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OneNote

OneNote for Windows

  • Free
  • In English
  • Version: varies-with-device

Free note-taking app from Microsoft

When it comes to note-taking, Evernote is arguably the king. However, some productivity tools can rival the independent app. OneNote is one such app. This software from Microsoft allows the user to draw text, create graphs, and make other textual and visual notes. Since it is cut from Microsoft's cloth, it also has deep ties to OneDrive and other Microsoft apps. Moreover, it has other inclusions like video recording, text conversion, and the ability to arrange your notes any way you want. It is a versatile yet easy-to-use app packed with just about every thought-collecting feature a user could want. 

A handy digital notebook

OneNote is available for download on a variety of platforms. You can use it for free with almost no feature restriction. The app works like a digital notebook, allowing you to save notes to the cloud and sync them across your devices. Note, though, that it uses OneDrive for cloud storage, so it shares space with other Microsoft Office products and whatever files you stash in the cloud. However, for as long as you have sufficient storage space, you can create as many separate notebooks as you want—unlike Evernote, which has a limit of 250 notebooks. You can even divide each notebook into color-coded sections and pages.

As mentioned, OneNote lets you add voice and video to your notes with its built-in video recorder. You can even add from online sources. Additionally, the app has handy drawing tools, plus most text formatting tools you'd find in a word processor. On top of that, it can convert freehand notes to computer fonts to clean up your notes. Since it uses cloud storage, you can share your notes. However, you can only share it at a notebook level.

OneNote keeps a clean workspace with everything you need just a click or two away. With this, you can have a tool that does not derail your train of thought. It gives you an interface of Microsoft Word, eliminating the need for a learning curve. However, as with any Microsoft product, the biggest issue remains to be the security of the app. 

PROS

  • Helpful organizing tools
  • Flexible note design
  • Sync and share notes
  • Familiar interface

CONS

  • Needs OneDrive for some management feature
  • Limited drag-and-drop
  • Can only share at notebook level
  • No private encryption

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OneNote varies-with-device for PC

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