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    Open Source Microsoft OneNote Alternatives

    The best open source alternative to Microsoft OneNote is Joplin. It's not free, so if you're looking for a free alternative, you could try Zim or Standard Notes. If that doesn't suit you, our users have ranked more than 100 alternatives to Microsoft OneNote and loads of them is open source so hopefully you can find a suitable replacement. Other interesting open source alternatives to Microsoft OneNote are CherryTree (Free, Open Source), Simplenote (Free, Open Source), Xournal++ (Free, Open Source) and Zettlr (Free, Open Source).

    This page was last updated Jan 9, 2022

    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  almost 3 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  almost 2 years ago

      12
      martinligabue it doesn't have pen input support
      Top negative comment  3 months ago

      2
      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.
      Positive comment 4 months ago

      0
      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 12 months ago

      -5
      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 about 1 year ago

      1
      naxawo7733 it is a markdown editor with integrated sync for nextcloud
      Positive comment over 1 year ago

      0
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      7 of 11 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  over 3 years ago

      18
      Local, Wysiwyg, drag and drop, Quicknote, Webcite-function.
      Top positive comment  almost 4 years ago

      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.
      Top negative comment  about 2 years ago

      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.
      Positive comment 10 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 almost 2 years ago

      1
      Zim is more like simplenote, or a desktop wiki. It is missing most of the functionality of onenote.
      Negative comment over 3 years ago

      18
      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 over 3 years ago

      2
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      7 of 9 comments


    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.
      Encrypted, very lightweight and not owned by Microsoft.
      Top positive comment  over 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.
      Top negative comment  over 1 year ago

      2
      Don't have sections or pages, just notes.
      Negative comment 6 months ago

      0
      Extremely feature-light. Does only the bare minimum to be considered a notes app, whereas OneNote does much more.
      Negative comment almost 3 years ago

      5
      OneNote is way more powerful
      Negative comment over 3 years ago

      0
    4. 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.
       all • positive • negative      relevance • date
      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  about 5 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  over 1 year ago

      2
      Doesn't have detailed sorting like a notebook or various notebooks
      Top negative comment  about 2 years ago

      0
      The hierarchy is fantastic!
      Positive comment over 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 3 years ago

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

      1
      Powerfull and SQLite3 database based, excellent.
      Positive comment almost 4 years ago

      2
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      7 of 8 comments
    5. 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  over 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 almost 2 years 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 over 2 years ago

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

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

      0
      No drawing, no hand writing.
      Negative comment over 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 about 4 years ago

      17
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      7 of 9 comments


    6. 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.
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      Xournal++ vs Microsoft OneNote opinions
      Almost everyone thinks Xournal++ is a great alternative to Microsoft OneNote.
      Very similar to OneNote, has pretty much all the same features. Plus Cross-Platform and has LaTeX support.
      Top positive comment  about 2 years ago

      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!
      Top positive comment  about 1 year ago

      0
      Nearly similar interface. Lightweight, open source with latex support and voice notes. Flexible layout which was missing in xournal.
      Positive comment 5 months ago

      0
      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
      Positive comment about 1 year ago

      0
      komp12321 It is full open source, Supports handwriting (stylus) Allows to create annotations on PDF-s (OneNote doesn't)
      Positive comment over 1 year ago

      0
      works great on linux, and has stylus support
      Positive comment about 2 years ago

      3
    7. 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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    8. 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.
    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

      The project doesn't seem to be actively developed anymore. Last updates 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 over 4 years ago

      2
    10. The ultimate replacement for spreadsheets, mind mappers, outliners, PIMs, text editors and small databases.
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    Showing 10 of 123 alternatives