Using note-taking apps is often a personal choice and rarely a business decision. That could change, however. Popular note-taking apps Evernote and Notion have rolled out features and capabilities that could make them an attractive option for enterprise IT buyers.
Evernote offers Evernote Teams, which adds team collaboration, enhanced security, and governance to its note-taking features. Notion, another well-known note-taking app, has included wikis and other collaboration features since its launch. Let’s take a look at how these two tools compare to more traditional enterprise collaboration offerings.
Benefits of note-taking apps
As collaboration platforms have become a central part of internal communication and collaboration strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic, teams have struggled with scalability and usability. The pandemic has highlighted the need for more lightweight and secure collaboration tools, which has become an inflection point for Evernote, Notion, and similar apps.
Evernote and Notion lend themselves to upward adoption. All it takes is for a user frustrated with a company’s current collaboration tools to sell managers an easy-to-use and manage application that can be deployed immediately rather than having to create a ticket. service desk and waiting for IT approval. .
Evernote and Notion don’t require specialized training or design skills to create and manage workspaces and pages. Each service is also rapidly evolving and iterating on features. Notion, for example, is currently offering a beta version of AI capabilities.
These tools are the epitome of the earthly and extended adoption story. The shift to remote working has made it easier to adopt deployment and scale in organizations that lacked the collaboration infrastructure to effectively support a 100% remote workforce. Even though Notion or Evernote weren’t official enterprise tools before the pandemic, it’s easy to see how teams could turn to one or the other to improve collaboration and communications in their new remote world. , even without initial IT approval.
Notion plays the corporate adoption card well. The app is trending, giving it clout as Notion users are already part of the company’s payroll. Notion has an extensive library of free and paid templates, such as a project dashboard, engineering department wiki, and daily standup. Notion also makes templates from some of its clients available to its users, including Mixpanel, Loom, and Headspace. The Notion Enterprise level also offers access to a customer success manager.
Evernote, however, faces the challenge of losing user influence. Evernote Teams makes many of the right moves to drive user adoption — at least on paper — with an onboarding program and a dedicated customer success manager for teams of 25 or more roles.
Vendor certifications can carry weight in some organizations when it comes to technology adoption by adding legitimacy in the eyes of managers. Evernote offers end-user certification. Notion has a Certified Consultant certification for more complex enterprise use cases and deployments.
Security and compliance
Evernote Teams promises two-step verification for increased data security, as well as in-note encryption on Mac and Windows. The plan also includes tools for maintaining corporate data ownership, centralized account administration, and account history with detailed logs.
The Notion Business and Enterprise tiers offer Security Assertion Markup Language single sign-on and private team spaces. Enterprise level includes user provisioning (cross-domain identity management system), advanced security and control, and audit log.
The decentralization of collaboration tools, even within large companies, makes sense in the world of remote work. While these tools show promise, upward adoption during the pandemic could mean shadow IT. However, the reality for many is that security and compliance teams are involved in signing Notion or Evernote teams within an organization.
Integrations and Scalability
In the eyes of users, integrations only make today’s SaaS applications better. An example is Slack or Microsoft Teams, which serve as a centralized communication hub for remote and hybrid teams. Each of these apps comes with a long list of app integrations.
Evernote Teams integrates with Google Workspace, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Salesforce, making it easy to share customer and project information across your team and across the organization.
Notion integrates with popular SaaS tools, including GitHub, GitLab, and Zoom, and also offers partner integrations, such as Lucid Software, Cisco Webex, and Typeform.
Platform scalability is a natural issue for these platforms. Notion and Evernote Teams target smaller organizations, such as startups and teams within large enterprises.
Leading startups, including Buffer, Axios, and Mixpanel, are all Notion customers, while larger enterprise customers, such as Capgemini and Match Group, focus their Notion deployments on smaller teams and business units. Notion Enterprise targets large customers with advanced security, user provisioning and analytics across internal teams and guest users.
Evernote, however, still seems to focus on more team-based deployments, rather than larger, enterprise-wide deployments.
Evernote and Notion Adoption Challenges
Evernote’s popularity has been declining for a few years, even before the pandemic. Many former Evernote champions have moved on to other platforms, such as Notion. On top of that, Evernote in November announced an acquisition deal with app developer Bending Spoons, adding another layer of uncertainty to its future.
Adding another tool to the tech stack — and to the budget — will be a tough sell in 2023 as CFOs question software spending. Even paying for Notion or Evernote Teams by charging them against a service’s budget can invite further scrutiny.
It will be interesting to see if Notion or Evernote will release ROI tools, like calculators, to support the inevitable CFO discussions as current and potential customers review their software licenses and spending.
Notion and Evernote Teams represent a much-needed overhaul of enterprise collaboration platforms. Each app builds on its note-taking foundations to become viable team- and department-level collaboration platforms with the features and ease-of-use that remote teams now need. At the same time, neither tool is perfect. However, both platforms break away from the legacy complexity of enterprise collaboration platforms that some organizations struggled with in the rush to remote work at the start of the pandemic.