When comparing Evernote vs Todoist, the Slant community recommends Todoist for most people. In the question“What is the best cross-platform to-do list app?” Todoist is ranked 3rd while Evernote is ranked 13th. The most important reason people chose Todoist is:
Todoist's web and desktop interfaces have a 2-column layout. The right column has all tasks organized in nested lists with color codes and information such as what people are assigned to each task and which project the task is part of. The left column offers ways of accessing various groups of tasks – tasks that have to be completed within a certain timeframe, tasks that are a part of a certain project or have certain labels attached to them, etc. The left column also contains filters that allow even more advanced ways of finding a group of tasks. The mobile interface follows a similar design philosophy, but gives each column a separate view.
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Pro Consolidates all your information
Evernote is designed to store a lot of different types of information from a lot of different sources in one place. Using the Web Clipper, native integrations, or a service such as IFTTT (If This Then That) you can use Evernote to store all your ideas, notes (both handwritten and typed), tasks, reading lists, receipts, and more.
Pro Powerful features for organising your notes
Evernote is designed to make it easy to keep your notes well organized, which aids in quickly finding/browsing old information. You can put notes into a single notebook and use search to access old notes, or if you're so inclined, organize notes extensively with hierarchical notebooks and tags.
Pro Native and offline-capable apps on pretty much every platform
Evernote has apps for Windows 7 and 8, Windows 10, Mac, Android, iOS (both iPhone and iPad), Blackberry, and Windows Phone. It also has a fully functional web app and chrome plug-in. No matter what device or platform you're on, you will pretty much always be able to access Evernote.
Pro Trustworthy to store data in the long term
With many utility tools being constantly shut down by their creators, it's really important to consider the long-term risks of picking a home for all your notes. Evernote is a $1 billion company with a track record of exceptional security and goals of becoming a "100 year old" company.
Pro Has OCR functionality to convert images to searchable text
A really cool and handy Evernote feature is the ability to automatically scan images for text.
Pro Can include images, and snippets from the web or a whole webpage via web clipper
With one click you can clip part or all of any webpage, including text, images, and links. Especially for those who use Google Chrome, this web clipper is a very rich add-on. The “simplified article” mode strips all graphical overhead from the page before adding the information to Evernote. It's also possible to add highlighting, tags, etc. before storing the note.
Pro Great selection for integrating with other apps
The Evernote app center page is nicely organized and has good quality integration of apps that can improve your productivity.
Pro "Reminders" are a great way to combine your to-dos and notes
One of the note types is a "reminder," which can act as a to-do list. You can add all the usual formatting to reminders, including audio. Evernote will provide alerts when they are due and house them in a special location within the app.
Pro Powerful note formatting
Evernote has an extensive range of formatting options and note types. You can create checklists, reminder alerts, audio notes, or add images and attachments. It also has an awesome speech-to-text feature if you prefer to dictate aloud.
Pro Focused, uncluttered user interface
Evernote has a very clean and intuitive interface that's simple to understand at a glance.
In addition to general note taking and to-do list management, Evernote lets you search through scanned documents, handwritten text, and images; collaborate with others through shared notebooks; record audio notes; and more.
Pro Easy to use
Evernote is easy to dive into because it doesn’t overwhelm you with advanced functionality from the start. As you get more accustomed to the app, you might want to delve deeper to see what benefits the more advanced features will offer.
Pro Premium allows search in attached files and documents
With a premium account you are able to search through PDFs and Office Docs.
Pro Evernote is synchronized
Pro Flexible image manipulation
Permits photos that are taken, to be processed when in automatic mode and saved as a photo, black and white document, colour document, post it note or business card. The automated mode is also good at cropping the document effectively.
Pro Skitch integration
If you're on iOS and have Skitch installed, you can quickly annotate your notes using Skitch.
Pro Innovative hacks
To save emails, just forward them to your Evernote email address generated on account creation. It is of course one of many such hacks.
