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The 30 Best Note Taking Apps – The Complete 2022 Guide

Are you looking for an easier way to take and organize your class notes? Check out these best note taking apps to help you raise your grades!



Students taking notes in class

When taking notes in class, the most common way of taking them has always been with a paper and a pen, something that can be quite tiring and difficult to organize later.

In the middle of a class we may run out of ink, we may not have enough paper or we may not be able to write fast enough to keep up with the professor. And then after that, organizing the papers and folders can be a hassle.

For this reason and thanks to technology we can use our computer or our other various electronic devices to take notes in class. Taking notes from our devices can become something fundamental, since there are tools that allow us to have everything well organized and visually attractive. 

Having good notes is essential in the long run when studying a series of subjects to prepare for midterms and final exams. To ease the time consuming task of taking notes, we can take them on the different models of electronics such as a tablet, phone, or laptop.

So here I leave you with the 30 best note-taking apps of 2022 to stay focused and get keep up those important grades of yours! 


In this article




Best Note Taking Apps for Mac (Ipad) 


1. Notability

notability app


Overview: Notability for iOS is a different notes app. And this is because it allows us to add written notes, both on its virtual or physical (external) keyboard and by hand thanks to the touch screen of the iPhone or iPad. It also allows for audio or graphic recording as well!



  • Capacity to insert audios directly into the notepad. Notability has the capacity to insert audio files such as recordings and voice memos into the notepad just as you´d import any other file. Adding content to the note while playing back the imported audio will sync that content with the recording.
  • Page scrolling: With Notability you can scroll the pages up and down, so if you are a fan of the traditional PDF reader you will love this.
  • Hyperlinks: Support for hyperlinks in typed text (web page addresses, phone numbers, emails).



  • Delete pages quickly: You can´t delete multiple pages quickly. Every page has to be independently selected and deleted via a tab menu. So that´s a major pain when you have to import a large document with many pages that you don’t want. 


Price: Notability is now free to download, and will require a $15 per year subscription—or $12 per year for a limited time—to unlock all of its features.


Platforms: Available for iPad, Mac, and iPhone


2. Simplenote



Overview: Simplenote is an easy way to take notes, create to-do lists, capture ideas, and more. Open the app, type a few lines, and you’re good to go. As your collection grows, keep it organized with tags and pins, and find what you need with instant search.


Since Simplenote will sync with your devices for free, your notes will be with you at all times.



  • Very simple: Simplenote’s user interface is kept to a minimum. There are no formatting toolbars or extra features like notebooks to group notes. The entire desktop interface is comprised of a sidebar containing your tags and trash filters, a list of existing notes with search, a button to add a new note, and a simple view for looking at an existing note or writing a new one.
  • Works Offline: Users can edit and create documents while offline, then sync their content the next time they connect to the internet. As a result, a user can work even when there is no data connection without fear of losing work.
  • Time Machine: Each note edit is kept so that the user can return to a prior version of the document. This way, if you make a mistake or accidentally erase something, you may easily restore the previous version.



  • Search is limited to one tag: There appears to be no way to locate notes with both tags X and Y. This isn’t a major concern until you have a lot of notes and want to run a cross-search for two topics at the same time to limit down your results.
  • No support for file attachments: Embedded attachments are not supported by Simplenote. This may limit the app’s usefulness for certain users, as many other note-taking apps include this capability.


Price: Simplenote is free to download, and Simplenote’s premium subscription costs $10 per year. 


Platforms: Available for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, or in your browser.


3. Noteshelf 



Overview: You’ll love Noteshelf as a note-taking app. Take lovely notes in your own handwriting, much like you would on a notepad, but better. You may text, annotate PDFs, and make voice recordings.



  • Personalize your notepads: You can choose a cover for each of them and choose between different types of pages.
  • Organize your notes into groups: Classify files within Noteshelf by folders. 
  • Protect your documents: Both notepads and folders can be protected from prying eyes. 
  • Labels in your notebooks: In this way, you can enter keywords that in the future will help you find what you are looking for. 



  • Can´t move multiple pages at once. 


              Price: $9.99 


Platforms: This app is available in the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch and now on Android as well! 


4. Liquid Text



Overview: LiquidText allows you to quickly examine, gather, and organize information across all of your papers and webpages, then use the results to write reports, prepare for meetings, or simply study.


