There is a note-taking app for everyone. While most features do overlap, the note-taking apps have a unique approach with something different to offer users. With that thought in mind, I will be comparing Apple Notes and Zoho Notebook today.
Apple Notes deeply integrates with the Apple ecosystem, and while that is great for iPhone and Mac users, Windows and Android users are left behind.
Apple Notes comes preinstalled on all Apple devices and is completely free. Unfortunately, like all Apple apps, it is restricted to Apple’s ecosystem. That doesn’t stop it from being awesome. Apple Notes is a powerful tool for collaboration.
Open a note and tap on the people icon to Add People to the note.
You can then tap on Share Options below to control whether they can simply view or edit notes too.
Zoho Notebook doesn’t allow users to collaborate on a note. It was designed for individuals, but things may turn for the better in the future. What you can do is share notes with others via a shareable link, just like in Apple Notes.
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2. Where Zoho Notebook Shines
Zoho Notebook has a well-thought design. You can search for any notes from anywhere in the app. That’s not the case with Apple Notes, where you have to open a folder before you can search.
Zoho Notebook also allows you to color-code your notes, which adds to the flavor a little. You can choose any color from the palette. Then there are the beautiful notebook covers that you can either select or upload.
You can choose between the list and grid layout. Users migrating from Evernote will be happy to see a dedicated option tucked away in the Settings.
In fact, there are tons of ways to customize the Notebook like how to sort notes, view them, display time on notes or not, default font size, photo size, and more.
3. Create and Format Notes
Creating a note is easy in both Apple Notes and Zoho Notebook. The difference is that you can create a note on any screen in the latter. In that case, it will be saved in the default notebook you selected in the settings. Also, you can choose the type of note you want to create from the bottom bar in Notebook. Examples include lists, drawing, audio note, and images.
You can add a table, attach images, or draw using a couple of pens and brushes in Apple Note. The table option is basic but very useful for representing data. Don’t expect formulas and macros in it, though. Apple Notes can also scan documents, but Notebook can’t.
There is a separate menu for formatting text in Apple Notes, where you can create bullet or numbered list, change indentation, heading, and strikethrough or style text.
Zoho Notebook has all the options we saw above and then some more. You can write in a black background by tapping that icon. Useful for highlighting important parts. You can also add links and hashtags here, which can be super useful. Hashtags are great for searching notes, and you can tag notes in different notebooks with the same tag to establish a relation.
You can create a timeline inside a note, thanks to the calendar option. Just select the date and time to enter it.
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4. Other Features
Both Apple Notes and Zoho Notebook support locking notes for security and privacy. You can pin or favorite notes too. You can move notes from one folder/notebook to another easily.
Zoho has some additional tricks up its sleeve. You can set a reminder that’s missing in Apple Notes. That’s because Apple has a separate app for that called Reminders. There is a version option that saves past versions of the notes for you. Useful if you ever want to go back in time to find out what you added or deleted over time.
It is very useful and there are not many note-taking apps, especially free ones, that offer version history option. Pretty easy to use too. Just choose time and note will revert back in less than a second.
Both Apple Notes and Zoho Notebook will let you export notes in PDF format, which makes them easy to share. You can also markup a note in Apple Notes before exporting it as PDF.
Zoho Notebook integrates with other popular Zoho suite of apps like Mail, Projects, and Flow. It comes with gesture support like a pinch in to select multiple notes and swipe for note information. Finally, you can add covers to your note to make it look all nice and pretty.
5. Pricing and Platform
As discussed earlier, both the apps are free, but there are subtle differences. Apple Notes is limited by the 5GB free iCloud storage that you get. The same space is also used for everything else like backups, Apple Mail, and so on. Pricing begins at $0.99. Zoho Notebook is completely free, with no strings attached. It’s also available on the web, Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and even Linux.
Note It, Forget It
I like Zoho Notebook more. It is well designed with better search, facility to add links, version history, platform-agnostic, completely free, comes with colors and covers, and offers pretty much everything Apple Notes has to offer. The only thing it is missing is a collaboration tool that the developers are set to integrate soon. Apple Notes is a solid note-taking app, but more suitable if you are deep inside the Apple ecosystem.
Next up: Click on the link below to learn 10 amazing tips and tricks for Zoho Notebook and use it like a pro.