Guy Serfaty / 10.29.2023Home / Encrypted notes

Notion vs. OneNote—features, security, pricing, and more

Read this Notion vs. OneNote comparison to learn which platform is superior. Discover an alternative to both options and all its unique features.
If you’re an avid note-taker or want to enrich your workflow, advanced platforms like Notion and OneNote are worth considering. Unlike their simpler counterparts like Google Keep and Evernote, you’ll discover various features suitable for power users and teams.This Notion vs. OneNote comparison will show you how both options approach the main aspects of note-taking, helping you choose the right platform. You’ll then learn where these solutions fall short and which note-taking app makes up for their shortcomings.
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OneNote vs. Notion—similarities and differences

OneNote and Notion are cloud-based note-taking platforms, though the former also lets you store notes locally. While both platforms check all the essential boxes when it comes to note creation, there are some notable feature differences.To help you decide which solution suits your workflow better, we’ll compare them according to the following factors:
  1. Design and ease of use
  2. Note-taking and editing features
  3. Collaboration
  4. Note organization
  5. Pricing
  6. Security

Design and ease of use

If you prefer a modern, clean user interface (UI), there’s a high chance you’ll find Notion more appealing than OneNote. The app is well-designed and has a minimalistic UI, so it’s quite esthetically pleasing.
Source: NotionStill, Notion’s esthetic appeal doesn’t mean it’s easy to use. The platform is packed with numerous features, so it might not be the most beginner-friendly option.Take note editing as an example—your notes consist of blocks, which can be plain text, a list, an image, or any number of different elements. The problem is that you must use slash commands (/) to include those elements, which might feel strange and unintuitive if you haven’t used a similar editor before.By contrast, OneNote’s feature layout is more straightforward, and you get a familiar interface similar to that of Word, Outlook, and other Microsoft apps. The design is consistent across different platforms, contributing to the platform’s ease of use.
Source: MicrosoftSuch convenience comes at the cost of visual appeal, as OneNote’s interface feels quite outdated compared to Notion’s. While this is a matter of personal preference, Notion is objectively more in line with contemporary software design-wise.To sum up, OneNote can be a solid stepping stone if you’re switching from Google Keep or another simpler tool and don’t want to spend a lot of time mastering a new app, while Notion is better if you’re looking for a more modern solution and don’t mind the learning curve.

Note-taking and editing features

Notion and OneNote offer powerful note-taking features, though the latter offers much more flexibility. You’ll notice this as soon as you try to format text, as OneNote gives you virtually the same options you get with a full-fledged word processor.You can change the font, style, and text size freely, which you can’t do in Notion—you can only choose between three fonts and two text sizes (regular or small).Both apps let you add various elements besides text and images, such as:
  • Code blocks
  • Math equations
  • Webpage snippets
  • Video embeds
Another advantage of OneNote is support for optical character recognition (OCR), which lets you extract text from images. Notion doesn’t support it, which means you can’t copy/paste text as you can on OneNote.While you can move elements around in OneNote somewhat freely, Notion focuses more on structure. Page blocks stick to one another as you add them, so the layout is much less freeform. This isn’t necessarily a disadvantage because you can still add various elements and structure them to your liking.For the sake of comparison, here is a Notion vs. Microsoft OneNote feature overview:
Rich formatting options
Text extraction
Structuring flexibility
Overall, OneNote could be a better option if you’re looking for flexibility and advanced text formatting. Still, there’s one feature area Notion undoubtedly handles better—collaboration.


Notion doesn’t only advertise itself as a note-taking app but as a comprehensive workspace, which isn’t the case with OneNote. Microsoft’s collaboration features are scattered across several products, while Notion makes collaborating in a centralized space easy.The app lets you create robust wikis, knowledge bases, and project descriptions. More importantly, it’s equipped with various project management features, most notably:
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Project roadmaps
  • Deadlines and status tags
  • Task automation and connection through dependencies
When you assign tasks, you’ll get four viewing options, including Kanban, List, Calendar, and Table.You can also see progress bars for a better overview of task completion so you can track different projects effortlessly. If you opt for the Notion AI add-on, you can streamline your workflow through automated updates, AI-generated project proposals, and other helpful extras.OneNote allows real-time collaboration, though it’s much less intuitive and robust. You can’t leave comments or mention collaborators to assign tasks or bring their attention to a note—you’re limited to basic sharing features.Delegation is also inconvenient, as it involves Outlook as opposed to letting you assign a task to someone directly. Many users might find this unnecessarily complicated, so Notion is a more low-effort option. If you don’t use the Microsoft 365 suite and need a standalone collaboration platform, it’s a clear winner.