Squeeze a document to contrast sections, draw lines to connect concepts in different papers, comment on many pages at once, expand on your ideas, and so much more!



  • Helpful hints: There are many useful indications in the shape of animations, chats, and dialogs.
  • New Ways: This app allows you to design new ways of absorbing and viewing data from a variety of sources.
  • Navigation: Easy navigation through longer documents.
  • Send and receive: Good import and export functionality



  • Crowded: Work space gets crowded with lots of notes


Price: LiquidText is a free download on the App Store, but a $9.99 Pro upgrade is necessary to gain the new ink features.


Platforms: This app is available on the Appstore for iPad, Requires iPadOS 14.1 or later, and for Mac, Requires macOS 11.0 or later.


5. GoodNotes



Overview: Beyond handwriting, the ability to illustrate our notes, to add documents, images or texts, GoodNotes has a key idea: notepads. With this simple idea, it is postulated as a substitute for paper notebooks.



  • Inking: The inking of GN5 is preferred over the inking of other note-taking apps. GN5 ink seems closer to the native iOS notes ink. 
  • Organization: Superior file management, folder structure, and folders within folders.
  • Shape Tool: The shape tool does not needlessly snap onto everything. The app does not dictate the decision of where to place each line. This gives you design freedom. 


  • Images: The images aren’t well optimized. Images and backgrounds frequently disappear and return as you scroll through papers.
  • PDF Size: Imported PDFs will have a preset page size that might be bigger than you like and this cannot be changed, but you can compress the document yourself before uploading it into the app. 


Price: GoodNotes 5 costs $7.99 in the App Store as a one-time purchase.


 Platforms: This app is available on an iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Mac.


6. Whink



Overview: Whink lets you import PDFs to read and annotate, write and type new notes, or highlight and annotate existing ones.


It is a minimalist note taking app that is meant for anyone who just wants to take notes without the hassle of going through too many complicated features. 



  • Simple: The app is very easy to use and understand, it can be used by almost any aged user. For adults who are not that good with technology, this will save their lives. 
  • Synced: The audio recordings are synced to the handwritten notes for easier and faster note taking. 
  • Pen: It has a chic gel ink pen and smart eraser for you to write clean and crisp handwritten notes.



  • Documents: Whink app does not support writing over web page documents.
  • Minimalist: The app can seem minimalist and easy to use but it is also missing many important features. 
  • Search: Doesn´t let you search for keywords in your uploaded PDF.


Price: $ 4.99 one-time purchase.


Platforms: This app is available on an ipad and iphone.


7. Evernote



Overview: Evernote offers a wide range of complex modifiers and its own search syntax, making it much easier to find things. Evernote can also look for text strings in a variety of document types, such as Microsoft Office documents and PDFs.



  • Easy use: Data entry is simple – through typing, voice recording, and image capture.
  • Data: Data can be stored, easily accessed and edited at any moment. 
  • Organizing: Helps you organize everything from your flight pass to your meeting notes, to-do list, and more.
  • Search: The search of all notes, even scanned documents, is extremely fast and accurate.



  • Free Account: The free account includes a monthly data restriction of 60 MB, which can be expanded in order to expand the customer base.
  • Offline: Notes cannot be accessed while offline browsing.


Price: Premium costs $7.99 per month and Business costs $14.99 per month.


Platforms: Evernote supports a number of operating system platforms including OS X, iOS, Chrome OS, Android, Microsoft Windows, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and webOS.


8. Bear



Overview: Writers, lawyers, cooks, instructors, engineers, students, parents, and more utilize Bear, a focused, flexible notes app.


Bear’s rapid organization, editing capabilities, and export choices make it easy to write quickly and share anywhere while maintaining your privacy thanks to encryption.



  • Code: It’s got color code notes for a better organization. 
  • Images: You can add images directly into your notes. 
  • Sync: You can sync notes across multiple devices. 



  • Available: Only available for Apple devices.
  • Light: Extremely light on features.
  • Paid: Syncing requires a paid plan.


Price: It costs $1.49 monthly, which offers a one-week free trial. It costs $14.99 annually, which has a one-month free trial.


Platforms: Available on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch.


9. ZoomNotes



Overview: ZoomNotes is the most comprehensive visual note-taking tool on the market, with an incredible zoom range. Make handwritten notes and sketches on large whiteboards, PDF files, pictures, and MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents.



