top of page
  • Kim

Academic Tools: Pros and Cons of OneNote, Evernote, Notability, Grammarly,& Canva


In today's digital age, there is no shortage of apps and tools that can be used for academic purposes. OneNote, Evernote, Notability, Grammarly, and Canva are just a few of the many options available to students, academics, and researchers. These tools offer a variety of features and functions, from notetaking and organization to writing assistance and graphic design. Whether you're a student taking notes in class, a researcher organizing your findings, or an educator creating visual materials for your lectures, these apps can be invaluable resources for improving your academic performance and productivity. In this article, we will explore how OneNote, Evernote, Notability, Grammarly, and Canva can be used as academic tools, and the pros and cons of each app.


Microsoft OneNote is a digital note-taking application that allows users to create, organize and share notes across multiple devices. Here are some of the pros and cons of using OneNote:


Pros:

  • Accessibility: OneNote can be accessed on multiple devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, making it a convenient and accessible note-taking tool.

  • Customization: Users can customize their notes by adding text, images, audio, video, and other types of multimedia to their notes, making it easy to organize information in a visual and engaging way.

  • Collaboration: OneNote allows users to share their notes with others and collaborate in real-time, making it a great tool for group projects and team collaboration.

  • Integration: OneNote integrates with other Microsoft Office tools such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, making it easy to transfer information between apps.

Cons:

  • Complexity: OneNote has a range of features and functions, which can make it overwhelming for new users to navigate and use effectively.

  • Limited formatting options: OneNote has fewer formatting options compared to other note-taking apps, which may be a downside for users who prefer more advanced formatting options.

  • Syncing issues: While OneNote is designed to sync across devices, some users have reported issues with syncing their notes and may lose data or experience lag time.

  • Not compatible with all platforms: OneNote is primarily designed for Windows users and may not be as accessible for users who prefer to use other operating systems such as Mac or Linux.


Evernote is a note-taking app that allows users to capture, organize, and share their ideas across multiple devices. Here are some of the pros and cons of using Evernote:


Pros:

  • Accessibility: Evernote is available on multiple devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, making it a convenient and accessible note-taking tool.

  • Customization: Evernote allows users to create notes with text, images, audio, video, and other types of multimedia, making it easy to organize information in a visual and engaging way.

  • Integration: Evernote integrates with other apps and tools such as Google Drive, Microsoft Office, and Slack, making it easy to transfer information between apps.

  • Collaboration: Evernote allows users to share notes with others and collaborate in real-time, making it a great tool for group projects and team collaboration.

Cons:

  • Price: Evernote's premium features, including offline access and unlimited storage, require a paid subscription, which may be a downside for some users.

  • Complexity: Evernote has a range of features and functions, which can make it overwhelming for new users to navigate and use effectively.

  • Limited formatting options: Evernote has fewer formatting options compared to other note-taking apps, which may be a downside for users who prefer more advanced formatting options.

  • Syncing issues: While Evernote is designed to sync across devices, some users have reported issues with syncing their notes and may lose data or experience lag time.


Notability is a note-taking app designed for iPad, iPhone, and Mac that allows users to take handwritten notes, annotate PDFs, and sketch. Here are some of the pros and cons of using Notability:


Pros:

  • Handwriting features: Notability offers a range of handwriting features such as different pen and highlighter options, handwriting recognition, and the ability to use a stylus or Apple Pencil, making it a great tool for students or anyone who prefers handwritten notes.

  • Audio recording: Notability allows users to record audio while taking notes, making it easy to capture important information during lectures or meetings.

  • Organization: Notability offers a range of organizational tools, such as folders and categories, that make it easy to keep notes and files organized and accessible.

  • Integration: Notability integrates with other apps such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Evernote, making it easy to transfer notes and files between apps.

Cons:

  • Limited device availability: Notability is only available on Apple devices, which may be a downside for users who prefer other operating systems.

  • Price: Notability is a paid app, which may be a downside for users who are looking for a free note-taking app.

  • PDF annotation limitations: Notability's PDF annotation features are limited compared to other apps, which may be a downside for users who need more advanced PDF editing features.

  • Handwriting recognition limitations: While Notability offers handwriting recognition, it may not work perfectly for everyone and may require some tweaking to get the desired results.



Grammarly is an AI-powered writing assistant that checks your writing for grammar and spelling errors, suggests improvements, and provides feedback to help you become a better writer.


Pros:

  • Writing assistance: Grammarly offers helpful suggestions and feedback to improve your writing, including grammar, spelling, and punctuation corrections, as well as vocabulary enhancements and style improvements.

  • User-friendly interface: The app's interface is easy to use and offers multiple ways to integrate its features into your writing process.

  • Plagiarism detection: Grammarly also offers a plagiarism detection feature that can help ensure that your work is original and properly cited.

  • Browser extensions: The app offers browser extensions that allow you to use its features across multiple platforms, including Google Docs, Outlook, and more.

Cons:

  • Limited free version: While the free version of Grammarly offers helpful features, it is limited in comparison to the paid version.

  • Cost: The cost of the premium version may be prohibitive for some users, especially students or those on a tight budget.

  • Overreliance on the app: There is a risk of overreliance on the app, leading to a lack of personal development in writing skills and a lack of ownership in the writing process.

  • Privacy concerns: Some users have raised privacy concerns about the app's data collection practices, as it collects data on user writing behavior and preferences.


Canva is a graphic design platform that allows you to create posters, infographics, and other visual materials to accompany your research projects.


Pros:

  • User-friendly interface: Canva has a very intuitive and easy-to-use interface, making it easy for users to create beautiful designs without any technical knowledge.

  • Wide range of design options: Canva provides a vast library of pre-designed templates, illustrations, photos, and fonts to choose from. It saves a lot of time and energy for users.

  • Collaboration and sharing features: Canva allows multiple users to work on the same project simultaneously, which is a significant advantage for team projects. Also, users can easily share their designs via email or social media.

  • Mobile app: Canva has a mobile app available for iOS and Android devices, which allows users to create and edit designs on the go.

  • Affordable pricing: Canva offers a free version as well as a Pro version that is very reasonably priced, making it accessible to a wide range of users.

Cons:

  • Limited customization: While Canva has a vast library of design elements, users may find it challenging to customize their designs to their specific needs.

  • Limited file format options: Canva does not support a wide range of file formats, making it difficult to export and use designs on other platforms or software.

  • Requires internet access: Canva is an online tool, which means users need an internet connection to use it. This can be a disadvantage for users who work in areas with poor connectivity.

  • Not suitable for complex designs: Canva is great for creating simple designs, but it may not be the best option for more complex design projects that require advanced features and tools.

  • Limited control over image quality: When uploading images to Canva, users may not have full control over the image's resolution or quality, resulting in lower-quality designs.

In conclusion, with the abundance of digital tools and apps available for academic purposes, it can be challenging to choose the right one. OneNote, Evernote, Notability, Grammarly, and Canva are some of the most popular digital tools that can be incredibly helpful for students, educators, and researchers. Each tool has its own set of pros and cons, which must be considered before making a choice. Whether you're taking notes, organizing your research, improving your writing, or creating visual materials, these tools can help you be more productive and efficient in your academic pursuits. Ultimately, the best tool for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences, so it's worth exploring a few different options before settling on the one that works best for you.


留言


bottom of page