Evernote vs. OneNote vs. Google Keep

A fast overview of major features in top note-taking apps

Taking digital notes can be a great productivity move, so make sure you have the right tool for you.

Google Keep note-taking application.

Microsoft OneNote, Evernote, and Google Keep are three of the most popular note-taking applications on the market. But you may be wondering how anyone decides which one is right for them, so before investing time and energy in adopting a new note-taking tool, here is an overview.

This chart gives you a bird's-eye view of more than 40 features many professionals, students, families or individuals look for in great note-taking apps.  

  OneNote Evernote Keep
Developer Microsoft Evernote Google
Delivery Web, Mobile, Desktop Web, Mobile, Desktop Web, Mobile
Windows Yes Yes Online Only
Mac OS X Yes Yes Online Only
Android Yes Yes Yes
iOS Yes Yes Online Only
Windows Phone Yes Yes Online Only
Blackberry Online Only Yes Online Only
# of Devices Per License Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
  OneNote Evernote Keep
Packages and Cost in USD Free Free or Premium Available ($5 to 10 USD/user/month) Education or Business version also available (varied) Free
Microsoft Office Document Compatibility Can Attach Can Attach Can't Attach Files
Open Document Compatibility Can Attach Can Attach Can't Attach Files
Portable Document Format (PDF) Can Attach Can Attach Can't Attach Files
Autosave and Backup Excellent Excellent Excellent
Security, Document Password Protection, Encryption Excellent Excellent Excellent
Accessibility Excellent Poor (Your device may have some features) Good (Your device may have more)
Update Process Excellent Excellent Excellent
Support Good Good Good
  OneNote Evernote Keep
Web Clipper App OneNote Web Clipper Evernote Web Clipper Chrome App or "Share via"
News App Several including Feedly and News 360 Several including Feedly and News 360 No
Email App Email to OneNote, CloudMagic and Powerbot CloudMagic and Powerbot Gmail
Printing / Scanning App Several including OfficeLens and NeatConnect Several including ScannerPro and CamScanner Google Drive Apps available
SmartPen App Livescribe and ModNotebooks Livescribe and ModNotebooks LiveScribe to Google Docs (not Keep)
Connection to Other Major Web Apps IFTTT and Zapier IFTTT and Zapier IFTTT and Zapier (though with fewer options)
Home Screen Display Widget Available Available Available
Annotation / Quick Sketch App Skitch Skitch and Penultimate Sketch for Keep
  OneNote Evernote Keep
User Interface & Customization Excellent Excellent Excellent
Text & OCR Excellent (with Office Lens) Excellent Good
Handwriting Excellent Excellent Poor
Images Excellent Excellent Excellent
Audio Excellent Excellent Good
Task Lists and Alerts / Reminders Excellent Excellent Good
Notebooks, Tags, & Categories Excellent Excellent Good (hashtags available but not as many organization tools)
References Poor Poor Poor
Comments Poor Poor (Markup available though) Poor
Spelling & Grammar Check Excellent Excellent Excellent
Printing & Exporting Good (requires cloud printing) Good (requires cloud printing) Good (requires cloud printing)
Cloud Environment Microsoft OneDrive Evernote Cloud Google Drive
Asynchronous Collaborative Editing Excellent - available in free version Good - available in Shared Notes (Premium version) or Related Notes (Business version) Poor (no collaborative editing)
Online to Offline Syncing & Editing Excellent Good in Free, Excellent in Premium Only in the Chrome app
Social Sharing With Zapier app Depends on device (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) With Zapier app
Templates Excellent (page templates) Excellent (download from Evernote site) Poor

When considering prices, keep in mind that some of the additional features listed as apps in this table (near the center of the first column or list of features) may require purchase of a premium version or membership, or the purchase of a third-party app which then works in conjunction with OneNote, Evernote, or Keep. That said, most of the associated apps mentioned here are free.

As you continue to consider your best option, keep in mind that all three of these apps offer a free version. Some users benefit from simply downloading the app and giving it a spin.

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