Best OneNote Alternatives 2023 (Top 10 Similar Competitors)

Wednesday, June 21, 2023
Monika Dimitrovska

In a world teeming with digital possibilities, finding the best OneNote alternatives is like stumbling upon a hidden treasure chest overflowing with productivity potential.

Microsoft OneNote has long been hailed as a titan in note-taking. However, exploring OneNote competitors that might better suit your needs is always a good idea.

Without any further ado, let’s unveil the greatest competitors of OneNote and discover the best fit for you.


Top 10 OneNote Competitors with Similar Products

Here’s a quick review of the few apps like OneNote that deserve the title “best OneNote alternatives.” Although they’re all similar, some OneNote competitors will better suit your needs than others. So, read more about the Microsoft OneNote alternatives below.


Free version

Cross-platform compatibility










Google Keep






Only Apple

(iPad, iPhone, or Mac)






Zoho Notebook





Only for your first three notebooks

Only Apple (iPad, iPhone, or Mac)


Roam Research













Here’s Our Full List of the Best OneNote Alternatives 2023:

Introducing the crème de la crème of note-taking solutions, the top contenders for the best OneNote alternatives.

Whether you seek seamless functionality, better collaboration, or even a free solution, this comprehensive list will help you find the best note taking app for your needs.

Here’s a list of ten good alternatives to OneNote:

1. Notion (Best OneNote Alternative Overall)

When it comes to building both simple and complex pages, Notion emerges as a true trailblazer in the realm of note-taking apps.

With 1,000+ community-made templates, this best OneNote alternative overall helps users craft a home base for projects, unlocking endless possibilities for customization.

Unlike Evernote or OneNote, Notion is the best alternative to OneNote, offering a high-maintenance platform with many user benefits.

It provides wikis, dashboards, and note-taking, so users can easily track tasks, gain a clear overview of what needs to be completed, and effortlessly link quick notes together for a cohesive experience.

Notion’s many pros further solidify the platform’s status as a superior note-taking tool. With AI assistance for writing, users can enjoy a helping hand to enhance their content creation process.

Moreover, the platform’s versatility shines through as it accommodates different content, from images to app embeds, allowing you to craft dynamic and engaging Notion pages.

The clean sidebar navigation also ensures a clutter-free workspace, promoting focused productivity.

See a more in-depth comparison in our OneNote vs Notion comparison.

Now, let’s get back to Notion. As with any platform, Notion has some downsides.

While it’s better than OneNote regarding flexibility and customization, it requires some commitment and feature understanding for long-term use.

Furthermore, while the mobile app is useful, it could benefit from improvements.

Lastly, the offline mode in Notion is limited, which can pose a slight inconvenience for those seeking uninterrupted access.

In summary, Notion is the best alternative to OneNote, offering unparalleled flexibility, creative freedom, and organizational mastery.

Notion is best for:

  • Individuals and teams seeking extensive note-taking features

  • Those looking for flexible pricing options

  • Anyone in need of a versatile and customizable note-taking platform


  • Customizable templates for various projects

  • Seamless integration of different types of content (text, images, app embeds)

  • Collaborative tools for team projects

  • Versatile and easily searchable database and table creation

  • Clean and organized sidebar navigation


  • Free

  • Plus ($8 per user monthly billed annually, $10 billed monthly)

  • Business ($15 per user monthly billed annually, $18 billed monthly)

  • Enterprise (Contact Notion)

Notion review

Website: Notion

2. Evernote (Best Free OneNote Alternative)

Get ready to experience a note-taking revolution with Evernote, the best free OneNote alternative.

This powerful application is designed to help you stay organized and efficient in your work and studies, making it a versatile tool for users of all backgrounds.

Evernote offers a range of features that cater to your needs.

You can create notebooks to categorize your notes, jot down ideas with easy-to-use text formatting, and even record audio notes for quick reference.

The ability to clip web pages and attach documents and photos makes it a breeze to save and organize information from various sources.

With the convenient browser extension, capturing web content is just a click away, eliminating the need to switch between tabs or applications.

