Guide: Best Ever­note Alter­na­tives to Try

Evernote is by far the best-known solution for managing notes, tasks, reminders and more, while keeping them all in sync across all your devices. Aside from the Evernote Premium upgrade, it’s free to use and most users get along just fine without paying a single cent. However, it’s still not everyone’s cup of tea. Notes on a computer, via Shutterstock. Sync issues and bugs have plagued users for years. In addition, other services can provide identical, if not better features for organizing your life. If you’re having a problem with Evernote or just want to shop around for what else might meet your needs, here are four free alternatives to check out.

Microsoft OneNote

Previously it was part of Microsoft’s Office suite of applications, but now OneNote is a free standalone app similar to Evernote’s. You can type simple notes or manage quick to-do lists, but its power even lets you cut web pages, add photos and scan printed text. If you get creative enough, you can get winded up with a well-designed notebook page complete with photos, a checklist, notes, music and more for planning a road trip.

OneNote takes note-taking and planning to the next level. The main difference between OneNote and Evernote is their contrasting approaches to empowering users. OneNote gives you complete creative control over your notebook pages, allowing you to drag and drop boxes anywhere on the page. The different types of content come with predefined fields or placeholders, so you just need to fill them in and put them where you want. In addition, OneNote users can collaborate in shared notebooks.

While Evernote also supports a variety of media, such as audio recordings, photos, and scans, it’s more like a traditional note-taking word processor, except with a few extras. Evernote becomes more powerful than OneNote with its wide range of third-party app support, which can export data to the app and expand your collection.

Google Keep

Google Keep offers an interesting take on note and task tracking. The design suggests that it is more of a virtual office board on which you can place interactive sticky notes. It’s significantly simpler, and therefore easier to use, than Evernote and Microsoft OneNote, but lacks much of the features for power users.

It’s really just a custom list of notes that you can organize however you want. You can transform the default text note into a note with photos or a to-do list with checkboxes. Then choose the color of your note and add it to your board. You can add labels to notes that act as organization tags to filter by label and share your notes with friends and family who also use Google Keep.

There’s something really charming about using Google Keep: it removes all the bells and whistles and just lets you face what you’re trying to achieve. Note: We’ve already written about some cool aspects of Google Keep and how to use it on iOS via apps. You can access Keep through the website, Chrome app, or Android app for phones and tablets. Google hasn’t released an official iOS app yet, but there are some third-party alternatives in the App Store.


It is not unreasonable to use a combination of the Simplenote words “Simple” and “comment.” Simplenote is about as minimal as note-taking gets – unless you count the barebones joke that is Apple’s Notes app in iOS. At first glance, Simplenote looks like nothing more than a simple text editor with no rich text editing, but don’t be fooled.

Most of Simplenote’s features are hidden in the menu associated with each note. Here you will find some words, options to send the note, invite users to collaborate, browse the history and return to a previous revision, or publish the note to share on the Simplenote website. You can also add organization tags at the bottom of notes.

You can’t create lists with checkboxes, you can’t add photos, you can’t even format text. Simplenote is capable of producing simple notes and little else. For what it does, however, it gets the job done. If you have the mobile apps and desktop apps, Simplenote also effortlessly keeps everything in sync.


Finally we arrive at ToodleDo, which has a number of unique features. Unlike the others, ToodleDo seems to purposely keep tasks and notes completely separate. In fact, when you log into ToodleDo web app, the two are under completely separate tabs and are stored in a similar way – they barely coexist. This may appeal to some, but a deal breaker to others.

ToodleDo is also unique in that it is pretty ugly. Evernote, OneNote, Keep, and Simplenote are all generally pleasant to look at and easy to figure out. ToodleDo looks like a crappy knock-off of your Gmail inbox. Despite its downright grotesque appearance, ToodleDo is extremely powerful. Not only can it act as a note taker and task manager, but it also supports hierarchical outlines, lists, and even has an entire section dedicated to creating good habits and fending off bad ones. The tools for sorting tasks and notes, among other things, are also plentiful.

Note: Unlike most of the pricing methods and especially against its competitors on this list, ToodleDo actually charges for using the iOS apps. The app is free for Android users on Google Play, but the universal iPhone and iPad app costs $ 3.99 to download, so beware. Like Google Keep, iOS users can always use the mobile version of the website, which is freely accessible everywhere.

Best Ever­note Alter­na­tives to Try: benefits


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