Notion Vs OneNote: Which Productivity Tool Do You Need?

When choosing a digital tool for note-taking and organization, it’s easy to feel lost in the sea of options. Notion and OneNote are two standout apps that offer robust features, but they serve users in unique ways.

Are you leaning towards the flexible databases of Notion, or do the familiar editing tools of OneNote speak to your needs? This guide dissects the specifics, helping you navigate which app will elevate your note-taking game.

Deciding between Notion vs OneNote isn’t just about preferences; it’s about how each platform can integrate into your daily routine. From their distinct approaches to design and user experience to differences in collaboration and storage capabilities, we’ll explore what sets these tools apart.

Whether you’re a student, professional, or just someone with a love for organized thought, there’s much to consider.

Key Takeaways

  • Notion and OneNote cater to different user needs with unique features.
  • Usability extends beyond note-taking to platform integration and collaboration.
  • Choosing the right tool depends on your specific requirements for design, functionality, and budget.

What is Notion?

Have you ever stumbled upon an app that promises to be your all-in-one workspace? Well, that’s Notion for you. It’s a workspace that blends your everyday work apps into one. It’s like having a digital Swiss Army knife for your notes, tasks, databases, and so much more.

Notion’s core strength lies in its versatility. Think of it as a customizable workspace for individuals and teams.

Here’s what you can do with Notion:

  • Take and Organize Notes: Jot down everything from quick thoughts to detailed documentation.
  • Manage Tasks and Projects: Keep track of your to-do lists and progress on projects.
  • Create Databases: Whether it’s a simple table or a complex relational database, Notion handles it all.
  • Build Wikis: Centralize your team’s knowledge, documents, and processes.

Notion’s interface is clean and user-friendly, encouraging users to design their own unique systems for personal and professional productivity. Its flexibility is a game-changer, allowing you to add as many subpages as you need, making it simple to navigate a hierarchy of information.

Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur, a student, or part of a larger team, Notion adapts to your workflow. And don’t worry about breaking the bank; Notion offers pricing options that cater to both individuals and enterprises, along with a free tier that’s quite generous.

So, if you’re after an app that’s more than just a note-taking tool, one that grows with your needs, Notion could be your match. Ready to trade in your clutter of apps for this all-encompassing tool?

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What is OneNote?

OneNote is Microsoft’s answer to the digital chaos. It’s their electronic notebook that lets you organize your thoughts and discoveries across devices. Pretty neat, huh?

Key Features:

  • Digital Notebooks: Create separate notebooks for different projects or subjects.
  • Flexibility: Type, draw, or clip content from the web directly into your notes.
  • Media Integration: Embed audio, video, and other media into your notes.
  • Collaboration: Share your notebooks with others and work on them together in real time.


  • Available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
  • Can be accessed online via a web browser.

Why choose OneNote?

  • Versatile Note-Taking: It’s like a digital binder that gives you compartments for all your needs.
  • Search Function: Can’t find a note? Just search for it.
  • Integration: Seamlessly works with other Microsoft Office apps.
  • Offline Access: Work without an internet connection and sync up later.

Organizational Structure:

  • Notebooks act as your main folders.
  • Within those, you have Sections like tabs in a binder.
  • And inside the sections, there are Pages where your notes live.

The streamlined layout and user interface of OneNote echo the traditional pen-and-paper experience but turbocharged for the digital age. Keep your ideas, doodles, and discoveries all in one place, no paper cuts involved!

Comparison Between Notion and OneNote

Choosing the right tool for your productivity needs can be a game-changer. In the case of Notion and OneNote, it’s not just about taking notes—it’s about how these apps let you manage tasks, organize content, and streamline your workflow.

Note-Taking Capabilities

Notion distinguishes itself with a versatile approach to note-taking. You have the freedom to embed various types of media and turn your notes into a database with unique views, such as kanban boards or to-do lists.

OneNote, on the other hand, is lauded for its flexible digital notebooks. It mirrors the traditional paper notebook, allowing you to jot down notes freely or capture them in a more structured manner. Dynamic text formatting is a strong suit, making your notes as simple or as detailed as you’d like.

Task and Project Management

When it comes to managing tasks and projects, Notion takes the lead with its built-in project management tools. It makes it easy for you to create task boards using the kanban style, checklist systems, and even more detailed project timelines. This is because Notion is built with productivity systems in mind.

While OneNote lacks a built-in task manager, it integrates well with other Microsoft Office tools such as To-Do and Planner. It’s ideal if you’re looking for a more straightforward task-tracking experience.

Organization and Workflow

Organization in Notion is robust and transformative. You can link notes and tasks together, creating an interrelated system that reflects your personal workflow. With pre-made templates and the ability to create your own, you’re in control of the organization.

