Should You Use OneNote for Project Management? Best 8 Alternatives

Jonathan Friedman
December 26, 2020
Should You Use OneNote for Project Management? Best 8 Alternatives

Are you considering using OneNote for project management? In this article, we at TrueNxus will review OneNote and help you determine if OneNote is worth using for your team to plan and execute project management. We'll also shed light on eight great OneNote project management alternatives to try out instead.

Below is everything we will cover. Feel free to skip ahead.

What is OneNote?

OneNote screenshot

OneNote is a note taking app and a part of the Microsoft Office suite. With an easy-to-use interface, OneNote acts as your digital notebook. With OneNote you can take notes, and create personal and shared to-do lists. Additionally, you can share and collaborate with others.

How to use OneNote effectively?

OneNote is most effective for taking notes and creating to-do lists for yourself, or for small teams. You can easily organize everything across notebooks, sections and pages. Furthermore, you can share your notebooks with colleagues.

If you're comfortable with the Microsoft Office suite of tools, OneNote may be an excellent addition to your suite of productivity tools. It is especially true if you use Microsoft Teams day-in and day-out. Given it's integration into MS Teams, you don't have to exit the app, and you can manage everything together.

Who has access to OneNote?

Anyone who has one of these Microsoft 365 plans has access to the OneNote app for free:

If you have one of the above plans, the OneNote app will show up in the Office app section of your dashboard.

OneNote project management features

OneNote has a lot of benefits to offer to its customers, including for project management. Here is a closer look at OneNote project management features.

1. Share meeting minutes or notes

Unlike other productivity tools, with OneNote, you'll be able to share meeting minutes or notes with your project team in one location. You'll no longer have version control issues as every project team member will be able to access the same information from one place.

Additionally, you'll be able to attach files and share them. For example, say you've now completed a deliverable, and you want to share it with the team. Add it to your OneNote notebook.

2. Collaborate on task management and shared to-do lists

Given that OneNote is a digital notebook, you can easily collaborate with your project team on task management. Create a task list, or a to-do list, share with your colleagues, and cross-out items as you complete.

OneNote project management limitations

Unfortunately, OneNote for project management has many drawbacks and limitations. Here is a closer look at OneNotes's project management limitations.

1. It's a note-taking software, not project management software

OneNote may be a useful productivity tool, especially within the Microsoft Office suite. However, when you break down its capabilities for project management, it's just a note-taking software, which is suitable for a checklist or a to-do list. Sure, OneNote may have an easy-to-use user interface for notes, but you'll find you're extremely limited when it comes to complex project management.

2. No Timeline or Gantt chart-like view exists

Project management requires the ability to view the project plan across time. Sure, OneNote allows you to create to-do lists. However, once you have more than a few tasks that need to be executed over multiple days or weeks, or you start having dependencies, a notepad won't cut it. It does a terrible job at allowing you to visualize the project schedule. As a result, you'll begin looking for software with a Timeline or a Gantt chart.

For example, see TrueNxus's Timeline.

Project timeline, or gantt chart

3. Reporting is non-existent

OneNote does not have reporting capabilities. If you are executing a project with more than a couple of stakeholders, you're going to need to monitor and report progress. You will need to pull together a project status report to track the project health, and you won't find any feature in OneNote that will provide you with the capabilities to do so.

Unlike OneNote, TrueNxus provides you with an out of the box status report that gives you and senior leadership the insights you all need to know to clear roadblocks, make decisions, and move the ball forward.

Project status report

4. You cannot see everything you are responsible for

OneNote allows you to visualize every task in a project, assuming you keep every task for an individual project in a single notebook. However, if you  want to see every task you are assigned to across multiple projects, you can't. You should be able to see everything that you are responsible for completing. Additionally, you should be able to see how others impact your work, which is task dependencies. If a task is dependent on another task, you have to go into the project and find the task and see if anything has changed.

Who has time for such inefficiency? With TrueNxus there is a section called My Work that provides you a view into everything you're on the hook for, including any dependencies that you may or may not be assigned.


8 great OneNote project management alternatives

1. TrueNxus

TrueNxus is the most pragmatic project management software in the market. With TrueNxus, you’ll be able to manage all of your organization’s projects. 

You’ll have all of the features you’re looking for in OneNote project management alternatives.

1. Multiple views

Your project management software needs to be able to provide personalized views. A view that makes sense to you may not make sense to your teammate. These views need to be in sync as well.

TrueNxus provides you with the following views:

Project plan


A list is a table that allows you to manage your project plan easily. Organize the work into groups such as workstreams, or any logical way to categorize tasks.

Project timeline, or gantt chart


Unlike OneNote you can visualize the project as a Timeline, a Gantt chart like view that lets you understand how the entire project fits together. Make updates to the project plan through an interactive interface.

2. Automated project status reports

Project status report

Let TrueNxus analyze the project health real-time giving senior leadership and the project team the insights they need to make decisions and move the ball forward. No more herding cats with endless phone calls and countless emails.

3. My Work

View all of your work in one place

Know what you’re on the hook for delivering. Different from OneNote, you can view every task, and every dependency, that is important to you, across every project, in one location.

