Evernote vs Notability: A Comprehensive Comparison for 2023

In today’s fast-paced world, staying organized and managing information is crucial, especially for professionals, students, and teachers. The rise of digital note-taking applications has made it more convenient for individuals to capture and store their thoughts, ideas, and findings in one place. Two of the popular applications that have gained a strong user base are Evernote and Notability.

Evernote concentrates on organizing information, featuring options such as writing or dictating notes, storing photographs, and recording audio, while also keeping everything categorized and easily accessible link. On the other hand, Notability offers a more interactive approach, allowing users to not only type and write notes but also annotate over PDF documents, making it useful for educational purposes as well link.

Both applications have their unique selling points, offering users a wide range of tools to cater to their preferred note-taking style. Comparing Evernote and Notability will help individuals make an informed decision about which application best suits their needs based on features, usability, and collaborative capabilities.

Evernote Overview

Evernote is a popular note-taking app designed to help users keep track of ideas, tasks, and documents on various devices. This app is primarily recognized for its powerful organization and productivity-enhancing features.

Platform Availability

Evernote is widely accessible across multiple platforms, making it an ideal tool for users who switch between devices frequently. The app supports the following platforms:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Web (browser-based)

This versatile availability ensures seamless synchronization and access to notes and notebooks across different devices.


Note-taking and Organization:

Evernote provides a comprehensive set of note-taking features that enable users to create and organize notes, to-do lists, and reminders. The user interface is designed for easy management and organization of content, with options to create notebooks, tags, and stack folders for better organization. Key features include:

  • Text, image, audio, and document notes
  • Checklists and bullet points
  • Note tagging and custom sorting
  • Notebooks and stackable folders

Integration and Collaboration:

Evernote excels in integrating with other productivity and cloud-based tools, including Google Drive. This integration allows users to embed and access Google Drive files directly within Evernote. Collaboration is also simplified, with real-time sharing and editing capabilities. The app supports:

  • Google Drive integration
  • Note sharing and collaboration
  • Real-time editing
  • Third-party app integrations

Task Management:

In addition to note-taking, Evernote provides task management features to help users stay on top of their assignments and deadlines. These features enable users to set due dates, assign priorities, and create reminders.

  • Task lists and reminders
  • Due date assignment
  • Priority setting

Premium Plans and Storage:

Evernote offers both a free plan with basic features and a premium version with expanded capabilities, including increased storage, offline access, and enhanced search abilities. The premium plan also offers app integrations, priority customer support, and more advanced note-taking features.

  • Free plan: Limited storage and features
  • Premium plan: Increased storage, enhanced features, and additional integrations

By offering a wide range of features and platform compatibility, Evernote has become a leading productivity and note-taking tool. As users switch between different devices and collaborate with others, they can maintain access to their notes and stay organized through this powerful app.

Notability Overview

Platform Availability

Notability is a popular note-taking app designed primarily for iOS devices, such as the iPad and iPhone. The app is optimized for Apple devices, leveraging their functionalities to enhance the note-taking experience. Although it is best suited for iOS, Notability also runs on macOS, enabling users to sync their notes across multiple Apple devices via iCloud.


Notes Storage and Organization

Notability allows users to create, store, and organize text notes, handwritten notes, drawings, and more. It also supports PDF import, making it easy for students and professionals to annotate PDF documents. The app’s organization system enables users to sort their notes into subjects and dividers, enhancing the overall organization of their content.

Handwriting and Typed Text

One of Notability’s standout features is its support for handwriting and handwritten notes. Users can write with a stylus or their fingers, making it a versatile choice for those who prefer a more natural writing experience. Additionally, the app also supports typed text, giving users the flexibility to shift between handwriting and type as needed.

Audio Recording and Playback

Notability offers audio recording functionality, enabling users to record lectures, meetings, or any other relevant events while taking notes. The recordings are automatically time-synced with the notes, allowing users to seamlessly navigate their notes alongside the audio playback.

Images, Drawings, and Annotations

The app allows users to insert images and create drawings within their notes, offering a more visual note-taking experience. Notability’s annotation capabilities include a variety of colors and customizable options, such as highlighting and underlining, making it ideal for annotating PDF documents and images.

Collaboration and Offline Support

While Notability is not primarily focused on collaboration, it provides basic sharing functionality. Users can share their notes with others via email or popular cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive. One notable advantage of Notability is its robust offline support, as users can create, edit, and access their notes even without an internet connection.


Notability is a paid app, with a one-time purchase required to access its full feature set. The pricing differs for iOS and macOS versions, and there are no subscription fees involved.