As one of the best free OneNote alternatives, Evernote offers a user-friendly interface and rich features to enhance your note-taking experience.

See a more in-depth comparison in our OneNote vs Evernote comparison.

Now, let’s discuss the downsides of Evernote.

The in-app search feature could be better, and for specific use cases, you must explore third-party plugins for extra functionalities.

Finally, while Evernote suits individuals and small teams, larger organizations with ten or more members should consider the paid version.

In conclusion, Evernote is a powerful tool that empowers you to take control of your productivity and organization.

Whether you’re a student, a business person, or someone wanting to keep your life in order, Evernote has your back.

Evernote is best for:

  • Students seeking to stay organized with their study materials

  • Professionals who need to manage and access their meeting notes efficiently

  • Entrepreneurs and small business owners looking for a versatile tool to streamline their workflows

  • Individuals who want a comprehensive note-taking solution for personal use

  • Anyone who values the convenience of capturing and organizing information from various sources


  • Notebooks for organizing and categorizing your notes

  • Text formatting options and fonts for easy customization

  • Audio note recording for capturing ideas on the go

  • You can save and organize web pages with the web clipper

  • Attachments for adding documents and photos to your notes

  • Browser extension for capturing web content with ease


  • Free

  • Personal ($12.99 per month billed monthly, $8.33 billed annually)

  • Professional ($14.99 per month billed monthly, $10.83 billed annually)

  • Teams ($11.67 per user monthly)

Evernote review

Website: Evernote

3. Google Keep (Most Similar to OneNote)

Google Keep, a free app crafted by Google Chrome, is most similar to OneNote. So, it’s perfect for users seeking a simple yet effective way to keep digital notes and reminders.

With a user-friendly interface, Google Keep provides a hassle-free experience for creating, organizing, and sharing notes across multiple Windows and iOS devices.

When inspiration strikes, this Google OneNote alternative is your trusty buddy, allowing you to swiftly jot down ideas, create to-do lists, set reminders on your phone or PC, and more.

But here’s the kicker. Thanks to effortless synchronization, you can access your notes regardless of location.

Organization becomes a breeze with Google Keep’s labeling and color-coding features. Easily categorize and locate your notes, making it a snap to find what you need when you need it.

The app also supports checklists and collaboration, enabling multiple individuals to work together on the same note or task, no matter their geographical location.

While Google Keep is a go-to solution for storing reminders and notes on the fly, it’s best suited for Google Suite power users.

It integrates with Google Calendar, Gmail, Google Docs, and OneDrive for extra convenience, helping you stay productive and organized within the Google ecosystem.

However, as you could read in our OneNote review, Google Keep isn’t suitable for long-form notes unlike OneNote. Moreover, it’s limited regarding formatting options and lacks organization structure.

Overall, Google Keep is a free OneNote substitute for those prioritizing simplicity.

Google Keep is best for:

  • Individuals who want seamless synchronization across multiple devices

  • Google Suite power users seeking integration with other Google apps

  • Those who primarily need to store reminders and basic notes on the go


  • Easy-to-use interface for creating and organizing notes

  • Synchronization across multiple devices for seamless access

  • Integration with Google Calendar, Gmail. Google Docs and Google Drive for added convenience

  • Labeling and color-coding options for efficient organization

  • Support for checklists and collaborative note-taking


  • It’s 100% FREE!

Website: Google Keep

4. Notability (Good OneNote Alternative if You Want to Use a Stylus)

Step into a world of endless possibilities with Notability, the subscription-based note-taking app that has captured the hearts of tablet users.

Perfectly suited for paperless students and digital enthusiasts, Notability is a top choice for those seeking to embrace drawing with a stylus.

With Notability, your tablet becomes a canvas where ideas flow freely.

The app’s clean and intuitive user interface, essential features, and built-in tools allow you to open a note and start drawing within seconds.

Notability is your ultimate buddy, whether taking handwritten notes in the classroom or unleashing your creativity during brainstorming sessions.

What makes the switch from OneNote to Notability worthwhile? The answer lies in your preference for writing with a stylus.

