For some time I've been using the combination of FreeMind and One Note on my Windows machine. About a month ago I migrated to Mac and now I'm trying to search for an alternative.

So far I've tried Personal Brain, but it has quite a heavy interface and I don't really like the workflow.

What app(s) would you recommend for managing larger amounts of information on tasks and projects?


7 Answers 7


You have many choices but none of them as good as One Note (It's just my opinion)

  1. Omnioutliner
  2. Journler
  3. Macjournal
  4. EverNote
  • Evernote is the real thing. Commented Jan 23, 2011 at 7:25

Growly Notes is totally free (and very close to the look of oneNote) http://www.growlybird.com/GrowlyBird/Notes.html

However, nothing is as good as oneNote (if that is what you like). You can install OneNote 2007 in OSX using crossover (basically 'wine'). This doesn't work with oneNote 2010, only 2007. It starts quickly and works perfectly. The only problem I can see is that hot linking crashes oneNote. If you do try to install, look for the oneNote 2007 custom setup in crossover, if during setup it complains about fonts etc... just keep going with the install, and skip and problems. OneNote 2007 will run fine under OSX 10.6

If you are looking for something a little different, but just as addictive to use as oneNote, I would recommend trying a program called Scrivener. It is one of the few programs I've found to be perfect for writing & organising my thoughts.

You mentioned freemind (mind mapping), I would totally recommend a program called Vue, it's free too, very slick, and not as linear as freemind, also allows you to add notes, keywords, layers etc.. to organise your data.

I've used all of the other suggested apps (evernote, yojimbo, etc..) I do like them, and use them. But I hope that I have highlighted a few very useful/nice apps, that most people don't know about.

  • Things
  • OmniFocus

and another vote for Evernote.

All three offer a form of syncing across devices.

  • 2
    Things is really a (very, very pretty) to-do list rather than a freeform note-capturing app. Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 22:01
  • I've found Things to be simple enough that its worked for notes; that's just the way I chose to use it at the time. These days its been Evernote but I'm hoping I get back to the point where I'm using Things again.
    – mummey
    Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 23:20

I'm currently evaluating DEVONthink and it seems to be a better, if more complicated, alternative to Yojimbo. They have an iOS app (a bit on the expensive side and rough around the edges but usable nonetheless). You can evaluate the product for 150 hours of runtime.

Evernote is the go-to solution, though, if you need to access your data on different platforms and don't care much about syncing manually.

  • Thanks for your answer, Grigori Gazarian! Can you please add a links to the software you mention in your answer? It is always helpful to add a link to help the OP to find the right software. Thank you.
    – daviesgeek
    Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 5:45

Yojimbo. It only works on Mac OS X though. There's no Windows variant (unlike Evernote)


Evernote is great if you're working with multiple computers (including smartphones and tablets) but it doesn't have all of OneNote's features.


I have used Things to track to-do items and loved the UI and it's capabilities. They have a great iPhone and iPad app but I strongly disliked the syncing capabilities between the phone, pad and the desktop. It syncs via the network. Not a big deal but it got on my nerves after awhile. If you are using one or more desktops only though, I would highly recommend this as a task tracker.

I use Yojimbo for research on my macs. I like the bookmarklets for Safari. They work quite well and it is great for throwing all kinds of information in and tagging it. You can create smart folders based on those tags. Again, I would note that the iPhone app is a bit lacking right now. Syncing is done via .mac only at this time. Which might be one of the few good reasons to buy the service. If you are using more than one PC or you want to data gather on a mobile device, I would say that Evernote is a better solution.

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