Is OneNote Better Than Notability? Breaking Down The Differences

Even though OneNote and Notability are both popular note-taking and reviewing apps, they have been designed with very different priorities in mind.

OneNote by Microsoft is by far one of the most formal software in this area whereas Ginger Lab’s Notability has been designed to be aesthetic and quirky. Today we are going to unravel the differences between these apps in depth.

An Overview Of OneNote

The popularity of OneNote lies in the complete freedom it gives to the user to create and build whatever they want. Through one account you can create several ‘Notebooks’, all of which will be visible on the left-hand side panel of the Home Tab.

You can divide each notebook into several sections and denote each section with a different color. Now fill in as many ‘notes pages’ as you want inside each section.

OneNote helps us make clean but creative notes, adding unique backgrounds, fonts, tables, sections, images, etc to make it as comprehensible and cute as we would like. When you are done with your account, it will look just like a real binder! 

Then you can continue to add as many new pages and sections as you want. You can easily store links, memories, thoughts, questions, goals, research results, and crazy ideas in one place thanks to OneNote.

Features of Notability

Those who have used this app will know that Notability has been created to meet the needs of the modern, mobile performer. It is a very simple software that comes with a blank screen that acts as a canvas where you can take running notes and add whichever elements you want.

Notability syncs all the information you present on the cloud. It is simply divided into subjects, tabs, and sections – and each page can be seamlessly integrated with the others with the help of images, charts, and even audio recordings that you can add to the screen. 

One of the best reasons to use Notability is that you can directly open images, texts, and documents to doodle on them, annotate them, and add side notes or comments to make them more comprehensive.

Key Differences Between OneNote And Notability 

Now that we have understood the basic strengths of OneNote and Notability, it is time to seek out the differences that make one of them different from the other!

User Interface

Without a doubt, Notability is a free-style, minimalist screen that lets you create creative projects like scrapbooks and messy notes. OneNote on the other hand surprises users with such a structure that you will remember exactly where you put what piece of information!

In a word, OneNote can be said to have a more ‘professional’ UI.  To add to this strength OneNote integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office and OneDrive. Notability prioritizes iCloud sync and supports exporting notes to various formats, ideal for Apple device users who might want to see the notes as images or in print.

Structure vs Freedom

OneNote organizes content into notebooks, sections, and pages, resembling a digital binder with a hierarchical structure. It offers extensive formatting options for text, bullet points, tables, and media insertion. Therefore, this software is always highly structured, intended to filter out crucial information from a labyrinth of data that we come across in everyday lives.

In contrast, if you desire complete freedom in your note-taking experiences, Notability will be more enjoyable for you. It features a streamlined interface with a sidebar for managing subjects and notes within each subject. It emphasizes handwriting and drawing, rather than the prioritization of data.

Collaborative Boards 

Without a doubt, OneNote is the app most suitable for collaborative documents, reports, and note-taking. You can set up a separate notebook for group projects and edit it from multiple angles using Microsoft Office. This neat and beautiful structure also makes it presentable to clients and superiors across a professional setting.

Notability also allows users to share and add to notes but very few features are available. If you want to share your work across different devices or with a single friend, you might love the familiarity and visual appeal of Notability notes.


Both OneNote and Notability have a lot to provide in terms of note-taking and record creation. OneNote provides a broader range of multimedia integration whereas Notability allows for direct insertion of drawings and sketches. Ultimately which app will suit you better depends totally on what kind of note-taking environment you’re most comfortable with.

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