In the modern world, note-taking applications have become essential tools for managing personal and professional tasks. Two leading software tools in this sphere are Evernote and Obsidian. Both apps offer unique features that help individuals organize their thoughts, ideas, and information with ease.
Evernote is a popular note-taking and organization app, known for its web-clipping and cross-platform support features source. It excels in content collection and categorization, allowing users to seamlessly access their notes and ideas across multiple devices. On the other hand, Obsidian presents a clean and powerful knowledge management solution, emphasizing bidirectional linking and knowledge base creation source. This software focuses on providing users with an interconnected network for their notes, ultimately facilitating deeper understanding and faster connections between concepts.
These two tools offer different approaches to information management, catering to differing needs and preferences. By understanding the key features, benefits, and use cases of each application, users can make an informed decision on which choice best supports their personal and professional goals.
Evernote is an all-in-one note-taking and organization app that supports a variety of note formats. It allows users to create text notes, record audio notes, add images, and clip web pages using the Web Clipper browser extension. The app also provides support for rich text editing, including bold, italic, and underline options, as well as bullets, numbered lists, and more. One noteworthy feature of Evernote is its OCR capabilities, which can recognize and search text within images or scanned PDFs.
Organization and Search
Organizing notes in Evernote is made simple through notebooks, tags, and the intuitive search functionality. Users can create notebooks to categorize notes, while attaching tags to individual notes for easy retrieval. Evernote’s robust search feature allows for searching by notebook, tag, or keyword, and even offers the ability to search within images and documents.
Synchronization and Storage
Evernote offers seamless synchronization across various platforms, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and web browsers. The app utilizes cloud storage to keep all your notes securely stored and accessible from any device. The amount of storage varies based on the user’s subscription plan.
|Plan||Storage Capacity||Monthly Upload Limit|
Interface and Usability
The Evernote interface is designed to provide a focused and easy-to-use note-taking environment. The app’s interface is split into three main sections: left sidebar for notebooks and tags, middle section for note lists, and right section for the note editor. This layout makes navigation simple and allows for quick access to your notes. The mobile versions on iOS and Android also provide a smooth and intuitive experience.
Pricing and Plans
Evernote offers three different subscription plans for its users, catering to various needs: Basic, Premium, and Business.
- Basic: This is a free plan with limited features, such as offline access only on desktop, only 60 MB of monthly uploads, and no PDF annotations.
- Premium: Priced at $7.99/month or $69.99/year, this plan offers features like offline access across devices, more storage (up to 10 GB of monthly uploads), PDF annotations, and integrations with various tools like Google Drive and Calendar.
- Business: Designed for team collaboration, this plan costs $14.99/user/month and includes 20 GB of monthly uploads, collaborative spaces, team management tools, and integrations with popular productivity tools such as Microsoft Teams and Salesforce.
In conclusion, Evernote offers a comprehensive set of features and plans catering to different user needs. Its strong note-taking capabilities, organization options, cross-platform synchronization, and various pricing plans make it a popular choice for many users. However, those interested in more advanced features like bi-directional linking and other alternatives should consider options like Obsidian.
Obsidian is a powerful and versatile note-taking application that utilizes Markdown with an extensive set of features for organizing thoughts, ideas, and projects.
Note-Taking and Markdown Support
Obsidian’s core functionality revolves around its Markdown support. It offers an intuitive, user-friendly interface for creating and editing notes formatted with Markdown syntax. This enables users to apply formatting, such as bold and italics, insert images, create tables and utilize a variety of other features to craft rich notes for enhanced readability.
Linking and Knowledge Graph
One of the most prominent features of Obsidian is bi-directional linking. Users can create links between notes, allowing for seamless navigation and connection between various ideas, like one might find in applications like Roam Research. A knowledge graph is automatically generated based on these links, providing a visual representation of the relationships between notes, making it easier to discover and synthesize information.
Plugins and Customization
Obsidian’s modular structure allows users to add, activate, or deactivate plugins to extend its core functionality. This includes options for creating templates, using tags, customizing the interface, and more. Additionally, themes can be applied to personalize the user experience, offering both built-in options and third-party choices for customization.
Local Storage vs Cloud
Unlike Evernote, Obsidian stores its notes as local Markdown files, meaning the data is kept on your device rather than in a proprietary cloud environment. This promotes increased security and reliability of your data. Obsidian does offer optional synchronization features through third-party cloud services, such as Google Drive, allowing users to access their notes across multiple devices.
Pricing and Licensing
While Evernote operates on a subscription-based model, Obsidian offers a free plan that provides a comprehensive set of features for individual use. For additional functionality, such as collaboration or commercial use, there are paid options available. This tiered pricing structure accommodates various needs and budgets, making Obsidian an attractive option for those looking for an accessible and versatile note-taking solution.
Evernote vs Obsidian: Key Differences
Evernote offers a user-friendly interface and a variety of note-taking tools, including text, images, audio, and video. It supports rich text formatting and has a built-in web clipper for capturing and organizing web content. Additionally, it provides templates for more structured note-taking.
