Last updated: 24 May 2020 | Reading time: 4 minutes | Watching time: 5 minutes
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).
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 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
Tools and features
As mentioned, OneNote mobile and desktop have a few different tools. OneNote desktop comes with the dictate tool, assistant, drawing, and rich editing. 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 tools comparison table below—the text in green means that the competitor does not support that tool.
|Heading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6
Table (desktop only)
Text colour (desktop only)
Printout from PDF
Embed pictures (desktop only)
Embed videos (desktop only)
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)
Assitant (desktop only)
|Heading 1, 2, and 3
Change text colour
Link to page
Date or reminder
Full page table
Full page board
Full page gallery
Full page list
Full page calendar
Embed Google Drive files
Embed Google Maps and seven other services
Table of contents
Restore deleted pages
Dark theme (mobile only)
Other than above, the OneNote desktop supports password protection for sections and the OneNote mobile app offers the sticky notes. 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 full page calendar allows you to add pages for each day.
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.
Still not sure which one to pick? Watch this OneNote vs Notion video to see both in action.
The last section in this OneNote vs Notion is pricing. 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.
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.
Madhsudhan is a professional software engineer. He has been writing about Android and PC for over two years.