Evernote vs Notability: Which Note Taking App is for You?

Evernote vs Notability: Which Note Taking App is for You?

Evernote vs Notability: Which Note Taking App is for You?

If you’re a student or interested in a note-taking app, you’ve likely come across Evernote and Notability. Evernote is the go-to recommendation for all things ever, while Notability excels in certain areas. It’s only available on Apple devices as a paid app and has a proprietary format like Evernote. Its key feature is the ability to scribble on the screen with a stylus or your finger while recording audio. Hopefully, by the end of this page, you’ll have a clearer idea of which app to choose.

The Basic Differences

Cross-platform availability: Evernote is available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and the web. Notability, on the other hand, can only be used on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Cost: While Evernote is free, Notability’s iOS app costs $4.99 and its Mac app costs $9.99. Evernote also offers a premium plan for $4.99 a month, which includes features like offline support that are already included in Notability’s app.

Notability Syncs Voice Recordings with Textual Notes

Evernote vs Notability: Which Note Taking App is for You?

If you’re a student, you’ll love Notability. When you create a new note, you get a big white area to draw, scribble, or type on. You can add images, PDFs, and audio recordings, and highlight. If you use a keyboard, Notability maps the typed words to the recording, allowing you to easily jump between lecture notes and snippets. However, this feature only works with a keyboard, so if you prefer to scribble with a stylus, you’re out of luck.

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Evernote Can Record Voice as Well

When creating a new note, you’ll see a Mic button. Pressing it will start the voice recording. Like Notability, you can type notes while recording audio.

Note Taking in Notability vs Evernote

Notability stands out from other note-taking apps because it combines various sources into one cohesive note. With audio, scribbled notes, drawings, typed text, imported images, and PDFs all in the same place, you have everything you need to revisit a lecture in one note.

Evernote vs Notability: Which Note Taking App is for You?

Evernote, on the other hand, lacks contextual features. You can have audio and text in one note. However, if you need to annotate documents in a note, they must be in PDF format, and you must be a Premium member.

This is it. If you want the contextual, packaged note-taking experience, you have to go with Notability.

Where Evernote Wins

Evernote vs Notability: Which Note Taking App is for You?

Notability focuses on creating a unique experience, but Evernote offers much more. Evernote can be used as a task management system, document storage, a life logger, or anything you need. It also has features like the operator-based search for easy access to your information. If you use note-taking outside of classrooms and meetings, Evernote may have even more benefits for you. Additionally, Notability is only available for iOS and Mac, excluding a large population of Android and Windows users.

Evernote is free to start, but heavy users may find the free version insufficient and opt for Evernote Premium, which costs $5 per month or $45 per year. Notability, on the other hand, has a one-time cost of $15 for iOS and Mac. Notability uses iCloud for device syncing, while Evernote relies on their own servers.

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Both Evernote and Notability have limited options for exporting content due to their proprietary formats. Notability can export notes as PDF and audio files separately, as well as share Notability files with other Notability users.

Evernote vs Notability: Which Note Taking App is for You?

Evernote has superior sharing features, allowing multiple users to collaborate on the same document. While it may not compare to Google Docs, it is still a valuable feature that sets it apart from Notability.

Evernote Also Has a Secret Scribbling Weapon

A few years ago, Evernote acquired Penultimate, a note-taking app that allows you to draw or write on the iPad screen. Recently, the app has been integrated into the Evernote experience. Penultimate is free but offers additional features through Evernote Premium.

Evernote vs Notability: Which Note Taking App is for You?

Evernote scans all your handwritten notes and allows you to search through them. Penultimate is a handwriting/note taking app with Evernote integration, which some may find sufficient.


Evernote is a versatile app with numerous capabilities. While I won’t go into great detail, it allows you to scan and easily search through handwritten notes, PDFs, and images. On the other hand, Notability is a specialized app that excels in its specific functions, but it’s important to consider its limitations before using it.

Which One Did You Go With?

I have tested Notability and will continue using it, but currently, I prefer Evernote. What about you? Which one did you choose? If you’re unsure, don’t worry, we’re all in the same boat. This comparison only focused on two major services, and there are many others available.

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