notebooks offline on any synced device.

3. Forward important emails to your custom Evernote account.

4. Search for text inside attached images, PDFs, and Office documents.

5. All notes support rich formatting, tables, attachments, and audio notes.

6. All notes are searchable and can be organized with tags for easier discovery.

7. Scan and digitize documents like business cards and create contact notes.

8. Evernote’s OCR can identify 28 typewritten and 11 handwritten languages.

9. Highlight and annotate your PDF or image files for improved research.

10. Share notes with anyone.


  • Encrypted communication;

  • Up to 20 GB/month of uploading notes, which are shared across the organization account;

  • Syncing information is seamless;

  • The search of all notes, even scanned documents, is extremely fast and accurate;

  • Shared access to notes across devices;

  • Compatible on every device, including iPhones, Androids, tablets, and computers.


  • Does not support real-time collaboration on notes;

  • Only limited-size notes and a limited number of devices available for free accounts.


Microsoft OneNote is a cross-platform note-taking app that comes as part of Office 365. It's intuitive and a surprisingly fun to use tool aimed at business people. OneNote integrates with Outlook and the other MS Office apps like Outlook and Powerpoint. It also handles Excel, Word and other MS Office attachments better than the other note-taking tools featured here.

Being a free-form information gathering app, OneNote lets you capture just about everything and place it anywhere on a flexible digital canvas. You can type, write by hand (using a stylus), clip Web pages and even scan handwritten notes or pages. The app uses virtual notebooks for organizing content and has a design similar to a physical three-ring binder. You can have separate color-coded sections for adding different types of notes, and each section can have multiple pages. OneNote's powerful search feature lets you quickly find information either on a particular page or across all notebooks. The notes can be organized using custom labels and tags, and you can revise notes with highlights and ink annotations.

Platforms Supported:

  • Windows Store

  • Windows Phone

  • Mac

  • iPad

  • iPhone

  • Android

  • Web

Price:Free, Premium features with Microsoft 365 subscription (approximately between $70 and $100 for the year).



Key Features:

1. OneNote supports freeform text — enter and position it anywhere.

2. Collaborate and share your notes with a team or family members.

3. Use optical character recognition to import images and make the text searchable.

4. Automatically insert source links for anything copied and pasted from the web.

5. Create richer notes by adding audio and video to your notes.

6. Draw with a Surface pen, an Apple Pencil, or a mouse.

7. Sync your notes to the cloud.


  • The user interface is simple and thought out.

  • Integration with many Microsoft Office products.

  • Syncing between multiple accounts if needed.

  • Syncing between desktop and mobile applications.

  • The ability for multiple users to collaborate on the same notebook.

  • Shortcuts for linking.

  • Use of templates.


  • Doesn't have Integration with Google Calendar & Google Drive.

  •  Different versions of OneNote have changes that take getting used to.


GoodNotes is a note-taking app for your iPad, iPhone and Mac. This iOS app turns your iPad into digital paper, allowing you to take searchable handwritten notes, quickly and easily, whether you’re using the Apple Pencil.

Thus, those who want to improve the experience of taking handwritten notes on iPad with Apple Pencil or other styluses must check out Goodnotes. Its important functions, including varied paper types and effortless document managements, distinguish it from other similar note-taking apps. Also, the global search lets you search and find any text or handwriting information from your whole library and open the document right away. This can help you always find what you wrote before.

Platforms Supported:

  • Mac

  • iPhone

  • iPad    

Price: It costs $7.99, a one-time purchase for all the apps.



Key Features:

1. Search any term to find every place it appears in your library – whether handwritten or typed. With powerful handwriting recognition, you'll always find what you wrote.

2. Freely mark up PDFs and PowerPoints without being confined to typed text – perfect for signing documents, writing on lecture slides, or annotating articles.

3. Create as many folders and subfolders as you need, and rest assured that no matter how many notes, PDFs, and files you have, they're easily found.

4. Choose from a variety of covers and paper templates, from graph, dotted, and lined paper, to weekly planners, or easily add your own custom templates to create the notebook you want.

5. Easily save and insert frequently used objects like stickers, images, text, formulas & diagrams with the Elements tool.

6. Multi-tasking made easy: read an article on one side, and take notes on the other. Or easily drag and drop information from one note to another.

7. Get the Mac app at no extra cost, so you can always view your latest notes, wherever you prefer.

8. Work on the same notebooks with multiple people. Shared Documents gives you a shareable link to collaborate no matter where you are.

9. Test yourself and learn more effectively with the built-in flash cards study mode.


  • Optimized for Apple Pencil;

  • Good handwriting conversion;

  • Three custom pen colors always available;

  • Massive collection of page templates;

  • Supports multiple tabs;

  • Pictures inserted into the notes are able to be moved around.


  • No voice recording function.

  • No free version.

  • The pages don’t auto-lock to the width of the screen.


Notability is one of the best note-taking apps for handwriting and sketching. It combines handwriting, drawings, photos, gifs, typing, audio records, custom shapes in a single note.  The elegant interface is nicely designed, letting you choose from a variety of typing and drawing instruments with ease. Notability has a nice range of sketching tools that make it easy to recolor, scale, and adjust your ideas and sketches. You can also pick from different paper backgrounds, for example, to sketch your notes on graph paper, or more textured art paper.

