Virtual ‘notepads’ are becoming an essential in these times of extreme digitalization of our daily lives. Evernote, Microsoft OneNote, and Google Keep are three of the most-used note-taking tools, allowing you to save reminders and catalogue all the interesting web content you come across every day. Here we offer a comparison of the three programs.
- Evernote: Clients available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Also has multiplatform web access and a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox, as well as an app for Android Wear and mobile widgets.
- OneNote: Clients available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Also has multiplatform web access and a browser extension for Chrome.
- Keep: Has no desktop client. Apps available for iOS and Android, with desktop interaction based on the web client and Chrome extension.
Winner: Without a doubt Evernote, which gives you versions to use on practically any general-use device.
- Evernote: A minimalist note-taking system that allows basic text editing with lists, indents, tables, and ruling in its web version, along with a few other format options in the desktop client. Also allows basic manual insertion of clip-art and graphics. Allows you to save full emails or webpages, extracting images and text automatically based on your selected text.
- OneNote: You can tell that this tool has the full weight of MS Office behind it given the enormous number of note-editing options, which cover all the features from Word and the insertion of Excel tables and formulas, as well as drawing tools like you’d find in a graphics software. Audio and video notes are relegated to the paid version.
- Keep: Content insertion is so basic that it’s divided into four main elements: notes, lists, voice notes, and photos, although given its deep integration with other tools from the Google ecosystem it’s also possible to include, among other things, locations from Google Maps.
Winner: The answer to this one is a bit ambiguous as it depends on your needs, but in terms of versatility, compatibility, and extended editing options, OneNote takes the gold.
- Evernote: The web version has opted for an immersive, minimalist mode, which in the desktop client has been refined into its near-perfect current version that’s divided into three sections: the left column, the list of notes, and the editing window.
- OneNote: This suffers all the problems that come with dragging along the Office package from its version 2010, with a clunky and confusing upper options bar where it’s hard to find certain options. The mobile app, although functional, still has some margin for improvement with regard to browsing and loading speed.
- Keep: Its simplicity is its main strength: it uses a succession of post-its of customizable color.
Winner: Evernote has optimized its interface with every new version, with the added advantages of a web clipping service and a minimalist appearance to minimize distractions.
- Evernote: Collaborative note-taking, internal chat, slideshow generator, notifications and reminders, handwriting recognition, note organization with notebooks and tags, insertion of comments and diagrams over text and images, content-capture add-on (Evernote Web Clipper).
- OneNote: Synching with Microsoft OneDrive, collaborative note-taking, note organization with blocks and tabs, integrated crop tool in the desktop client, notifications and reminders.
- Keep: Android integration for notes, notifications and reminders, note organization via tags and colors.
Winner: Again, Evernote boasts the greatest depth in its options, although if you’re closely tied to the Microsoft ecosystem, OneNote could be quite useful thanks to its association with OneDrive for synching and storing notes as well as its integrated crop system.
- Evernote: The free version has certain limits, starting with the 60MB maximum you can upload every month. The Premium version, at $/€5 a month, increases that number to 1GB and adds extra features such as the ability to access your notes offline or do searches even within PDF files.
- OneNote: At the beginning of 2014, OneNote released a free version that’s recently been considerably improved to include all the features of the paid version.
- Keep: A free tool in all of its versions.
Winner: You have to be meticulous in this regard in checking whether its worth it to pay for a certain feature that only appears in the premium version. Keep is completely transparent in that sense, and in fact comes installed by default on the latest versions of Android.
In terms of the huge array of options and flexibility of use on different devices, Evernote stands out among the rest and currently dominates its market segment. OneNote is gaining ground on it quickly, but it carries the albatross of belonging to the Office suite, which keeps it attached to the baroque ecosystem of Microsoft tools. Keep, for its part, can’t really be considered a direct competitor as it has such as different philosophy, offering a simple app that’s both versatile and easy to handle.