OneNote favors a more traditional organizational structure, with its use of notebooks, sections, and pages making it intuitive for those familiar with physical notebooks. It doesn’t offer the same level of customization as Notion, but it’s straightforward, offering ease of use right from the start.

As you explore these features, you’ll find that both Notion and OneNote could be the perfect fit depending on your specific needs for note-taking, tasks, and workflow management. Whether you prefer the structured flexibility of Notion or the familiar simplicity of OneNote, each has its own merits waiting for you to discover.

OneNote Vs Notion Design and User Interface

Choosing between Notion and OneNote can feel like picking your favorite ice cream flavor — both are tempting, but which one savors your productivity taste buds? Let’s scoop into the design aspects that shape your note-taking experience.

User Experience

Have you ever stepped into a room and instantly felt at home? That’s the feeling an intuitive user interface aims to replicate. OneNote greets you with a familiar notebook-like layout that resembles a binder filled with color-coded sections and pages.

It’s designed to offer an easy, straightforward path for all your note-taking needs. On the flip side, Notion presents a sleek interface that some claim takes a moment to navigate but promises a powerhouse of functionality once you get the hang of it.

  • OneNote’s UI: Quick to grasp for beginners, mimics physical notebooks
  • Notion’s UI: Modern and clean, may require a learning curve

Customization Options

Do you ever wish your digital workspace could be as personalized as your desk? Customization breathes personality into your apps. With Notion, you’re the architect of your work environment. It offers extensive tools that let you manipulate databases, templates, and even the overall aesthetics of your pages.

OneNote, while less flexible in the customization department, still provides a comfortable degree of personalization with different paper styles and the ability to insert various forms of media.

  • OneNote’s Customization: Offers a modest range of personalization tools
  • Notion’s Customization: Extensive and dynamic customization capabilities

Platform Availability and Integrations

Choosing the right note-taking app often comes down to two major aspects: where you can use it, and how well it plays with other tools. Will you be able to jot down thoughts on the go and sync across devices? Let’s find out.

Cross-Platform Use

Notion and OneNote cater to a wide range of platforms. Notion spans across the board including iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, and web access, ensuring that your notes and databases are accessible practically everywhere you are.

On the flip side, OneNote isn’t a slouch either, offering seamless note-taking capabilities on the web, Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android platforms as well. It’s particularly deep-seated for those already embedded in the Microsoft 365 suite.

  • Notion Platforms: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Web
  • OneNote Platforms: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Web, Microsoft 365

Third-Party Integrations

How about making your apps play nice with others? OneNote is quite the team player with 850+ app integrations, including powerhouses like Google Calendar.

This means you can potentially streamline your workflow by connecting the app with a plethora of other services you use. Notion is a little more guarded but offers a structured ecosystem that might just be what you need to create a personalized productivity haven.

  • OneNote Integrations: Strong with 850+ apps, including productivity tools and media apps.
  • Notion Integrations: Focused on in-app productivity with structured databases, less emphasis on third-party integrations.

Each app brings its own flavor to convenience and interconnectedness, so your choice could hinge on whether you favor a broad integration potential or a more self-contained environment.

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Collaboration and Sharing

When you’re working with a team, the capabilities of your note-taking app can make or break the collaborative experience. So, how do these platforms cater to teamwork?

Real-Time Collaboration

Notion was built with teamwork in mind. Imagine creating a project hub that your entire team can access and edit together simultaneously. Yes, you heard it right — real-time collaboration is a breeze with Notion.

You can see who’s doing what, share comments, and even assign tasks on the go. For teamwork, Notion supports concurrent editing, which means you and your colleagues can work on the same page at the same time, without stepping on each other’s toes.

On the other hand, OneNote offers a different flavor of real-time collaboration, focusing more on the sharing aspect. While simultaneous editing is available, it’s not as robust as Notion’s offering. OneNote shines when you want to pass notes around or have others contribute to your individual pages when the time suits them.

Permission and Access Control

Do you worry about who sees what? Notion has your back with its detailed permission and access control. You can tailor who can view or edit various parts of your workspace, and even set permissions at the page level.

If you’re working with sensitive information, you can rest assured that Notion helps you keep things tight and right.

Meanwhile, OneNote also provides permission settings, but they’re a bit more general. You can share your notebooks with others and decide if they can view or edit them.

While it’s not as granular as Notion, it does provide a level of control that’s sufficient for many users who want a simple and straightforward way to manage collaboration.

Pricing and Plans

Deciding between Notion and OneNote? Your decision might boil down to their pricing structures—it’s a key factor for both individuals and businesses. Let me unravel the differences for you.

Free vs Paid Options

Notion provides a robust free plan suitable for individual use, offering unlimited blocks. A block is essentially any single piece of content, like a page, a to-do list, or an image. But when it comes to teams, this plan has a block limit.