Writing Experience


Both Evernote and Notability provide a smooth handwriting experience, allowing users to create handwritten notes with various colors and styles. Users can choose to write using a stylus or the Apple Pencil, which is especially compatible with the iPad. The Notability app offers a unique zoom feature that allows users to control the size of the writing, providing greater flexibility while taking notes.

In Notability, users can also incorporate drawings and images in their notes, making it a versatile tool for both personal and professional use. The app even allows users to add text boxes and move them, offering a seamless handwriting experience.

Typed Notes

When it comes to typed notes, both apps have distinct features to enhance the note-taking process. Evernote is known for its organized storage system, allowing users to categorize and tag their notes effortlessly. This platform also enables the embedding of multimedia elements, like images, PDFs, and audio recordings, which improves the overall user experience.

On the other hand, Notability allows the importing and annotating of PDFs as well as the use of various text styles and colors. It also offers a toolbar that includes a highlighter, eraser, and pen options, providing a comprehensive note-taking experience for users who prefer to type.

Feature Evernote Notability
Handwriting Supported Supported + Zoom feature
Stylus/Apple Pencil Supported Supported
Drawings Supported Supported
Images Supported Supported
Text boxes Limited support Supported
Typed text Organized storage system Various text styles/colors
Highlights/Eraser/Pen Limited options Comprehensive toolbar
PDF annotations Supported Supported

Overall, the writing experience provided by Evernote and Notability is unique and distinct in each app. Users can choose which features suit their preferences and accommodate their note-taking practices.

Note Organization and Management

When it comes to note organization and management, both Evernote and Notability offer unique features that can cater to the needs of students and professionals alike.

Evernote is known for its robust organization system that allows users to create notebooks for different subjects or projects, further categorizing them with the help of tags. This allows for easy retrieval of notes and related tasks, making it suitable for task management and productivity. Users can quickly sync their documents across multiple devices, particularly Apple devices, ensuring seamless workflow and collaboration. Evernote also supports a wide range of file formats, including images, audio, and web clippings, making it an all-in-one repository for your notes and resources.

Notability, on the other hand, focuses on a more visual organization system, where users can create virtual dividers and subjects to manage their notes. This approach is particularly beneficial for students, as it resembles organizing physical notebooks. Notability also allows users to annotate documents, highlight text, and create hand-drawn notes or diagrams, making it a versatile option for note-taking.

When it comes to collaboration, Evernote has an edge, as it offers features such as document sharing, real-time collaboration through the work chat feature, and integration with various project management tools. On the contrary, Notability’s collaboration features are limited, with its primary focus on note-taking and organization.

In terms of device compatibility, both Evernote and Notability are extensively used on Apple devices. Notability focuses more on Apple-centric features such as iCloud Sync and iOS integration while Evernote has more cross-platform functionality.

Here is a comparison table that highlights some differences between the two note-taking apps:

Feature Evernote Notability
Organization Notebooks, tags Dividers, subjects
Collaboration Document sharing, work chat, integrations Limited, focuses on note-taking and organization
Apple Device Support Broad compatibility Focus on iCloud Sync, iOS integration
File Support Images, audio, web clippings, various formats Annotations, highlighting, hand-drawn notes
Task Management Suitable for task management, productivity More focused on note organization for students

Both Evernote and Notability enhance the note organization and management experience by offering unique approaches. While Evernote provides a robust organization system and collaboration features, Notability is more focused on visual organization and note-taking capabilities. Users must identify their needs and preferences before deciding on the right tool for their requirements.

Audio Recording and Playback

Evernote and Notability both offer audio recording features, making them great tools for users who want to record lectures, meetings, or any verbal notes. They differ, however, in the extent of their audio capabilities and integration options.

In Evernote, audio recording is straightforward. Users can incorporate audio clips into their existing notes or create new ones specifically for their recordings. Evernote also supports embedding other media, like images and PDFs, in the same note as an audio clip, ensuring all relevant information is organized in one place (source). However, Evernote doesn’t offer any advanced features like audio editing or transcription.

Notability takes a more advanced approach to audio recording and playback. Its audio recording feature synchronizes with the text and drawings made during the recording process. This means that during playback, a user can tap on a specific section of text or a drawing, and the audio will jump to that exact moment, making it easy to review important points without having to listen to the entire recording (source). Additionally, Notability allows users to adjust the playback speed, making it convenient for those who want to quickly review their recordings or listen more carefully at a slower pace.

