Comparison of Evernote, Nimbus, Notion and Todoist

Table of Contents

This comparison of Evernote, Nimbus, Notion and Todoist is based on quite extensive usage.

Evernote

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.

Nimbus

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

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

Ayoa is another one that is effective at scheduling, that I reviewed separately here in my Evaluation of Ayoa.

ItemEvernoteNimbusNotionTodoist
BlocksNo blocksHas blocksSeems to have a very wide choice of block types and embeds
Comments in on notesNone. Rubbish. All content must be in the noteComments are standard and v usefulComments are so usefulComments are good, but I like to see them all, Todoist hides them.
Content blockDoesn’t have a content blockHas a nice content block with top headings in bold for easy readingHas a content block but all levels in light grey a little difficult to read
Create a siteNo cname function but can create a site with postach.ioBusiness account allows you to create a site with cnameNo custom domain for now
DatabasesNo databases – uses tablesNo databases – uses tablesNotion is the only one with databases and are its great strength. Even allows relations between databases
Document storageNo, although yes to comments
Ease of UseEvernote interface is clean and clearInterface is good but no nested notes – like Evernote.
ExportingExport in enex or html formatExport 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 formatNot applicable
Forward emailCan forward an email to create a noteCan forward an email to create a noteNot available
Image and document annotationYes – 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
ImportingEasily copy and paste to Evernote.Imports ENEXImporting from Evernote to Notion is unreliable. No ENEX import
Links to headersHeaders are H1, H2 and H3 formatted text but headers in notes cannot be referenced by unique URLsProvides unique URLs to headers within notesProvides unique URLs to headers within notes
Merging notesCan merge notesNo note merge functionNo note merge function
Moveable blocksDoesn’t have blocks. Paragraphs can be moved but not selected with handlesHas nice moveable blocks. Multiple blocks can be selected and moved togetherOnly one block can be selected and moved at a time
Nesting notes and foldersNesting is limited to only 2 levelsFolders can be nested without limits to the number of levelsNotes can be nested very effectively. Allows for a slim top level. Nested notes allow a logical drill down structure.
Note cover imageNo cover imageNo cover imageYou can add an excellent cover image to a note
Note descriptionNo note descriptionNo note descriptionYou can add a description of a note
Note table of contentsNoneGreat, with bold H1Good, H2 and H3 are indented but H1 not bold
Note tagsTags are perhaps the great strength of Evernote, allowing you to filter notes and perhaps why there are fewer folder levelsNotes can be taggedNo note tags
Offline modeOffline mode seems erratic. In theory a note is offline if you open it prior to going offline but doesn’t seem to be persistentNimbus has a real offline mode for text and attachments. Even saves whether you have opened a document view or foldedOffline mode needed. Document attachments are stored at Amazonaws not internally thus requiring internet connection to open notesExcellent. All data available Offline. Syncs easily again on connection
Record audioAllows you to record and embed audio direct into a noteAllows you to record and embed audio direct into a noteDoesn’t have a record audio button. Audio must be recorded in voice recorder and sent to Notion
SchedulingTodoist is the only one that allows effective scheduling
Selecting multiple blocksNo blocks on Evernote, no restrictions to copying textMultiple blocks can be copiedCan’t select more than one block
Sync speedSlow and painfulFast and reassuringSo fast you can write on one device and have it come up real time on anotherFast
Sync with Google CalendarOnly remindersOnly one todolist databaseOnly reminders
Tab colourCan’t change a note colourYou can add a colour icon to a note tabYou can add an emoji to a note tab but not colour
TablesUses tables. Tables can be added on mobile and on desktopUses tables but you can’t add a table on iPhone only desktopSome have requested simple tables, not sure why
TasksAdvanced tasks because there is a global task list across all notes, but currently date order is wrong on iPhone. No task nestingTasks 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 linksInternal 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 noteInternal 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 redoingInternal links translated to public links if both pages shared
Web ClipperWeb clipper is effectiveWeb clipper is effectiveWeb clipper seems to miss headers