  • Pen Types: Choose from eight different pen types, including gel, nib, pencil, and more.
  • Sticky Notes: Use sticky notes and create hierarchical visual files as sub-pages.
  • Clips: Insert audio clips directly into your documents.
  • Bookmarks: Save Bookmarks within your documents for quick and easy future reference.



  • Some users don’t like in-app purchases


Price: Free with in-app purchases

Platforms: The app is available for an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac.


10. MarginNote 3



Overview: MarginNote is a program that allows you to read, annotate, and study long-form writings. Texts from EPUB and PDF can be imported and annotated using written text or highlights.


Users can choose different highlighter colors to represent different types of information, such as yellow for main ideas and blue for supporting details, and then display their highlighted text as an outline, flashcards (blue words on one side, yellow words on the other), or a mind map that shows how highlighted terms are related to one another.



  • Features: Flexible, extensive features give seemingly endless options for annotating and sorting preexisting texts into usable and organized notes.
  • Pedagogy: While MarginNote won’t teach users anything in particular, its features give users many ways to sort info into formats that suit their preferred study modes.
  • iCloud: The app syncs your PDFs and notes to iCloud so it is immediately available on all your I-devices. This feature is not available in any other apps with this PDF feature.



  • Complicated PDF reader: If you plan to use this software as your primary PDF reader, you’ll need to devote some time to learning how to use it, even if tutorials are available.
  • No Auto backup: We don’t always remember to back up our files. That’s why it’s important to set up auto backup for your documents so that they’re backed up at regular intervals. You must manually back up your notes in MarginNote to a folder of your choice.


Price: Free with additional in-app purchases


Platforms: Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch.


Best Note Taking Apps for Windows (Android) 


11. BlackNote



Overview: BlackNote is a black-and-white notes app for Android. This is the appropriate solution if the normal white background of most apps weary your eyes and you need a break.



  • Simple: Very easy to use, each gadget is self-explanatory
  • Easy to see: Its black background makes it easier to see without tiring eyes. 
  • Passwords: You can create notes with passwords so people can´t see them.



  • Doesn´t work: The checklist feature doesn´t work very well.
  • Recover: It is not very easy to recover already deleted notes.


Price: It’s free!


Platforms: Android 


12. ClearNote



Overview: ClearNote is a note app for Android made by the creator of BlackNote. It’s basically the same app except it’s colorful.



  • Bar: The ClearNote Bar appears in the top widget sections of your home screen and gives you access to ClearNote app, YouTube, Camera, Watch, Calculator, and Web Search.
  • Ease: It lets you manage and maintain all the significant notes, to-do lists, checklists, and other notes facilities with real ease.
  • Widgets: It provides note list widgets and sticky note widgets with transparency configuration.



  • Home screen: The notes on the home screen don´t immediately change when you edit them. 


Price: Free with in-app purchases 


Platforms: Android phone or tablet


13. Dropbox Paper




Overview: Create new documents or edit existing files, and share them with your team directly from the app so you can capture your inspiration wherever you are.



  • Free: This is a free product giving many advantages to users and at the same time, very easy to use. It lets you use your creativity for an excellent result!
  • Integrate: This program has the ability to integrate many other programs and applications. 
  • Collaboration: Team members can each edit and view changes in real time.



  • Confusing: The default folder view is unappealing, and the slow to adjust UI can be confusing, resulting in the creation of many empty documents rather than opening an existing one.


Price: Free


Platforms: Android, iPhone and iPad


14. FiiNote



Overview: FiiNote is a professional application that allows you to create and store notes.



  • Complete: It’s compatible with a keyboard. 
  • Handwriting: It´s one of the best note taking apps for writing with your hand. 
  • Simple: Everything is very simple and easy to use. 



  • Bugs: Some problems with moving objects, they may appear and disappear or appear in a different place. 


Price: Free


Platforms: Android phone and tablet


15. Bundled Notes



Overview: Bundled Notes is a beautiful, cross-platform note-taking, writing, list-making, and to-do app.


  • Complete: Notes and to-do lists in one app, with reminders.
  • Boards: Support for kanban-style boards.
  • Editor: Markdown editor that is easy to use and has no character limit.