On the flip side, OneNote is generally free to use and comes pre-installed with Microsoft Office suite products for many users, with no additional cost as a standalone app or service.

Business Plan Considerations

For businesses, Notion’s paid plans kick off at $4 per month for personal use and ascend to $8 per member per month for team collaboration. These offer enhanced controls, dedicated support, and more integration options.

With OneNote, if you’re already using Microsoft Office for business, there may be no extra charge, giving you access to not just OneNote but also to other productivity tools in the suite.

However, to get the full benefits of the Microsoft ecosystem, your business might need an Office 365 subscription, which has varying costs depending on the tier selected.

Security and Storage

When deciding between Notion and OneNote, it’s crucial to consider how each app will handle your data security and where your information will be stored.

Let’s unravel these specifics to help you feel more secure about your choice.

Data Protection

How do you feel about keeping your files under lock and key? Notion takes data protection seriously, offering robust password protection measures and provisions to keep your data safe.

Regular backups ensure that your information is retrievable in case of the unexpected. On the flip side, OneNote provides built-in security features by the trusted Microsoft ecosystem, emphasizing strong security practices to keep your notes private.

You can set passwords on sections of your notebooks, but remember that password recovery options are limited, so keep them safe!

Cloud Storage Capabilities

Curious about how much stuff you can store in the cloud? OneNote shines with its deep integration into Microsoft’s OneDrive, giving you a hefty amount of cloud storage straight off the bat, with more available if you need it.

Notion, while it doesn’t disclose exact storage limits, appears to offer sufficient storage for most users, keeping your myriad of notes and files comfortably in the cloud with sync capabilities. What’s more, both platforms facilitate easy access to your files anytime, anywhere – provided you’re connected to the internet, of course!

FAQs About Notion and OneNote

What are the top features that set Notion apart from Microsoft OneNote?

Notion stands out with its enhanced customization capabilities and robust database features allowing users to create a more personalized and structured workspace. With Notion, you’re not just taking notes; you’re building a productivity platform.

Can you seamlessly integrate Notion with Microsoft OneNote, and how?

Direct integration between Notion and OneNote isn’t a straightforward process. Instead, you could use third-party tools or services that enable a level of interoperability between the two applications, so you shouldn’t feel stuck with one if you’re inclined to try the other.

When comparing Notion with OneNote, which app is more user-friendly for team collaboration?

While OneNote is great for individual note-taking, Notion is designed with teamwork in mind. Its collaborative tools and easy sharing features are brilliant for syncing up with colleagues, managing projects, and working seamlessly in a team environment.

How does the organizational structure in Notion differ from the one in Microsoft OneNote?

The organizational structure in Notion is quite dynamic; you can structure your workspace with nested pages and databases that can link to each other, compared to OneNote’s traditional notebook layout that mimics physical notebooks with sections and pages.

What are the differences in template availability and customization between Notion and OneNote?

When it comes to templates, Notion takes the cake with a wide range of pre-built and customizable templates, giving you a headstart on numerous projects and tasks. OneNote offers templates too but with less variety and customizability.

For someone using OneNote, what are the potential benefits of switching to Notion?

Switching to Notion could mean leveling up in how you manage tasks and projects with its versatile toolkit designed for more than just note-taking. You’ll have a world of integrations and customizations at your fingertips that could revolutionize your workflow.

Final Thoughts | Which should you choose between Notion and OneNote?

Deciding on Notion or OneNote really hinges on what you’re looking for in a productivity app. You’re navigating a sea of digital tools, looking for that perfect island of organization.

Notion offers an all-in-one workspace with customizable templates and databases. It’s like your personal productivity Lego set; build whatever you envision. Have a desire to see your tasks, notes, and even life goals in one visual space? Notion is your go-to. It’s designed for the creatives and planners, those who revel in meticulously organizing their digital life.

On the flip side, OneNote plays nice with other Microsoft Office tools. If you’re ingrained in that ecosystem, it’s like finding a puzzle piece that slides right into your daily workflow. Comfortable and familiar, it serves well for straightforward note-taking and information storage.

Still scratching your head? Consider this:

  • For deep customization and multifunctional use, Notion is quite the powerhouse.
  • If integration with Microsoft products and straightforward note-taking is priority, OneNote will be your best buddy.

Ever found yourself sifting through tabs and apps, just wishing they were all in one tidy place? Notion is shouting your name. But if you’re more of a ‘keep it simple, keep it synced with my daily tools’ kind of person, OneNote is waiting for you with open arms.

The Best Pick? If we had to choose one, we’d lean towards Notion for its unparalleled versatility and the ability to capture more complex workflows. Just remember, the most powerful tool is the one that you’ll consistently use and that complements your workflow seamlessly. Now go forth and organize!