Which note-taking app is the best on Android

Everyone needs a note-taking app that can jot down ideas and thoughts. Microsoft OneNote is one of the oldest note-taking apps that perfectly mimics the traditional notepad. Samsung offers Samsung Notes on all Galaxy devices. The company uses its Galaxy Store to distribute and update the Notes app. And with every major update, Samsung adds new features to the Notes app.


Samsung vs Onenote Notes

Samsung has partnered with Microsoft to deliver a productivity suite on Galaxy devices. Due to the deal, all Galaxy smartphones now come with Samsung Notes and OneNote note-taking apps. It can be confusing to choose the right one for users. How about comparing the two apps to find the best choice for you.

In this article, we are going to compare Samsung Note to OneNote. Comparison posting will be based on cross-platform availability, user interface, features, note-taking options, text editor, sharing, price, etc. Let’s start.

Cross-platform availability

Microsoft OneNote is available on all platforms. You can access the note taking app on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and web. Microsoft also offers the OneNote extension for cutting web articles in the OneNote app.

Samsung Notes is only available on Android and Windows (availability is limited to Samsung Windows laptops only).

User interface

OneNote offers a standard user interface on all platforms. You get the three basic tabs at the bottom for navigation. I had no problem navigating the user interface. However, it looks a bit heavy on Galaxy M series phones. The experience was inconsistent.

Onenote ui

Onenote ui

There’s no hamburger menu, which is good to see in 2020. OneNote also works well with Android 10’s dark theme.

Samsung Notes is part of the company’s big apps overhaul. This means that it has a giant app banner at the top and the main options, including notes and the add note icon, are at the bottom. It is a pleasure to navigate the user interface with one hand. As expected, Samsung Notes also supports Android 10 dark theme.

Notes ui

Notes ui

Organization of notes

Organizing notes is a key part of any note-taking app. After a while, you will fill the digital cabinet with hundreds of notes. If the notes are not organized properly, it can be difficult to find the relevant note at once.

OneNote follows the concept of a physical book to organize notes. You need to create a OneNote notebook, add a section to it, and create pages to add notes. You can also use the search bar at the bottom to search the content of the notes. Users can opt for color coding to further differentiate notebooks and sections.

Onenote Pages

Onenote Pages
Onenote organization

Onenote organization

Samsung Notes allows you to create notebooks. You can also add categories to a note. Categories work the same way as tags on Evernote. I prefer it over the OneNote Section / Pages organization type. It makes a huge difference in how the notes are organized.

Category Notes

Category Notes

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To take notes

OneNote and Samsung Notes offer a rich text editor for taking and personalizing notes.

From OneNote, you can create checkboxes, add pictures, use the microphone to embed voice notes, use a highlighter, and even add bullet points to the note. You can also embed PDF files in OneNote.

Onenote Editor

Onenote Editor

I love how all of the options are tidy in the menu bar above the keyboard. It is easy to view, navigate and use the editing functions.

Samsung Notes offers all the standard text editing options for writing notes. I love how Samsung has added more heading styles to the text editor menu. The option to add images as well as voice recordings and audio file is located in the upper right corner.

Notes add text

Notes add text

Drawing skills

As expected, OneNote and Samsung Notes offer rich drawing functions. On Samsung Notes, tap the Draw icon above and choose a tool from a variety of options.

You can use the pen, pencil, highlighter tool, and tons of color options. Galaxy Note users will love the Notes app’s drawing capabilities with the S stylus.

Drawing notes

Drawing notes

OneNote offers a simple yet effective drawing tool. You can tap on the pen icon and open the drawing menu with pencil, pen, highlighter, and eraser tool. You can play with different colors and thicknesses of the tip in the drawing menu.

Onenote drawing

Onenote drawing

Sharing Notes

Microsoft offers a bunch of sharing options for sending the notes. You can share a page in PDF format using the default share menu. The best way is to share an entire OneNote notebook with others. It allows you and your friends to add / edit content simultaneously.

Onenote share

Onenote share

On Samsung Notes, long press any note and select Share. You can share the file in four formats. Users can share it as Samsung Notes file (.SDOC), PDF file, image file, or text file.

Sharing Notes

Sharing Notes

Features and backup

OneNote and Samsung Notes provide a solid search function for finding notes. In OneNote, you can also password protect a section to protect it from prying eyes. I love the way Microsoft has added Sticky Notes integration into the app.

OneNote uses OneDrive to back up and share data. There is no way to use another cloud solution to store the data.

Onenote protect

Onenote protect

Samsung Notes also offers a lock option to protect the notes. Like OneNote, the Notes app also offers a widget for viewing and adding notes from the Home screen. Samsung uses its own Samsung Cloud to sync and store note data.

Locking Notes

Locking Notes

When it comes to pricing, OneNote and Samsung Notes are completely free.

Take notes on the go

The conclusion is simple. OneNote offers better cross-platform availability, support for browser extensions, and features good enough to replace Samsung Notes. Meanwhile, Samsung Notes’ solution has a better user interface, highly advanced file creation capabilities, and advanced organizational structure. As for me, I stick with OneNote. And you? Sound off in the comments section below.

Then:

Google Keep is another note-taking app that comes by default on all Android devices. Read the comparison article below with Samsung Notes to choose a better option.

Last updated on August 21, 2020

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