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OneDrive vs OneNote: What are the differences?

Key Differences between OneDrive and OneNote

OneDrive and OneNote are two Microsoft applications that serve different purposes and have distinct features. Below are the key differences between OneDrive and OneNote:

  1. Storage vs. Note-taking: OneDrive is primarily a cloud storage service that allows users to store and access their files and folders from anywhere. It is designed for organizing and sharing files, including documents, photos, and videos. On the other hand, OneNote is a digital note-taking and collaboration tool that enables users to create and organize notes, drawings, audio recordings, and more. It is well-suited for capturing and organizing information.

  2. File Organization: OneDrive organizes files and folders in a traditional file system structure, similar to the file explorer on a computer. It allows users to create folders, subfolders, and easily manage their files. In contrast, OneNote uses a section and page-based organization approach, resembling a digital notebook. Users can create sections to categorize their notes, and then create pages within each section to further organize their content.

  3. Offline Access: OneDrive provides offline access to files stored in the cloud. Users can download files to their devices, make changes offline, and the changes will sync back when they reconnect to the internet. On the other hand, OneNote also offers offline access, allowing users to view and edit their notes without an internet connection. Any changes made offline will sync back to the cloud when the device reconnects to the internet.

  4. Collaboration: OneDrive allows users to share files and folders with others, enabling collaboration on documents. Multiple users can work on the same file simultaneously and see real-time changes. However, OneNote takes collaboration to a higher level by allowing users to share entire notebooks. Users can invite others to access their notebooks and collaborate in real-time, making it a powerful tool for team projects or group work.

  5. Integration with Microsoft Office: OneDrive integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office suite, allowing users to create, edit, and save Office documents directly in the cloud storage. This integration enhances productivity and the ability to collaborate on Office files. In contrast, while OneNote also offers integration with Office, it is more focused on capturing and organizing information rather than extensive editing of Office documents.

  6. Mobile Applications: Both OneDrive and OneNote have dedicated mobile applications for various platforms, including iOS and Android. OneDrive's mobile app emphasizes file management and access, allowing users to view, upload, and share files on the go. In contrast, OneNote's mobile app is more oriented towards note creation and organization, providing users with features like handwriting recognition and audio recording for capturing ideas on the fly.

In summary, OneDrive is a cloud storage service for files and folders, while OneNote is a digital note-taking and collaboration tool. OneDrive focuses on file organization and sharing, while OneNote excels in note-taking, organization, and collaboration.

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Pros of OneDrive
Pros of OneNote
  • 2
  • 2
  • 1
    Back up
  • 1
    Stable service
  • 1
    Works great with OneDrive
  • 1
    Syncs quickly
  • 1
    Dark mode
  • 1
    Search text in images (OCR)

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What is OneDrive? is a free, personal email service from Microsoft. Keep your inbox clutter-free with powerful organizational tools, and collaborate easily with OneDrive and Office Online integration.

What is OneNote?

Get organized in notebooks you can divide into sections and pages. With easy navigation and search, you’ll always find your notes right where you left them. It gathers users' notes, drawings, screen clippings and audio commentaries. Notes can be shared with other OneNote users over the Internet or a network.

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What companies use OneDrive?
What companies use OneNote?
See which teams inside your own company are using OneDrive or OneNote.
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