Perfectly compatible with Apple Pencil, Notability allows you to take notes like writing on papers with an actual pen. Compared to other note-taking apps, the distinctive features of this one include the support of audio recordings, A OCR search scanning both text and handwriting notes, handwriting to text conversion, and Multi-task which enables you to take notes while reading another document. Also, it's easy to import and annotate PDFs or web pages. Notability syncs with iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, AirDrop, and Email for easy sharing with colleagues and study partners.

Platforms Supported:

  • Mac

  • iPhone

  • iPad 

Price:New users can purchase the app for the discounted price of $3.99 for a limited time (regularly $8.99), and enjoy the experience on their Mac, iPad, and iPhone for a single purchase.



Key Features:

1. Combine handwriting, photos, and typing in a single note to bring your projects to life.

2. Use a wide range of note-taking and sketching tools to capture every detail.

3. Add and annotate PDFs in Notability.

4. Experiment with different tools to create beautiful, hand-crafted notes and sketches.

5. Continue to scale, rotate, and recolor your ideas and sketches until your notes are just how you want them.

6. Once you're done, organize your notes with ease so you always know where to find what matters most.

7. Zoom in on the specifics, or explore the big picture by combining sketches, outlines, and type.

8. Share your notes with colleagues or study partners through Google Drive, AirDrop, Email, and Dropbox.


  • Intuitive user interface;

  • Handwritten notes option;

  • Supports desktop and mobile platforms;

  • Hassle-free to write and cloud backup the notes;

  • Easy to share stored notes from the application;

  • The sketch illustration option works flawlessly;

  • Great for annotating PDFs.


  • No windows and android support for this platform.

  • Can't delete multiple pages quickly.


Roam is a “note-taking application for networked thought”  specifically designed to help you connect your thoughts and group them together in related bits of information, without having to copy and paste links. A little like you would with your own brain. With Roam, there is no information hierarchy, no stacking, and no linearity. Instead, Roam’s lack of structure allows you to organically create a giant knowledge web of ideas from the bottom-up. Each note lives simultaneously everywhere and nowhere as a node on your graphical overview. The more information you add to it, the more powerful it becomes as the connections grow stronger around your most important ideas.

The most powerful feature of Roam is its use of bi-directional links. When you create a link to an existing topic, it will automatically create a link between the page you're on and the page it’s going to. If you’re linking to a new topic, a new page will be created and connected to the page you’re linking from. Each page represents a node in your “network of thought.” Creating links between new and existing pages can be done in two different ways. You can either create tags using a hashtag (#) or create a page reference using double brackets ([[ ]]). They both serve the same purpose, but there are stylistic differences between the two.

Platforms Supported:

  • SaaS

Price:Roam Research Standard Plan costs $15/month or $165/year, for 3 private or public Roam graphs, unlimited collaborators, and API access and apps . Roam Research also offers a Believer Plan at $500 for 5 years of Standard Plan Features, along with first access to new features, community calls with the team, and priority support.



Key Features:

1. Notes: Creating a new note is quite simple, you can either go on the left sidebar and click the + symbol next to All Pages or simply type the title of the page in the search bar at the top of the page. Using the / command you'll have a list of all the kind of elements you can add to a note.

2. Sidebar: while you work on your main note, you can also open another one in the sidebar (Shift-Click on a tag or title). This is very useful especially if you're doing some research and you need to look at multiple things at once.

3. Daily Notes: this is where you can easily keep your random notes and plan your day, a new page is automatically created every day. Clicking the daily notes link in the left sidebar opens for you a log of all the daily pages organized by date.

4. Graph Overview: this feature can be used as a connector to get a bird's eye view of all your pages and how they are interlinked. You can zoom in and out according to your needs.


  •  In place page creation / linking with brackets or hashtags;

  •  Rename a page and everything that references it renames as well;

  •  Shift-click on a link pulls up the link in a side panel without navigating you away;

  • Easy page merging;

  • Bi-directional links;

  •  Graph overview allows you to easily see how nodes relate;

  • Supports in place datalog queries;

  • Supports hiccup syntax for HTML snippets.


  • No offline mode;

  • No mobile app.

Bottom Line

Notion vs. Evernote vs. OneNote vs. GoodNotes vs. Notability vs. Roam: Which is the Best Note-Taking App?

Notion, Evernote, OneNote, GoodNotes, Notability, and Roam are all good  Note-Taking App. So which is the best Note-Taking App for you may depend on what you need, how often you need sketches (or not), and what you want to do with your notes once you're done with them.

Notion is good for individuals and businesses of any size that need a versatile project management tool. Evernote may be a great choice for Individuals, small to large businesses that need an excellent organizational solution. OneNote can be used by teams of all sizes. GoodNotes is the best for anyone who wants a powerful note-taking tool for iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Notability is suitable for Apple users who want a beautiful and powerful note-taking app. Roam is designed for anyone looking for a powerful note-taking tool for networked thought.

2021-06-17 01:161625