Apple Notes vs. Microsoft OneNote: Which is best for business?

OneNote enjoys easy integration with different Microsoft 365 apps, however Apple Notes gives a clear and dependable various for Apple customers who have to seize and share enterprise notes.

Apple and Microsoft logos

Illustration/Lisa Hornung/TechRepublic

It did not all the time was once this manner. At this time’s office is, after all, ever evolving. Analog telephones and mechanical typewriters are now not well-liked workplace gear. Modern professionals, as an alternative, require instruments able to offering utility shortly, simply as employees should shift consideration quickly between duties whereas managing more and more frenetic schedules. Consequently, taking notes has change into a vital day by day exercise.

The earlier discoveries, concepts, strategic ideas, gross sales information, business statistics, product updates and different information might be captured and even shared with colleagues, the faster the group and its representatives can put that data to work. Notice-taking is among the many main methods professionals gather data, whether or not the corresponding information is gathered throughout an in-person convention or Groups assembly, from a webinar or podcast or due to a presentation or vendor’s web site.

SEE: How you can migrate to a brand new iPad, iPhone, or Mac (TechRepublic Premium)

Simply reviewing the sheer variety of note-taking apps ought to persuade any skeptics of the recognition and necessity of such instruments. And, as one would possibly anticipate, two apps which have risen to the highest are from the main Goliaths: Apple and Microsoft.

Apple’s Notes, proven in Determine A, is constructed into macOS, iPadOS and iOS. Purchase a kind of units and you will find Notes already loaded. Simply open the app and begin typing, or, should you’re utilizing an iPad with an Apple Pencil, start writing or drawing.


Apple Notes permits accumulating notes inside separate lists, making use of a wide range of formatting options and importing components from different functions.

Determine A

Microsoft OneNote, in the meantime, should be downloaded individually to Apple units. To be truthful, OneNote is free for customers, no matter whether or not a Microsoft 365 plan is in play, and this system gives a feature-packed interface, as proven in Determine B, that encourages writing, diagramming and outlining.


Microsoft OneNote is a free note-taking software that boasts a wide range of options and tight integration with different Microsoft 365 packages.

Determine B

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If the person or group does have a 365 subscription, OneNote additional advantages from tight integration and the next ease with which Microsoft 365 customers can create notes utilizing textual content, graphics and different components from sister merchandise, similar to Phrase, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, Microsoft BI and SharePoint. It is a highly effective mixture, particularly as OneNote permits organizing notes into a number of classes: notebooks, sections, pages and even part teams.

Whereas providing complete formatting, enhancing, collaboration, pagination and cloud-service skills, OneNote shares one other frequent trait with its larger workplace productiveness brethren: The app provides so many capabilities it may be tough to make use of effectively.

Apple Notes emphasizes the fundamentals.  Whereas allowing a variety of formatting and collaboration choices, in addition to matching OneNote’s skills to import components from different sources and use  dictation to enter textual content, you may also create duties or reminders from instantly inside Notes, which is simpler to function, particularly for novices. And in a day and age when merely capturing ideas and information is paramount, the flexibility to shortly and simply gather that data in a significant means that additionally permits speedily sharing that data with others or exporting it to a doc, spreadsheet or presentation, effectively, that is pretty much as good as gold.

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All instructed, the extra simply and effectively an software performs its most vital capabilities, the extra doubtless you might be to make use of it, and that is the purpose. As 37signals’ founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier, the authors of the best-selling enterprise ebook Rework noticed, “Small, easy, primary wants are fixed. There’s an limitless provide of shoppers who want precisely that.”

Make one thing too advanced and also you run the chance of attempting to be all the pieces to everybody, which Rework emphasizes can’t be completed. That is how one finally ends up with advanced toolbars and an unconventional information entry house and containers inside OneNote that complicate the note-taking interface, generally making it harder to print a be aware or use the app on a cellular gadget or pill with smaller shows. Notes on an iPhone or iPad, as proven in Determine C, does not actually expertise that downside.


The easy Notes interface, which strikes the app’s extra superior capabilities out of the best way, works as effectively on cellular shows because it does for laptops and desktops.

Determine C

Notes excels as a result of its simplicity, which belies among the extra superior capabilities ready backstage, ought to you actually need them. As Rework‘s authors be aware, “making just a few vocal clients completely satisfied is not value it if it ruins the product for everybody else.”

Now, that is to not declare OneNote is a ruined product. It is not. OneNote’s a superb instrument for harried professionals married to the Microsoft 365 platform, particularly customers prepared to speculate the time and power studying the app’s distinctive nuances.

However that is the place Apple Notes shines. This system stresses capturing data shortly and simply and allows you to give attention to working intuitively with the fabric vital to you. Higher but, superior collaboration and enhancing options are available however stay unobtrusive. Capturing, formatting and sharing data is just simpler utilizing Notes, and I consider that is the successful possibility for at this time’s Mac, iPad and iPhone professionals.

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