Broadly speaking note taking includes creating shopping lists, keeping journals, taking class notes, organizing text and anything else a user wishes and can imagine.
The web features many software review articles. There are also many sites specifically for comparing software with each other and one of the bigger categories is those that review and compare note taking software.
OneNote, being part of Microsoft’s Office suite of course, is widely used and is therefore mentioned often when note taking is reviewed. However OneNote has one unique characteristics that sets it apart from a very large number of others. This is that text can be placed anywhere as if on a board. This feature alone makes it vastly different than others and makes many comparison articles incomplete and arguably wrong. OneNote does not really belong in a comparison list when for example Evernote is mentioned or Apple Notes, Joplin, CherryTree or Simplenote. In some cases it may be possible to add text (or any media) in columns but even then the free form nature of OneNote is and feels different. Most articles concentrate on text styles, search features, image support, storage method, tagging or filtering, sync or encryption availability and others to compare but fail to mention the board feature as something that sets OneNote apart.
KDE libraries based BasKet Note Pads is one of few – perhaps only – software that emulates a note board very well and can be a true comparable to OneNote.