OneNote vs. Notion (2020) | The Final Showdown

Last updated: 04 Sept 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? The blog post explores both and covers OneNote vs. Notion (2020).

Table of contents


OneNote on Windows PC
OneNote Desktop

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.

On OneNote, you find notebooks, section, and pages. In each notebook, you can add sections, and under each section, you can save pages.


Notion Desktop
Notion Desktop

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


The desktop versions offer the majority of features. You can visit to access the web version of OneNote and to access the web version of 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
Numbered list
Bullet list
To-do list
Other labels
Table (desktop only)
Text colour (desktop only)
Printout from PDF
Upload pictures
Embed pictures (desktop only)
Embed videos (desktop only)
Record audio
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)
Dark theme
Heading 1, 2, and 3
To-do list
Numbered list
Bullet list
Toggle list
Change text colour
Link to page
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
Upload file
Embed Google Drive files
GitHub Gist
Embed Google Maps and seven other services
Table of contents
Math equation
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


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:

  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.


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?


Still not sure which one to pick? Watch this OneNote vs. Notion video to see both in action.

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


Image Showing Notion Pricing
Notion Pricing – Free vs Personal

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.

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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