When comparing Evernote vs Trello, the Slant community recommends Trello for most people. In the question“What is the best cross-platform to-do list app?” Trello is ranked 2nd while Evernote is ranked 14th. The most important reason people chose Trello is:
There are two primary columns: the board is shown on the left and all the other controls on the right. The main means of interaction is dragging and dropping to-do cards into the various lists. The board structure is very customizable, and includes a variety of features that help along the way: color-coding, due dates, card images, checklists with a graphics bar that allows following progress easily, and card aging for cards that haven’t been touched in a long time.
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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 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 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 "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 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 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.
Pro Skitch integration
If you're on iOS and have Skitch installed, you can quickly annotate your notes using Skitch.
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.
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 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 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 Evernote is synchronized
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 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 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 Simple and easy to use interface
There are two primary columns: the board is shown on the left and all the other controls on the right. The main means of interaction is dragging and dropping to-do cards into the various lists.
The board structure is very customizable, and includes a variety of features that help along the way: color-coding, due dates, card images, checklists with a graphics bar that allows following progress easily, and card aging for cards that haven’t been touched in a long time.
Pro Highly flexible workflow
Trello calls items used in the workflow “cards.” Cards are double-sided and can contain subtasks as well as notes and other details.
Card columns can be used to simulate a workflow by moving cards from left to right as they are completed, or as a way of indicating task priority.
The workflow is highly flexible as the columns are completely customizable to suit the task flow. For example, tasks can be put through a workflow "idea > approved > in-progress > pending review > released" or simply "ideas > released" depending on the granularity level needed.
This makes Trello a great solution to feature management as it's possible to set up boards to handle everything from agile sprints to a more generic to-do list, all with status management.
Pro Free for unlimited users
Trello offers a very generous free version that has no ads, no restrictions on the number of users, and very little restriction on how the program can be used. The paid features are generally cosmetic, such as the ability to change the background, add stickers, etc.
Pro Great real-time team collaboration features
Trello has permissions at the board level as well as the ability to assign multiple people to each card. There are a lot of sharing options available and boards can be made visible for the public. It's also possible to subscribe to a card to be notified of its progress. The simplicity of the UI makes collaboration easy because it’s very simple to see the progress of each card and who is responsible for it. It also updates constantly to reflect real-time changes in progress.
The simplicity of the UI makes collaboration easy as it’s very simple to see the progress of each card and who is responsible for it. It also reflect changes on boards in real-time.
Pro Works well for visual thinkers
The UI is based around Kanban, so you can see all your tasks and their status clearly.
Pro Markdown support with well-rendered images
Trello supports Markdown, meaning that HTML input is represented appropriately. Cards with attachments are also rendered well. For example, images are shown correctly on the card, bug links are detected etc.
Pro Functionality can be extended via plug-ins
Voting, view, and calendar plug-ins further increase the functionality.
Pro Excellent for groups using agile software development
The responsiveness and layers of customization make it easy for team members of various disciplines to collaborate on the same task board.
Pro Lots of API integrations
Pro Cross-platform and cross-sync
Trello works on all modern devices through the web application and has native apps for iOS, Android and Windows 8/10 devices.
Each card can have one or even multiple task lists.
Pro Good performance
Pro Attach files to cards
Keep all of your files (images, documents, etc.) organized on their relevant cards.
Pro Great native app for Android and iOS
Pro Action history log allows you to rapidly follow changes
There is a global history system which allows to rapidly follow changes. There is also a notification system if another user updates the board while you're watching it.
Pro Features to add voting on cards
Trello offers support for features to add voting on cards, often referred to as 'power-ups'.
Pro Smooth media integration
Works like a charm.
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 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 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 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.
A program with more features is always prone to more bugs. Evernote is definitely not the most stable note-taking program available.
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 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 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 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.
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 Rather poor user interface
Slow, not user friendly experience, complex, and somehow limited.
Con Managing large projects may be difficult
Trello works best with medium to small projects and with very high-level overviews. It is less effective for projects that require very granular management due to the fact that it becomes considerably more difficult to keep track of various cards and priorities as they are pushed off the screen.
Con Subtasks lack features
Every task can have a list of subtasks which more closely resembles a standard to-do list.
These lack the functions that cards offer you. You cannot comment on a sub-list, give the sub-tasks due dates, or provide additional information. You are limited to only checking them off once completed.
Con No quick deadline assignment
You have to open a Calendar every time to set a date without any quick options like today, tomorrow etc.
Con Not really a to do list
Trello is much more a workflow and project management program than a typical to-do app, which makes it overwhelmingly robust for those looking to jot down their shopping list.
Con Can't create dependencies between cards
Con Impossible to use Pomodoro timer connected to Trello on iOS
Con Can't get one view of cards across all boards
However, you can view all cards assigned to you.
Con No desktop client
There is no Windows or Mac client now but you can still access all of the features through your web browser.
Con No multi-board aggregation
If you have multiple boards with tasks on them there is no way to get all the tasks on one board in a way that changes on one board will update the other.
Con Light on features
Trello is focused on simplicity and as such forgoes certain common features that may or may not be important to you.