If you prefer a stylus for 75% of your note-taking endeavors, Notability becomes a great asset, unlocking a new level of precision and artistic expression.

However, Notability also has a few downsides.

For one, it can’t meet the needs of those seeking a comprehensive project management tool. Additionally, certain features like auto-backup come with a price tag.

Finally, the subscription plan can also seem expensive for some users.

In summary, Notability is a unique note-taking tool combining creativity and organization in one seamless package.

Whether you’re a student or a professional, Notability can help you to stay organized.

Notability is best for:

  • Students who prefer taking digital notes with a stylus in real-time

  • Tablet users seeking a user-friendly and organized note-taking experience

  • Creative individuals who enjoy drawing and sketching


  • Drawing and sketching capabilities with a stylus

  • Clean and intuitive user interface

  • Recording audio to accompany your notes

  • Importing and editing documents from other sources

  • Annotating images and screenshots

  • Yearly planners and journals for organization


  • Free

  • Notability Plus (price varies by region)

Website: Notability

5. Confluence (a Cheaper Alternative to OneNote if You’re on a Budget)

Step into a realm where teamwork thrives, and knowledge is effortlessly organized with Confluence, a cheap alternative to OneNote designed to cater to those on a budget.

Developed by Atlassian, Confluence goes beyond the confines of traditional note-taking apps, transforming into a robust workspace for knowledge management and project collaboration.

Whether starting from scratch or harnessing the power of over 100 templates, creating project plans becomes a breeze.

Seamlessly integrate features like roadmaps, Jira issues, and Trello boards into your Confluence documents, elevating your work organization to new heights.

However, while large organizations can benefit the most from Confluence’s capabilities, individuals and small groups can find it overwhelming.

However, it’s worth noting that Confluence’s in-app Search feature isn’t very effective. Depending on your specific use cases, third-party plugins can be necessary, adding a layer of complexity.

As for pricing, Confluence offers free and paid plans, starting at $5.75 per user monthly, while Unlocking premium features in OneNote begins at $6.99 per month.

In conclusion, Confluence presents a great blend of team collaboration and knowledge management, making it a top choice for those seeking a cheap OneNote replacement.

Confluence is best for:

  • Large organizations with many team members

  • Those seeking a comprehensive knowledge management and collaboration tool

  • Users looking for seamless integration with project management features


  • Robust knowledge management and project collaboration workspace

  • Create project plans from scratch or choose from 100+ templates

  • Integration with roadmaps, Jira issues, and Trello boards

  • Open and connected structure for organization-wide collaboration

  • AI-powered note-taking with Atlassian Intelligence

  • Compatibility with 3,000+ Marketplace apps


  • Free for up to 10 users

  • Standard ($5.75 per user monthly)

  • Premium ($11 per user monthly)

  • Enterprise (Contact Confluence)

Website: Confluence

6. Zoho Notebook

Step into Zoho Notebook, a cloud-based digital notebook by Zoho, a renowned software company. This OneNote alternative offers a refreshing user experience.

So, it’s great for those seeking a versatile and feature-rich note-taking solution.

With Zoho Notebook, your notes, images, audio clips, and files find a secure abode within the cloud.

Seamlessly store and organize your content in one place, harnessing the power of tags for effortless searching and categorization.

Safeguard sensitive information with passcodes and Touch ID, protecting your data. Collaborate securely by sharing notebooks with other Zoho Notebook users, fostering productive teamwork.

This app shines for personal use, offering a vibrant palette of colors and a user-friendly design that spans devices and operating systems.

It integrates with Zoho Projects for additional capabilities and mobile-friendly features like Zia, the AI-powered assistant.

While Zoho Notebook excels in personalization and creativity, it’s unsuitable for those seeking a robust note-taking and work collaboration tool. It has limited editor options, so it’s less appealing for serious work-oriented tasks.

Additionally, collaboration with others within notebooks isn’t supported, and there’s no handwriting recognition feature.

In conclusion, Zoho Notebook is a free app for creative and well-organized people.

