Taking notes and keeping namesThe human brain is wonderfully fascinating and thoroughly complex. It’s also terribly unreliable. In this modern day and age where we are expected to remember so much, from our shopping lists to our to-do lists for projects at work, it’s hard to keep it all organized in any sort of meaningful way within the confines of our thick skulls. If you don’t write it down, you won’t remember it. Evernote has been great for capturing ideas and moments of inspiration, but what if you want to use a different tool for whatever reason?

You’re in luck. Whether you’re looking for Evernote alternatives you can use in a web browser on your computer or via a mobile app on your smartphone of choice, the options are plentiful and just about all of them come with automatic synchronization to the cloud for anywhere, anytime access.

Google Keep

A modern take on the yellow sticky note

A modern take on the yellow sticky note

Do you already have a Google account? Of course you do. You’re already relying on Google Photos, Google Drive, YouTube and Gmail, so why not add another Google tool the mix. As far as Evernote alternatives go, this is easily one of the most popular, even if some of the others offer a more robust feature set. For starters, Google Keep is totally free. You get a “board” that you can populate with smart sticky notes with lists, text, and pictures, as well as baked-in collaboration with friends, family and colleagues. You can’t attach files (aside from images), but it does support labels and color coding.

Microsoft OneNote

Putting all your notes in one place

Putting all your notes in one place

When most people think of Microsoft, their attention usually turns to Windows and Office. While oftentimes overshadowed by Word, Excel and PowerPoint, OneNote is included as part of the standard Microsoft Office suite of productivity tools too. The online version handles the storage through your existing OneDrive account and mobile apps are available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Organize your musings in tagged notebooks and attach audio clips for quick on-the-go note-taking too. OneNote also integrates seamlessly with WordPress, Feedly, IFTTT and more.

Simplenote

For a distraction-free approach

For a distraction-free approach

A recurring theme that you’ll find with the vast majority of Evernote alternatives is that they try to throw the kitchen sink at you. Getting flooded with photos, screenshots and audio clips can get pretty overwhelming though. For users who prefer a more focused and clean approach to notetaking, Simplenote is the simplest choice. There’s no multimedia. This is a text-only solution that works on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux and Kindle Fire, as well as via the web. Unlimited storage is handy (text takes up so little room anyway) and you’ll likely appreciate the versioning too when you want to refer back to old notes that you have since changed.

Dropbox Paper

More cloud computing for your distributed team

More cloud computing for your distributed team

Most people are reasonably familiar with Dropbox. You might already be using it to stash a bunch of your files in the cloud, back up photos from your smartphone, or collaborate on a project with your colleagues. Building on that ecosystem is Dropbox Paper. Whereas some of these other solutions are geared toward individuals, the objective of Dropbox Paper is squarely on team collaboration with a shared space for everything you need. The interface is pleasantly minimalist, the revision control lets you go back in time, and everything can be easily organized into convenient folders, each with their own share settings.

iCloud Notes

One of the most popular Evernote alternatives for iPeople

One of the most popular Evernote alternatives for iPeople

Something that you’ll quickly learn is that it is usually easier if you stay within an existing ecosystem. If you’re already using a lot of Google, Keep is the easy choice. If you’re already using a lot of Microsoft, OneNote will feel like home. And for all the Mac and iOS users out there, Apple’s iCloud Notes will integrate seamlessly into everything you’re already doing. Use notes to capture thoughts and save ideas for later. In addition to text, the notes you create also support pictures, videos and links, as well as the ability to attach files you already have on your iCloud account, like your iWork documents. When away from your Mac, iPhone or iPad, you can use the web-based interface instead.

Image credit: g4ll4is / Flickr

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