OneNote Review: Desktop App vs Mobile App Comparison

We find that OneNote works slower and sometimes cause sync problems which is frustrating. But, overall, it’s better than Evernote.

There are two top best note-taking app in the world: OneNote and Evernote.

But, you may wonder, is OneNote better or worse than Evernote? What features OneNote provide than Evernote don’t? Is it any good? What is the best thing about OneNote?

This is the goal of this article. This article will give you the best review of OneNote.

Spoiler: OneNote is Better than Evernote

If you want to jump into the conclusion without reading the full article, here’s a spoiler: OneNote is better than Evernote, in my opinion.


Because OneNote has different, simple structure that makes it easy-to-use yet enough features to maximize note-taking experience. On the other hand, Evernote has different, a little bit complicated structure that could mislead you to think that Evernote has complete features — but it’s not. OneNote is 100% free and connected to other Microsoft Office products, Evernote isn’t free even on Android but not providing enough features that are worth the money to pay.

If you want to read the detail review on why OneNote is better, then read on.

ALSO READ: How to Delete OneNote Notebook

OneNote Price on Mac, Windows, Android, and iPhone

So, in conclusion, here’s a list of OneNote version:

  • OneNote on PC (from Microsoft Store)
  • OneNote on Android
  • OneNote on iOS
  • OneNote on Mac

If you wonder about OneNote’s desktop app version (bundled with Microsoft Office), here’s a news: the desktop version of OneNote is dead. It’s been killed in favor of Microsoft Store version, which is now free. The desktop version is called “OneNote 2016”, and it’s still get bug fixes updates. But, you won’t find it on Office 2019.

OneNote 2016 has more features that works more compatible than the new OneNote you find on Microsoft Store. Even if the new OneNote has almost the same features (it’s always being updated).

By the way, if you’re using the latest Microsoft Office, you will notice that the desktop version of OneNote has gone/uninstalled without your permission. If you would like to re-install the desktop version, you can download it right now.

Read: How to Download OneNote 2016

And, that new OneNote is the same as OneNote you can find on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store. The features on those different devices are same, because it’s cross-platform.

The only thing you need to pay for OneNote is when you want to get more OneDrive storages.

OneNote design, features, and performance

So, we will everything about each OneNote version: design, features, and performance.

OneNote on Microsoft Store

OneNote app on Microsoft Store is 100% free. You can download it by searching OneNote on Microsoft Store.

The app is simple. On the left, you will a bar with 3 button to hide/show navigation, search bar, and show/hide recent notes. If you want to get rid of distraction while writing your notes, you can hide navigation.

That hide/show navigation button also lets you manage your whole pages, sections, and notebooks. You can change, delete, adding new one, renaming, and even adding password protection which is cool if you share your OneNote section to other users.

On pages, you can translate automatically, create sub-pages, moving/copying, set template pages, and pinning your pages so you don’t have to search it manually anymore.

The search and recent notes feature is also simple and useful. It lets you to search by pages and tags. It doesn’t over-complicate and makes you focus on your notes.

On Insert tab, you can find the same feature on Android and iOS version like uploading attachment, creating table, showing online videos, etc. With addition of meeting details and printout features. It’s useful if you work using OneNote all the time and setting up a meeting.

insert tab

On Draw tab, you can draw in your pages if you don’t want to type.

draw tab onenote

On View tab, you can change your OneNote appearance by changing note color, zooming in/out, changing page width, adding rule lines, seeing deleted notes, checking compatibility, etc.

view tab onenote

OneNote also lets you to print pages you want. The Settings menu provide enough options to lets you control how you would like to use the app, like disabling proofing tool and changing default notebook for quick notes.

onenote setting

The latest thing that comes in OneNote is that you can see sync status. So you will know when it is appropriate to close the app.

OneNote on Android/iOS

The mobile version of OneNote comes with enough features that lets you manage your notes in a simple way. It better rating on Play Store than Evernote. It’s also absolutely free. All you have to do is to login by your Microsoft account.

onenote android review

The features on mobile version is nearly the same, but without printout and meeting details, also without View tab menus. But it has 3 tabs (Notebookes, Search, and Sticky Notes). The Sticky Notes version come into mobile version to lets you create notes with different color that are intended to remind you.

onenote notebook page

If you would like to download OneNote for Android/iOS, you can download it here (Android) and here (iOS).

OneNote performance

OneNote app is simple and just get better and faster after every updates, even if it’s not as fast as the desktop version. We find that OneNote works slower and sometimes cause sync problems which is frustrating. But, overall, it’s better than Evernote.

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