It's easy to forget, but less than 10 years ago Evernote reigned supreme among note taking apps. When it launched in 2008, its dizzying array of features set a new standard. It was the first note taking app that allowed web page content to be clipped and automatically transformed into searchable text in one's notebook ✨. Its tagging system, the envy of Onenote users at the time, made it a cinch to switch between accessing notes across different contexts (e.g., work, personal, hobby). It forged partnerships with Moleskine and ScanSnap that created new realms of possibility for note takers.
However, as the existence of this site will attest, the note taking app space is a viciously competitive ecosystem. After just a few years of stagnation, Evernote's bounty of features that had once set it apart boomeranged back as tech debt, ripping it apart. By 2018, employees were leaking to the media that Evernote was in a death spiral. It went on to lose most of its executive team, while struggling to triage substandard mobile apps that regularly lost or duplicated note content when syncing between platforms.
In 2020, Evernote sought to right the ship by dumping their legacy app and all the tech debt that had infested it over the past 12 years. As explained on their blog, "this update moves the app to a new codebase that's more stable and reliable, for fewer hang/crash errors." It was a risky move, to be sure, but as Google Trends makes clear, Evernote was out of options:
The jury is still out on whether this long shot reboot can survive a note taking ecosystem that has only grown more competitive with time. While Evernote maintains one of the longer feature lists among the contenders that NoteApps has catalogued, it's easy to see that the second and third-generation note taking apps have staked a big lead when it comes to providing the features that modern note takers are after.
Choose a platform and at least one feature group below. Results will be sorted by which note apps share the most features with Evernote, with precedence given to apps that offer a superset of the features you expect.
As of February 2021, NoteApps.info has indexed 18 note taking apps across 229 features in 16 feature domains. We prioritize new note apps and features to analyze based on the votes of our community. This lets us provide you a data-backed take on which note apps will best suit your individual tastes.
A general summary of each app compared to Evernote is provided from Google results below.
Want to dig beyond personalized note app recommendations? Here's how the rest of the field compares to Evernote as of 2021. All note apps are sorted alphabetically.
Amplenote's creators have mentioned that Evernote was their main note taking app of choice before building Amplenote. The two apps share tagging system, and the visual layout of Amplenote is more similar to "classic Evernote" than any other app.
Unlike Evernote, Amplenote supports robust tasks (including recurring tasks and scheduling tasks to calendar), modern backlinking/transclusion, and security/encryption features Evernote lacks.
Guiding Tech provides a nicely detailed rundown at https://www.guidingtech.com/apple-notes-vs-ever....
Their conclusion is that "Apple Notes offer better OS integration, and it is free to use. Evernote is feature-rich, offers better organization and the web clipper is the best in business."
In their comparison at https://www.slant.co/versus/10/2121/~asana_vs_e..., Slant.co states "When comparing Asana vs Evernote, the Slant community recommends Asana for most people. In the question "What are the best cross-platform task apps?" Asana is ranked 12th while Evernote is ranked 22nd. The most important reason people chose Asana is it's "fantastic mechanisms for dealing with team collaboration"
One of the all-time classic showdowns, which most of the internet will claim that Bear wins hands down, unless you really need Evernote's web clipper. A particularly helpful review with lots of screenshots at https://usefyi.com/bear-vs-evernote summarizes the difference by saying "Ultimately, though, Evernote just doesn’t feel as satisfying to use as Bear does."
There aren't a lot of resources on the internet that directly compare these two apps, since their use case tends to be quite different. Coda is a much different product than Evernote in that it focuses on teams, collaborative writing, and spreadsheets. Evernote is a tool better suited for individual use, but the polish advantage that Coda has over Evernote is easy to notice & appreciate.
SlashGear provides an ad-light comparison of the two here https://www.slashgear.com/evernote-open-source-.... Their conclusion is "Joplin is pretty much like the power user note-taking application. While on the surface it’s as easy to use as Evernote, providing nearly all the same features or even more, it requires the user to set things up a bit beforehand or at least decide on certain matters, like which sync backend to use. At least it doesn’t require you to host your own server, though that option is at least available for those who can afford it."
Nimbus has created a dedicated page to list out the advantages they hold over Evernote, check it out here https://nimbusweb.me/nimbusnote-vs-evernote.php. They note advantages in pricing, templates, and "super documents." They even provide an entire feature comparison table for those possessing of ample time and curiosity https://nimbusweb.me/nimbusnote-vs-evernote-com...
NoteJoy has created a page dedicated to listing their advantages over Evernote, you can review it for yourself here https://notejoy.com/resources/notejoy-vs-evernote. They summarize the difference as "Why settle for Evernote? Notejoy provides modern, collaborative notes for individuals and teams." They also make mention that NoteJoy is "not just beautiful—it's also fast and powerful" and "Cross-platform without limits"
The Sweet Setup compares the two apps in detail here https://thesweetsetup.com/should-i-move-from-ev..., concluding that switching from Evernote to Notion is advisable in several different scenarios.
Zylstra offers a robust comparison of why a user would want to move to Obsidian from Evernote https://www.zylstra.org/blog/2020/07/getting-to.... They state "It’s all in markdown, so easy to use on mobile with a different client if I sync it through Nextcloud. I added the same notes I previously added to WP and EN in Obsidian, to experience differences and commonalities. In comparison with the other notes tools I tried a key difference is that I left this app open since I started it up this morning. A key difference with WP and EN is that I want to add notes to this tool."
Zapier produced some great content in 2018 comparing the two: https://zapier.com/blog/evernote-vs-onenote. Fortunately, since neither app evolves quickly at this point in their life cycle, it remains relevant. They point to Onenote's pricing advantage (free), and how Onenote's tags "can go anywhere."
They conclude, "OneNote is better for people who are in the market for a completely free note-taking app, appreciate more flexibility in their note formatting (along with a bit of color in their interface and iconography), and perhaps most importantly, want an app that works closely with other apps and services from Microsoft."
Evernote enthusiast Francesco D'Alessio takes a look at Roam in this article, comparing it favorably to the heyday of Evernote in the (paywalled) Medium article https://francescod.medium.com/roam-is-evernote-.... He concludes that it is "potentially a better Evernote replacement than Notion," high praise given the public consensus as of 2020 that Notion is the most robust note taking app among all comers.
Standard Notes directly addresses the question of how they compare to Evernote in a help page https://standardnotes.org/help/9/is-standard-no.... Their assessment? "Standard Notes makes an excellent secure Evernote alternative if you're looking for something easy to use and available on every platform. We are built on principles of simplicity, and make sure we don't add features needlessly. With that said, there are many things you'll find on Evernote that you won't find here."