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Free Microsoft OneNote Alternatives

The best free alternative to Microsoft OneNote is Joplin. It's not free, so if you're looking for a free alternative, you could try NoteLedge or Zim. If that doesn't suit you, our users have ranked more than 100 alternatives to Microsoft OneNote and loads of them is free so hopefully you can find a suitable replacement. Other interesting free alternatives to Microsoft OneNote are Obsidian, Notion, Standard Notes and CherryTree.

Microsoft OneNote alternatives are mainly Note-taking Tools but may also be Todo List Managers or Task Management Tools. Filter by these if you want a narrower list of alternatives or looking for a specific functionality of Microsoft OneNote.
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Microsoft OneNote, part of the Microsoft Office Suite, is a digital notebook...

Learn more about Microsoft OneNote

  1. Joplin icon

    Joplin

    • Free PersonalOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Android Tablet
    • iPad
    • Google Chrome
    • Termux
    • Firefox

    Joplin is a free, open source note taking and to-do application, which can handle a large number of notes organised into notebooks. The notes are searchable, can be copied, tagged and modified either from the applications directly or from your own text editor.

    Desktop and mobile apps
    Joplin vs Microsoft OneNote opinions
    Most users think Joplin is a great alternative to Microsoft OneNote.
     all • positive • negative      relevance • date
    thepisu

    It's simple enough when you need to write small notes or to-do quickly, with a clean interface, but it's also powerful with cloud sync, cross platform (Linux included), and support formatting, images and attachments.

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    1

    Your data is YOUR data. I'm able to keep my data on my own Nextcloud server. Not on Microsoft OneDrive. And, it can be encrypted as well (mine is).

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    1
    martinligabue

    it doesn't have pen input support

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    2
    RemovedUser

    Joplin doesn't allow files to be attached, it doesn't support colors, and you have to learn a special programming language to use it.

    Negative comment ago
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    -5
    naxawo7733

    it is a markdown editor with integrated sync for nextcloud

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    0

    You Fan usw it on Linux. Persona who search for Open Source appriciate that very much.

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    3
    elu

    Better interface and privacy with the same functionality of OneNote

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    1
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  2. Capture inspiration from Pinterest, YouTube or web pages, organize ideas in one place and add your notes. Make mood boards or quick sketches to visualize and present ideas!.

    Screenshot
    NoteLedge vs Microsoft OneNote opinions
    Almost everyone thinks NoteLedge is a great alternative to Microsoft OneNote.
    hryan5369

    With this app you can organize everything including your daily activity or special event.

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    -1


  3. Powerful knowledge base that works on top of a local folder of plain text Markdown files.

    Screenshot
  4. Zim brings the concept of a wiki to your desktop. Store information, link pages and edit with WYSISYG markup or directly typing some lightweight markup syntax and see it previewed as-you-type.

    Screenshot
    Zim vs Microsoft OneNote opinions
    Most users think Zim is a great alternative to Microsoft OneNote.
     all • positive • negative      relevance • date
    LordMax

    Wonderful. Every file is a .txt file, so you're in total control.

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    18

    Local, Wysiwyg, drag and drop, Quicknote, Webcite-function.

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    6

    GUI is pretty different, plus as mentioned by other people. Most functionality isn't the same. Also, looks like smth from the age of Win'98.

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    2
    impishwhite

    I like Zim as it stores information in an open source and flat file format directly using the computer file system. So you can the software as a kind of file explorer with the difference that you have a note associated with each folder of your computer. From my point of view, it is really structuring my numeric environment. After discovering it, I would not return to OneNote and other kinds of note taking apps I tried.

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    0

    Zim is essentially a desktop wiki. Searching of notes is great and there are lots of plugins, e.g. you can have latex equations included, R-plots, gnuplots, along with pictures etc.; syncing is via cloud storage such as dropbox. It is available across platforms but as a linux desktop user I find it particular useful.

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    1

    Zim is more like simplenote, or a desktop wiki. It is missing most of the functionality of onenote.

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    19
    satsaeid

    It's better because It saves your notes in your system not in cloud, plus it also have a great to-do system. easy to use

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  5. With so many tools, it's hard to keep everyone on the same page. Notion is a new tool that unifies them all.

    Screenshot
    Notion vs Microsoft OneNote opinions
    Almost everyone thinks Notion is a great alternative to Microsoft OneNote.
    raphaelaguiar

    Better visualization and flexible organization. Keeps your information in a multi-hierarchical wiki, not in notes,

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    3

    Biggest feature of Onenote is drawing & typing everywhere, which Notion doesn't support. Notion is good to store highly structured data, while Onenote is more like a digital paper.

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    6
    rongmu

    Notion is aesthetic, powerful and highly flexible. You can mix different types of contents within one page. Markdown formatting for texts. Sub-pages for wiki-like or hierarchical organization. Databases for a of lot data; a database comes with multiple possible views and you can choose the one that best suits your data.

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    -1

    infinite nesting, cross platform, powerful edting and embed tools

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    0


  6. Standard Notes icon

    Standard Notes

    • FreemiumOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Online
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Chrome OS
    • Android Tablet
    • iPad
    • Self-Hosted
    • F-Droid

    Standard Notes is a simple and private notes app. It allows you to write and sync your notes across all your devices, including your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and web browser.

    Screenshot
    Standard Notes vs Microsoft OneNote opinions
    Most users think Standard Notes is a great alternative to Microsoft OneNote.

    Encrypted, very lightweight and not owned by Microsoft.

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    0

    The free version is only plain text editing - can't even paste images or use bold and italics. There simply aren't enough features in the free one to determine whether I like it enough to pay for premium.

