The M3 will do fine for emulation and note taking, but I would look into what's the most intense program that you're planning to use. Maybe you'll want to do some design in Photoshop? Maybe programming? CAD? Even though you don't do this stuff every day, think about how you'll feel if you end up needing it. I can give you an example of my use case: I'm a software engineering student and I'm planning to do most of my programming on Eve V, and also some games like CSGO, Civilization V.. that stuff Sometimes I would do some more heavy programming or virtualization, so the i5 would be quite weak for that. The logic decision at first glance would have been the i7 model, but I do have a desktop computer so I can do the heavy work on it.
So, the question is: do you have any rare/extra activities that would require more processing power? And if you do, are you willing to accept the fact that your Eve V can't do it and you need to find a more powerful computer? To me it was acceptable because I have a desktop computer at home and I was short on money. As I said, M3 is enough for the basic stuff that you named above, but in certain situations you might feel disappointed with it.