  • Drawing: No drawing tools
  • Sharing: No sharing options


Price: There’s a monthly tier going for $1.89, but you can also choose to pay for the yearly subscription at $15.

Platforms: Android phone and tablet


16. OneNote 



Overview: OneNote is the digital notebook to organize your thoughts, discoveries and ideas and simplify your planning of special moments in your life. Microsoft OneNote lets you take notes on your mobile phone and sync them across all your devices.



  • Organization: It has Notebooks and sections and then individual notes allowing organization.
  • Multi- format: They are multi-format – Pictures, words, formatting and can move things around the page.
  • Accessible:  The information is accessible both online and offline once synced to the computer. 



  • Multiple: Not able to work with multiple notes at the same time.


Price: Basic (free) Premium ($7.99 per month) Business ($14.99 per user, per month)


Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

17. Squid



Overview: Take notes by hand naturally on your Android tablet or phone! With Squid you can write as you would on paper but using a stylus, rubber-tipped pencil, or your finger.


You can easily fill out PDF forms, edit/grade papers, or sign documents. As well as import images, draw figures, add text to your notes, quick select, copy/paste, move objects between pages and notes.



  • Flexible: You can resize, duplicate, and annotate images with flexible image capabilities.
  • Versatility: Multiple styles of background templates add versatility.



  • Missing: Missing some features that are standard in other digital notebooks, such as tags, folders, sync, and a search bar.


Price: Free


Platforms: Android phone and tablet.


18. Notion



Overview: Notion is a hybrid of a project management tool and a note-taking app. It combines the best features of both kinds of software.



  • All in one: You can do the work of several different apps all in Notion.
  • Teams: It has the option for collaborating editing. 
  • Versatility:  You can use Notion for personal, freelance business and planning startups.


  • Mess: Because of its versatility it’s very easy to create a mess using the app.
  • Confusing: While the integration of products into Notion’s all-in-one software is generally convenient, it can be confusing and disorganized at times.


Price: Free download with option of $4/month personal plan.


Platforms: Android, iOS, Mac and Windows


19. Standard Notes



Overview: Standard Notes is a concise and private note-taking app. It securely syncs your notes across all of your devices, including Android, Windows, iOS, Linux, and the web.



  • Safety: Standard Notes encrypt your notes and information. 
  • Useful features: Has more features: tagging, markdown, themes.
  • Sync: It is transparent about sync status and progress. When you open Standard Notes on your phone, there’s a little bit of text that counts up the notes that have been synced and saved in real time. No more fear or uncertainty about whether your notes actually synced.



  • Slow: Syncing+decrypting notes on mobile can sometimes be a little slow—and can sometimes make the app crash if it takes more than a second or two.


   Price: Free download and in-app purchases for $4.17 per month.


  Platforms: Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS


20. Nebo



Overview: Nebo is capable of combining handwriting and text in a single word, sentence, or paragraph. No other note-taking app allows you to write when it’s convenient and type when it suits you.


Both active and passive styluses are now supported by the app. You can now write in the app with your fingers.



  • Converting: Best handwriting – converting app
  • Languages: Supports 66 languages 
  • Equations: Supports Math and Chemical equations



  • Instances: Doesn´t support multiple instances
  • Images: You can´t drag and drop images
  • Recycle: Contains no recycle bin


Price: Free download and for complete features it costs just $11.42


Platforms: Windows, iPadOS, Android, ChromeOS


Best Free Note Taking Apps


21. Google Keep 



Overview:  Google Keep enables users to take plain-text notes and organize, edit, and share them with others via a suite of collaboration tools. You can also use Google Keep to record voice notes and set time and location-based reminders.



  • Search: The search functionality on the app is great.
  • Pictures: Allows pictures to be part of the notes.
  • Layout options: 



  • Bugs: The iOS app occasionally becomes unresponsive and does not update your notes (does not display new notes from other devices or computers); this issue must be resolved by reinstalling the app.
  • Space: Can take a lot of space of your Google account´s quota


Price: Free


Platforms: Apple and Android mobile devices plus a web app


Related: Amazon Prime For Students – How to Save Hundreds Every Year with Prime


22. Slite 



Overview: Slite is a collaborative knowledge sharing app that improves teamwork even when members are separated. Slite is the place to keep your team’s wiki, organize project documentation, share company updates, and even keep personal notes.