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    4
    Anipe

    Very, VERY BASIC, its open source and free but its basic and the features it offers are paid compared to one note's free model

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    0

    Don't have sections or pages, just notes.

    Negative comment ago
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    0

    Extremely feature-light. Does only the bare minimum to be considered a notes app, whereas OneNote does much more.

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    5

    OneNote is way more powerful

    Negative comment ago
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    0
  7. A hierarchical note taking application, featuring rich text and syntax highlighting, storing data in a single xml or sqlite file.

    Screenshot
    CherryTree vs Microsoft OneNote opinions
    Most users think CherryTree is a great alternative to Microsoft OneNote.
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    its not OneNote, but its as close as I´ve found on linux. This finally frees me from Windows. Just started using it, but already i can see it will do. Now if only it accepts photos, voice clips, videos and webpages I can call it a day!

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    9

    Powerfull and SQLite3 database based, excellent.

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    2
    yee42069

    Does not have pen support

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    0

    hierarchical Nodes and Subnode with icons, quick tool bar, simple as well rich text format, import export option, extremely light weight set up, easy backup, adjustable font size with mouse button, complete set of editting tools, customizable lay out, stable, supports text upto million of words, word count, password protected, multiple data basis, free and easy to use.

    Positive comment ago
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    2

    Doesn't have detailed sorting like a notebook or various notebooks

    Negative comment ago
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    0

    The hierarchy is fantastic!

    Positive comment ago
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    0

    It is more like Simple Note which is bare bones & not comparable to OneNote. No dragable containers, no ocr or voice recording. Also lacks sync.

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    5
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  8. Evernote icon

    Evernote

    • FreemiumProprietary
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Online
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Blackberry
    • Windows S
    • Android Tablet
    • Windows Phone
    • iPad
    • Apple Watch
    • Android Wear
    • Kindle Fire
    • Pebble

    Evernote is a cross-platform, freemium app designed for note taking, organizing, and archiving.

    Screenshot
    Evernote vs Microsoft OneNote opinions
    This alternative is disputed. Evernote is still a legitimate alternative to Microsoft OneNote, but it might have issues that some users think are important.
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    Easy to use, and easy to search.

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    -1
    aquanovus8

    Evernote is clunky, overwhelming, and slow. It has a lot of cool features that used to be relatively unique, but it's grown stagnant. Also the mobile version is pretty buggy.

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    6

    It is far and away lacking many features of onenote, most noticeably the ability to have sections and subsections of notes in binders. Making it not good for keeping ORGANIZED notes.

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    58
    frankzhang

    Evernote's handwriting is seriously lacking. Especially on the android platform.

    Negative comment ago
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    1

    Whilst Evernote is a wonderful lightweight note organizer, Onenote it is a FAR cry from.

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    3

    No insert latex formulas in document

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    2

    The possibility of inserting sections is missing.

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  9. Made by the company behind WordPress, Simplenote enables users to take notes, lists, and ideas. These notes are stored on the cloud and are accessible across multiple devices.

    Screenshot
    Simplenote vs Microsoft OneNote opinions
    This alternative is disputed. Simplenote is still a legitimate alternative to Microsoft OneNote, but it might have issues that some users think are important.
     all • positive • negative      relevance • date

    It doesnt feature writing with a pen on screen. (Wacom etc.)

    Top negative comment   ago
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    31

    It is more akin to Apple's iNotes, albeit a little less feature rich (No sketches, folders, etc.). In terms of functionality, Simplenote and iNotes is not a viable alternative to OneNote.

    Negative comment ago
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    1

    Simplenote is more similar to Notepad than Onenote. It's basically a plain text editor that lets you store your notes online. Some of the very basic features of OneNote can be approximated, such as inclusion of images, links and text formatting, but it requires learning markdown, which is extremely cumbersome to use and time consuming to learn. Simplenote has only rudimentary organization and search features. Better than Notepad. Not even close to Outlook.

    Negative comment ago
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    -2

    No support for web clippings. No separation of Notebooks. Really not like OneNote at all

    Negative comment ago
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    3

    Not even the same category

    Negative comment ago
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    0

    No drawing, no hand writing.

    Negative comment ago
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    0

    Simplenote is great for super simple plaintext notetaking but it only has one feature in common with OneNote which is syncing. Not an alternative

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  10. Xournal++ icon

    Xournal++

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Online
    • Android
    • Chrome OS
    • Android Tablet
    • Self-Hosted

    Xournal++ (a fork of Xournal) is a handwriting Notetaking software with PDF annotation support. Written in C++ with plattform independent GTK, supporting Linux, e.g. Ubuntu, Debian, Arch, Suse, macOS and Windows 10. Supports Pen input like Wacom Tablets.

    Screenshot
    Xournal++ vs Microsoft OneNote opinions
    Almost everyone thinks Xournal++ is a great alternative to Microsoft OneNote.
    violoncello

    With Xournal++ you own your notes and can save them wherever you want - you are not forced to store them somewhere in the cloud as it's the case with OneNote

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    2

    Nearly similar interface. Lightweight, open source with latex support and voice notes. Flexible layout which was missing in xournal.

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    0

    In the version available for Chromebooks, the option for typed text is not working.

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    0
    BachoSeven

    Cross-platform and well supporting stylus pens, Xournalpp implements most if not all funcionalities of OneNote, including recording audio alongside pen strokes. Plus, it's free and open source!

    Positive comment ago
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    0
    komp12321

    It is full open source, Supports handwriting (stylus) Allows to create annotations on PDF-s (OneNote doesn't)

    Positive comment ago
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    0

    Very similar to OneNote, has pretty much all the same features. Plus Cross-Platform and has LaTeX support.

    Positive comment ago
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    0

    works great on linux, and has stylus support

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    3
Showing 10 of 342 alternatives