For those looking for a tool that can provide note-taking support, two top options are Trello and Evernote. Both offer users the opportunity to create and view notes and offer several tools that overlap one another.
Both platforms allow users to format text in standard ways, including italics and bold. They both allow for the creation of different types of bulleted lists, including checklists and numbering. Even sketching has been included with both platforms.
Trello has some key benefits that are worth considering. Evernote has several advantages that are worth evaluating as well. Here are the key points of comparison to look at when evaluating the Trello vs Evernote debate.
1. Text Customization
Trello provides a standard word-processing look and feel to their note-taking platform. It provides limited text customization, with bullet points, underline text, and some heading styles that cannot be found with competitive platforms. That makes using this tool a fairly simple experience, since it mimics software that has been around for more than a decade in style and use.
Evernote provides users with options to customize text that go beyond heading styles and standard word-processing font formatting. Users can colorize their text, which can make it easier to distinguish between different components of a note that has been saved. Evernote provides highlighting, font size changes, and a strikethrough option as well.
2. Image Inclusion
Trello allows users to add images to their note by long-clicking on the area of the note where they want the photo to be included. On an iPhone, that means holding down where the image should be inserted. This allows the insert menu to be activated, which then allows an image from the cameral roll to be included.
Each note can have an image uploaded directly into the file as well. The note may be minimized in the dashboard, but can be expanded so that it is seen. The image must be saved locally, but a URL to the image can be included.
Evernote works with technology that was created by Scannable to include images with specific notes. Image files can be attached to the note file, associating the image to the note. This doesn’t provide a preview of the image, however, as it only shows the user the type of file attached and the final name.
3. Audio Notes
Trello permits voice memos and audio notes, but not from within the actual app itself. Users must utilize a third-party app to record the voice memo so that it can be inserted into the completed note.
Evernote allows users to create voice memos from within the platform.
Both platforms require you to use your own recording equipment to create the voice memo. Here is where Trello may have an advantage for some users. The internal microphone on Apple equipment is clear and consistent, easily accessible from the third-party apps that include voice memos while note-taking. With Evernote, a separate microphone may be necessary to record audio in a way that isn’t irritating or cumbersome.
4. Note Organization
Trello has some advantages in this point of comparison. Notes are created and given a headline. Those on Trello can receive new notes within an inbox and users can collaborate on a specific dashboard. Notes can be moved in real-time to track what is being worked on, what has been completed, and other specific labels that may be desired.
Trello also allows users to create specific labels that are color associated to a note. The labels can be included within their own category list, making it easy to reference which tag is associated with which note.
Evernote allows users to add notebooks to a stack. This makes them perform as if they are a sub-folder. The sorting order of the notebooks is not possible on Evernote, though users can see their most recent notebooks with a simple view command. Users can also add shortcuts to specific notebooks, making it possible to view a select number that are commonly used.
Tags are also permitted to enhance the organization experience which Evernote is able to provide users.
Evernote does not allow notebooks to nest within one another. Users are forced into a two-tiered system of stacks and notebooks, which is essentially folders and sub-folders. Where Evernote does have an advantage is with its reminder system, which can be incorporated into the note. Trello requires reminders to be kept separately from the notes that have been saved.
5. Information Inclusion
Trello has created a share sheet which permits information to be shared within a note. Once included, a link creates a rich preview within the note so the URL can be accessed if desired. The experience is very similar to the rich previews and links that users share on their Facebook and Twitter profiles. You see an image, the headline of the page, and a short introduction of text.
Evernote uses a feature called Web Clipper to include content with a note. This tool allows users to copy information found on a specific URL so that it can be incorporated into a note. This information can be saved without the app or software being open at the time. When activated, it feels like the web page is being saved as a PDF. All the information from the page can be directly included with the note or saved as a file attachment to it.
The disadvantage here is that the share extensions with Evernote do not provide an option to append with an existing note. They can only create a new note, which can make organization somewhat difficult because of the formatting of how they are saved.
6. Mobile Device Compatibility
Trello is a web-based platform which provides full compatibility across a wide spectrum of devices. It is not compatible with Windows phones, however, which Evernote happens to be. What is helpful with Trello is that it offers a large knowledge base that is accessible to users and a series of video tutorials that are available to make it easier for new users to learn how to save and use notes.
Evernote is compatible with virtually all aspects of the Apple system of technology. They have apps that work with iMessage and with the Apple Watch. Although the app is somewhat simple on these mobile platforms, the amount of information that can be accessed is still similar. You can access recent searches, see what notes are due and when, and dictate new notes which are saved directly into a user’s default notebook.
Evernote permits search buttons to note lists, which can be tapped to access the full content of the note when needed. It presents recent notes and reminders, but does not provide access to every single note that has been saved into a user’s Evernote profile.
Evernote does not provide an option to view a note that is being shared unless the invited person also has the tool. If they do not, they are invited to download Evernote, which can be somewhat inconvenient at times.
Collaboration is available for Trello and Evernote. On Apple devices, a note can be quickly shared between equipment users via a link or invitation to create instant collaboration on one note from multiple parties.
Evernote requires users to have an account, but isn’t restricted by platform, operating system, or device.
Trello has created a three-panel layout option for iOS 10 on the larger tablets, which makes it easier to view and manage notes being taken. Evernote has more of a standard view that is typical of any other app, software, or tool that is being used today, though a half-and-half view does allow users to view a note while being able to have access to the primary navigation bar simultaneously.
Trello vs Evernote: Which is Better?
In many ways, Trello and Evernote provide a similar user experience. It is the process of taking and saving notes which tends to cause an individual preference for one tool over the other. The conversation tends to be about the quality of the features available instead of the quantity.
For those who want complete information access, which may include additional files, Evernote tends to be a better choice. It is available on multiple platforms, making it possible to keep track of notes almost anywhere one happens to be. With the Web Clipper feature, entire web pages of content can be saved as notes for later reading as well, which can be a distinctive advantage for some users.
On the other hand, users who work exclusively with Apple products enjoy the ease of use that comes with Notes, since it is often included free of charge on new devices. Notes can also be set to sync with Trello, making it possible to access notes over every Apple device.
Have you used Trello and Evernote? What is your opinion of these two platforms?