“Looking for an alternative to Evernote?” Zoho asks in a bold font across the top of one of their main pages. “We can’t blame you.” Zoho’s words may resonate with those who feel betrayed by Evernote’s recent subscription changes. Their app Notebook is touting itself as an Evernote killer, but does this plucky little app have what it takes to go toe to toe with the long-standing champion of note taking? Let’s take a look.
Right off the bat, Notebook’s interface sure looks a lot cleaner than Evernote’s archaic UI. Instead of employing dropdown lists and categories, Notebook eschews these conventions in favor of a more stylish grid of colorful elements. They claim that they’ve “actually made note-taking fun.”
A quick peek around reveals that Notebook is fairly adept at doing many of the things that Evernote excels in. You can create (surprise) notes to yourself, keep checklists, record audio, and even organize the next Great American Novel if you have the inkling. Again Notebook returns to aesthetics as a selling point, highlighting the app’s customizable features rather than forcing you “to choose between three upsetting color schemes” like the Evernote app does.
Collapsing and expanding lists is a delight with an accordion animation, and rearranging items on your home screen takes advantage of fairly intuitive two-finger controls. There’s a lot to like here, especially if you’re a more casual note taker who values an app that is visually pleasing to engage and ‘live in.’
However, we suspect that power users may be tempted to stick with Evernote. Although Notebook is beautiful to use, it lacks some pretty important features that long-time Evernote users may now rely on. You can’t edit or annotate images, can’t use a web app version online, can’t collaborate between users. There are no tags for organization, and there’s no Chrome extension.
It seems like this would largely come down to being a matter of preference. However, since Zoho Notebook is free and has no advertisements, you might as well click the button below and see if it’s a good match for you. Give it a spin, then let us know if this note-taking app has what it takes to coax you away from your current standby in the comments below!