Here is a comparison table of the main audio features of Evernote and Notability:

Feature Evernote Notability
Audio Recording Yes Yes
Audio Playback Yes Yes
Note Synchronization No Yes
Playback Speed Adjustment No Yes

In summary, both Evernote and Notability offer audio recording and playback functionalities for users who need to capture voice recordings. Notability stands out with its note synchronization and speed adjustment features, providing a more advanced and streamlined experience for those who rely heavily on audio recordings.

PDF Features

Importing PDFs

Both Evernote and Notability allow users to import PDFs into their respective platforms. Evernote users can simply drag and drop PDF files into their notes, while Notability users can import PDF files directly from various cloud services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and iCloud. This makes it easy to transfer and access PDFs on both platforms.


When it comes to annotating PDFs, both Evernote and Notability have their strengths. Evernote allows for basic PDF annotation, enabling users to highlight text, add shapes, and insert text annotations. On the other hand, Notability offers more advanced PDF annotation features, allowing users to write directly onto the PDF with various pen styles and colors and even add voice annotations.

Here’s a brief comparison of PDF annotation features between Evernote and Notability:

Feature Evernote Notability
Text highlighting Yes Yes
Shapes Yes Yes
Text annotations Yes Yes
Pen styles/colors No Yes
Voice annotations No Yes

Exporting PDFs

Both Evernote and Notability offer the ability to export annotated PDFs for sharing or archiving purposes. In Evernote, users can save annotated PDFs locally or share them via email or social media. Notability, on the other hand, provides users with the option to export the annotated PDF to various cloud services in addition to emailing and sharing them via other apps. This flexibility ensures that both platforms cater to their users’ PDF sharing and collaboration needs.

Pricing and Plans

When choosing between Evernote and Notability, one crucial factor to consider is their pricing and plans. Both applications offer unique features and cater to different users’ needs, so it’s essential to understand their pricing structure to determine the best choice for you.

Evernote comes with a free plan called Evernote Basic. This plan allows users to create notes, sync across two devices, and comes with a 60MB/month upload limit. However, the free version has limited features compared to the premium versions. For those who require advanced features, Evernote offers two premium plans: Evernote Premium priced at $7.99/month and Evernote Business at $14.99/user/month. These plans provide features such as increased upload limits, offline access, multiple device sync, and advanced search capabilities.

Plan Price Features
Evernote Basic Free 60MB/month uploads, sync across 2 devices
Evernote Premium $7.99/month 10GB/month uploads, offline access, multiple device sync, advanced search
Evernote Business $14.99/user/month All Premium features, team collaboration, and admin features

Notability, on the other hand, has a one-time purchase pricing model. The iOS version of Notability currently costs $8.99, while the macOS version is priced at $9.99. There are no monthly subscription fees or premium plans for Notability, making it an attractive option for users who prefer a one-time payment. However, Notability does offer in-app purchases for additional features and customization options, such as handwriting recognition and additional themes.

In conclusion, when deciding between Evernote and Notability, consider the pricing and plans available that best suit your needs and budget. Evernote’s free and premium options cater to a range of users, while Notability’s one-time payment and in-app purchases offer a different pricing approach.

Syncing and Backup

When it comes to syncing and backup, both Evernote and Notability offer reliable options for keeping your notes secure and accessible across multiple devices. Evernote uses its own cloud-based storage system, while Notability allows users to choose between iCloud, Dropbox, and Google Drive for storing their notes.

In Evernote, syncing is automatic and ensures that your notes are available on all your devices that have the app installed. This includes smartphones, tablets, and computers. With Notability, you can also sync your notes across devices using iCloud. This feature is especially useful for Apple users who want to access their notes on their iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

Notability users who prefer Google Drive or Dropbox can also take advantage of these cloud-based storage systems for syncing their notes. This flexibility allows users to choose a platform that best suits their needs and preferences. Evernote, on the other hand, does not integrate with these third-party services for syncing.

In terms of backup, both apps offer options to keep your notes safe in case of device failures or data loss. Evernote keeps your notes on their secure servers, which can be accessed by logging into your account on any device. Notability allows users to set up automatic backups to multiple cloud-based storage systems, including iCloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox. This ensures that your notes are protected even if something happens to your device.

Feature Evernote Notability
Syncing Evernote Cloud iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox
Automatic Backups Evernote Cloud iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox
Compatibility Smartphones, Tablets, PCs iPhone, iPad, Mac (iCloud Sync)

In conclusion, both Evernote and Notability offer reliable syncing and backup options, ensuring that your notes are safe and accessible across your devices. The main difference is Notability’s flexibility with third-party cloud-based storage systems, while Evernote relies on its own secure servers. As a user, the choice between the two apps will depend on your preferences and the devices you use.