Obsidian, on the other hand, primarily supports markdown files. With its focus on linking, users easily create and navigate through a network of notes. While it offers a more minimal writing experience, the functionality extends through plugins and community-created add-ons.
Organization and Search
Evernote provides hierarchical organization of notes with notebooks, tags, and stacks. Its powerful search capabilities allow users to search within notes, attachments, and even handwriting.
Obsidian uses a more flexible approach: users can build a relational knowledge network by linking notes together with tags and customizable inter-note connections. Obsidian’s search function allows for quick navigation and retrieval within the network of notes.
Collaboration and Sharing
Evernote excels in collaborative features, offering real-time note sharing and editing among users. It integrates seamlessly with many popular services, making it an ideal choice for teams.
Obsidian, while offering powerful linking and knowledge management capabilities, lacks built-in collaboration features. Sharing and collaboration are limited to manually syncing files or using third-party cloud storage services.
Evernote is a cloud-based service with dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. The interface remains consistent across platforms, and notes are automatically synced between devices.
Obsidian is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux but doesn’t have a dedicated mobile app. Users must rely on third-party markdown editors for mobile access and sync their files manually or through cloud storage services.
Pricing and Plans
Evernote offers a freemium model with basic features available for free. Paid plans provide more storage, advanced features, and offline access, starting at $7.99 per month.
Obsidian is free for personal use, with additional features available through a subscription. The commercial license, starting at $25 per year, allows for additional use cases such as publishing and API access.
|Note-Taking||Rich text, media, templates, web clipper||Markdown, linking, plugins, add-ons|
|Organization and Search||Notebooks, stacks, tags, powerful search||Tags, relational knowledge network, Obsidian search|
|Collaboration||Real-time sharing and editing, wide service integration||Manual sync, reliance on third-party cloud storage|
|Platform Support||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, cloud-based syncing||Windows, Mac, Linux, limited mobile access|
|Pricing and Plans||Freemium model, paid plans from $7.99/month||Free for personal use, commercial license from $25/year|
Comparison to Other Note-Taking Apps
In this section, we will compare Evernote and Obsidian to various other note-taking apps such as Notion, Bear, Google Keep, Joplin, and Apple Notes.
Notion is renowned for its versatility as it combines note-taking with task management, calendars, reminders, and more. In comparison, Evernote focuses more on note-taking and file organization, while Obsidian excels at creating insights through interconnected notes via Graph View. Although all three apps have text and markdown support, Notion stands out for its wide range of customizable page templates, making it more suitable for complex project management. In terms of pricing, Notion has a free plan with some limitations, while Evernote offers a freemium model with more features in its paid version, and Obsidian is free to use as well.
Bear is a note-taking app designed specifically for Apple devices, providing a native feel for iOS and macOS users. It offers a minimalist design and writing experience compared to Evernote and Obsidian. However, the latter two are known for compatibility with various platforms. Markdown support is a standout feature in Bear, which is also available on both Evernote and Obsidian. Bear also provides themes to customize the appearance of the app, whereas customization is more limited in Evernote and Obsidian.
Google Keep is a lightweight, easy to use note-taking app that syncs seamlessly with Google Drive and other Google services. Although it lacks advanced features such as markdown support, attachments, and graphs, its simplicity makes it an excellent choice for quick note-taking. On the other hand, Evernote and Obsidian provide more comprehensive note organization features, rich text formatting, and integrations with popular cloud services.
Joplin is an open-source note-taking app that supports markdown and offers a high level of customization. It shares some similarities with Obsidian in terms of knowledge management, but lacks key features like Graph View. Evernote emphasizes file organization and integration with other tools, making it more fitting for productivity enthusiasts preferring a more established app. Joplin wins in terms of cost, offering completely free services compared to Evernote’s freemium model and Obsidian’s cost for commercial use.
Apple Notes is the default note-taking app on iOS and macOS devices, offering a user-friendly experience with native integration to Apple services. While it allows for simple text formatting and attachments, it does not support markdown, nor does it have robust organization features like Evernote or Obsidian. For Apple users who desire a basic note-taking solution, Apple Notes is an ideal choice. But those searching for advanced functionalities and cross-platform compatibility should consider Evernote or Obsidian.
Evernote and Obsidian both have their own strengths as note-taking and knowledge management applications. Users tend to choose between the two depending on their personal preferences and needs.
Evernote is a great choice for users who prefer a more traditional, linear approach to note-taking, with its easy-to-use interface, cloud storage, and cross-platform compatibility. On the other hand, Obsidian is a powerful choice for users interested in developing a personal knowledge management system with advanced features like bidirectional linking and markdown support12.
One notable difference between the two applications is pricing. Evernote offers a free basic tier with limitations on storage and number of devices3, while Obsidian is free for personal use with optional paid plans for additional features2.
In the end, it’s essential to consider your specific use case and workflow when choosing between these two applications. Both can be excellent tools for managing notes, documentation, and personal knowledge.
|Pricing||Free Basic/Starting at $7.99/month for Premium3||Free for Personal Use/Starting at $4/month for Paid Plans2|