Moli Ena 3/3 '20 posted

Originally Published at Troop Messenger 

Have a thought or an important reminder to set? But no paper or pencil, and no time to pen it down? Fret not, we have got you covered!


The thing with thoughts is that they hit you suddenly, irrespective of the time and place. A million-dollar idea can strike your brain while you are tuning to your favourite song, or walking down the street to fetch your morning coffee. We bet it happens to everybody, including you.


At a time like these, do you frantically search for a paper or pen or you wish for a readily available tool that allows you to make quick memo notes? The latter sounds perfect, and that’s why we’ve rounded up thirteen best note-taking apps and summarised their features. 

To find an ideal note-taking app with all the above features, we began with over thirty-six contenders and shortlisted our way down to thirteen plus most promising applications.


Best Note-taking apps: The quicklinks!




Evernote: The biggest note-taking app





This app allows users to prioritise and capture ideas, to-do-lists, and projects. It offers capable services such a supporting an extensive range of note types including sketches, checklists, plain text, images, audio memo, and clipped pages.


Evernote Pros:

Evernote Cons:

  • Great Web Clipper

  • Easy note formatting

  • Uncluttered interface

  • Flexible manipulation of images

  • OCR feature that allows users to extract text from images

  • Lacks search capabilities

  • Poor text formatting  


Available on: Windows, iOS, Web, Android, and macOS.


Pricing: Free plan for individual use. Premium plans start at $2.74 per month.



Microsoft OneNote: The Office user’s Note-taking app





With Microsoft OneNote, you can do a lot more than creating notes and checklists.


This tool is perfect for both professional and personal reasons, given how it allows the users to enjoy multiple features like organisation, collaboration, and sharing. It’s the best note taking the app for Android and Mac users.


OneNote Pros:

OneNote Pros

  • Scribble great idea by writing and drawing with fingertip

  • Collaborate with anyone

  • Convert handwritten notes to text

  • Access from anywhere

  • Digital Highlighter

  • Upload files

  • Organise lessons and share assignment from the central library

  • Integration with other apps  

  • No reminder features

  • Complex for newbies

  • Functionalities differences for Mac Users


 Available on: Windows, iOS, Web, Android, and macOS


 Pricing: Free plan with 5 GB file upload limit. Extra space can be purchased.  (Document Collaboration Note Taking App)


Bit is a great Microsoft word alternative and the perfect app for team note-taking and documentation. Teams can create notes and documents like to-dos, client materials, project proposals, sales decks, training documents, how-to guides, etc. and collaborate in real-time. They can chat inside of documents, leave in-line comments to leave feedback, make decisions and get everyone on the same page. Pros: Cons:

  • Take rich notes by adding audio, pictures, videos, code blocks, maths equations, etc

  • Workspaces to keep everything organized

  • Markdown support

  • Content management capabilities

  • Rela-time team collaboration
  • Chat
  • Safe and secure
  • Document tracking 
  • No handwriting support

  • No mobile app



Google Keep: The Personal user’s Note-taking app





This is another popular free note-taking app that offers users a tactile and comprehensive note-taking space.


The tool has an advanced array of inbuilt features. Keep by Google is the quickest way to offload thoughts and ideas without losing focus.


Google Keep Pros:

Google Keep Cons:

  • Create notes, lists, and set reminders

  • Add collaborator

  • Add drawings and photos

  • Search notes by creating topics

  • Colour notes for easy searching

  • Automatic sync and backup

  • Follows voice command

  • Pinboard feature

  • Multi-device sharing

  • Limited features

  • Difficult organization

  • No Numbered list or bullet point


 Available on: Android, iOS, Windows, Google Chrome, macOS


 Pricing: Available for free



Simple Note: The affordable note-taking app





Simple Note being the easiest of all note-taking apps delivers a productive way of taking notes, maintaining lists, and penning down ideas.


The tool is clean, light, and free with all components like syncing sharing, and backup.


