Evernote alternative—buying guide + reviews

Learn what to look for in an Evernote alternative and discover some of the best note-taking apps, whether you’re a personal or business user.
Evernote is one of the best-known note-taking apps on the market, and there are several reasons for this. It offers excellent cross-platform support and numerous useful features, from a rich text editor to optical character recognition (OCR).Unfortunately, the platform also comes with a few notable disadvantages. Its free plan is quite limited in features and storage, so it might not be the best solution for users on a budget.More importantly, Evernote doesn’t do enough to keep users’ data safe, which you’ll learn more about in this guide. You’ll also see what features a solid Evernote alternative should have, after which you’ll discover some popular apps worth considering.
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How to choose an alternative to Evernote

There are several factors you should consider before choosing a note-taking app. If you’re not sure where to start, take the following steps:
  1. Assess the app’s user interface (UI)
  2. Compare its features to your needs
  3. Focus on note organization
  4. Decide if the pricing is reasonable for your budget
  5. Make sure the app implements the right security measures
To help you cover all ground, we’ll explain these factors in more detail.

User interface

While no two UIs are the same, a solid note-taking platform should have at least some (and preferably all) of the following:
  • A clutter-free layout
  • Intuitively placed features
  • A rich text editor without complex commands
You should also pay close attention to the platform’s mobile app and assess how easy it is to navigate. Note-taking apps are often used on the go, so you should be able to quickly glance at the most important information and jot down your notes.


Before you start exploring Evernote alternatives, ask yourself what you need the app for in the first place. Use this to create a reference point to compare different options more easily.Define the most essential features you need besides the basics, such as:
  • A rich text editor
  • Cross-platform support
  • To-do’s
  • Web-clipping features

Note organization

One of the main purposes of a note-taking app is to ensure you can structure your thoughts, ideas, and lots of different information clearly in one place. That’s why your Evernote alternative should have various organizational features.Organizing your notes is particularly important in shared workspaces, so you might need features besides tags and filters that help your collaborators weed out unnecessary information easily.


Many users agree that Evernote’s pricing is one of its weakest points. Unless you upgrade to a paid tier, you can only upload 60 MB worth of notes monthly, and individual notes can’t exceed 25 MB. You also don’t get many of the app’s advanced features, like to-do reminders and integrations.Seeing as the paid plans aren’t particularly cheap (starting at $10.83 per month), it’s clear that the value for money could be better. Several apps either offer much more robust free plans or more affordable paid tiers (or both).


No feature or benefit can make up for an app’s inability to keep your personal data and notes safe from unauthorized access. That’s why a platform’s privacy and security measures should be the main deal-breakers while exploring different options.One of the first security layers you should look into is the platform’s encryption. It turns your data into strings of unintelligible characters, making it inaccessible to everyone but the person holding the decryption key.Unfortunately, Evernote and other Big Tech platforms rely on subpar encryption protocols. While there can be some differences in implementation, you’ll often see two encryption types:
  1. Transport Layer Security (TLS)
  2. Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
TLS has proven itself quite unreliable after numerous vulnerability exploits. It’s meant to protect data in transit but doesn’t do a particularly good job of preventing unautorized access to users’ data. AES secures data resting on servers and is strong by nature, which is why platforms implementing it advertise their solutions as secure and private.This claim often isn’t true, though, mainly because your provider owns and stores the decryption keys, which gives them access to your notes and puts your data at risk of leaking in case of a cyberattack.Your best option is a platform supporting end-to-end encryption (E2EE). It encrypts data using a key created and stored on your device, so nobody but you and the person you share a note with can see it.
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Six alternatives to Evernote to consider

While there are numerous Evernote competitors to choose from, six platforms stand out:
PlatformFeature highlights
OneNoteComprehensive text editing, simple note hierarchy, support for various embeds
JoplinOpen source, end-to-end encryption, support for diagrams and math expressions
Google KeepSimple user interface, colors, backgrounds, and labels for organization, 15 GB of storage
Dropbox PaperComments and threads in notes, rich text editor, task assignments
nTaskReal-time project tracking, kanban boards, support for document attachments
Skiff PagesEnd-to-end encryption, advanced text formatting and support for embeds of all types, sharing, unsharing, and expiring access
In the following reviews, you’ll find a detailed layout of these platforms’ most notable aspects. Each of these options offers distinct features and capabilities, catering to a variety of note-taking preferences and organizational styles.Here’s how they stack up against each other.