  • Simple: The user is not distracted by the variety of features available. It just comes to you.
  • Layout Options: The layout options for placing elements, along with all of the widgets available, make Slite a powerful tool while keeping the overall user experience light and intuitive.
  • Meetings: Slite makes it extremely simple to create docs in which you can not only organize, add tips, and charts, but also collaborate with another team or team member on the fly, in meetings!



  • Small: Very small things, issues with how tables look on large monitors.
  • Convenience: a more convenient interface for “tracking changes” or seeing what has recently changed. 


Price: Free


Platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android


23. NotesWriter



Overview: Whether it’s today’s journal entry, tomorrow’s thesis, or a future bestselling novella, you have handwritten notes, a business memo to share, an essay to write, a story to tell, an article to edit, or a lecture to record.


All of your notes and documents can be created, edited, and organized in one location using Notes Writer.



  • PDF: One of the best apps for PDF reading.
  • Brightness: It has a convenient option to adjust the brightness.
  • Multitasking: Having open tabs is great for multitasking and studying. 



  • Limit: There are roughly 36 pre-made notes and 6-7 folders included with the free software. When you try to create your own folders or notes, it warns you that the free version has hit its limit and that you must upgrade to have limitless notes.


Price: There´s a free version


Platforms: iOS and Android


24. Grammarly



Overview: Grammarly is an academic writing application that automates grammar, proofreading, and writing revision. Grammarly examines and checks a piece of text you’ve written for errors.


The free edition covers the essentials, while the subscription version goes a step further by providing stylistic and best-writing-practice recommendations.



  • Real time correction: Instead of writing everything out and then selecting the “check spelling and grammar” button, you’ll be able to tell straight away whether you’ve made a mistake.
  • Highly accurate: There aren’t many mistakes made by this grammar software. It may occasionally misread what you’re trying to say or insert a comma where one isn’t required or desired, but it has a high rate of accuracy overall.
  • Easy: Grammarly doesn’t just tell you when you’ve made a mistake. While that would be fine, this program takes a step further by providing explanations so that you can learn and develop.



  • Doesn´t work on everything: Grammarly does not work with Google Docs, which might be a big pain for those of you who rely on this writing program on a regular basis.


Price: Free with in product purchases


Platforms: Android and iOS devices


25. Paper



Overview: As a productivity tool, this app has a lot of potential. It can be used to jot down notes, brainstorm ideas, or draw out a tale. Paper’s adaptability allows you to blend the arts and productivity while working with digital technologies.



  • Pictures: You can organize, easily cut, and add pics and edit them.
  • Quick: The ability to easily use and switch tools. 
  • Control: Gives greater control over the graphic elements that you are able to add to notes and sketches.



  • Brushes: The brushes are not very precise, which makes it hard to be exact.
  • Tools: Very limited tools in the free version. 


Price: Free


Platforms: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch


Related: 30 Best Blogs for Teenagers – The Ultimate 2022 Guide


26. Ulysses



Overview: Ulysses is a distraction-free, minimalist writing tool that works with both short and long-form projects. It is used by bloggers, authors, and content providers to write articles, novels, and other types of material.



  • One place: The app stores your writing in one single place.
  • Distraction: Distraction free interface.
  • Exporting: Comes with a lot of exporting options available for you to share your work and notes. 



  • Template: No pre-designed templates
  • Cost: The citation machine costs money. 
  • Only with sheets: Because Ulysses only works with sheets, there are no unique features or arrangements for taking notes or rapidly writing down uncooked ideas for future reference.


Price: Free version, paid version


Platforms: Mac, iPad, iPhone


27. My Note Taking



Overview: Perfect and simple notepad for journaling and taking notes everywhere you go. 



  • Easy: Clean and beautiful interface with easy-to-understand functions.
  • Search: With the quick search feature, you can find your notes faster.
  • Customize: You can customize font size and style. 



  • Ads: Full screen ads may pop up on your screen. 
  • Keyboard: The keyboard may sometimes block the words. 


Price: Free


Platforms: OS: iOS, iPhone, iPad


Related: Bullet Journal Ideas – The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners


28. Zoho Notebook



Overview: Zoho Notebook is a free note-taking app by Zoho Corp, a cloud-based software business that specializes in low-cost solutions. Over the previous few years, Notebook has constantly evolved, and it now syncs your notes across all major platforms and the web.



