OneNote vs. Evernote—an in-depth comparison

Read this OneNote vs. Evernote comparison for an overview of their features, pricing, and unique strengths, and stay for a security-conscious alternative.
Evernote and OneNote are among the most popular note-taking apps and longest-standing platforms, each having advantages over the other.This OneNote vs. Evernote comparison will outline their most notable differences to help you decide between the two. You’ll also learn about a secure alternative to both apps worth checking out.
Choose a robust note-taking solutionSkiff Pages combines top-tier security with advanced collaboration features
Sign up

Evernote vs. OneNote—similarities and differences

OneNote and Evernote are advanced note-taking platforms that let you create comprehensive documents beyond simple checklists and text notes.Both come with numerous organization and collaboration features that make them suitable for individuals and teams alike. Neither app is universally better than the other—it all comes down to your preferences and workflow specifics.If you need a shortcut for choosing the right platform without extensive research, this concise breakdown will compare OneNote versus Evernote across six categories:
  1. User interface (UI)
  2. Note-taking and editing features
  3. Note organization
  4. Cross-platform support and integrations
  5. Pricing
  6. Security

User interface

At first glance, there aren’t any significant UI differences between Evernote and OneNote. Whether you use them on a desktop or mobile device, you’ll get a well-organized layout with all the features presented somewhat intuitively.Still, Evernote has a slight edge over OneNote due to its more esthetically pleasing interface. Evernote’s UI is cleaner and more modern, which makes the app more suitable for users who care about visual appeal.
Source: EvernoteOneNote’s interface resembles other Microsoft 365 platforms (Word, Outlook, etc.). It feels a bit outdated compared to Evernote, regardless of the platform you use it on.
Source: OneNoteOf course, an app’s visual appeal is subjective, so some users will prefer OneNote’s traditional design, especially those accustomed to the rest of Microsoft’s ecosystem.Due to extensive features, both platforms might take a while to get used to, despite well-designed UIs. They’re far more robust than solutions like Google Keep, which focuses on simplicity over advanced features.The good news is that Evernote and OneNote offer tips for getting started more easily, so you shouldn’t have trouble getting the hang of their features. Once you do, you’ll understand why these apps are so popular among users looking for a comprehensive note-taking and task management platform.

Note-taking and editing features

Evernote and OneNote come with rich text editors that let you create dynamic notes with numerous elements besides text, such as:
  1. Tables and lists
  2. Images
  3. File embeds and attachments
Text formatting is equally easy and comprehensive—both apps offer familiar ribbons with various formatting options. You can manipulate text similarly to how you do it in word processors like Google Docs and Word.Web clipping is also available on both platforms, though Evernote handles it better. Unlike OneNote, it lets you interact with the contents of the webpage you clipped, while OneNote essentially saves it as a screenshot.Optical character recognition (OCR) is also better on Evernote, as it lets you extract text from images, even in cursive or more complex fonts. OneNote does a decent job of recognizing plain text but not much beyond it.Another advantage of Evernote is task management, which is far more seamless than with OneDrive. You can tag someone to delegate an individual task quickly, while OneNote integrates with Outlook when assigning a task, making the process far more complex.Despite the above shortcomings, OneNote has the major benefit of offering all of its features out of the box with the free plan. Evernote charges for some of its best features, as you’ll learn a bit later in this article.

Note organization

Notes are organized similarly in both apps as they rely on the same hierarchy. The only difference lies in category names, as shown in the following table:
PlatformNote categories
OneNoteNotebook > section > page
EvernoteNotebook stack > notebook > note
Thanks to such clear division, you can use either app for several purposes. For instance, you can keep separate notebooks or notebook stacks for personal and business notes, which you can further break down into numerous categories.A notable difference between the platforms’ organization is the home page, with Evernote offering a significantly better overview of notes. You’ll see several sections/widgets on the home screen, including your recent notes, calendar, and tasks. With this setup, it’s easy to glance at the most important information and things you’ll need to do on a given day.OneNote doesn’t offer such an overview—the home page only shows the list of your notebooks, so it’s much less functional and visually appealing than Evernote’s widgets.

Cross-platform support and integrations

Besides the web app, Evernote and OneNote offer dedicated apps for all major operating systems:
  • Windows
  • macOS
  • iOS
  • Android
Your notes are synced automatically across all your devices, and both platforms offer offline access.Integrations are also quite similar, with Evernote having a slight advantage because it connects to more platforms natively. For instance, you can integrate it with the entire Google Workspace suite, while OneNote only integrates with Google Drive.This doesn’t come as a surprise, as Microsoft has its own productivity suite, while Evernote is a standalone app that doesn’t belong to any ecosystem.Both apps integrate with Zapier, which lets you connect them to platforms you couldn’t use with them natively. This option is particularly beneficial for OneNote due to its limitations, so you should still be able to add it to your workflow.


