5 Mac alternatives to OneNote



UPDATE: Microsoft has now released OneNote for Mac. Find our thoughts about the new app here or download here.

onenotelogo.pngMicrosoft OneNote is an information gathering and collaboration application that many Windows users miss when they switch to Mac. For some it may even stop them from switching they rely on it so much. Of course, you can always run it in Parallels instead but this soon becomes annoying if you use it regularly. OneNote doesn’t come with Microsoft Office for Mac but the good news is there are some very good alternatives instead.

Here are 5 of the best Mac alternatives to OneNote you can try.


A simple and easy to use note taking application that is flexible for creating, collecting, and organizing information. It’s ideal for student wanting to take-down lecture notes in a clear and organized manner or those who simply want to map their ideas and notes in a convenient way. OmniOutliner allows you to create hierarchies of main headings and sub-points that can be expanded and collapsed. This makes it ideal for brainstorming tasks, drawing-up plan of actions and mapping out ideas. However, OmniOutliner isn’t limited to hierarchies – it also supports multiple columns, smart check boxes and customizable popup lists that make your notes and plans look really professional.



Journler is a daily notebook and entry based information manager. It will mainly appeal to scholars, teachers, students, professors, scientists that need to connect the written word with the media most important to them. Journler features iLife integration, audio and video entries, extensive document importing and instantaneous searching and filtering, plus Mail, iWeb and Address Book integration, some blog platform integration and Spotlight support.



MacJournal started life as a simple diary entry application but now its a fully featured note taker and organizer that provides a decent alternative to OneNote. MacJournal organizes all your important information and helps chronicle your life faster and easier than ever before. MacJournal allows users to add any kind of content, PDFs, QuickTime movies, images, text and has most recently been updated with Smart Journals which allows specific criteria to be searched upon. The handy thing about MacJournal is that it even allows you to blog video to blogs on Blogger, WordPress, LiveJournal, MobileMe and more – ideal if you need to share your notes with others.



The big plus of Evernote is that not only does it offer almost everything that OneNote does, but it also allows you to sync your data and notes over multiple devices including mobiles. EverNote is a simple application that allows you to copy and paste anything onto a clipboard that can handle almost everything you throw at it. This includes everything from simple text, to photos taken on your iPhone. If you see something you’d like to keep or read later, simple select it and then go to the EverNote icon in your toolbar and select “Paste to Evernote”. The only slight drawback is that you can’t add attachments to Evernote.


Circus Ponies Notebook

This is probably a last resort option as it is rather limited compared to OneNote but if you only need the most basic of note taking apps, the bizarrely named Circus Ponies Notebook might be of interest. Using a simple organizational tool such as Circus Ponies NoteBook can help you keep on top of tasks through a simple and easy to use notebook format. As you enter entries into NoteBook, much as you would in a real notebook, you can clip memos, add an attachment, check it or add flags to remind you when it’s due.

Circus Ponies NoteBook uses a system patented by the developer called “Multidex” which makes it easy to view all of your to do tasks in a glance. You can view them all in one go, separately, by category or by importance. You’re encouraged at all times to give context to your notes so that they mean a bit more than just “complete project assignment”. However, you’ll probably find it very inflexible compared to OneNote with how it will let you place items on a page.


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