  • Quick: Saves information in a quick way. 
  • User friendly: It’s incredibly user-friendly, with vibrant color note pages, and it takes very little time to install on most platforms.
  • Customize: You are able to customize the covers of my notebooks as well as the color of each note.



  • Shortcuts: Lack of shortcuts which is frustrating when working on multiple tabs. 
  • Cards: Notes are presented as cards, there is no option to have a list view, which takes less space. 


Price: Free


Platforms: Android and iOS mobile devices, macOS, Windows, Linux, and the web.


29. Quip



Overview: Take notes, organize your to-do lists, and collaborate with co-workers. Share folders to organize your projects at home or in the office. You can use all the functions perfectly without an internet connection: as soon as you reconnect everything is synchronized.



  • Concise: When your team needs to quickly brainstorm and scribble down ideas, Quip is a terrific tool to employ. It removes all extraneous formatting and user interface options, leaving you with a blank canvas on which to work smarter.
  • Functionalities: Import and export functionalities are really good.
  • Cloud: Having your notes accessible via the cloud is a fantastic way to stay on top of things.



  • Limited: Text formatting controls are limited.
  • PDFs: Doesn´t work well with PDFs 


Price: Free


Platforms: iOS and Android 


30. Nimbus Note



Overview: Nimbus Note is a cross-platform information repository and note-taking application that lets users make and update notes, customize screenshots, save web pages, and share files with their peers quickly.



  • Sync: Note-taking web app which has a fully syncing android and ios app.
  • Tons of features: Excellent organizational options (workspace, folders, multiple levels of subfolders), and a plethora of functionality.
  • External elements: Ability to integrate external elements into a note as “Embed.




  • Order: Impossible sorting (defining the order of) workspaces and notes manually.


Price: Free


Platforms: iOS and Android

Final Thoughts


Taking good notes in class is essential, they help extend the teacher’s explanation, which then facilitates success in exams.

Taking notes with a pen and a paper brings with it the idea of boredom and quickness; students might just see it as an obligation of just jotting in everything that comes out of their teacher´s mouth in such a fast way they are not even understanding the meaning of their notes. 

But today, with such advanced technologies, all those applications to write notes have saved and can save many students’ and adults’ lives at the time of writing their notes, ideas, or whatever crosses their minds.

These applications bring with them a number of tools that not only work for writing down each idea, but also let you organize everything your way, letting it look clean, colorful and even with incorporated images, videos and audios.





Note-Taking Apps

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Best Note-Taking Apps for iPad Junkies – The Ultimate 2022 Guide



Young lady taking notes on iPad

This article is all about note taking apps for you iPad!

Do you consider yourself to be an iPad kid at heart? If so, keep reading. iPad’s have transformed the way we play games, as you well know if you’re an iPad kid, how we communicate and most importantly how we learn.

Rather than using pens and paper, we can now use note taking apps on our beloved iPads. But no one really wants to use an iPad for notes if it isn’t guaranteed to protect your data.

If you’re worried about losing your notes in the cloud, don’t. I have done all the research for you on the best note taking apps for iPads, and the best part is that they are listed below!

These apps are proven to be the best and could change the way you take notes. Embrace your inner iPad kid, ditch the pen and paper, and save a tree by using the best note taking apps for iPads!

Note: Most of these apps use your handwriting so you would either use your finger or a stylist such as an Apple Pencil, but most also give you the option to type.



10 Best Note Taking Apps For iPad


1. Notability


With a stellar ranking and the title of being Editors’ Choice, it is clear that Notability is one of the front runners in the iPad note taking world.

This app offers smooth and flawless writing, insane recording capabilities, and so much more.

Users love Notability because of how versatile it is. Whether you need to take notes for class, draw diagrams, record lectures, get inspired or just doodle, Notability has you covered.


  • Price: Free starter app. Notability plus is $8.99 for the first year and then $11.99 per year. 
  • Rating: 4.6/5 with 16,870 ratings/reviews. 
  • Platform: Mac, iPad, and iPhone
  • Languages: English, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese.

The best of Notability:

  • Playback audio and recording capabilities – This feature is perfect for anyone who needs to record or listen to videos. Sync your voice with your notes
  • Multi-note – Work with two sets of notes side by side without having to change tabs or close one note to open the other
  • Publishing – Make your notes visible for others to see and learn from!