Source: MicrosoftIf you need a capable note-taking platform that doesn’t charge for advanced features, OneNote can be a solid free alternative to Evernote. While it’s comparable to Evernote in terms of features and note organization, it offers a much more robust free plan that makes the platform suitable for advanced users on a budget.The platform offers a rich text editor, the layout of which resembles other apps in the Microsoft 365 suite. You can format your notes’ contents in numerous ways and embed links, images, and files of different types.Note organization is similar to Evernote’s—notebooks are split into sections that consist of individual pages. You get a clear hierarchy and can navigate your notes without complications.The main complaint regarding the user interface is that it looks outdated compared to Evernote and many other competitors. You also don’t get a comprehensive home page with lots of information—you can only see your notebooks.OneNote stores your entries in OneDrive, and you get 5 GB of free storage, which should be enough for your notes, especially if you won’t use the drive for other files. If you want more storage, you can get up to 1 TB regardless of your chosen plan.As for security, OneNote doesn’t go beyond basic TLS and AES-256 encryption. There’s no E2EE, so privacy is undoubtedly a concern.
Robust note-taking featuresOutdated interface
Clear organizationNo end-to-end encryption
Rich free plan.


Source: JoplinJoplin is a free note-taking app with a few notable advantages over Evernote. It’s open source, which ensures complete transparency you don’t get with an average commercial platform.It’s easy to use and has a similar note structure as Evernote, letting you organize notes as notebooks, which you can split into subnotebooks. You can embed images, videos, audio files, and PDFs and create diagrams and math expressions, which is a unique addition unavailable with many competitors.By default, the app works on a bring-your-own-storage basis. You can integrate it with several cloud storage platforms:
  • Dropbox
  • NextCloud
  • OneDrive
  • WebDAV
Regardless of your chosen storage, notes will be end-to-end encrypted, the benefits of which were already covered.The main drawback of Joplin is that it doesn’t offer any collaboration features out of the box. To access them, you’d need to subscribe to Joplin Cloud, which also gives you dedicated storage. There are three plans to choose from:
  1. Basic—From 2.40€ ($2.53) per month
  2. Pro—From 4.79€ ($5.05) per month
  3. Teams—From 6.69€ ($7.06) per month
Another limitation that might make Joplin a subpar option is a lack of advanced features like OCR and PDF annotation.
Open sourceNo collaboration features out of the box
End-to-end encryptionNo advanced note-taking features
Integration with several storage solutions.

Google Keep

Source: Google KeepGoogle Keep can be a good choice if you’re looking for a simple, free Evernote alternative focused on basic note-taking features—especially if you already use other Google Workspace apps.It’s best suited for light personal use because you can’t do much besides creating notes. If this is your main intention and you don’t need advanced features, Google Keep should suffice.The app’s interface makes it suitable for beginners—you can create notes right from the main screen and see them displayed in one place in the form of sticky notes.Organizational features allow you to customize your space and:
  • Add different colors and backgrounds
  • Add specific labels to serve as folders
  • Pin frequently visited notes to the top
Google Keep is entirely free to use, with the only limitation being 15 GB of combined Google Workspace storage. While it may be enough if you’ll only use it for notes, your space might fill up quickly if you plan on backing up your Android phone, files, and photos.Another major drawback of Google Keep is weak security, as the platform uses two basic encryption measures and doesn’t offer E2EE. Google is also particularly notorious for invasive privacy practices, so this app isn’t suitable for security-conscious users.
User-friendly interfaceNo advanced note-taking features
Free to useMajor security and privacy concerns
Simple note organization.