SimpleNote Pros:

SimpleNote Cons:

  • Simple and clean UI

  • Markdown support that allows users to write, preview, and publish notes

  • Instant searching through tags

  • Users are allowed to export data

  • Collaborative features to work together

  • No reminder

  • No social media integration

  • Poor save-to-disk feature


 Available on:  Windows, iOS, Linux, Web, Android, and macOS


 Pricing: Free  



Slips : The feature-stack Note-taking app





Slips support you to store your instant idea, a quick note, an image, an URL link, etc., just at the touch of a button.


It has power-packed feature-stack of auto text suggestions, organizes text with bullets and number lists, seamless keypad, supports instant image capture, and many more.


It enables the user to write text by choosing the font styles of Bold, Italic and Underlined. With the help of coloured templates, the user can easily pick the choice to make note-making more professional and beautiful.


Slips Pros:

Slips Cons:

  • Free to use

  • Simple and Clean UI

  • Auto-Save Option

  • Unlimited number of slips

  • Set Time Reminders


  • Lack of social media integration.



Zoho Notebook: The most beautiful note-taking app





This is an excellent app for both professional and student, for it provides a wide range of features that allow users to jot down notes, set reminders, create checklists, and sync it all. Not only is it free, but it is ad-free too.


Zoho Notebook Pros:

Zoho Notebook Cons:

  • Audio notes

  • Upload photos and files

  • Pre-built checklist

  • Completely free and ad-free

  • Cloud Syncing

  • Beautiful interface

  • Ease of use

  • Lacks some features like tag search

  • No text formatting

  • Weak community support


Available on: Windows, iOS, Web, Android, and macOS


Pricing: Free



Quip: The project-focused note-taking app





Quip is not your regular note taking application since it can do a lot more. There’s a reason why it is touted as best note taking the app for Mac users.


The app is a spreadsheet and works processing application that lets you work with others, take notes, create documents, and share spreadsheets on the go.


Quip Pros

Quip Cons:

  • Complete transparency of collaboration features

  • Secure mobile collaboration

  • Group Chat

  • Integration with Google Drive and Dropbox

  • Create folders and subfolders

  • Private folders for personal note-taking

  • Efficient storage and syncing  


  • Slow search function

  • Limited features with a free plan


Available on: Windows, iOS, Web, Android, and macOS


 Pricing: $30 per month for a team of five, and an additional $10 per member.



Dropbox Paper: The Best Collaboration Note-taking app




Dropbox paper is a free note-taking tool from Dropbox which works by bringing creation and collaboration at one place. The tool allows the users to write, edit, review, brainstorm, and manage the task on the go.


Dropbox paper pros:

Dropbox Paper Cons:

  • Add audio, pictures, videos

  • Excellent cloud sync and backup

  • Essential note-taking functionalities

  • High-level task management  

  • No Highlight features

  • No reminder or timer setting


Boostnote: An open-source Note-taking app




This is an open source memo app made especially for programmers. The stylish tools are backed up by a great community of developers and programmers.


With Boostnet, the users can take notes, write mathematical formulas, and codes, and customise as required.


Boostnote Pros:

Boostnote Cons:

  • Markdown notes

  • Various formatting options

  • Semi-live previews

  • Code syntax in over 100 languages

  • Backed-up by the community of programmers

  • Easy syncing across devices

  • Customisation features

  • Consistency issues

  • Poor syncing

  • Doesn’t work well when offline


 Available on: Windows, iOS, Web, Android, and macOS


 Pricing: Free



Colornote: A Smart Note-taking app




Colornote is a neatly designed application with coloured templates. The key features include quick creation of lists and notes, effortless organisation, and secure backup to the cloud.


All these features make Colornote the best note taking the app for students and professionals.


