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Evernote alternative

MacBH928

Contributor
Original poster
May 17, 2008
5,083
2,003
Evernote is cool and all but for something that I use to just jot down information its seems an overkill. The app literally takes time to load on MacOS and iOS, its too heavy. Plus they keep nagging to upgrade to a subscription and I am not subscribing for a text storage app.

Anyone found something similar and light to use? Apple notes GUI is just not for me, although simple, I wouldn't call it intuitive.
 

bag99001

macrumors regular
Jun 11, 2015
151
124
Notability for Mac, iOS, iPadOS cross-compatibility

Onenote for Platform Cross Compatibility.
Onenote is free. I personally like the interface on notability better, but one note is a bit more feature rich.
 
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jeyf

macrumors 68000
Jan 20, 2009
1,912
910
free
return from the past macJournal 7.0

i would just create a spread sheet to look like you want
these journal apps tent to burn out and beecome not supported
 
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BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
6,624
8,228
the Alpha Quadrant
I am a huge note taker. Years ago I decided to go to digital note taking because I can type a lot faster than I can write.

My conclusion after all these years and after spending a lot of time trying most solutions out there? There is no one tool that fits the bill for everything. And I was a power Evernote User back in the day...

OK:

Work - OneNote. I've got thousands of notes in here. The ability to dump images, files, share, write with iPad, recordings, etc - makes this a gem. Office 365 subscription recommended.
Personal - Notability(or GoodNotes) / Apple Notes. I don't have an iPad with an Apple Pencil anymore but I have several college classes of notes on Notability (hundreds and hundreds of pages of handwritten notes). Definitely recommend Notability/GoodNotes for iPad with pencil. Otherwise. Apple Notes.
Personal - Day One for my journal/thoughts/free-thinking.
Personal - Apple Pages. I'm finding that just having a document open for me to write stuff down throughout the day has really worked as a good "notepad" too.

I prefer Apple Notes now for almost everything now days. My requirements are that it is synced to my phone/iPad and accessible via web. It is free and worth learning if you haven't really taken the time. I've got hundreds of Apple Notes (some locked, some many pages long).


Outside of OneNote/Apple Notes -- you're looking at huge learning curves, losses in syncing abilities, and app age.


I'd recommend is: https://www.notebooksapp.com -- great app. Syncing is a little limited especially if you don't use Dropbox... but if you don't need syncing, it's a powerful notebook app without subscription.

https://www.growlybird.com/notes/ - a free OneNote similar app from years ago. Works well. Lacks dark mode but it is free and no subscription. Syncing is limited to Mac OS only.

Beyond this is just bad.
 
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MacBH928

Contributor
Original poster
May 17, 2008
5,083
2,003
Notability for Mac, iOS, iPadOS cross-compatibility

Onenote for Platform Cross Compatibility.
Onenote is free. I personally like the interface on notability better, but one note is a bit more feature rich.

free
return from the past macJournal 7.0

i would just create a spread sheet to look like you want
these journal apps tent to burn out and beecome not supported

You can't be serious, these are heavy apps made for research. More like digital binders. Its super overkill. Albeit OneNote is superb for what it is.

If all you need is text storage, maybe Simplenote?
Its too...simple. I don't even see a possibility to format text. I need something that combines Simplenote's simplicity with formatting and being able to put notes in categories/notebooks.
Why not use apples solution?
I might, but the interface is really meh.
 
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jeyf

macrumors 68000
Jan 20, 2009
1,912
910
heavy apps for researcho_O
macJournal is roughly equivalent to oneNote both are totally frivolous
 
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posguy99

macrumors 68000
Nov 3, 2004
1,607
962
I've been playing with Nimbus Notes the last few days and it's a decent alternative to Evernote, although their lack of backup options may be a deal-breaker.
 
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posguy99

macrumors 68000
Nov 3, 2004
1,607
962
In general, I feel better about Apple than Microsoft in that regard...although that may just be better PR.
Oh, I'm not even talking about the privacy aspect of it, Apple is just service-incompetent. Been there, done that, no need to trust information I care about to services they run.
 
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Erehy Dobon

macrumors 68000
Feb 16, 2018
1,933
1,808
No service
Like many others, with the lack of a specific examples describing how common existing solutions come short, I don't see what Apple Notes, Evernote, OneNote or Notability can't provide.

However, there is another free solution that you might consider: Zoho Notes. Zoho is actually one of the early cloud productivity services. I use Zoho's IMAP mail service, one of the few free features they offer.
 
