Samsung Notes vs Evernote

Heuristics Evaluation and User Experience Comparison

I am quite the note-taker; tasks for the day or week, shopping lists, points from a meeting I attended, and the list goes on (literally).

I use an old model Samsung phone because it satisfies my basic needs — yes, it has an in-built note-taking app, Samsung Notes. I know, I am pretty basic. My husband on the other hand has chosen to show his loyalty to Apple products because according to him they are a “great investment”. We have agreed to disagree on this. He uses Evernote on his iPhone, and since I’ve seen quite a few people use the app for note-taking, I decided to download it — I was mostly curious on the major differences between Samsung Notes and Evernote from an experience point of view. My note-taking needs are fairly minimum; I don’t use fancy fonts or multiple colors or tables and links and images. Just bullet points and maybe the Bold and Underline functions (rarely).

I decided to list down some of the features, both good and bad in both the apps to make a well-informed decision on which one to use moving forward.

Below is a guide to understanding my writing style.

The parts that I have highlighted in green are ones that I consider good features and the parts highlighted in a darker red are ones I consider not-so-great features. In most images I have two screens together — the left ones are screens from Evernote (the green logo) and the right one are screens from Samsung Notes (red logo). For readers’ convenience, I have the logos of both apps on all the screens so it’s easier to refer. It’s always the image first, and then the text.

Here we go!

Start screen

The above screens are the first screens you see when you hit “add a note”. Evernote gives you an option of choosing a template before you begin your note-taking. Although I found the Template Gallery to be unappealing aesthetically, I was happy to know that Evernote has a deep understanding of the different reasons people use note-taking apps. They have templates for creating business plans, journals, social media calendars, and much more. Samsung Notes offers templates but it is a secondary feature which sits under “more” (the three dots you see on the top right corner).

Template — Samsung Notes

Delving a bit deeper into the templates — while it’s nice that Samsung Notes has the option to add a template while you are in the middle of creating a note, it’s too bad the template does not align with your notes. Refer to the image above titled “Template — Samsung Notes”.

Template — Evernote

I noticed that Evernote does not allow you to add a template once you’ve started creating a note. Evernote to me: “Decide what you want in the beginning because there’s no going back!”

I imported a check-list template: things to buy for my new home. I have my own personal list in order of priority. But the time I would take to delete every item from that template is more than the time taken to create my own list. So the purpose of a template is almost futile in this case.

Options

I wish Samsung Notes had the “Add reminder” option like Evernote; it’s an intelligent function to have for a note-taking app. While Samsung Notes has the “Save as file” or “Save as PDF” functions, I guess one must upgrade their plan in Evernote to access this basic function.

Samsung Notes has the option to change the background color which I strongly believe, and I can’t stress this enough, is extremely important in accessibility design. I was surprised that Evernote lacked this function.

List items

I found it very convenient to create bullets on Evernote because it is listed as a primary function for you to see —very consistent with tools we use often such as Microsoft Word. However, in Samsung Notes, it’s quite confusing to locate the bullet function. It’s under the “text style” icon, which is very similar to the other icons with a “T”.

Indentation

Evernote once again is smart when it comes to indentation. When you indent, the bullet automatically changes to reflect a sub-point, whereas this is not the case with Samsung Notes. In fact, once again, the indent function is hidden under “Text style” when it could have been a primary function.

Other functions

What I found confusing in Evernote is the “Attachment” function. “Attachment” generally covers images, audio files, documents, etc., but in Evernote, each of these are separate functions and don’t come under one umbrella. “Attachment” could have been referred to as “File” — it would have been more consistent with standards. However, Evernote did have some other useful functions that Samsung Notes lacked.

In conclusion, I guess I will continue using Samsung Notes because while there are some very cool features in Evernote, some are accessible only when you upgrade. Samsung Notes addresses my immediate needs, but if you take notes extensively in a business setting, Evernote would be the app to go for! Of course, there are probably better note-taking apps out there, but this is specifically for Samsung users who are exploring other options.

Feel free to add on to my list, disagree with me or correct me in the comments below.

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UX Researcher at HSBC | Views are my own | Strategist, Content Creator | Food, wine and everything nice

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Aishvarya

Aishvarya

UX Researcher at HSBC | Views are my own | Strategist, Content Creator | Food, wine and everything nice

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