OneNote vs. Notion (2020) | The Final Showdown

Last updated: 27 Oct 2020 | Reading time: 4 minutes | Watching time: 5 minutes

Notion vs OneNote
Notion vs. OneNote

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? Should you choose OneNote or Notion? The blog post explores both and covers OneNote vs. Notion (2020).

Table of contents

Quick comparison

FeatureMicrosoft OneNoteNotion
PlatformsAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS, Windows Phone, PWA, and WebAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS and Web
Text editingRich editing on desktop and some rich editing tools on mobileRich editing tools on all the platforms
Handwriting✔ (on content)
SearchTitle and textTitle and text

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Desktop

Both offer the desktop software to access on Windows and macOS devices easily. The web version is offered if you don’t want to install the software. You can visit https://onenote.com to access the web version of OneNote and https://www.notion.so to access the web version of Notion. Both apps can also be installed as Progress Web App also called PWA on Microsoft Edge.

Interface

Both use an easy to navigate design. You get notebooks and pages on the left on OneNote, while the opened page in on the right. The tools are categorised on the top. Being considered to be a part of the Office family, it takes some of its look from other Office apps.

Notion also comes with notes on the right and opened note on the left. You get options such as share, print, and other note options right above the note. The software comes with the basic Windows-style top navigation menu.

Tools

Along with the rich editing tools, OneNote desktop comes with the dictate, assistant, and drawing tools. The dictate tool records your voice to save on the cloud, and 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.

OneNoteNotion
Heading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6
Fonts
Numbered list
Bullet list
Indent
To-do list
Other labels
Highlight
Table (desktop only)
File
Text colour (desktop only)
Printout from PDF
Upload pictures
Embed pictures (desktop only)
Embed videos (desktop only)
Record audio
Meeting details (desktop only)
Symbols
Math equations (desktop only)
Stickers
Draw
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)
Dark theme
Heading 1, 2, and 3
To-do list
Numbered list
Bullet list
Toggle list
Quote
Change text colour
Divider
Link to page
Callout
Page mention
Date or reminder
Inline table
Inline board
Inline list
Inline calendar
Full page table
Full page board
Full page gallery
Full page list
Full page calendar
Linked database
Upload file
Web bookmark
Embed image
Embed audio
Embed video
Code
Upload file
Embed Google Drive files
Tweet
GitHub Gist
Embed Google Maps and seven other services
Table of contents
Math equation
Breadcrumbs
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.

Read: Samsung Notes vs. Google Keep | The Ultimate Comparison

Mobile

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

Video

The video covers OneNote vs. Notion mobile apps. You get to see both the apps in action.

OneNote vs Notion Video
OneNote vs. Notion (video plays in a new tab)

Editing and tools

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:

  1. bold text
  2. indent left/right
  3. add checkmarks
  4. add a photo from phone
  5. record sound
  6. attach file
  7. add ordered/unordered list
  8. italicise text
  9. strikethrough text
  10. draw
  11. 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.

Sharing

Screenshots of Sharing and Collaboration in Notion and OneNote
Notion vs OneNote Sharing and Collaboration

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.

Read: Google Keep vs OneNote | Which One is the Best in 2020?

Pricing

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.

Image Showing Notion Pricing
Notion Pricing – Free vs Personal

Which one is for you?

Both are good for basic note-taking. Notion takes note-taking to another level, but those benefits come at a cost of learning to use the app. If you are not a tech-savvy and want to get things done in an easy way possible, then OneNote is for you. If you have complex ideas in mind and want to save those ideas, then Notion is the way to go.


Wrap up

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.

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