Colornote Pros:

Colornote Cons:

  • Checklists and Text notes

  • Colour Coding

  • Sticky notes 

  • Managing calendar and schedule

  • Setting reminder

  • Notes sharing

  • Locking and archiving features

  • Backup and searching

  • Autolink to search the web

  • Not available for iOS and macOS

  • Chrome extension unavailable

  • Lacks some basic features

  • Lack of searching options


 Availability: Android and Amazon Appstore


 Pricing: Free


Notion: The all-in-one workspace Note-taking app




The notion makes for an all-in-one Workspace with excellent features like writing, planning, collaboration, and organisation. It's more than the note-taking app.


The tool gives the user the best of everything by bringing together productivity and collaboration features.


Notion Pros:

Notion Cons:

  • Notes and Documents with multiple media types

  • Knowledgebase through easy-to-find answers

  • Kanban boards, list views, and calendar

  • Databases and Spreadsheets

  • Markdown

  • Drag and drop

  • Runs Offline

  • Syncing across devices

  • Easy Integration

  • Complex UI

  • No feature to organize snippets

  • No handwriting supports


 Available on: Windows, iOS, Web, Android, and macOS


 Pricing: Free plan with 5 GB file upload limit. Paid plan at $4 per month with unlimited upload and storage.



Milanote: An easy-to-use Note-taking app




For creative minds, visual thinkers, and designers, Milanote is arguably the best note-taking app available on Android. It's for those who prefer images over words, and want to tool to express their creativity.


The tool has a tactile and fast interface which makes it best note-taking app for iPad user.


Milanote Pro

Milanote Cons

  • Web clipper feature to snap images online and save them to visual notes

  • Fast interface

  • Cloud Syncing and backup

  • No highlighter or marker to draw

  • Not suitable for audio memos and notes

  • No collaboration and sharing features


 Available on: macOS and iOS


 Pricing: Free version allows 100 notes, images, and link access. The professional plan, starting at $9.99 per month, offers unlimited storage.



Bear: A flexible Note-taking app





This digital note-taking app supports the Markdown format and allows the users to work inline images.


The best thing about the bear is how it enhances focus towards one task by eliminating all unnecessary elements from the display that's what makes Bear the best note-taking app for iPhone users.


Bear Pros:

Bear Cons:

  • Multiple themes and rich previews

  • In-line support for photos

  • To-dos and Hashtags

  • Focus mode

  • Multi-device sync

  • Regular Updates

  • Multiple export options

  • Advanced Markup Editor


  • It’s not available for free

  • No tabs, so you can view only one note at a time



Available on: macOS and iOS


 Pricing: $1.49 monthly and $14.99 annually



MyScript: The Digital Note-taking app





Next in the queue is MyScript which is designed with powerful technologies like handwritten technologies and digital ink. The tool is packed with features with allow users to take notes on the go.


MyScript Pros:

MyScript Cons:

  • Digital Interactive Ink

  • Handwritten text conversion into the text

  • Recognition of graphic, math, and music

  • Integration with several apps

  • No reminder features

  • Complex for newbies


 Available on: Windows, iOS, Web, Android, and macOS


 Pricing: Free product by Dropbox


Final Verdict: Over to you now

Now that we’ve done an in-depth analysis of the thirteen best note-taking apps, we leave it on you to choose the one that is ahead of the pack and pick what's best for your professional and personal needs.


However, we see how the competition is pretty close in the class of Best note-taking app on iPad, and so we are listing some of the features that make a note-taking app ideal:


When it's about finding an ideal productivity tool, some standards and features have to be met. For example:

  • The application should have a seamless User Interface


  • It should offer an excellent user experience


  • It should be cost-effective


  • It should provide an option for multitasking 


  • It should have additional tools like clipping, highlighting, image to text conversion 


  • The app should offer distraction-free note-taking experience


  • It should work across all operating systems


If the decision were on us, we'd choose Evernote for being feature-rich and for offering productivity features which make it so useful for professional use. If the decision was on you, which one would you pick?

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