Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp

free alternatives to onenoteIf you’re a Mac user and have been looking for a free alternative to Microsoft’s OneNote, GrowlyBird Software has the perfect solution. The note-taking and planning app, Growly Notes makes it easy to create individual notebooks with colour coded sections, sub-sections, with the ability to add images, PDF, text, audio and movie files directly into the document. The app also comes with several ready-made templates making it easy to dive right in and use Growly Notes in a variety of ways.

The ability to add all sorts of files, links, images and more into your notes turns Growly Notes into so much more than just a note-taking app, elevating it to a great organisational tool. With Growly Notes, it is easy to create any kind of template or notebook to serve pretty much any purpose, and there’s no end to how the powerful little app can be used. If you’re a freelance writer, it’s a great way to keep track of your articles, with a section for each newspaper or site you write for. If you’re working on a novel, it can serve as a great way to keep your ideas and thoughts in the planning stage organised. Growly Notes is basically whatever you make of it.

Growly Notes’ comes with a few standard templates for notebooks. The first, the Clients Template, allows you to create a notebook to keep track of your current and potential clients, regardless of what your business may be.

free alternatives to onenote

The Moving Checklist, gives you a great place to start when it comes to keeping track of all the various items you have to remember when you’re moving out of your home, and moving into a new place.

onenote alternative


The Student template gives students a great way of keeping track of their assignments, to-do list, schedule, classes, projects and after-school activities.

onenote alternative

The Task List template gives you an alternative way to keep track of your To-Do list.

onenote alternative

To create a new notebook, go to File > New Notebook and you can then choose to create a blank document, or use one of Growly’s ready-made templates.

onenote alternative free

To add new sections or pages, simply right-click the menu on the left-hand side and select New Section or New Page.

onenote alternative free

When creating new sections, they are automatically colour coded for you, but if you want to change the colour, simply right click the section title, go to Section Colour and select a new colour.

onenote alternative free

Growly Notes is superior to other note-taking apps because of the extent of the media that you can insert into your notes, going way beyond just being a text editor. With Growly Notes you can add images, PDF files and even movie or audio files directly into your note.

You can also use the app to draw basic shapes, lines, and with variety available, Growly Notes becomes an ideal app for creating flow charts from scratch.

Inserted audio and video files can be played directly within Growly. Not only can you insert media files from your computer, you can also record new audio and video files, using your webcam, directly within the app.

Lastly, you can insert direct links to files on your hard drive.

If you’re not a fan of the default tabbed and colourful appearance of Growly Notes, go into Preferences > Appearance, and change Window Layout from Fun to Serious.

The Serious layout is much easier on the eyes, and seems to suit the Mac appearance better.

free alternatives to onenote

If we had just one wish as far as Growly Notes is concerned, it would be to give users a place to share their templates, much like Microsoft does with all of its software.

If you’re looking for a free web-based alternative to OneNote, be sure to check out some of the suggestions listed here.

Have you tried Growly Notes? What do you think of it? What creative uses for Growly Notes have you come up with? Let us know in the comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Dominic
    May 26, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Growly Notes combined with Dropbox works a treat!

  2. Jason
    May 1, 2011 at 9:55 am

    I'm just in the process of adopting Evernote - should I change course ?

    • nm
      May 1, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      I think the choice between Evernote and an app like Growly notes comes down to one main thing - do you need online, remote access to your notes or not? If you do - stick with Evernote. If you need something that you're only going to access from your laptop/computer then I'd definitely recommend giving Growly a shot.

  3. Rjv23
    May 1, 2011 at 3:52 am

    Can you recommend a similar Onenote application for linux? I am looking for something that works as a sticky note app and a larger journal all in one, is there something like this? tks...