Evernote was one of the first-party apps to follow the mobile route on the App Store. For the last few years, the company has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Hiking prices, limiting free account to only two devices, and then came the controversial decision to view the customer data. Thankfully it was reversed after a few days of backlash.
Among those incidents, San-Francisco based startup, Notion emerged as a viable option. With its unique style at note-taking, templates, and clean design, it quickly became choice for those looking for Evernote alternatives. The recently released ‘import from Evernote’ tool made the switch even easy.
In this post, we will compare Evernote to Notion to see if the new kid in town is as good as they say or is it yet another ‘Grass is greener on the other side’ situation.
Evernote is available on Android, iOS, Apple Watch, Mac and Windows. Every app is a native one specifically designed for a particular platform.
Notion is also available on iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac. Notion has carried over the UI elements from iOS to Android, so it doesn’t feel native at all. No need to worry about accessing your notes on any platform.
Evernote weights around 126MB while Notion is surprisingly tenth of size at 12.6MB.
Evernote’s years of experience becomes apparent here. The app is fluid and animations are a joy to use. All the relevant options rest at the bottom. The swiping gesture takes you to the all notes section. The app is well-made. One has to be really picky to find a reason to complain.
As you may know, the app follows the physical cabinet concept with the organization via Notebooks and Tags.
Notion, on the other hand, looks and feels outdated. It’s still using hamburger menu and the options like undo and share options are uncomfortably at the top. The app isn’t using the usual bottom bar menus for note-taking options, which is strange.
Note-taking capabilities are the prime aspect of any Notes app. That's where the differences between the two surface. Evernote has included every possible way to add new notes. You can write notes, add images, recordings, tag files, and even draw with the available options.
Evernote also lets you choose from the available templates. The selection is undoubtedly rich, and I’m sure you will find the relevant template to start the note.
Notion’s approach is different here. It treats every sentence as a block. The advantage here is, the software can let you customize every block separately, and you can also move those blocks in notes with the drag and drop function.
The ability to add images, links, files, and templates have a unique take. You can add those from a little arrow from any block. You can integrate anything from there. And that’s why Notion was quite popular among power users and reviewers.
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Desktop App and Extension
Both Notion and Evernote have a desktop app available for Windows and Mac. The functionalities match their mobile counterparts. I found the use of Notion’s templates a bit refined on desktop apps.
Evernote extension is available on Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and every other Chromium-based browser. Notion recently added extension support for Chrome browser.
Searching a note is as essential as creating notes for these apps. And Evernote shines at finding notes. Type a keyword and it will pull up all the relevant information from the piles of Notes. I found Notion’s search a bit janky sometimes.
Other functionalities include dark theme support and organization via Notebooks. Notion also lets you add a relevant cover photo on top of every note, which is a nice touch.
Evernote supports a widget function on iOS. You can add a widget and start writing notes from the My Feed menu. Unfortunately, Notion doesn’t offer any quick way to add new notes.
Sharing is where Evernote shines. You can add the other person's Evernote account to send the note quickly. Also, one can send a simple note using any of the social media. There is no lock-in here.
Notion only lets you send the note to the other Notion member. For those out of Notion's world, you need to generate a shareable link and then send a note using that.
Evernote offers two types of premium offerings. The Basic one is limited to 60MB of data, and the functionalities are also bare-bones. The full-featured set comes in Premium offer which costs $70 per year.
Notion is free to use for the first 1000 blocks, which should be enough for a casual user. After that, the app costs $4 per month.
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Worth the Switching Hustle?
After my two weeks of usage with both software, I have to say, Evernote still got it. For a first-time user, I would suggest going with Notion as its approach is modern and note styling looks better than Evernote. While for those thinking to switch from Evernote, I would advise to try out Notion for at least a week.
Next up: Apple Notes is a capable offering from Apple on iOS. But unfortunately, it’s not available on other platforms. Microsoft OneNote is a viable option for those looking for an alternative. Read the comparison below to find out more.