Goodnotes vs Evernote: In-Depth Comparison for 2023

In the world of digital note-taking apps, GoodNotes and Evernote have emerged as leading contenders in the market. Both applications have received praise for their innovative features and user-friendly interfaces, which aim to streamline the note-taking process for students, professionals, and everyday users alike.

GoodNotes is known for its exceptional handwriting recognition and annotation capabilities, allowing users to seamlessly take handwritten notes and annotate PDFs with ease source. On the other hand, Evernote has built a reputation as a versatile note-taking app that effortlessly integrates with various devices and platforms, making it an attractive option for those with diverse needs and preferences source.

As users look to optimize their productivity and information management, the choice between GoodNotes and Evernote can greatly impact their overall experience. While both applications offer distinct advantages, it’s essential to understand their individual features when deciding which note-taking solution will best suit one’s needs.


User Interface and Ease of Use

Evernote offers a clean and intuitive user interface, allowing users to navigate smoothly through its features. Creating and organizing notes is straightforward, with simple editing tools and options to categorize notes using tags or within notebooks.

Cross-Platform Functionality and Device Support

Evernote is a cross-platform app, meaning it is available on multiple operating systems such as Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. This enables users to access and sync their notes across different devices seamlessly.

Organization and Search

Organization in Evernote is made simple with Notebooks and Tags. Users can create different notebooks for specific topics and utilize tags for easy retrieval of notes. Evernote’s search functionality allows users to search through text, tags, and even images.

Note-Taking Features

Evernote has a range of note-taking features such as:

  • Text formatting (bold, italics, highlights)
  • Bulleted and numbered lists
  • Tables
  • Checkboxes for to-do lists
  • Image and file attachments
  • Annotations on images and PDFs

Collaboration and Task Management

Evernote allows for note sharing, which enables collaboration with team members or friends. Users can invite others to view, edit, or comment on their notes. Work Chat allows for communication within the app, providing easy collaboration on shared notes and tasks.

Integration with Other Tools

Evernote can integrate with various applications such as Google Drive, Microsoft Teams, and Slack, allowing users to access and share their notes seamlessly across different platforms.

Audio Recording and Web Clipper

Evernote includes an audio recording feature, allowing users to document voice notes directly within the app. Additionally, the Evernote Web Clipper is a helpful tool to save and annotate web content such as articles, emails, and images.

OCR and Handwriting Recognition

Evernote’s OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology is effective in recognizing text within images and handwritten notes, enabling users to search for text within these formats.

Pricing and Subscription Model

Evernote offers a free basic plan with limited features, along with paid plans – Evernote Premium and Evernote Business – for additional functionality and storage. Premium plans offer more extensive features such as increased note sizes, offline access, and faster customer support.


User Interface and Ease of Use

GoodNotes offers a clean and intuitive interface that makes note-taking and document organization straightforward. It is designed specifically for writing and drawing with pens or pencils and provides smooth digital ink experience.

Apple Device Support

One of the advantages of GoodNotes is its excellent support for Apple devices including iPad, iPhone, and Mac. It takes full advantage of the Apple Pencil, offering a responsive and natural writing environment.

Organization and Search

GoodNotes allows for easy organization of documents in folders and subfolders as well as the ability to search your notes with keywords. Additionally, it can search handwritten notes, making it even more powerful and convenient for users.

Note-Taking Features

Some of the note-taking features of GoodNotes include:

  • Multiple paper templates and sizes
  • Importing custom templates
  • Multiple pen and highlighter tools
  • Lasso tool for moving and resizing objects
  • Bookmark feature for easy access to specific pages

Handwritten Notes and Sketching

GoodNotes excels in handwritten notes and sketching due to its natural writing experience. Users can choose from various pen tip styles and sizes, colors, and pressure sensitivity for precise writing and drawing. It also offers shape recognition tools.

PDF Annotation and Document Creation

Annotating PDF documents is easy in GoodNotes, as it offers various tools for highlighting, underlining, and adding notes to documents. Users can also create new documents within the app, either from scratch or importing PDFs or other files.

Customization and Pen Types

GoodNotes provides various customization options like pen types, colors, sizes, and transparency. Users can create custom pen presets and can easily switch between different writing tools with a simple tap.

iCloud Sync

One of the main strengths of GoodNotes is its seamless iCloud sync across devices. When a user creates or edits a document on one device, the changes are automatically synchronized to their other devices without any extra steps.


GoodNotes is a one-time purchase app with no subscription fees. The iOS version costs $7.99, while the macOS version is priced at $9.99. This makes it an affordable option for users who prefer a one-time payment.

In comparison, Evernote offers a free plan with limited features but requires a subscription to access its full suite of tools. The pricing starts at $7.99/month for the Premium plan and goes up to $14.99/month for the Business plan.

Comparing Key Features and Differences

Note-Taking Capabilities

GoodNotes and Evernote are both popular note-taking apps with their unique features. GoodNotes is specifically designed for handwriting and sketching, which makes it a go-to choice for those who prefer using a stylus or an Apple Pencil. It offers customizable templates and an infinite canvas to make your notes as detailed as necessary.

On the other hand, Evernote excels at digital, text-based note-taking. It comes with advanced organizational features, including tags, notebooks, and a robust search function. Additionally, Evernote supports various content types such as text, images, audio, and files, which allows for versatile note-taking experiences.

