I’ve been using Evernote since 2008 to collect and sort notes. I use it for sermon research, for my prayer journal, and even for saving recipes. It works well since it syncs across multiple devices. However, they have recently announced some big changes to their service. Basically, the free account will be limited to only sync on 2 devices, and the premium options have received a large price increase.

For me, I really like the ability to use the same note taking app on my computer, my iPhone, and my iPad. But I am hesitant to pay for a service if there is a free alternative. If you are currently using Evernote, then paying $34.99 or $69.99 per year might be worth it to you. For me, I’ve decided to try some alternatives. Here are two big ones.

OneNote by Microsoft

While Evernote is moving to paid subscriptions, OneNote has been changing its service to be completely free. It is feature rich, and is available across all your devices. They have even developed a free import utility to move your notes from Evernote to OneNote.  OneNote is very similar in power to Evernote, but the interface is a little different. In some ways, I think it is more intuitive than Evernote.

Notes by Apple

Last year, Apple made a huge upgrade to its Notes app in iOS 9.  It is now a powerful tool for collecting thoughts. It also syncs to the Notes app on my MacBook Air and is accessible through iCloud.com.  Apple Notes also can easily import Evernote notebooks. Since I use Apple computers and devices, I have decided to try this for a while. It does what I need to do, it’s quick, and it’s simple. The ability to bring in my notes from Evernote has worked great. So far, I like the simplicity. Both Evernote and OneNote have grown complex through the years. I want the app to get out of the way so I can get my thoughts collected quickly. Searching also seems faster using the Notes apps.

Don’t be afraid to try new solutions. Find a tool that matches how you work, and use it to stay organized.

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5 Comments

  1. July 26, 2016 at 4:04 pm — Reply

    I have found myself using Notes very often in the past year. The deal maker for me was when they finally got iCloud to sync the notes at a near instantaneous pace over to the other devices. It wasn’t always as pretty and clean to sync as it was right now and has been the past year or so. I am a paid subscriber to Evernote and probably always will be. It’s synchronization and utilization among other apps makes it hard to put down. Evernote is my filing cabinet and Notes is my note pad.

    Nice site by the way.

  2. July 28, 2016 at 9:14 am — Reply

    Another alternative I found today. The maker of BBEdit has something called Yojimbo. If it’s nearly as good as BBEdit, it’s as good as Evernote. Anyway, you may want to give that a try if you’re a Mac user: http://www.barebones.com/products/yojimbo/

    • July 28, 2016 at 10:09 am — Reply

      Thanks for the recommendation. I remember looking at Yojimbo years ago. Glad it’s still around. I’m finding that Apple Notes is working great for me. The syncing actually is better and quicker than Evernote. I was able to import all my Evernote folders into Notes.

  3. October 5, 2016 at 9:43 pm — Reply

    It’s much simpler and not as feature rich, but Google’s Keep is a pretty good alternative. I wish Evernote hadn’t changed it’s 2 device minimum for free accounts, otherwise I’d be sticking with it.

    • October 7, 2016 at 10:04 pm — Reply

      That’s a great option for Android users. I’ve used it a few times on iOS as well. Thanks for sharing

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