Notion vs Evernote: Detailed Comparison

Product Comparisons Sep 26, 2020

We take notes for many things. It can be for academics, building new skills, office meetings, cooking recipes, or just doodling around with different ideas.

So what if we have one great note-taking tool to do it all for us?

The two most popular note-taking tools are Notion and Evernote. Both note-taking apps have a few different set of features that makes them useful for various users.

We've shortlisted and reviewed the core features so that you can decide which one to choose:

Notion is more than a note-taking app. It extends the regular note-taking abilities to manage projects, spreadsheets, and databases. So it can be used by both teams and individuals. The app's focus seems to be on keeping all the work in one place like an information repository, similar to Wikipedia. Notion also offers integrations with a few productivity apps like Google Drive.

Evernote is an advanced note-taking app. It's sort of like a filing cabinet to organize your notebooks and upload all your important files. You can access Evernote from anywhere — smartphones, laptops, and tablets.

Curious to know which one works better? Let’s do a one on one comparison based on your use case and look at a few essential features that help everyone:

Use Cases

For Students

Be it class or self-study, as a student, you need to take notes regularly. This is why organizing notes, text formatting, and to-do lists are important.

Let's compare some essential note-taking features of Notion and Evernote for students:

Notion has a few templates for things like reading list, course schedule, class notes, and so on.

Notion class notes tamplate
A class notes template on Notion's page

The tabular organization allows you to link notes and add customizations like a checklist, documents, time, and so on.

But Notion has a simple folder organization. You can create a page and add other pages under it. However, they don't behave same as folders.

Folders on Notion
Nested page or subpage system on Notion's sidebar menu

You'll find the nested pages in the parent page. See the image below.

Parent page and nested pages on Notion

Evernote on the other hand allows you to add Notebooks as folders under which you can add your notes.

Folders on Evernote
Evernote's folder system

This type of folder organization is quite similar to that found on desktops. But Evernote doesn't allow you cannot to create sub-folders under a Notebook folder. Which means you are limited with two levels of folder system on Evernote.

Like Notion, Evernote also offers to-do, planners, and other scheduling lists to track you study. However, the templates on Notion are better than those on Evernote as they have more features for tracking, rating, and page linking.

Evernote stands apart with more options on its mobile application. You can scan notes, documents, or add audio notes in seconds.

Using Evernote you can add images and snippets from the web to your notes. Its Web Clipper is available for all major browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari etc. On clicking on Evernote’s icon, you can choose the format: article, simplified article, full page, bookmark or screenshot to save with add tags and remarks, then save the clip.

Evernote's Web Clipper
Evernote's Web Clipper

Notion’s Web Clipper is currently available only for Chrome. And it is pretty basic with options only to save some text, images, and URL.

Both Notion and Evernote are great note-taking apps for students. If you need scheduling, tracking, and many subfolders, Notion is better for you. And incase you must clip content from web and scan documents for your learnings, Evernote is the better option for you.

For Teams

As a team, you need to work on various assignments and projects. So you would want to track progress, exchange messages, and share documents with your team members.

Let's compare some essential features of Notion and Evernote for teams. We’ll look particularly at project management, work chat, OKRs, and team wikis.

Notion takes inspiration from Kanban project management tool, wherein work is depicted at various stages of a process using cards. The assignment cards can be dragged and dropped across each column that represents a different stage of the work process. You can also add dates to any tasks to track them on a calendar.

Here a sample for application tracking on Notion:

Project management for teams on Notion
Project management for teams on Notion

There are five ways you can see information in Notion: Table, Board, Calendar, List and Gallery. Each view has its independent set of display advantages yet all work with the same information. In the navigation menu, the folders are arranged in tree structures, with each folder having a page which in turn can be nested into more folders and pages.

Objectives and Key Results (OKR) is a methodology that helps companies to align work goals with company goals and ensure everyone is working together on both goals in a systematic way. Notion offers a template to track OKRs that can be shared with all team members.

While technically you can build a project management or OKR tracking on Evernote, it would be more like force fitting because it lacks features.

The Work Chat on Evernote can be a useful feature to exchange documents and messages with the team members. This feature is also available on every platform like web, mobile, and tablet that. Evernote also offers out-of-the-box chat integration with some of the popular workplace chat applications like Slack and Microsoft Teams.

Work Chat on Evernote
Work Chat on Evernote

Similar to Evernote, Notions also offers a native chat integration with Slack.

Both Notion and Evernote are good note-taking applications for teams. Notion offers a lot of flexibility in tracking, management, and document sharing. And Evernote supports a wide range of devices and browsers with features like web clipper, work chat, document scanning, and so on.

If you already have a project management application and need to share clipped and scanned documents, then Evernote is the right option. But in case you need a sort of all-in-one workspace that does more than documents then Notion is the best option.

Essential Features for Everyone

Tagging

Notion: Tags are colourful and local to each view or page.

Evernote: Tags are just of one grey color and are globally accessible in all notebooks.

Fun use case: In case you aren’t very specific with choosing your tag names and end up with numerous similar tags, Notion would make it look like this for you:

However the same thing if you try in Evernote, you will have to go five levels down in the notebook hierarchy (assuming ‘Angle>Desire to Collect’ is the topmost notebook) , to just to find the ‘Book of the Month Club’ from the above example.

Security

Notion: doesn't offer this extra security layer of password protecting a page. You can just ‘lock a page’ to prevent accidental editing.

Evernote: would help you here with it’s additional security feature that enables you to encrypt individual notes with a passphrase.

Naming

Notion: 2 pages or folder can have the same names and icons can be used to differentiate the two.

Evernote: 2 notes can have the same name but not two notebooks.

Table Formulas

A third-party integration at EATags can handle basic formulas in Evernote while Notion has the ability to create formulas with a familiar Excel-like format. To create a new formula in the latter, 4 options are available: Properties, Constants, Operators and Functions. But both applications lack advance features for table formulas.

Verdict

So if I ask which is a better note-taking app for you? Now you know there is no magic solution for all. It completely depends on what you want from it as both approach work and fulfill requirements differently to capture and prioritize ideas on the go while organizing your thoughts appropriately on revisiting.

Notion is a fast-growing note-taking app with refreshing graphics and easy-to-understand and flexible features. Evernote is a legend in the note-taking with its focus on text formatting, document scanning, clipping, and multi-device support.


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Sampada Bhatnagar

Sampada is an Indian-based UX freelancer & content writer. She cares deeply about creating an emotional impact via products that matter. Off the clock, you can find her exploring new places & people.

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