Is there any good alternative to OneNote / Evernote with the following features:

1) Forever usability. No subscription locks as in Office 365

2) Offline. No uploading to CIA / KGB as in Evernote.

3) Omnivorous for multiple formats: images, web pages, links, audio video clips etc.

Features are:

1) WYSIWYG text editor with simple colors, formatting, tables

2) Copy paste for images, web pages (with links), videos, screenshots etc

3) Organizing in a tree or equivalent complexity, tags

4) Full text search and search by datetime

  • Do you need to sync to multiple devices, or are you just going to use it on a single windows computer? – holroy Sep 12 '15 at 14:27
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    Sync is a plus, but without posting to a third party server. Not needed otherwise. – Dims Sep 13 '15 at 17:42
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    You could always try getting an older copy of OneNote.... – Nathan Tuggy Sep 21 '15 at 20:18
  • For which operating system? Windows, I assume? And which basic features do you need? You should list them in your question so that even people that don’t know OneNote/Evernote can recommend software. – unor Sep 22 '15 at 3:01

Give KeepNote a try. It works on Windows, Mac, Linux. But no mobile. Since the requirement is offline and sync optional, it might work for you.

It allows file attachment, rich text formating. The notes are created as html, so no lock-in.

  • +1 for keepnotes too. you can export your notes to a cloud then view, download, edit then reupload. there are programs to do it automatically – FONZ Jan 8 '16 at 6:35

No-one has mentioned so far that OneNote works offline when you purchase it. For example with Office Home & Student 2016 for PC you will get OneNote which will work completely offline.

This way, all your 3 requirements can be fulfilled.


Two options springs into mind when you state that you want it completely offline and still being able to handle multiple formats:

  • A personal wiki with local storage – Multiple exists, and which to choose requires more information. But just to mention a few: MdWiki, TiddlyWiki, MoinMoin could all possibly fit your requirements.
  • One or multiple mind maps – These can also be used to organise large amount of offline information, and as such replace onenote/evernote, some notable from a long list of mind mapping software: FreeMind, XMind

Do look into either one of these, as they might suite your needs, and if not, please clarify exactly what you want to have replaced in your alternative to EverNote/OneNote, as the question is actually quite broad as it stands.


I use Notepad++ for general note taking and TortoiseSVN for Windows. There is SVN for MAC too and Linux. I use SVN and Git too (but more SVN because TortoiseSVN is just a few clicks and I'm familiar with it). Both SVN and Git is, I believe, omnivorous.

You can sync with Github and set up private repositories which may work for you. There is a charge for private repositories though. $7/mth for 5 repos.

Not sure if that will work for you. OneNote/Evernote are much more fully featured though with highlighting and extra note taking features. Notepad++ has some extra features like syntax highlighting for code but it's still a relatively basic notepad.

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    Notepad++ is a very good editor, but for text only. It doesn't allow to edit files with images, for example. – Xavier Nodet Sep 16 '15 at 20:09

Evernote has a 'local notebook' feature. A notebook that was created as local will not be synced to the Evernote servers, nor to any other of the user's devices.

This feature is available in the free accounts, on Windows and Mac. No guarantee that it will last forever, but you get at least the 'offline' and 'omnivorous' parts!

  • Why need an account then? – Dims Aug 7 at 8:44

You can try TagSpaces(http://tagspaces.org). It is still in heavy development, but it features support for many file types and it is completely offline. For cross device support it can be combined with google drive or dropbox.

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    This seems to differ much from OneNote. – Thomas Weller Sep 22 '15 at 12:15
  • I could have suggested TagSpaces my self, but Dims says in 2) that he wants a complete offline version, which then at least removes cross device support through Google Drive or Dropbox. – holroy Sep 23 '15 at 12:22

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