Evernote vs. Apple Notes

A comparison between the two and why I love Apple Notes

Ed Orozco
3 min readJan 12, 2022


A bit of background

If you’ve ever worked with me, you’ll know I’m a massive fan of Apple Notes.

I’m not a newcomer when it comes to note-taking apps. I’ve been using Evernote since 2012, and I was an avid user of digital post-its on Windows Vista during my university years (I just dated myself there).

Apple Notes has been slowly getting better over the years.

Since Evernote was my main driver, I never really used Apple Notes for much more than grocery lists and writing down stuff on the go on the iPhone.

Around the second half of 2017, I started using Apple Notes for work, and it slowly began taking over more of my note-taking needs, personally and professionally.

What made me change?

Evernote took ages to launch, and its interface was starting to get cluttered (reminders, really?).

So, the two main things that made me switch were:

  1. Speed
  2. Clean interface

Apple Notes is Fast

Speed is vital to me, and Apple Notes has always been fast — knock on wood.

As a designer and project manager, note-taking is an essential part of my workflow.

You can’t commit to memory every piece of information shared in a session and, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to sit through 2-hour recordings of meetings after I already attended the meeting.

Not only did Notes launch instantaneously, but it’s also much faster to get to a new draft. I call this “time to usefulness,” and It’s one of the factors I care about the most when evaluating a product.

Clean interface and Low Cognitive Load

Unlike other note-taking apps, Apple Notes doesn’t add unnecessary stuff between you and your notes.

In design and psychology, there’s a concept called cognitive load, which is the amount of mental effort something takes.

In general, the more elements an interface has, the higher its cognitive load.

It’s not easy to quantitatively measure cognitive load, but you can do a heuristic analysis between two interfaces and quickly see how they compare.

Intuitive shortcuts

This is perhaps entirely subjective, but I find that Apple Note’s shortcuts are a lot more intuitive than Evernote’s.

I wish it’d let you restore old versions.

As of January 2022, there is no way to revert to old versions of notes.

If you make an unintended change in Apple Notes and leave the app, you’ll lose that information forever 👎

It’s quite a tragedy if you use it for sensitive information, and it’s the number one feature I wish it had. I don’t see why Apple hasn’t decided to include this yet.

There’s also no undo button in the iPhone version, by the way. This is possible in the iPad and desktop versions, so I don’t know why it’s missing from the iOS app.

I still use Evernote.

I don’t use it all the time, but I still see it as a means of long-term storage. It’s mostly a way for me to keep receipts and documents that I won’t be using all the time, but I don’t have to keep them on paper.

There’s also a gigantic archive of stuff I’ve been keeping in Evernote for almost a decade that I don’t see myself moving anywhere else for the time being.

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