This comparison of Evernote, Nimbus, Notion and Todoist is based on quite extensive usage.
I use Evernote as the document library, but increasingly I use Notion for all things archive, for collections and databases, issues.
While Evernote was the goto note tool ten years ago, the new architecture is slow and the roadmap is slow to evolve. The company seems very corporate, with, it seems, decreasing attention paid to user input.
The Nimbus team are very busy, keep the product updated and inform users. They are a smaller less corporate team with a down to earth roadmap. Although it has its failings – exporting from Nimbus is hard. Nimbus note is a great editor, with great formatting tools (toolbar), an excellent table of content, inline tasks.
Notion is technically ahead. Sync is immediate. Databases are fast and flexible, records can be merged. But the interface is a little behind, only just. And requires a few tweeks as I set out below.
However, all three of the above, Nimbus, Notion and Evernote are all beaten by Todoist when it comes to syncing with the calendar and thus effective scheduling. The others seem to think they are storage systems, but over time I have found the need to action stored and working documents. Only Todoist does this well.
Ayoa is another one that is effective at scheduling, that I reviewed separately here in my Evaluation of Ayoa.
|Blocks||No blocks||Has blocks||Seems to have a very wide choice of block types and embeds|
|Comments in on notes||None. Rubbish. All content must be in the note||Comments are standard and v useful||Comments are so useful||Comments are good, but I like to see them all, Todoist hides them.|
|Content block||Doesn’t have a content block||Has a nice content block with top headings in bold for easy reading||Has a content block but all levels in light grey a little difficult to read|
|Create a site||No cname function but can create a site with postach.io||Business account allows you to create a site with cname||No custom domain for now|
|Databases||No databases – uses tables||No databases – uses tables||Notion is the only one with databases and are its great strength. Even allows relations between databases|
|Document storage||No, although yes to comments|
|Ease of Use||Evernote interface is clean and clear||Interface is good but no nested notes – like Evernote.|
|Exporting||Export in enex or html format||Export in pdf or html. No export to ENEX format. Exporting notes from nimbus is difficult. No enex format. Html export with images is clumsy.||Export in html or markdown only. No export in ENEX format||Not applicable|
|Forward email||Can forward an email to create a note||Can forward an email to create a note||Not available|
|Image and document annotation||Yes – really useful to annotate. Documents in Evernote are displayed embedded much better. Allows effective annotation of embedded images on all platforms even mobile.||Annotation only on chrome dekstop addon. The graphic functions are good but needs an ‘annotate this image’ button.||No image annotation. Images must be annotated externally. Attached documents must be downloaded locally to read them|
|Importing||Easily copy and paste to Evernote.||Imports ENEX||Importing from Evernote to Notion is unreliable. No ENEX import|
|Links to headers||Headers are H1, H2 and H3 formatted text but headers in notes cannot be referenced by unique URLs||Provides unique URLs to headers within notes||Provides unique URLs to headers within notes|
|Merging notes||Can merge notes||No note merge function||No note merge function|
|Moveable blocks||Doesn’t have blocks. Paragraphs can be moved but not selected with handles||Has nice moveable blocks. Multiple blocks can be selected and moved together||Only one block can be selected and moved at a time|
|Nesting notes and folders||Nesting is limited to only 2 levels||Folders can be nested without limits to the number of levels||Notes can be nested very effectively. Allows for a slim top level. Nested notes allow a logical drill down structure.|
|Note cover image||No cover image||No cover image||You can add an excellent cover image to a note|
|Note description||No note description||No note description||You can add a description of a note|
|Note table of contents||None||Great, with bold H1||Good, H2 and H3 are indented but H1 not bold|
|Note tags||Tags are perhaps the great strength of Evernote, allowing you to filter notes and perhaps why there are fewer folder levels||Notes can be tagged||No note tags|
|Offline mode||Offline mode seems erratic. In theory a note is offline if you open it prior to going offline but doesn’t seem to be persistent||Nimbus has a real offline mode for text and attachments. Even saves whether you have opened a document view or folded||Offline mode needed. Document attachments are stored at Amazonaws not internally thus requiring internet connection to open notes||Excellent. All data available Offline. Syncs easily again on connection|
|Record audio||Allows you to record and embed audio direct into a note||Allows you to record and embed audio direct into a note||Doesn’t have a record audio button. Audio must be recorded in voice recorder and sent to Notion|
|Scheduling||Todoist is the only one that allows effective scheduling|
|Selecting multiple blocks||No blocks on Evernote, no restrictions to copying text||Multiple blocks can be copied||Can’t select more than one block|
|Sync speed||Slow and painful||Fast and reassuring||So fast you can write on one device and have it come up real time on another||Fast|
|Sync with Google Calendar||Only reminders||Only one todolist database||Only reminders|
|Tab colour||Can’t change a note colour||You can add a colour icon to a note tab||You can add an emoji to a note tab but not colour|
|Tables||Uses tables. Tables can be added on mobile and on desktop||Uses tables but you can’t add a table on iPhone only desktop||Some have requested simple tables, not sure why|
|Tasks||Advanced tasks because there is a global task list across all notes, but currently date order is wrong on iPhone. No task nesting||Tasks available inside and outside notes. Very effective now with a global task list.||Tasks are todo checkboxes in notes. Only way is to have a todolist database.||Yes – most flexible task list with nested tasks|
|Translation of public links||Internal links between notes stay internal even if the target is public. If you refer to other notes in shared pages, the target opens the evernote app, not the target public note||Internal links between notes translate to public links once the note is public. This is a major advantage. You can create linked pages and publish them without redoing||Internal links translated to public links if both pages shared|
|Web Clipper||Web clipper is effective||Web clipper is effective||Web clipper seems to miss headers|