Blog

3 Alternatives to Evernote and Notability for Note-Taking

Check out these great student- and teacher-friendly note-taking apps.

August 07, 2017
Tanner Higgin Director, Education Editorial Strategy
Common Sense Education

CATEGORIES Tools

You're probably already familiar with Evernote and Notability -- two of the biggest players in the world of note-taking and productivity apps. While they're both great options, you might be itching to find something new, or just curious about what else is out there. Below you'll find three alternatives to Evernote and Notability, ranging from pretty similar to quite different in how they approach recording and organizing notes. Each of these excellent note-taking options might also help push your way of thinking and organizing in new directions.


Full-Featured, Learning Curve

Microsoft OneNoteMicrosoft OneNote

 

Price: Free
Platform: Android, iOS, Windows (all), Mac, Chrome, Web

Pros: Neck-and-neck with Evernote in terms of features
Cons: Non-intuitive design that takes time to learn

 
The closest analog on this list to Evernote, OneNote is Microsoft’s free, full-featured, and all-platform note-taking and organizational tool. It’s incredibly flexible and a great option for power users as well as high school students; it was clearly designed to do everything Evernote does and more -- for free. The design is a bit more cluttered and overwhelming than Evernote though, so it’ll take some time to wrangle. But once you do, you might just find it’s your go-to option.
 

Focused, Fewer Features

Google KeepGoogle Keep

 

Price: Free
Platform: Web, Android, iOS, Chrome

Pros: Post-It-style interface allows at-a-glance review of your notes
Cons: Not great for longer form note-taking

 
For people with workspaces covered in Post-Its, Google Keep might be just what you’re looking for. It’s a stripped-down note-taking tool focused on jotting down quick notes or lists, adding drawings or images to these notes, and then organizing them with labels similar to Gmail. It’s great if you’re already immersed in the Google ecosystem and is particularly useful if your note-taking emerges from web browsing due to Google Keep's Chrome extension.
 

Gorgeously Designed, iPad Only

Paper by FiftyThreePaper by FiftyThree

 

Price: Free
Platform: iOS

Pros: Great for visual note-taking, sketchnotes
Cons: You’ve gotta be fully committed to working just on your iPad/iPhone

 
Paper started as a sketchbook app, but has added more robust note-taking features. It also dropped in-app purchases in favor of being completely free. Even though it can’t compete with Notability or Evernote in terms of feature-set, it’s the most gorgeously designed note-taking app on the market. Paper’s focus on quick notes and sketches will also particularly appeal to those looking to capture inspiration on-the-go.