Pro Effective with pictures or snapshot of boards
Take a picture of your white board/paper board and you have it instantly in evernote everywhere, ready for additional notes and classification
Scannable friend app is rather efficient to keep hand written note as well.
Pro Has conflict management and undo
Allows undo/redo when editing (i.e. all changes are finalized upon saving). If conflicts between synchronized versions arise, both copies are saved in Evernote.
Pro Can choose from a few themes
You can pick from a green theme, light, or dark theme. All are very clear and visually appealing.
Pro Best web clipper
Can clip to the web from desktop or mobile, using simplified format or original formatting. Very quick and flexible, and enables you to highlight, take notes, tag, etc.
Pro Minimalist UI that's designed for efficient use
Todoist's web and desktop interfaces have a 2-column layout. The right column has all tasks organized in nested lists with color codes and information such as what people are assigned to each task and which project the task is part of. The left column offers ways of accessing various groups of tasks – tasks that have to be completed within a certain timeframe, tasks that are a part of a certain project or have certain labels attached to them, etc. The left column also contains filters that allow even more advanced ways of finding a group of tasks.
The mobile interface follows a similar design philosophy, but gives each column a separate view.
Pro Multiple ways to organize tasks
Tasks can be structured in nested lists. They can be moved around by dragging and dropping them or via keyboard shortcuts. Tasks can be assigned labels, color codes, priorities, and can also be grouped into projects.
Pro Powerful search and filtering functionality
Todoist allows you to perform advanced queries to find tasks that are overdue, have a certain priority level or label, are within a certain project, are assigned to a certain person, or have a deadline set within a certain date range. It also allows combining different queries, removing certain results from the queries, and creating either/or statements.
These queries can be saved as filters for easy access. Filters can be color-coded.
Pro Supports natural language input
Todoist supports phrases like "tomorrow," "next month," "in 3 weeks," or for recurring tasks, "every week" or "every 3 days."
Pro Allows sharing and collaborating on tasks
Anyone can be invited to collaborate on tasks and projects. Users can work alongside five people for free and 25 via the paid version. Collaboration includes the ability to assign tasks, comment on tasks, and receive instant updates.
Pro Monitors productivity and rewards it with karma
Todoist monitors how many tasks are completed and gives karma points as rewards for accomplishing them. It can also display charts showing productivity trends, which are great for finding areas that need improvement and increasing your overall productivity. This feature is a great motivator and an effective way of tracking productivity.
Pro No ads in free version
The unpaid version contains no ads or popups encouraging you to upgrade. The only time you will be asked to upgrade is if you attempt to use a premium feature.
Pro Visual scheduling
By clicking on a task and then selecting “schedule,” a dialog box will pop up with shortcuts like "today," "tomorrow," or "postpone until tomorrow." A date can still be entered manually.
Pro Great home screen and lock screen widgets
The native widget is fully functional and editable without needing to open the app. A premium feature allows you to add and edit the task list on your mobile device’s lock screen.
Pro Extensive integration with a wide range of external apps
Todoist offers integration with a wide range of external apps, including Google Drive, Dropbox, Google Maps, Apple Maps, Zapier, Toggl Button, TaskClone, CloudMagic, IFTTT, Calendar Sync, Google Now, Dispatch, Mailplane, Airmail, Drafts, Workflow, PomoDone, 1Password, Powr of You, Mailbird, Yoke, Taco, Ginger Keyboard, Time Doctor, and Rindle.
Pro Can be set to send a daily digest email
You can easily program a digest email that will send you an up-do-date summary of your tasks and deadlines.
Pro Browser extension for "add website as task"
Bookmark any webpage as a to-do item.
Pro Allows creating task templates
Tasks can be saved as templates by going to "task actions" and selecting "export as a template." The template will be saved locally. Saved templates can then be imported by going to "task actions" button and clicking "import from template." This allows you to use past task items as a starting point for creating new tasks.