OneNote is completely free to use—all you need is a Microsoft account, and you’ll get access to all the features. This availability makes it a solid choice if you’re on a budget and don’t want to pay for advanced note-taking functionalities.Microsoft stores all notes in OneDrive, but you can also store them locally for offline access. You get 5 GB of cloud storage, which isn’t particularly impressive but is still enough if notes are the only files you’ll store. You might need to expand the storage if you plan on using OneDrive to back up photos and videos.You can do so by subscribing to one of Microsoft’s numerous paid plans, which start at $6.99 for personal users. Business users can choose between four plans, as shown in the table below:
Business Basic$6/user per month
Business Standard$12.50/user per month
Business Premium$22/user per month
Apps for business$8.25/user per month
All plans come with 1 TB of storage, which is enough for numerous files. Subscribing won’t get you many additional OneNote features, with the most notable one being dictation, which can save time and improve accessibility.Notion also offers a free plan, and it’s quite robust—you get many useful features, such as:
  • Unlimited storage
  • Several integrations (GitHub, Slack, etc.)
  • Seven-day version history
  • Up to 10 guest collaborators
If you wish to upgrade, you can choose from three plans:
Plus$10/user per month ($8 with annual billing)
Business$18/user per month ($15 with annual billing)


Your notes will most likely contain information you don’t want to fall into the wrong hands—be it business details or sensitive personal data. Your chosen platform must ensure complete privacy and prevent unauthorized users from accessing your notes’ contents.Unfortunately, neither Notion nor OneNote is a particularly good choice from a security perspective. OneNote has a slight advantage thanks to local storage, but there’s a high chance you’ll want to store most of your notes on the cloud. This vulnerability calls for strong encryption protocols that will make your data invisible to everyone but you and authorized users.Notion and OneNote implement two encryption methods explained in the following table:
Encryption methodPurpose
Transport Layer Security (TLS)Encryption of data in transit
Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)Encryption of data resting on servers
Neither of these protocols ensures adequate privacy levels. The provider creates and stores the encryption keys, giving them access to unencrypted versions of your notes. Storing keys on servers also creates an opportunity for hackers to decrypt your notes and data.Microsoft has fallen victim to numerous data breaches in the past, mainly due to such subpar protection. If you want to avoid having your data stolen, your best option is a privacy-first note-taking platform.
Get a robust, privacy-oriented solutionSkiff Pages ensures complete data ownership with end-to-end encryption and advanced privacy controls
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How privacy-first apps keep your data safe

Due to the ever-growing concerns around cybercrime, it’s never been more important to choose secure providers of all online services. These security-oriented providers ensure privacy and confidentiality through various measures, the most important being end-to-end encryption (E2EE).Unlike the protocols offered by most Big Tech services, E2EE gives you full control of your data. Encryption keys are created and stored on your device, automatically encrypting data before it reaches the provider’s servers.As your provider never comes into contact with the keys, only you and your chosen collaborators can see the contents of your notes.Note-taking apps offering such strong security are few and far between. If you need a suggestion, check out Skiff Pages.

Skiff Pages—Free, private, and feature-rich

Skiff Pages is an end-to-end encrypted platform that makes creating rich notes and collaborating in a secure environment easy. The app ensures your notes’ contents and key metadata (filename, date created, etc.) are invisible to unauthorized parties using advanced security measures.Your notes are encrypted using a symmetric key, while each user owns an asymmetric key pair. It consists of the private decryption key, mathematically related to the public key, ensuring only users holding it can decrypt the note.Each asymmetric key pair is unique and created on the user’s device. It’s not stored or managed by Skiff, so only you and your collaborators can decipher the notes. And the best part is that this entire process happens automatically without you having to do a thing.Skiff Pages also lets you retain control of your data through zero-knowledge login, which lets you create an account without leaving any personal information.Other security features of the platform include the following:
  • Real-time collaboration using secure Web Sockets, which means that all document changes are end-to-end encrypted
  • Complete access control through sharing and unsharing, as well as expiring document access
  • Password protection and link sharing with permission controls
You can read Skiff’s whitepaper to learn more about these security measures or find the platform’s codebase on GitHub, as it’s open source.

Create dynamic notes without complications

Skiff Pages features a clean, clutter-free interface that lets you use its many features regardless of your tech skills. With the rich text editor, you can format text in many ways and embed content of all types into your notes.Keeping your notes organized is simple, as you can create subpages and categorize your notes effortlessly. The parent page will display a visible link to all connected subpages, letting you seamlessly navigate your notes.You get 10 GB of end-to-end encrypted storage for free, far above the industry standard for privacy-first providers, and should be enough for numerous content-rich notes. Your notes are encrypted while stored so no prying eyes can read them.If you’re already using another note-taking app or a word processor like Google Docs, you can move all your documents to Skiff Pages using the platform’s instant migration tool. You can also export the notes you create in the app in several major formats—.docx, .pdf, and .md.

Expand your secure workflow beyond note-taking

When you sign up for Skiff Pages, you’ll get access to an entire suite of E2EE apps, which encompasses three additional platforms:
  1. Skiff Mail—Lets you send end-to-end encrypted emails so that you can share sensitive information more securely. You can set up a custom domain, create multiple email aliases, and organize your mail with folders and labels
  2. Skiff Drive—Provides up to 2 TB of E2EE storage to give you a secure cloud space for files of any type. You can also choose to integrate Skiff Drive with the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS)
  3. Skiff Calendar—Helps you stay on top of projects and tasks by automatically pulling event information from Skiff Mail. It also comes with a built-in video conferencing tool and lets you create shared calendars
The Skiff product family is available on iOS, Android, and macOS, and you can use the web app to access it on Windows.

Collaborate securely with Skiff Pages

Getting started with Skiff Pages is easy—all you need to do is:
  1. Visit the signup page
  2. Choose your username and password
  3. Explore Skiff Pages and other E2EE platforms
Skiff offers three affordable paid plans that let you expand its functionality, so you can upgrade as needed. The following table offers a quick pricing breakdown:
EssentialFrom $3 per month
ProFrom $8 per month
BusinessFrom $12 per month

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