Evernote is arguably the reigning king of note-taking apps across all platforms. While there are several alternatives out there, only two others really stand a chance to challenge Evernote — and perhaps one even takes the throne?
The catch (no pun intended) here is that all three apps cater to different users and usage styles, so this quick review ought to help you decide very briefly which note-taking app is the one you have been looking for: Evernote, Springpad or Catch Notes?
As an aside before we head off comparing and chiding, if you have not been using note-taking apps, jump in and do it now. You almost definitely have a smartphone just as you have a passport, and that means you have no excuse for not making the best use of its capabilities.
Read on to find out more.
Evernote : a big man with a few complications
Evernote was, to say the least, the best app of its kind, pioneering and creating a revolution. That was until the others caught up and started making nifty little things on their own. Evernote has since lost most of its trump cards already, but many people are still using it (often because they started with it and have a lot of data backed up.) Here is a quick run-through:
- The best web clipper around
- Integrated into several third-party apps
- Image search
- Easy to handle long notes
- Huge array of options for note-taking
- Good accompanying widget
- Complicated, lengthy note-taking process
- Design is not very intuitive
- Slightly laggy UI
- Free accounts get 40MB/month, paid account cost $45/year
- Security is not stellar for free account holders
Springpad : the Pintrest of note-taking
I think Springpad was here before Pintrest, but people seem to compare how similar it looks to the newer product, especially after the recent re-design. This is, in fact, the simplest definition of Springpad. It has a gorgeous interface laid out like pinboards and makes it a very visual task to manage your notes.
Springpad’s biggest plus, however, is that it takes note-sharing across the web into it’s stride, stamps it flat and makes it its own.
- Looks unique, especially on big screens
- Note-taking by type (e.g. Movies, Restaurants etc.)
- Sharing is integrated beautifully
- Simple interface to use
- Especially good for sharing media Pintrest-style
- Has its own social network to share with
- Design does not stand out on small screens
- Does not offer a good interface for quick, on the go note-taking
- Offers nothing radically different from Evernote or others
- All tags do not appear on all note pages
Catch Notes : the sweet spot of note-taking
I use Catch Notes, and, while it is hardly the most feature-filled of the three we are seeing today, it is most definitely everything I need, looks great and (what I believe is most important) does its job in a straightforward manner. Yet, it is all still a matter of personal requirements, mind you.
- Simple, straightforward and easy to use
- Note-taking is quick and hassle-free
- Tagging feature is integrated beautifully
- Note sharing or making private are both easily done
- Looks great, works smooth, reacts beautifully
- Integrated S-Pen/finger drawing with pressure sensitivity
- Pass code lock for secure notes
- Good accompanying widget
- Checklist notes are a separate type themselves
- Notes (similar to files) organised under spaces (similar to folders)
- Free account allows 70MB/month with $45 for 1GB/year
- Re-ordering of spaces is impossible (as of the time of writing this article)
- Slightly buggy audio memo
- Integration with third-party apps is fewer than Evernote
Evernote vs Springpad vs Catch Notes — conclusion: which is right for you?
We have seen all the pros and cons of the three apps here, so you may already have made up your mind by now. However, it is often not in the list of specifications but in the feel and working of the app that the real choice hangs from. So here is a quick summary of each app to help you decide.
First of all, all three are cross-platform, all three have web browser integration and all three are safe and handy at all times with a cloud back up. Everything you need is, therefore, ready; what remains is what more you want.
Cover Image: Flickr / Johan Larsson