Integration with Other Apps and Services

Evernote’s strength lies in its ability to integrate with a multitude of other apps and services. For instance, Evernote users can directly save content from various sources like Gmail, web pages, and even other note-taking apps such as OneNote and Apple Notes. Similarly, integration with cloud storage services like Google Drive helps users create a seamless workflow, where they can organize and access their documents across different platforms.

Notability, on the other hand, supports fewer integrations compared to Evernote. Nevertheless, it still offers compatibility with popular storage services like Google Drive, and two popular note-taking apps – Penultimate and Noteshelf. Notability’s direct export feature to Evernote further amplifies its versatility as a note-taking app.

Bear, another note-taking app, offers a simpler interface compared to both Evernote and Notability. However, it lacks the integrations that Evernote and Notability users typically enjoy, such as with Google Drive or Gmail. This might be a drawback for users who prefer to have everything connected within their workflow.

Whether you opt for Evernote or Notability, both apps provide a decent level of integration with other services, depending on your requirements. Here is a table comparing the integration capabilities of Evernote, Notability, and Bear:

Note-Taking App Integrations with Other Apps and Services
Evernote Gmail, Google Drive, OneNote, Apple Notes
Notability Google Drive, Penultimate, Noteshelf
Bear Limited integration

In conclusion, when considering integration with other apps and services, Evernote offers a more comprehensive set of features, catering to a wide range of user needs. Notability also provides a decent level of compatibility with select apps and services, while Bear may not be the ideal choice for users who prioritize extensive integration options.

Transitioning Between Apps

Transitioning between note-taking apps such as Evernote and Notability can be a crucial aspect for students, professionals, and anyone looking to improve their organization and productivity. An essential factor to consider during this process is the ease of app-switching and the integration of specific features between the apps.

Evernote and Notability both offer unique features tailored to different user preferences. While Evernote is known for its robust search capabilities, syncing across devices, and easy note-clipping from the web, Notability offers a more interactive note-taking experience, allowing users to hand-write notes, annotate documents, and even record audio.

A popular solution for switching between these two leading note-taking apps is using a third-party app like Penultimate which seamlessly integrates with Evernote to create and store handwritten notes. However, it is worth mentioning that GoodNotes, another powerful note-taking app, allows easy switching between other apps like Evernote by incorporating specific export features.

Here is a brief comparison of the mentioned apps:

App Main Features App-Switching Capabilities
Evernote Robust search, syncing, note-clipping, multiple format support Direct syncing with Penultimate, export/import from GoodNotes
Notability Handwritten notes, annotate documents, audio recording Limited, primarily localized to Notability
Penultimate Handwriting support, Evernote integration Syncs directly with Evernote
GoodNotes Hand-written notes, extensive import/export options Allows for easy import/export with Evernote

Remember, when choosing to switch between different apps or exploring the best note-taking apps to suit your needs, consider aspects like user-friendliness, cross-app compatibility, customization options, and the overall user experience. The right combination of tools can significantly enhance your workflow and productivity.

Conclusion and Recommendations

In summary, Evernote and Notability offer unique features and benefits for different users. The most convenient choice depends on the individual’s needs and preferences.

Evernote is widely recognized for its powerful organizational tools and syncing capabilities across multiple devices. It is an excellent option for those who need a comprehensive note-taking app or work with teams. Some of its notable features include:

  • Hierarchical organization of notes
  • Rich-text editing
  • Web clipping tool
  • Collaboration capabilities
  • Available on multiple platforms

On the other hand, Notability is best known for its smooth, user-friendly interface and versatile annotation tools. It is particularly favored by students and professionals who prefer a balance between digital and handwritten notes. Here are some of Notability’s key selling points:

  • Handwriting and sketching support using a stylus or Apple Pencil
  • Advanced annotation and markup features
  • Seamless audio recording and note-taking
  • Importing and editing PDFs
  • Automatic outline generation and easy navigation

To help you better understand and compare the features of both apps, we have created this comparison table:

Feature Evernote Notability
Text Notes Yes Yes
Image Notes Yes Yes
Handwriting Notes Limited Yes
PDF Annotation Paid feature Yes
Audio Recording Paid feature Yes
Organization Tag-based Folders
Collaboration Yes No
Platform Multi-platform iOS and MacOS only

In conclusion, both Evernote and Notability provide a satisfying note-taking experience with different functionalities to cater to different audiences. It’s essential to explore the features that align best with your requirements and read reviews before making the final decision.

Remember that both apps offer free or trial versions, which is a great opportunity to test the note-taking experience firsthand. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to choose the app that delivers the most value and enhances your productivity in the long run, so invest the time to compare and choose wisely!