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Jessica Lares

macrumors G3
Oct 31, 2009
9,361
834
Near Dallas, Texas, USA
MacBH928 just wants to type notes and be able to bold, italicize, maybe put a link, and use it like TextEdit more than Pages. But they still want the organization aspect that most of us have been benefiting from since Evernote, OneNote, etc showed up. That's understandable. That's why a lot of us use Markdown syntax, but that forces you into a certain style of putting down text which doesn't work in the instances where you want to emphasis something in bigger fonts and/or colors which is perfectly fine to want. People just always want that ONE feature from the bigger service and it's a one thing that's different for everybody.
 
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srbNYC

macrumors 6502
Jul 7, 2020
286
161
New York, NY
The last few formatting and organization enhancements of Apple Notes have brought it up to par for me. I also have an Alfred shortcut that allows me to search Notes from any other activity and directly open just the one I want.

[Sorry to keep shilling for Alfred here, but I keep exploring more.]
 
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SirAnthonyHopkins

macrumors regular
Sep 29, 2020
119
190
for what it's worth, I use Bear for basic note-taking. Incredibly simple app that works brilliantly across all devices and is easily searchable and easy to organise using tags.

I was previously an Evernote user and then OneNote but found that both were just overkill when 99% of my notes are text only and I just wanted to be able to access them quickly and easily.
 
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MacBH928

Contributor
Original poster
May 17, 2008
5,083
2,003
I am a huge note taker. Years ago I decided to go to digital note taking because I can type a lot faster than I can write.

My conclusion after all these years and after spending a lot of time trying most solutions out there? There is no one tool that fits the bill for everything. And I was a power Evernote User back in the day...

OK:

Work - OneNote. I've got thousands of notes in here. The ability to dump images, files, share, write with iPad, recordings, etc - makes this a gem. Office 365 subscription recommended.
Personal - Notability(or GoodNotes) / Apple Notes. I don't have an iPad with an Apple Pencil anymore but I have several college classes of notes on Notability (hundreds and hundreds of pages of handwritten notes). Definitely recommend Notability/GoodNotes for iPad with pencil. Otherwise. Apple Notes.
Personal - Day One for my journal/thoughts/free-thinking.
Personal - Apple Pages. I'm finding that just having a document open for me to write stuff down throughout the day has really worked as a good "notepad" too.

I prefer Apple Notes now for almost everything now days. My requirements are that it is synced to my phone/iPad and accessible via web. It is free and worth learning if you haven't really taken the time. I've got hundreds of Apple Notes (some locked, some many pages long).


Outside of OneNote/Apple Notes -- you're looking at huge learning curves, losses in syncing abilities, and app age.


I'd recommend is: https://www.notebooksapp.com -- great app. Syncing is a little limited especially if you don't use Dropbox... but if you don't need syncing, it's a powerful notebook app without subscription.

https://www.growlybird.com/notes/ - a free OneNote similar app from years ago. Works well. Lacks dark mode but it is free and no subscription. Syncing is limited to Mac OS only.

Beyond this is just bad.

Thanks for your comprehensive response!
Notebook seems the kind of thing I want albeit its missing in note font size adjustments and sync, even if its on my own iCloud account but it doesn't seem to have that.

There is one more notes app you seem missing and that is Bear. I didn't try it out but I will.
 
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BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
6,624
8,228
the Alpha Quadrant
Thanks for your comprehensive response!
Notebook seems the kind of thing I want albeit its missing in note font size adjustments and sync, even if its on my own iCloud account but it doesn't seem to have that.

There is one more notes app you seem missing and that is Bear. I didn't try it out but I will.
Yeah I completely forgot about Bear. I like it and have used it in the past - it did its job very well and looked great. I think you'll like it - only negative is the $14/year (not bad) cost for syncing.
 
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MacBH928

Contributor
Original poster
May 17, 2008
5,083
2,003
for what it's worth, I use Bear for basic note-taking. Incredibly simple app that works brilliantly across all devices and is easily searchable and easy to organise using tags.

I was previously an Evernote user and then OneNote but found that both were just overkill when 99% of my notes are text only and I just wanted to be able to access them quickly and easily.

I am going to try Bear now. My big issue with Evernote was that constant nag to upgrade, and that the app is too heavy launching it feels like launching MS Office. Thats too much for something to jot down stuff.

It feels more like a "research" app that you keep on all the time and you collect all your data/Media in it. Apple Notes...I dunno, could work but I have problem with the GUI a bit. Not bad but I feel it can be better.
 
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MacBH928

Contributor
Original poster
May 17, 2008
5,083
2,003
Yeah I completely forgot about Bear. I like it and have used it in the past - it did its job very well and looked great. I think you'll like it - only negative is the $14/year (not bad) cost for syncing.

why you stopped using it?
 
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