Pro Allows creating location-based reminders
Location-specific tasks can utilize the GPS in your mobile device to offer reminders when you are in the appropriate vicinity. For example, grocery lists that are linked to the location of your regular grocery store.
Pro Super quick syncing
You can shift between devices without having to worry about if tasks have been synced or not. Todoist sync will always be quicker than you.
Pro Business strategy doesn't hinge on being acquired
Doist publicly declared their opposition to exit strategies like acquisition that regularly leave users high and dry (https://blog.doist.com/why-we-don-t-have-an-exit-strategy-d3256107d958).
Pro Supports text formatting
You can make tasks stand out by setting them in bold and spice up your project names with emojis. Todoist also allows editing of hyperlinked text in the task comments. Hypertext, bold text, italic text, and emojis are supported in task names, project names, and task comments. Emojis are also supported in label names.
Hypertext, bold text, italic text, and emojis are supported in task names, project names, and task comments. Emojis are also supported in label names.
Pro Infinite list depth
All subtasks are full featured tasks. This means that at a glance you can see subtasks, unlike other applications that require you to open the task.
Pro Integration with any app supporting web-calendar link
Pro Smart Schedule (Let AI schedule your tasks)
Todoist Smart Schedule adapts to your habits over time, analyzing your workload and determining how urgent a task is. By using both your past todos and future todos (as well as the data from millions of other users), it can sort your tasks in most important/ most urgent order, if you want.
Pro Quickly browse your list through smartwatch devices
The Todoist app supports Apple Watch and Android Wear for instant action and task viewing through smartwatches.
Pro Quickly assign a task to a project as you type with #
Typing # while entering a new task brings up the list of projects (and sub-projects) to assign the task to. Type in any letters of the project name to filter the list to a subset of projects that have those letters in them.
Pro On mobile apps, swipe left/right performs fast reschedule/done
Swipe right to mark a task as done, swipe left brings up several rescheduling options (tomorrow, next week, specific date, etc.).
Con Free version limited to 2 devices
The free version has become very limited as a cloud based note taking app as there is now only sharing between two devices allowed.
Con Pay for offline use, search, and other functions
The free version of Evernote is highly limited. You have to pay if you want to access your notes without internet connection, search your notes or documents, or upload large amounts of data. The free version allows you to upload 60 MB of data per month, which is about 20 to 30 iPhone camera pictures.
At a certain point, they started charging you for "advanced" capability, which includes searching your own attachments.
Con No official Linux app
Evernote does not offer an official Linux app, although there are some third party alternatives available.
Con Bloated and complex
Evernote is too big, has too many features. Note taking apps need absolutely clean interface to allow unobtrusive note taking and not a struggle to search for which buttons to click. It focuses on the search feature so much that it doesn't encourage or make it immediately easy to organize your notes and thoughts. It's essentially a sophisticated notes dump with good search.
Con Different features and functions per device
Desktop app has table creation. Android app lacks font color changes. Some functions can only be accessed on the desktop app. These include changing your default notebook.
Con Very heavyweight for a to-do list
Evernote is a powerhouse program with many features. It uses a correspondingly large amount of memory to run.
Con Security issues
Evernote had their entire database hacked and compromised including customer user passwords. They responded by locking valid users out of accounts and forcing password changes but are still vague about their own security policies. They do not have a good track record for data security. They also do not offer local personal encryption of entire Notebooks as Microsoft OneNote does.
Con Constantly directs you to upgrading your account
The frequent reminders to upgrade your account can quickly become disruptive. You get notifications when using the app, and many of the features that show as available in the app are actually for paid accounts only (which, when you try to use them, will remind you to upgrade).
Con Poor text formatting abilities
Text formatting in Evernote is buggy and unreliable. Bullets (outlining) are getting stuck or disappearing, tables are very static and prone to breaking and everything beyond the most basic formatting might cause an issue.
Con No recurring and snooze reminders
Perhaps because it is not truly a to-do list app, there is currently no support for recurring events or snooze reminders. The company claims to be working on this functionality.