Dropbox Paper

Source: DropboxDropbox Paper is one of the best Evernote alternatives if you’re looking for a platform with more advanced collaboration features. It feels more like a shared workspace than a note-taking tool, so it’s suitable for teams of different sizes.You can invite collaborators to co-edit your documents and assign to-do’s. You can also leave comments and start threads, which contributes to an uninterrupted workflow between team members. The user interface is clean and intuitive enough for an average user, so there isn’t a major learning curve.As for note editing, Dropbox sticks to the basics without many advanced features. You get some standard formatting options like bolding, underlining, and highlighting text, and you can embed different content types, such as:
  • GIFs
  • YouTube videos
  • Pinterest boards
  • Google maps
The app still lacks some useful tools, such as a web clipper and voice recorder. There’s also no optical character recognition, which is a significant disadvantage.Paper is part of the Dropbox suite, so you can’t use it as a standalone platform. Dropbox offers a free plan with 2 GB of storage, which isn’t a lot. To get more and unlock additional features, you can choose from five paid plans for personal and business users:
  1. Plus—From $9.99 per month
  2. Essentials—From $18 per month
  3. Business—From $20/user per month
  4. Business Plus—From $26/user per month
  5. Enterprise—Custom pricing
Solid collaboration features Lacks useful note-taking features
Various embed types Limited free storage
Clean user interface.


Source: nTasknTask is one of the best alternatives to Evernote if your focus is on task and project management over note-taking. It’s a collaborative space similar to Dropbox, though the user interface is much cleaner and more visually appealing.Some of the platform’s main features include the following:
  • Real-time project tracking
  • Gantt charts
  • Easy communication through chat and comments
  • Kanban task boards
Note and document creation is secondary in nTask, so it’s mostly there to provide more context to tasks and projects instead of letting you create comprehensive documentation. There aren’t many text formatting options, but you can add various elements related to project management, from to-do’s to files of different types.nTask offers a free plan, but you only get 100 MB of storage. The issue doesn’t completely resolve even if you upgrade, as the highest tier gets you 100 GB, which is much less than what you’d get with an average app.If you don’t mind this, you can upgrade to one of three plans:
  1. Premium—$4/user per month ($3/month billed annually)
  2. Business—$12/user per month ($8/month billed annually)
  3. Enterprise—Custom pricing
Pros Cons
Well-designed interface No advanced text formatting features
Various project management features Limited storage
Streamlined communication.

Skiff Pages

Source: SkiffSkiff Pages combines everything you need in a comprehensive platform—robust note-taking features, streamlined collaboration, and advanced security.Similar to Joplin, Skiff Pages is end-to-end encrypted, but doesn’t charge for storage and syncing. You get 10 GB of free end-to-end encrypted storage, and notes automatically sync between your devices.A symmetric key encrypts each note, and you get an asymmetric key pair consisting of:
  • A public key, which further encrypts the symmetric key
  • A private key, which decrypts your notes
All keys are created and stored on your device, so they’re inaccessible to Skiff and third parties. You get complete privacy and can even sign up without leaving any personal information, thanks to a zero-knowledge login.The platform is easy to use and equipped with numerous features, such as:
  • A rich text editor with an option to embed content of any type
  • Real-time collaboration with sharing, unsharing, and expiring access options
  • End-to-end encrypted document changes communicated through Web Sockets
  • Link sharing with permission controls
  • Simple note organization through parent pages and subpages
Skiff is open source and available on iOS, macOS, Android, and major browsers (which you can use to access the platform on Windows). If you want to learn more about Skiff Pages’ features and security, you can read this whitepaper and find the app’s codebase on GitHub.All of the above features come with the rich free plan, and you can upgrade to one of three paid tiers starting at only $3 per month.
Strong end-to-end encryption No dedicated Windows app
Easy to use.
Support for any embed type.
Zero-knowledge login.

Get started with Skiff Pages

If you want to create dynamic notes in an end-to-end encrypted environment, you can sign up for Skiff Pages in three steps:
  1. Visit the signup page
  2. Choose your username and password
  3. Explore Skiff Pages
You’ll automatically get access to three more E2EE platforms that let you create a secure workspace:

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