4. Dependencies


Be accountable when others are reliant on you. Understand dependent tasks, change implications, and adjust course as needed.

5. Automated notifications

Automated workflows - notifications

Stay productive and get notified when changes occur. With TrueNxus’s 20+ out-of-the-box automated notifications, you will have the transparency you need to stay in-the-know. As a result, TrueNxus creates efficiency by informing you immediately when changes to the overall project plan occur, such as when roadblocks impact dependencies.


Collaboration by comment in the webapp

Collaborate directly in the app. Communicate with project team members and chat with one another directly in tasks.

7. Project charter

OKR with a project charter

Unlike OneNote you can leverage OKR and create a project charter. Collaborate as one team and establish the project objectives, benefits, and risks from the very beginning.

8. Privacy

Project privacy

Ensure confidentiality when necessary. Make projects private to create a safe place for sensitive work.

Learn more and see all product features.

TrueNxus advantages

TrueNxus disadvantages

Nothing else. We’d love for you to sign up for a free trial (no credit card needed) and let us know what you think. We love feedback!

TrueNxus pricing

TrueNxus has flexible pricing so that you only pay for what you need. Both monthly and annual plans are available. If you sign up for a yearly plan, you get 2 months free.

Pricing is simple. For teams of up to 5 users, it’s only $10/month. Then, for teams larger than 5 users, you’ll only pay for each additional user - $9/user/month. If your team size changes, your bill will be prorated.

2. Notion


Notion is one of the few no-code software solutions out there for collaboration. It is fantastic if you are a small team working together day-in and day-out and need to stay organized. It's like Evernote on steroids. It's worth considering when thinking of OneNote project management alternatives.

Notion advantages

Notion disadvantages

Notion pricing

There is a free version, but if you need more than a place to create a personal checklist, you're going to need to upgrade to a paid plan, which starts at $5/month. However, if you want to team and collaborate, you're going to need to pay $10/user/month.

Compare Notion to TrueNxus.

3. Basecamp


Basecamp is an excellent project management and collaboration software for smaller teams. It offers a central location for teams to collaborate, plan, and execute work. Definitely worth considering as one of the best OneNote project management alternatives.

Basecamp advantages

Basecamp disadvantages

Basecamp pricing

There is a free version for personal use. However, if you want to collaborate genuinely, you'll have to upgrade to a fixed price of $99/month.

Compare Basecamp to TrueNxus.

4. Trello


Trello is a great project management tool for small software development teams that need a kanban board. If you're in the market for a kanban board software, you can't beat Trello. Domains other than software development can use Trello as well, but its capabilities are limited.

Trello advantages

Trello disadvantages

Trello pricing

There is a free version, but if you need to collaborate with a team, you'll want to upgrade to a paid version, which starts at $12.50/user/month.

Compare Trello to TrueNxus.

5. Microsoft Project

Microsoft Project Gantt chart

Microsoft Project is one of the original project management software solutions and if you're considering OneNote project management alternatives, you've probably used MS Project before. That's because It's been around for a long time, and thousands of organizations have used it. As a result, it will not let you down if you decide to use MS Project for project management.

Microsoft Project advantages

Microsoft Project disadvantages

Microsoft Project pricing

All Microsoft Project plans are billed annually. The first plan, Project Plan 1, starts at $10/user/month. However, if you want reporting capabilities, you need the second pricing plan, Project Plan 3, which is $30/user/month.

Compare Microsoft Project to TrueNxus.

6. Airtable


Airtable is another no-code software solutions out there for collaboration. It is fantastic if you need to spin up a shared database. It should definitely be considered when comparing OneNote project management alternatives.

Airtable advantages

Airtable disadvantages

Airtable pricing

Airtable has a free option, but if you want additional features, you will have to pay at least $12/user/month.

Compare Airtable to TrueNxus.

7. Asana


Asana is a project management and task management software and is a great alternative to OneNote. It's fantastic for smaller teams managing strategic initiatives or executing repeatable work.

Asana advantages

Asana disadvantages

Asana pricing

While there is a free version, you're limited to simple checklists, file storage, and no more than 15 users. As a result, you'll want the plan that starts at $13.49/user/month (annual billing is $10.99/user/month) to take advantage of the features you'll need to plan and execute projects.

Compare Asana to TrueNxus.

8. is a powerful work management platform. It's a simplified, yet easy to use spreadsheet-like application. You can manage anything, including projects. It'll have a lot more to offer than OneNote. advantages disadvantages pricing

The Basic plan starts at $10/user/month ($8/user/month if billed annually). However, keep in mind that you buy licenses in blocks of 5, so you're out-of-pocket by at least $50/month, or $40/month when billed annually. If you want features like Timeline or Calendar, you need to upgrade to the next package with a minimum of $60/month for five users, or $50/month for five users when billed annually.

Compare to TrueNxus.


While OneNote is a great addition to the Microsoft Office suite, OneNote for project management has several drawbacks, as shown in this review. Fortunately, you can use a handful of OneNote project management alternatives like TrueNxus to solve all of its limitations.

TrueNxus has everything you need to plan and deliver successful projects.

See for yourself, and sign up for a free trial today (no credit card needed).