Last updated: 04 Sept 2020 | Reading time: 4 minutes | Watching time: 5 minutes
OneNote and Notion may have the same purpose, but they are different in many ways. OneNote has grown a lot and Notion is new in the market. What makes them different? The blog post explores both and covers OneNote vs. Notion (2020).
Table of contents
OneNote is a note-taking app from Microsoft. It adapts the Office apps style with navigation on the top, and these days it also comes with other Office apps. Like a universal note-taking app, it offers the synchronisation between mobile and desktop devices. The tool is offered on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and web.
Notion is a block-based note-taking service. It works by adding blocks and expanding the page as you go. Notion may be the service with most supported note-taking tools. The mobile app is a bit slow and stops at the splash screen sometimes, but the desktop version is responsive most of the times.
The tool is available on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and web. You need an account to start creating. Notion is focused on individuals and teams, whereas OneNote is more for individuals.
OneNote vs. Notion
Alongside the necessary tools, OneNote desktop comes with the dictate tool, assistant, drawing, and rich editing tools. The Dictate tool records your voice to save on the cloud. The Assistant tool can do the basic tasks such as insert a table, paste text, create a to-do list etc. Take a look at the comparison table below—the text in green means that the competitor does not support that feature.
|Heading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6|
Table (desktop only)
Text colour (desktop only)
Printout from PDF
Embed pictures (desktop only)
Embed videos (desktop only)
Meeting details (desktop only)
Math equations (desktop only)
Add shapes (desktop only)
Translate the text (desktop only)
Auto calculations (desktop only)
Document scanning (Office Lens | mobile only)
Restore deleted pages (desktop only)
Add code (desktop only)
Add quotes (desktop only)
Password protect notes
Dictate (desktop only)
Assistant (desktop only)
|Heading 1, 2, and 3|
Change text colour
Link to page
Date or reminder
Full page table
Full page board
Full page gallery
Full page list
Full page calendar
Embed Google Drive files
Embed Google Maps and seven other services
Table of contents
Restore deleted pages
Dark theme (mobile only)
Other than above, the OneNote desktop supports password protection for sections. Both offer the necessary editing tools such as bold, italics, strikethrough, etc. Understanding Notion is difficult at first because the service is a multi-level tool. For example, adding a calendar allows you to add notes for each day.
The mobile apps are offered for free from both the stores. The interface of both is different than the desktop, so it’ll take some time to understand
Notion gets the cake in terms of tools on the mobile phone. Regarding the functionality, it offers all the block options which are available on the desktop. OneNote isn’t that reliable. It offers to:
- bold text
- indent left/right
- add checkmarks
- add a photo from phone
- record sound
- attach file
- add ordered/unordered list
- italicise text
- strikethrough text
- and add links
The rest of the tools (mentioned in the desktop part) are not available on mobile. The app also offers sticky notes which are only limited to the mobile app.
OneNote desktop offers to add people with the view and edit permissions, while you can also send a copy of the note via email or a Skype. Just like tools, OneNote mobile lacks some of the sharing options. It only supports sharing the note in plain text or PDF. The mobile app does not offer to share and set permissions.
Notion mobile app allows sharing documents publicly, add members, manage permissions, and copy the material and send in an email or any other form. You can also export in PDF, HTML, and Markdown sheet formats.
Still not sure which one to pick? Watch this OneNote vs. Notion video to see both in action.
OneNote is entirely free, and you can you the app on multiple platforms. Notion, on the other hand, comes in three paid subscriptions, including personal, team, and enterprise. The below image compares the free and personal plans. For educators and students, the personal plan is free.
Notion can help you create complex structured pages and manage projects, whereas OneNote is used for saving text and other forms of data in a simple way possible. Anyway, thanks for reading OneNote vs Notion. I hope the information on the page was helpful. Please let us know what you think and which one you are going to use, so other visitors can quickly decide.