Zoho Notebook is best for:

  • Individuals seeking a free and intuitive note-taking app

  • Users who prioritize customization and personalization options

  • Those looking for a secure cloud-based storage solution for their notes and files

  • Individuals who value cross-platform compatibility across iOS and Android devices


  • Cloud-based storage for notes, images, audio clips, and files

  • Intuitive user interface and design for easy note-taking

  • Tagging system for efficient organization and searching

  • Passcode and Touch ID features for enhanced security

  • Collaboration capabilities for sharing notebooks with other Zoho Notebook users

  • Custom cover illustrations for personalized note aesthetics

  • Integration with Zoho Projects and mobile-friendly features like Zia, the AI-powered assistant

  • Cross-platform availability for iOS (iPhone & iPad) and Android devices


  • Free

  • Pro ($19.99 yearly)

Website: Zoho Notebook

7. GoodNotes (Great OneNote Equivalent for Students)

GoodNotes is a revolutionary digital paper and social app designed for students eager to share educational materials and planner templates.

The Community feature lets users connect with other students worldwide. It’s available at no extra cost and allows users to create their profiles and share their documents with others, enabling a collaborative learning environment.

The Community feature in GoodNotes is remarkable because it allows users to connect, exchange ideas, and work together on shared notes.

However, this tool primarily focuses on sharing, so it’s not as good as OneNote at taking notes.

On the positive side, GoodNotes has a built-in flashcards study mode that enhances the learning experience.

The Shared Documents feature is also great, providing users with a shareable link that enables collaboration with others on shared notes and materials.

Furthermore, GoodNotes has a free Mac app.

Some downsides include missing features necessary for complex project management and no free plan.

In conclusion, GoodNotes is great for students who want to share academic materials and collaborate on planner templates.

GoodNotes is best for:

  • Students who want to share academic materials and collaborate on planner templates

  • Those who prefer a digital note-taking experience with a focus on community and sharing


  • Community feature for connecting and sharing documents with other students worldwide

  • Built-in flashcards study mode for effective learning and revision

  • Shared Documents feature for easy collaboration through shareable links

  • Free Mac app for seamless synchronization and access across devices


  • Create your first three notebooks for free

  • Unlock the full version for $9.99 (pay once)

Website: GoodNotes

8. Roam Research

Roam Research is a note-taking app for knowledge-graph thinkers. It’s excellent for organizing information and establishing connections between ideas.

Unlike OneNote, Roam Research utilizes a graph database interface that allows users to create bi-directional links, transforming notes into interconnected nodes.

This unique feature mirrors how our minds work, enabling seamless exploration and navigation of related concepts.

Moreover, it has a different structure than OneNote. Instead of notebooks and sections, Roam Research organizes content in a hierarchical outline format.

This shift can require adjustment but opens up new possibilities for organizing and visualizing information.

Writers, researchers, product managers, and students often find this app invaluable for their work.

However, Roam Research has some limitations.

It lacks automated data backup, requires manual data protection export, and has a higher price than OneNote.

In a nutshell, Roam Research is a transformative tool for those who thrive on creating intricate knowledge graphs and exploring interconnected ideas.

Roam Research is best for:

  • Knowledge-graph thinkers and those who enjoy making connections between ideas

  • Writers, researchers, product managers, and graduate students who require advanced note-taking capabilities

  • Users who prefer a graph database interface for organizing and visualizing information

  • Collaborative work environments where unlimited collaborators are needed

  • Individuals looking for a tool that supports bi-directional linking for creating intricate mind-maps and relationships between notes


  • Bi-directional linking capabilities for seamless navigation between related ideas

  • Graph database interface that mirrors the way our minds work

  • Unlimited collaborators in the starter plan for efficient team collaboration

  • Advanced note organization and hierarchical outline format

  • Support for networked thought and knowledge management


  • Believer ($8.33 per month)

  • Pro ($13.75 per month billed annually, $15 per month billed monthly)

Website: Roam Research

9. Simplenote

Simplenote is a user-friendly note-taking application that helps you easily organize your thoughts, ideas, and notes.