A program with more features is always prone to more bugs. Evernote is definitely not the most stable note-taking program available.
Con Rather poor user interface
Slow, not user friendly experience, complex, and somehow limited.
Con Lacks right-to-left writing support
When you write in a right-to-left language (Arabic, for example), everything looks fine in the editor but the direction changes to the left again after saving the note.
Con Steep learning curve
Since Evernote has so many features built in, it's hard to know where to find everything until reasonable amount of time has been spent with it.
Con Easy to accidentally hit the wrong button on the mobile apps
The mobile apps have fairly small touch targets, making it easy to miss the button or accidentally press the wrong one.
Con Missing some basic functions
Con Not distributed
One cannot run Evernote on own servers. This brings with it the risks normally associated with handing over critical applications to a large corporation.
Con No ability to re-order notes other than sorting
Evernote has no way to re-order notes, nor even to change their display order. Sorting is the only option, and the "official" workaround (for years now) is to prefix note titles with line numbers manually so notes will sort and display as desired.
Con Lacks search and replace capability
Con Does not listen to user suggestions
Todoist has been shown to be fairly unresponsive to requests from their user community. An example can be seen here.
Con Awkward data entry
Several aspects of data entry are far more awkward than they should be: Adding notes, moving subtasks within the outline, and scheduling repeating tasks are all handled better by other apps. Adding notes cannot be done while creating the task, but must be done after. Moving items within the outline hierarchy is very clumsy and the use of keyboard shortcuts (such as holding down 2 or 3) requires knowledge of your current level in the hierarchy (which is not always clear). Finally, there is a natural language syntax for repeating tasks but it is very finicky and there is no good feedback mechanism to tell you whether or not it’s working.
Con Annual subscription required for notifications and attachments
A yearly subscription costs $29.
Con Heavy premium advertisement
There is a screaming red "Upgrade and get more done" badge fixed in the bottom of the view, and additional features free users cannot access.
Con Makes it too hard to see all tasks assigned to you across the app
There is no default or easy-to-access view to simply see all your tasks from all your different projects. You have to use the filter (to:me) which seems like too much effort for something that should really be a default view.
Con Labels (@contexts, etc.) only available with premium subscription
Con No way to add additional info to a task
There is no metadata for the task itself, like a description. While a paid feature allows you to write comments and attach files, info could be lost in the conversation.
Con Using "next" actions requires a messy workaround
Todoist was not designed for "next" actions. You can use a workaround by manually setting certain items as priority and then filtering them, but that process requires a lot more management than other tools.
Con Not much independence of customising the layout
This has been a consistent "con" with Todoist. You cannot decide what should be the size of the fonts. You cannot switch between one-column layout and 2-column layout. You cannot view completed tasks. It is a brilliant application of course, but the development team is stuck on its basic idea of the app and after that they just haven't been developing further.
Con Free version has limited functionality
Without a subscription you won’t have access to reminders, comments, or labels and filters. These are features that many users find essential, but aren't included without a subscription.
Con Can't mark all completed tasks uncompleted
It's possible to select multiple uncompleted tasks, but there's no way to select completed tasks.
Con Cannot import data
Con Cannot export data
Con Lacks advanced task repeating options
For example: second Saturday of every 2 months.
Con Inbox is limited to 200 tasks
Con Recurring tasks are hard to set because the app only supports "natural language"
Con Naming convention for labels is very limited
No spaces or special chars are allowed.
Con Very basic compared to alternatives
Compared to some other options, this is not a feature-rich app. The free version is not much better than keeping a text file of your to-dos.
Con Mac Mail not supported
Even in the Pro version, Mac Mail is not supported for sending tasks as email attachments. There are some workarounds to send mail, but those attachments will still be impossible to forward.
Con Latest iPhone app only available for iOS 8 and above
The latest iPhone app is only available for iOS 8 and above, which excludes users with iPhone 4 or older models. Older versions of the app that can be used with previous iOS versions can be found here.