Free Microsoft OneNote Alternatives

    The best free alternative to Microsoft OneNote is Joplin, which is both free and Open Source. 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 Zim (Free, Open Source), Standard Notes (Freemium, Open Source), Notion (Freemium) and CherryTree (Free, Open Source).

    This page was last updated Jun 11, 2021

    1. 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.
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      Joplin vs Microsoft OneNote opinions
      Most users think Joplin is a great alternative to Microsoft OneNote.
       all • positive • negative      relevance • date
      pretty and very clear user interface
      Top positive comment  about 2 years ago

      12
      dasonic Same structure as Onenote, supports images, looks modern. Doesn't have all the same features (like drawing on the screen) but also has its own unique features Onenote doesn't have. Also runs on Linux, which is the biggest plus for me.
      Top positive comment  over 1 year ago

      10
      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.
      Top negative comment  4 months ago

      -2
      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).
      Positive comment 6 months ago

      0
      naxawo7733 it is a markdown editor with integrated sync for nextcloud
      Positive comment 10 months ago

      0
      You Fan usw it on Linux. Persona who search for Open Source appriciate that very much.
      Positive comment about 1 year ago

      3
      elu Better interface and privacy with the same functionality of OneNote
      Positive comment about 1 year ago

      1
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      7 of 9 comments
    2. 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.
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      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.
      Top positive comment  about 3 years ago

      18
      Local, Wysiwyg, drag and drop, Quicknote, Webcite-function.
      Top positive comment  over 3 years ago

      6
      Zim is more like simplenote, or a desktop wiki. It is missing most of the functionality of onenote.
      Top negative comment  over 2 years ago

      15
      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.
      Positive comment 3 months ago

      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.
      Positive comment about 1 year ago

      1
      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.
      Negative comment over 1 year ago

      0
      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
      Positive comment almost 3 years ago

      2
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    3. 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.
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      Standard Notes vs Microsoft OneNote opinions
      Most users think Standard Notes is a great alternative to Microsoft OneNote.
      Extremely feature-light. Does only the bare minimum to be considered a notes app, whereas OneNote does much more.
      Negative comment over 2 years ago

      4
      Encrypted, very lightweight and not owned by Microsoft.
      Positive comment almost 4 years ago

      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.
      Negative comment 10 months ago

      2
      OneNote is way more powerful
      Negative comment almost 3 years ago

      0
    4. With so many tools, it's hard to keep everyone on the same page. Notion is a new tool that unifies them all. It's like Google Docs, but everything is organized and discoverable by your team. Real collaboration in real-time.
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      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,
      Positive comment almost 4 years ago

      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.
      Negative comment about 1 year ago

      5
      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.
      Positive comment almost 2 years ago

      -1
      infinite nesting, cross platform, powerful edting and embed tools
      Positive comment almost 2 years ago

      0
    5. A hierarchical note taking application, featuring rich text and syntax highlighting, storing data in a single xml or sqlite file.
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      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!
      Top positive comment  over 4 years ago

      9
      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.
      Top positive comment  about 1 year ago

      2
      Doesn't have detailed sorting like a notebook or various notebooks
      Top negative comment  over 1 year ago

      0
      The hierarchy is fantastic!
      Positive comment about 2 years ago

      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.
      Negative comment over 2 years ago

      5
      is the best for left to right and right to left note. multi language like en&
      Positive comment almost 3 years ago

      1
      Powerfull and SQLite3 database based, excellent.
      Positive comment over 3 years ago

      2
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      • 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.
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      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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      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.
      Top positive comment  over 1 year ago

      5
      Easy to use, and easy to search.
      Top positive comment  about 4 years ago

      -1
      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.
      Top negative comment  over 4 years ago

      57
      frankzhang Evernote's handwriting is seriously lacking. Especially on the android platform.
      Negative comment about 1 year ago

      1
      Whilst Evernote is a wonderful lightweight note organizer, Onenote it is a FAR cry from.
      Negative comment about 2 years ago

      3
      No insert latex formulas in document
      Negative comment over 2 years ago

      2
      The possibility of inserting sections is missing.
      Negative comment almost 3 years ago

      12
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    6. 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.
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      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  about 4 years ago

      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 over 1 year ago

      0
      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 about 2 years ago

      -2
      No support for web clippings. No separation of Notebooks. Really not like OneNote at all
      Negative comment about 2 years ago

      3
      Not even the same category
      Negative comment over 2 years ago

      0
      No drawing, no hand writing.
      Negative comment about 3 years ago

      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
      Negative comment over 3 years ago

      17
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    7. Notebook PEAs - encryption of notes. Protects your private notes with a password. The text is never stored unencrypted on your disk (until you explicitly decide to do that). The used cryptographic primitives are currently considered as safe as possible.
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      Most users think Notebook PEA is a great alternative to Microsoft OneNote.
    8. Zettlr is a supercharged markdown editor that combines many writing editor features and collect them in one application. It aims at speeding up your workflow and help you write without any interruptions.
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    9. Whether it's bookmarks or passwords, files or shopping lists...Turtl organizes it all and makes it easy to find later. Sync across your devices. Leave nothing behind.

      Discontinued

      Doesn't seem to be actively developed anymore. Last update was in 2019.

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      Turtl vs Microsoft OneNote opinions
      Most users think Turtl is a great alternative to Microsoft OneNote.
      Encryption, zero-knowledge encryption.
      Positive comment about 4 years ago

      2
    Showing 10 of 313 alternatives