It provides a simple yet powerful platform for creating, editing and sharing notes across all your devices. The intuitive design of Simplenote strikes the perfect balance between functionality and simplicity.

With Simplenote, you can quickly jot down notes on the go or capture ideas while they’re still fresh in your mind.

The app offers tagging, markdown support, version history, collaboration tools, efficient search capabilities, and more.

It’s particularly well-suited for Markdown enthusiasts who appreciate a distraction-free environment for writing and organizing their thoughts.

Simplenote allows you to write, preview, and publish notes in Markdown format, making it convenient for content creators.

However, Simplenote falls short regarding collaboration and sharing features compared to OneNote.

It lacks robust functionality for teams working together on projects and translating ideas into action. Additionally, Simplenote doesn’t offer task management features.

Lastly, note encryption isn’t supported, so it’s unsuitable for organizations dealing with sensitive data.

Overall, Simplenote is a straightforward note-taking app and makes a great choice for those looking for programs like OneNote but prefer a simpler experience.

Simplenote is best for:

  • Individuals who prefer a simple and intuitive note-taking experience

  • Markdown enthusiasts who want to write, preview, and publish notes in Markdown format

  • Users who need cross-device synchronization for their notes

  • People who value tagging, version history, and efficient search capabilities in a note-taking app


  • Easy note creation, editing, and sharing from any device

  • Tagging system for organizing and categorizing notes

  • Markdown support for writing and formatting notes

  • Version history to track changes and revert to previous versions if needed

  • Collaboration tools for working together on notes with others

  • Efficient search functionality


  • Free

Website: Simplenote

10. Joplin (Top Linux OneNote Alternative)

Joplin is a versatile and privacy-focused open-source OneNote alternative that caters to a wide range of user needs.

Joplin supports Markdown, allowing users to format their documents with ease. Create structured notes with headings, lists, tables, and code blocks.

Additionally, privacy-conscious users will appreciate Joplin’s end-to-end encryption, ensuring the security and confidentiality of their notes. The best part? Joplin’s privacy-friendly approach and ad-free interface further enhance the user experience.

Moreover, Joplin offers seamless cloud synchronization, enabling users to access their notes across multiple devices and keep their data backed up.

The ability to work offline is another excellent feature, allowing users to continue taking notes offline.

With Joplin’s lightweight nature, users can enjoy a smooth and responsive experience while consuming minimal device resources. Whether on desktop or mobile, this popular notes app works optimally without slowing down your device.

Being multiplatform, Joplin works across various operating systems, including macOS, Windows, Android, Linux, etc.

Regarding sharing and collaboration, Joplin enables exporting notes to HTML, ensuring seamless content sharing with others.

In summary, Joplin is a powerful and privacy-focused OneNote open-source alternative.

Joplin is best for:

  • Users who prioritize privacy and data security

  • Those who prefer open-source software

  • Individuals who work across multiple devices and platforms


  • Markdown support

  • Cloud synchronization

  • End-to-end encryption

  • Privacy-focused approach

  • Offline functionality

  • Hierarchical organization

  • Lightweight performance

  • Tagging and encrypted notes

  • WebDAV support

  • Plugin system

  • Export to HTML

  • Multi-platform compatibility


  • Free, but also has paid cloud plans

Website: Joplin


Which of the Alternatives to OneNote is a Good Choice for You?

Looking for the best choice ultimately boils down to your unique needs and preferences in the vast landscape of Microsoft OneNote alternatives.

However, we can draw key takeaways after exploring the top apps similar to OneNote.

Firstly, each alternative to Microsoft OneNote has special features allowing you to tailor your note-taking experience.

Secondly, consider viral factors like smooth integration with existing tools, collaboration capabilities, and intuitive interfaces when deciding.

Lastly, please don’t overlook the possibility of a free Microsoft OneNote alternative, as it can be a budget-friendly option without compromising functionality.

Ultimately, the best OneNote alternative for you is the one that aligns perfectly with your workflow, boosting your productivity and enhancing your digital journey.