My Two Favorite PDF Annotating Apps: Evernote vs. Adobe Acrobat


Today’s a two-for-one deal! I did a side-by-side comparison of two PDF annotators that I regularly use: Evernote and the Adobe Acrobat app.

Most of my reviewing I do in Word, but there are instances when a PDF annotating app is either necessary or more convenient.

Most frequently, it’s when I’m workshopping a friend’s piece that they sent as a PDF.

Depending on the project I’m working on at the time, I might also save it as a PDF so I can annotate it specifically with Evernote’s tool. This lets me integrate other Evernote features alongside the PDF to streamline my project (read more about my favorite Evernote tools here).

The Opening Menus:

I chose these two apps first and foremost because of their simplicity to use.

Evernote PDF annotator
I especially love the additional app options that Evernote offers easy access to with your PDFs!
Adobe PDF annotator
No doubting that Adobe is a PDF powerhouse! It offers a lot in the way of PDF manipulation, including signatures and scanning!

Tools and Features:

By and large, they share many common features. You can manipulate pen color and line width, add comments, and draw shapes.

Personally, I found Adobe to be more intuitive and easy to use, though Evernote didn’t miss by much.

Adobe annotating
The comments are easy to add and locate in Adobe. I love the handiness of the sidebar listing my annotations!
Evernote annotating
If you like color-coordinated indicators, you’ll love Evernote’s tools!

Distinguishing Features:

Evernote ties in with the rest of its thought-organization features, which is super handy. It also easily syncs with Google Drive to add files you’ve saved on your drive.

In terms of versatility, Evernote takes the win, hands down. But (and this is a big but), it is only available with a premium account. For me, $7.99 a month is totally worth it (the extra memory, tools, and versatility are pretty important to me).

Adobe Acrobat’s tools felt more clean-cut to me, though. So, if you are looking just for an annotator, Adobe already has a strong presence in the PDF world. They also sync with Dropbox; if that’s a tool you use, Adobe will fit well with your existing practice—and it’s free.

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