Evernote vs Apple Notes

Evernote has their Premium subscription 40% off.

I’ve been dabbling with Evernote (free version) the past few weeks, and honestly can’t find anything that earth shattering that Apple Notes app can’t do.

Am I missing something?

Several differences come to mind:

  • Evernote is multi-platform. So if you use Windows, an Android phone, or a Chromebook, you can use Evernote there.

  • I know Evernote supports searching in text in images, which I think Apple notes does not. So if you take a photo of a “Starbucks” sign and drop it in Evernote, and search later on the word “Starbucks,” you can find the photo.

  • Evernote supports tags, notebooks (like folders) and groups of notebooks (like folders of folders), which is two different kinds of organization. (I’m counting folders and groups of folders as the same.) Notes does not support tags.

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I’m in your same shoe of can’t tell the difference with Apple Notes but there’s one feature I really, really like about Evernote - the menu bar icon which when clicked, let me quickly jot a note down and saved to Evernote. It beats Notes hands down in that area but is it worth a monthly sub? Maybe not.

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There are a few conveniences in Evernote (as others have noted). If you don’t need them, Notes is very very good.

I used to be an Evernote Premium subscriber - I cancelled when their prices shot up and development stalled

Extensive user of both, but primarily go with Evernote for the following reasons.

Evernote has more reliable and transparent sync. Apple Notes sometimes doesn’t sync and you have no idea of the reason, nor do you have any capability of forcing a sync.

Evernote can also handle large amount of data MUCH better than Apple Notes. I have 5000+ notes in Evernote, tried importing them to Apple Notes. Importation went well, but daily usage choked Apple Notes.

Evernote search is also much better than Apple Notes.

Evernote web clipper.

Reasons for using Apple Notes would be: (1) part of the Apple ecosystem and works well with other Apple apps, (2) free, (3) on iOS, very quick to just jot down a note from lock screen.

Evernote to me is much more a repository of information, while Apple Notes is more of a note taking app for temporary notes.


A couple of other Evernote features to add to the list:

  • Evernote can take advantage of web automation using solutions such as IFTTT and Zapier.
  • You can create Evernote notes via email. The subject of the email can even be used to specify attributes such as the notebook and tag.

The Evernote Web Clipper is also exceptionally well done. I use it all the time.

Notes is great as well and, as others have noted, it’s well integrated into macOS and iOS/iPadOS. It can work well to use Notes for note-taking and short-term storage with Evernote being used more for archival purposes.

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Been an Evernote user since roughly 2009 timeframe. Was a premium subscriber for years but not anymore.

I use both Evernote and Apple Notes. To me they each serve a similar yet different purpose.

Using a physical analogy: Evernote is my hard drive storage and Notes is my RAM. Or, Evernote is the library shelf and Notes is the shelf under the librarian’s front counter.

Things for my Evernote: Items that are in longer term storage: Not an active project, or have a reminder (eg., ’delete this receipt when the warranty expires in five years) live in Evernote.

Things in Notes: Active projects or notes I’m sharing with family live in Notes. Pictures of cards from my wallet (in case I lose the wallet), pics of kids dance or school schedules, active projects, short term tracking (eg, prices of televisions as they’re on sale in Costco :smiley:), etc.

I find both products useful.

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My list:

  • I like being able to share a public link to a note for students. That can stay updated
  • True cross platform capabilities.
  • Tagging in conjunction with folders.
  • Emailing notes
  • Saved Smart Searches

I used Evernote as storage for most information and it would be available on any device and be stored in the cloud. Really liked that I could make a folder for a trip. When the trip approached I could set it up to sync with a local copy on the iPhone. That way I didn’t have to access the info from the web. Tried moving to Apple Notes. Don’t see a way to make things local when needed. So still on Evernote.

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Evernote, being not Apple and the biggest name in synced notes, has a lot of integration features with other platforms that you’ll never get with Apple Notes.

The way I see it is this:
Evernote - strong integration with the internet
Apple Notes - strong integration with the system

If you are soundly tied into the Apple ecosystem and don’t see yourself ever moving. Use Apple Notes! If it works for you, is free, and well supported by the developer, there is no reason to look elsewhere.

If you frequently are using other devices like Windows machines and find yourself wishing you had access to your notes, then you shoud look at giving something like Evernote a shot.

Maybe you don’t have to use Evernote though, Dropbox Paper works very well for some use cases, Notion is very popular with its userbase, and Google Keep . . . exists.


I really go back and forth about Evernote a lot these days. I think I’m just tired of it after all these years. For me, the speed of getting information in and out of it is still unmatched. Being able to forward an email (with attachments) is something I use multiple times per day. The little quick note icon in the menu bar is also used multiple times per day. You also can view most attachments inline if you so choose (Word, Pages, etc). Notes can’t do any of these things, so I’m still on Evernote.

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Evernote Premium is something I happily pay for every year and have since it came out of Beta over 10 years ago.

I am now utilising AppleScript to import things into Evernote via Hazel. More recently I expanded it to look for dates in the files and create Evernote reminders based on those dates.

On that note, I find Evernote reminders incredibly helpful for those “absolutely must do” things - it emails in the morning the note is due, puts a red badge on the app. If I am going take a business trip I sort reminders and look down and see if there is anything I can complete now so I don’t need to bother during my trip. This is something not possible in Apple Notes.

The other is templates. Create a note then with 2 clicks can have a checklist template applied. Really reduces friction to structuring your workflow with checklists to reduce errors.

Evernote is indispensable for me so I have never thought of switching away.

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On this topic, you can even set a hotkey to quick capture even faster, no clicking needed. It’s on the preferences pane of the app.


As previously mentioned, multiplatform, search capabilities, and tags are the big three to me. I also use the table feature a lot for organizing within a note.

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Not sure I’ve seen this on the list, Evernote searches handwritten notes.

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Attachments can be easily exported from Evernote, and EN makes it easy to back up and restore your entire database.

Apple notes cannot be easily exported and can only be restored (currently) by replacing the ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.notes/Data/Library/Notes/ and the ~/Library/Group Containers/group.com.apple.notes folders with those from a backup.

I’ve been a premium user for 10 years. I briefly left EN when the company started having problems, but couldn’t find anything to equal EN’s features, IMO.

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Was talking to a friend about this AppleScript/Keyboard Maestro Macro and thought it could interest someone here.