Best Evernote alternatives for Mac

The note-taking world is teaming with great apps that are similar to Evernote, especially for Mac. If you've been thinking about ending your Evernote subscription to see if the grass is greener with a different service, you're not alone and you have choices. There is no completely identical replacement for Evernote, but there are plenty of apps on Mac that are worthy alternatives. These are the best for different types of users.

The best: OneNote

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If you are looking for an alternative to Evernote, OneNote is your best option thanks to the wide variety of features, cross-platform compatibility, and cloud syncing.

Bottom-line: If you're thinking about ditching Evernote's subscription restrictions, OneNote is the best replacement option.

  • Free with subscription options - Download Now (opens in new tab)

In-depth: Why OneNote is the best

OneNote on the Mac has everything you need to clip, create, and save notes. You can import pictures, PDFs, file attachments, and more. You can also insert tables, create text links, solve equations, add a date and time stamp, and include graphs.

It organizes your notes into individual notebooks, complete with sections so you can easily see what you are working on. Plus, it has a rich search feature that will sift through every single word in all of your notebooks to find what you are looking for.

Your notes are synced in OneDrive and accessible on any device. You can protect individual notes with a password and share notebooks with others so they can see, and even edit them.

The OneNote web clipper lets you save pages from your favorite web browser. You can save an entire page, a screenshot, or just the article. So, you can save your favorite stories on the web in a variety of different ways.

  • Free with subscription options - Download Now (opens in new tab)

Runner-up: Notability

When it comes to taking notes, Notability is tops. It has powerful note-taking and annotation features that make it a must-have for college students. You can drag images, PDFs, and other documents into a note. When you record while taking notes, you can tap a word to skip ahead to that specific spot in the recording to playback what was said at that moment.

Bottom-line: If note-taking is a priority for you, Notability is a formidable replacement for Evernote.

For recording notes: AudioNote 2

For recording lectures and interviews while you write, AudioNote has you covered. When you press the record button while you type, you'll see a time stamp next to every new line you write. When you are ready to review what you recorded, you can go directly to the time related to a particular note. If you change a note or want it to coincide with a different time, you can highlight it and update it to the new spot in the recording.

Bottom-line: If you only used Evernote for its recording feature, you'll be satisfied with what AudioNote can do.

For Sharing: Notejoy

If you're big on collaborating with your notes, you are going to love NoteJoy. It is fast becoming what I would consider to be the ultimate replacement for Evernote. You can upload documents from your computer to your Mac or PC and sync them to the iPhone app. Syncing happens immediately. The most impressive aspect of Notejoy is how fast everything syncs. You can collaborate in real-time with others and everything works beautifully.

If your team uses a business or group email account (our team's iMore email account, for example), you can set up collaborations for anyone with the same domain suffix so you don't have to invite people individually.

It also has integrated features with Slack to make collaboration with your team even more streamlined.

It's missing a few key features that Evernote switchers will miss, like a web-clipper feature and proper tagging options. The iPhone companion app still needs a lot of work. Notejoy is, however, cross-platform compatible with Mac and PC for multi-computer users.

Bottom-line: If you share notes, especially with a work team, this is a great way to see and edit notes with others.

Built-in: Apple Notes

The built-in Notes app on Mac is pretty amazing. You can sync across all devices and across multiple platforms. You can create checklists, share notes, and import photos. You can lock notes with a password. There is also a very easy way to move all of your Evernote content over.

Bottom-line: Notes on the Mac... it just works!

Conclusion: OneNote is the best replacement for Evernote

If you're thinking of switching from Evernote, you won't experience FOMO by picking up OneNote instead.

Updated March 2018: Replaced Quip with Notejoy.

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).

2 Comments
  • Simplenote and Evernote have been forever compared. If you need PDFs or images, then Simplenote isn't for you. If you need plain text (with Markdown), then Simplenote is great. I used to use it. Personally, I switched to iA Writer. It actually can handle images in a few ways. It has even better Markdown support. For the few times I need PDFs, I use Notes.
  • iA Writer isn't a Note Taking app. It's a Writing app. Pictures isn't the only reason why people use Note Taking app. I use it to track training and keep notes on specific corrections that my coach tells me to make. I embed the video in my notes, Pictures with telestration, lists, tags, links, tables, voice recordings, music cuts for programs, etc. I can link notes directly to Lessons in my Outlook Calendar, etc. To be frank, I've always felt OneNote was the best option for this, but I do think that you really need to be on Windows and have access to OneNote 2016 to really take advantage of this. The macOS app is really cut down compared to what Windows users have access to - it's basically the equivalent to the UWP or Mobile apps. The desktop Windows (Win32/64) app is baller a.f. Nothing comes close.