Handwriting and Handwriting to Text Conversion

When it comes to handwriting support, GoodNotes takes the lead. With its impressive palm rejection and stroke smoothing features, it ensures a smooth writing experience. Moreover, GoodNotes provides a shape tool to create shapes easily and an impressive range of pen options and colors.

Evernote, while not primarily designed for handwriting, comes with basic handwriting support. However, it lacks the advanced tools and customization options found in GoodNotes.

As for handwriting to text conversion, both apps offer this feature. GoodNotes provides accurate OCR (Optical Character Recognition) that converts handwriting into text, while Evernote also has an OCR feature that makes your handwritten notes searchable – allowing you to find specific text in your notes easily.

Integration and Collaboration

In terms of integration and collaboration, Evernote is superior. It offers built-in sharing features and seamless integration with numerous third-party apps, such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneNote, and Slack. This makes it perfect for team collaboration and organization.

GoodNotes, on the other hand, is more focused on individual note-taking but does offer some options for sharing and exporting notes. The app allows you to export your notes to various formats such as PDF, images, or text. However, it doesn’t have the same level of collaboration options as Evernote.

Pricing and Value

GoodNotes and Evernote have different pricing structures. GoodNotes is a one-time purchase app, which means you pay once for the app and can use it without any additional costs.

Evernote uses a freemium model, with a basic free version and two paid plans (Premium and Business) that offer additional features and storage. The free version has limitations, such as a monthly data upload limit, and the paid plans unlock more functionalities and storage options.

In conclusion, the choice between GoodNotes and Evernote depends on your preferences and requirements. GoodNotes is best for those who prefer handwriting and sketching, while Evernote is ideal for digital, text-based note-taking and collaboration.

Alternative Note-Taking Apps

In addition to GoodNotes and Evernote, there are several other note-taking apps that offer unique features and can cater to different needs. In this section, we’ll discuss Notability, Microsoft OneNote, Apple Notes, Nebo, and how to choose the best note-taking app for your needs.


Notability is a popular note-taking app that allows users to combine handwriting, typing, and audio recording. Its main features include:

  • Seamless integration of text and handwritten notes
  • Audio recording synced with notes
  • Import and annotate PDF files
  • Support for Apple Pencil

Notability is known for its easy-to-use interface and is particularly useful for students or professionals who attend lectures or meetings.

Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote is a powerful note-taking app that comes with the Microsoft Office Suite. It offers a wide range of features, such as:

  • Organization with notebooks, sections, and pages
  • Rich text formatting and multimedia support
  • Collaboration and sharing features
  • Integration with other Microsoft Office applications

OneNote’s hierarchical organization system makes it suitable for those who need to manage complex projects or large amounts of information.

Apple Notes

Apple Notes is a built-in note-taking app for iOS and macOS devices. It offers basic note-taking functionality like:

  • Rich text formatting
  • Support for images and attachments
  • Integration with Siri
  • Sync across Apple devices with iCloud

Apple Notes is a convenient option for those looking for a simple note-taking solution that offers seamless integration with their Apple ecosystem.


Nebo is a handwriting recognition app that lets users write, draw, and edit notes with a stylus. Key features of Nebo include:

  • Accurate handwriting recognition and conversion to digital text
  • Support for mathematical equations and diagrams
  • Export to various formats like Word, PDF, and HTML
  • Compatibility with multiple platforms and devices

Nebo’s focus on handwriting recognition makes it ideal for users who prefer writing with a stylus on their devices.

Choosing the Best Note-Taking App

When selecting the best note-taking app, consider the following factors:

  • Desired features: Assess what specific features you need for your note-taking workflow, such as handwriting support, audio recording, or collaboration.
  • Platform compatibility: Ensure that the app is compatible with your device and operating system.
  • Ease of use: Choose an app with a user-friendly interface and a minimal learning curve.
  • Price: Compare the pricing and available features for each app to find one that offers the best value for your budget.


In comparing GoodNotes and Evernote, each application has its unique features and capabilities. GoodNotes is well-suited for handwriting and drawing, making it an excellent choice for students and professionals who prefer to write or sketch out their ideas. On the other hand, Evernote excels in organizing digital notes, offering users a simple way to store and manage text, images, and multimedia files.

Both applications provide note-taking options that cater to different usage preferences. GoodNotes emphasizes an intuitive writing experience, as seen in stylus support and its use of a digital paper analogy. Evernote, by contrast, focuses on convenience and accessibility, offering a wide range of tools and integrations for users to store and access their notes across multiple devices seamlessly.

The choice between GoodNotes and Evernote will ultimately depend on an individual’s specific needs and preferences. For users who enjoy the feel of writing by hand and require a visually appealing note-taking app, GoodNotes may be the ideal choice. Conversely, for users seeking a more digital-centric workspace with higher capacity for organization and accessibility, Evernote would likely be the better option.

In conclusion, both GoodNotes and Evernote have distinct characteristics and advantages. It’s crucial to assess one’s own note-taking habits and goals to determine which application best suits their needs. By understanding the unique benefits and limitations of each app, users can make an informed decision on finding the perfect note-taking companion for their academic or professional pursuits.