Alternatives to OneNote: Top Note-Taking Solutions for You

Looking for alternatives to OneNote is essential if you are trying to look for ways to lessen your operational expenses.

Microsoft OneNote has been a go-to note-taking tool for many due to its integration with Office 365 and flexibility in organizing information.

However, you might be seeking alternatives that better align with your specific needs.

Some people look for more advanced features, a different pricing structure, or better platform compatibility.

Today’s digital landscape offers an array of options, each with its own strengths.

As you explore alternatives to OneNote, you’ll find that some focus on simplicity and user-friendliness, while others offer robust tools for task management and collaboration.

There are interesting contenders like ClickUp, which provides note-taking within a project management framework, and Notion, known for its versatility and customization options.

Then there are apps like Obsidian, which cater to those who prefer markdown for their notes, or Evernote, with its powerful search and organizational features.

It’s all about finding the app that resonates with your workflow and enhances your productivity.

Popular Alternatives to OneNote

When looking for a digital note-taking tool, it’s essential that you find an alternative that fits your specific needs, whether it’s for study, work, or personal use.

Here are some popular alternatives to OneNote that might be just what you’re looking for.


Evernote is a versatile application that lets you organize your notes, to-dos, and reminders efficiently.

With Evernote, you can sync your content across devices, and its robust search capabilities mean you can quickly find your notes whenever you need them.

Features like document scanning and web clipping make Evernote particularly handy for managing a wide range of information.

Google Keep

If you’re after simplicity and speed, Google Keep could be your go-to note-taking app.

It’s perfect for creating quick lists and reminders, and it integrates seamlessly with other Google services.

What’s more, Google Keep allows for easy collaboration with others, making it useful for shared to-do lists or quick note exchanges.

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Notability combines handwriting, typing, and drawing in one sleek package, particularly favoured by students and professionals alike who prefer to take notes on their tablets.

Its ability to annotate documents and mix multimedia elements within notes sets it apart from simpler note-taking apps.

Open-Source Alternatives

If you’re seeking alternatives to Microsoft’s OneNote, the open-source community offers several robust applications like Joplin and Zim Wiki, which provide note-taking and organizational features without the price tag.


Joplin is your go-to if organization and privacy are top priorities.

Notes in Joplin can be organized into notebooks, making it easy for you to locate your content.

With Joplin, you retain full ownership of your data:

  • Searchable Notes: Quickly find what you’re looking for with comprehensive search functionality.
  • Markup Support: Use Markdown for your notes to include various formatting options without any extra fuss.
  • Synchronization: Sync your notes across devices with support for platforms such as Nextcloud, Dropbox, and OneDrive.

Zim Wiki

Zim Wiki serves as a personal wiki to manage your knowledge.

If you love interlinking thoughts and enjoy the wiki-style of documentation, Zim might just be up your alley:

  • Wiki-Style Note-taking: Create a web of notes with links back and forth, mimicking the interconnected style of a wiki.
  • Plain Text Files: Your notes are stored as plain text files, offering simplicity and easy backups or syncing through various file-sharing services.
  • Rich Content: Insert images, create tables, and format your text with the familiar wiki syntax.

Markdown Editors

When you’re looking for OneNote alternatives that support markdown, you’ll appreciate the simplicity and focus that markdown editors like Typora and Obsidian offer.

These tools cater to your needs for distraction-free writing and organizing notes with ease.


Typora gives you a seamless text-to-HTML experience, ideal for content creators and engineers.

It features a live preview of markdown while you type, which combines the writing and preview screens into a single window.

This unique approach allows you to focus on your content without the distraction of formatting buttons and toolbars.

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Typora is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms.

Here’s what makes Typora stand out:

  • Live Preview: Write and see the formatted result simultaneously.
  • Cross-Platform: Works on your Windows, Mac, or Linux machines.


Obsidian is a markdown-based note-taking application that excels in linking your thoughts and ideas.

With Obsidian, your notes are stored in local markdown files, giving you full control over your data.

The tool’s networked thought structure helps you create a knowledge base that grows with connections over time.

Here’s what you’ll love about Obsidian:

  • Local Storage: Your markdown files stay on your device unless you decide to sync.
  • Linking Thoughts: Easy linking and visualization of note relationships.

Enterprise Solutions

When you’re considering note-taking and collaboration tools for a business environment, it’s crucial to focus on solutions that offer integration with other enterprise software, advanced administrative controls, and a high level of support for team collaboration.


Confluence is a powerful collaboration tool tailored for teams and businesses.

Designed by Atlassian, it integrates seamlessly with Jira, another widely-used enterprise tool for issue and project tracking.

With Confluence, you can:

  • Create, share, and collaborate on projects in a rich, versatile workspace.
  • Access a range of administrative controls for managing permissions and security.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is more than just a communication platform; it’s a robust collaborative workspace that integrates with the Microsoft 365 suite, which includes familiar applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Within Teams, you can:

  • Collaborate in real-time on documents and projects.
  • Utilize built-in tools such as chat, video calls, and meeting scheduling for enhanced teamwork.

Specialized Note-Taking Tools

Exploring specialized note-taking applications can dramatically enhance your ability to organize thoughts and information relevant to your specific needs.

Tools like Roam Research and Scrivener have been designed with particular functionalities that cater to targeted workflows and user groups.

Roam Research

Roam Research stands out with its unique bi-directional linking feature, which allows you to create a web of your thoughts, making it easier to see connections and build upon ideas.

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Key points about Roam Research include:

  • Non-linear note-taking: Ideal for those who think in a non-hierarchical way and wish to connect ideas across different pages.
  • Networking thoughts: Perfect for researchers, writers, and students engaged in complex projects that benefit from a web of interconnected notes.


Scrivener is a heavyweight in long-form writing projects, and its robust toolkit caters to writers of all kinds.

Notable features of Scrivener include:

  • All-in-one writing studio: Organize research, drafts, notes, and references within a single project interface.
  • Extensive tools: Offers corkboard view, outlining, and advanced writing statistics that are invaluable for authors, novelists, and screenwriters.

Key Takeaways

When you’re looking for an alternative to Microsoft OneNote, you have quite a few options, each with its unique strengths.

To help you navigate your choices, here’s a streamlined overview:

  • Diverse Options: You’re not limited to one type of note-taking app.

    From Simplenote for simplicity to Notion for database integration, your choices are diverse.

  • Platform Availability: Most alternatives are available across different platforms.

    This ensures you can sync your notes whether you’re on Linux, Windows, Mac, or mobile.

  • Pricing Models: Whether you’re budget-conscious or looking for premium features, there’s a range from free apps to paid subscriptions.

    Apps like Zoho Notebook offer robust functionality without cost.

  • Special Features: Each app offers something special.

    For instance:

    • Notion for its all-in-one workspace,
    • Evernote for powerful organization,
    • Google Keep for quick capture and collaboration,
    • Bear for a focus on typography and design (available for Apple users).
  • User Experience: Interface and user experience vary greatly.

    For example, from Zoho Notebook’s visually rich interface to Simplenote’s minimalist design.

  • This gives you the option to choose one that resonates with your taste and workflow needs.
No. App Best For
1 Notion Database integration
2 Evernote Organization
3 Bear Design and typography
4 Apple Notes Integration with Apple
5 Notability Note-taking on iPad
6 Google Keep Quick capture
7 Simplenote Simplicity
8 Zoho Notebook Visual experience