OneNote is completely free—all you need is a Microsoft account, and you can leverage the features without restrictions. It’s an excellent choice for users on a budget who still want a robust platform.You get 5 GB of free OneDrive storage, which integrates with other Microsoft services and can be used to back up your files to the cloud. If you dedicate the entire storage to notes, you can create plenty of them without the fear of running out of space.You can sign up for one of the many paid Microsoft 365 tiers for more storage. Whether you’re a personal or business user, you can unlock 1 TB of storage alongside various features of other Microsoft tools. Paid storage is universal among most plans, so there are no differences from this perspective.While Evernote also offers a free plan, it’s quite limited—you can only upload 60 MB of files, which certainly isn’t enough for advanced users. Your notes also can’t exceed 25 MB, so you can’t add much content besides text.Many integrations and useful features (like setting due dates for tasks) are kept behind a paywall. To unlock them, you must upgrade to one of Evernote's three paid plans:
Personal$14.99 per month
Professional$17.99 per month
Teams$24.99 per month


Security is by far the most essential criterion to consider when choosing an app. There’s a high chance your notes will contain private information, scans of sensitive documents, and data you want to keep away from prying eyes.Unfortunately, neither OneNote nor Evernote do enough to ensure privacy and security. You get standard account protection features like two-factor authentication (2FA), and OneNote lets you password-protect your notes. Evernote has a similar feature that allows you to select and encrypt some note contents, which you can only read after entering a passphrase.Secure as this may sound, both platforms fail to incorporate the most important security measure—end-to-end encryption (E2EE). This type of encryption scrambles all data using a key created and stored on your device, so only you and a collaborator with a decryption key can read your notes.Instead, OneNote and Evernote implement two encryption measures commonly seen among Big Tech providers (Google Keep, Notion, etc.):
  1. Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol for data in transit
  2. AES-265 encryption algorithm for data resting on their servers
Such an encryption procedure is subpar compared to using E2EE because your provider creates and owns the encryption keys, which means they can decipher your notes at any point. You get nowhere near enough privacy to store sensitive information without concerns.Luckily, there are privacy-first note-taking platforms that address this issue and give you full control of your data. If you want such a solution, consider Skiff Pages.
Access secure note-taking at no costSkiff’s features-rich platform and built-in E2E encryption are available for all users
Sign up

Skiff Pages—Secure note creation for everyone

Skiff Pages is an end-to-end encrypted note-taking platform combining robust features with cutting-edge security.Your notes’ contents and key metadata like filename, date created, last modified, etc., are all encrypted using a symmetric key. Each user also gets a pair of asymmetric keys consisting of:
  1. A public key—Encrypts the symmetric key so that each user has a unique copy
  2. A private key—Decrypts the note and ensures only you can read the contents
These keys are safely stored on your device, preventing anyone but you and your collaborators from accessing the notes. This level of protection ensures that not even Skiff can read the contents and metadata, giving you absolute privacy.Apart from having the strongest encryption by default, Skiff Pages offers various other security features, most notably:
  • Real-time collaboration using secure Web Sockets, which means all your document changes are communicated in an end-to-end encrypted environment
  • Two-factor authentication through the Authenticator app, which adds a security layer that doesn’t require your phone number
  • Zero-knowledge login, which allows you to sign up for Skiff Pages without leaving any personal information
You can learn more about these security measures in Skiff’s whitepaper. The platform is open source, so you can find its entire codebase on GitHub.

User-friendly and packed with features

Skiff Pages’ user interface is clean and minimalistic, ensuring all features are laid out intuitively and without clutter. Besides being esthetically pleasing, the platform lets you stay productive and leverage its numerous useful features with no prior technical knowledge needed.Thanks to the rich text editor, you can format the notes’ contents to your liking and add elements like tables, code blocks, lists, and many more. You can also embed any file type in no more than a couple of clicks and create dynamic documents effortlessly.Structure your notes in a clear hierarchy by creating subpages, with the parent page showing links to all relevant subpages. Your notes will be neatly organized and easy to navigate, contributing to a seamless user experience.Listing all of the platform’s features would take a while, so here are some additional highlights:
  • 10 GB of end-to-end encrypted storage
  • Note-sharing, unsharing, and expiry dates for thorough access control
  • Customization through numerous color, icon, and title combinations
  • A fast and thorough page content search
  • Version history
  • Document locks
  • Import/export of .docx, .pdf, and .md files

One free account, four E2EE platforms

All of the above features come with a free Skiff account, and you get access to three additional end-to-end encrypted platforms that create a secure workspace:
  1. Skiff Mail: Send end-to-end encrypted emails without risks, set up custom domains, and manage multiple inboxes in one place through Skiff aliases
  2. Skiff Drive: Store files of any type in a secure cloud space and leverage the optional InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) integration
  3. Skiff Calendar: Stay on top of your schedule and use a built-in video conferencing tool for secure meetings
Skiff offers outstanding cross-platform support across all products—they’re available on iOS, macOS, Android, and all major browsers that let you access the Skiff suite on Windows.

Get started with Skiff Pages

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 and other E2EE tools
If your needs grow beyond the rich free plan, you can upgrade to one of three affordable paid tiers:
EssentialFrom $3 per month
ProFrom $8 per month
BusinessFrom $12 per month

Join the community

Become a part of our 1,500,000+ community and join the future of a private and decentralized internet.

Free plan • No card required