Notability also has two packages that you can choose from when downloading the app. Whether you want a simple, free, great starter pack or a pro package, Notability has options.

There are some large differences regarding the accessibility and tools you get to use when you pay for the pro version. Below is a chart of the differences.

What users are saying about this app:

In the Apple App Store, Notability has almost 17,000 ratings and countless reviews. Most of these reviews are extremely positive.

“I have used Notability since 2014 and have yet to come across another app that satisfies my needs like Notability.” – BlissfullySyl

“This app does pretty much everything you can think of.” CelliDonuts


The only reported downside of Notability is that it is less effective on Macs, but it is flawless on iPads.

So, there really aren’t any reasons why this app wouldn’t be perfect for a note taker using an iPad. 

The other main limitation of Notability is how limited the free plan is. Unless you pay for Notability plus, you won’t be able to continue to update your notes and you won’t have the ability to sync your notes to the Cloud. 



2. NoteShelf


If you love writing in your natural handwriting, NoteShelf is perfect for you. This app provides a brilliant, smooth writing experience that is completely customizable.

It also allows you to work with major cloud services like iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive. 


  • Price: $9.99
  • Rating: 4.5/5 with 600 ratings/reviews
  • Platform: iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, iPod touch
  • Language: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese

NoteShelf has many features that draw users in, some of which include:

The best of NoteShelf:

  • Hands-free note taking – This feature is specific to NoteShelf. You can take audio notes on your Apple Watch if you have NoteShelf installed on it. Then, later, when you’re taking notes, you can listen to this recording. 
  • Handwriting recognition – You can search all of your notes in 65 different languages and even choose to have your handwriting converted into text. 
  • Multitasking made easy – Open numerous windows on NoteShelf and put notes side by side for easy organizing or studying.

What users are saying about this app:

“I genuinely think the handwriting is much better on this app than any of the others.” – Now 216

“In my experience, NoteShelf cannot be beat! Try it! You’ll love it!” – Ross J C


The only negative feedback about NoteShelf is bug issues.  From all the reviews that said something about these issues, only one or two got a response from the developers of NoteShelf on how they can get in contact with the support team.



3. Microsoft OneNote


The digital notebook, Microsoft OneNote, is perfect for anyone who wants a professional, digital notebook on the go.

Similarly to Notability, this note taking app was also voted Editors’ choice and is ranked #15 in productivity in the App Store.

This app may not be an Apple product, but it will definitely take your note taking abilities to the next level.


  • Price: Free 
  • Rating: 4.7/5 with almost 665,700 ratings/reviews
  • Platform: iPad, iPhone, Mac, PC, Android devices
  • Languages: English, Arabic, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese


The best of OneNote:

  • Capture anything and everything – Write memos, take pictures, or use drawing tools like Microsoft’s “Convert to Shapes” which automatically makes hand drawn shapes crisp and perfect for a brilliant handwriting experience
  • Color coding – Organize your notes any way you would like!
  • Collaboration – Share your notepad in real time on multiple devices with colleagues or friends

What users are saying about this app:

“As a writer, one never knows when an idea strikes. When it does, OneNote is there to capture lightning in a jar.” – The Rogde


With collaboration comes technology issues that some users wish would be fixed on OneNote. 

“It would be nice to be able to see an indicator that appears on the section and page tabs that shows who is currently editing. Perhaps an additional ‘New Changes’ alert badge on these sections and page tabs would also be great” – Enilks12.

A majority of negative reviews regarding this product are about typing shortcuts or not being able to transfer data or documents from OneNote to other Microsoft products such as Word.

The good news is that Microsoft updates OneNote based on customer reviews. The most recent update in March of 2022 fixed bug problems within the app.

Unlike other companies, Microsoft even encourages users to send feedback about the app so they can improve it!


4. GoodNotes 5


If you’re tired of Apple products but want your notes to be synced and saved within iCloud, then GoodNotes 5 is the perfect note taking app for you.

As I said above, this app allows you to sync your notes to iCloud and thus be shared between all of your devices.

This iCloud feature is among the best features of GoodNote 5 but, unsurprisingly, is not the best. 



  • Price: Free
  • Rating: 4.8/5 with 53,600 ratings/reviews 
  • Platform: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Mac
  • Languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish


The best of GoodNote 5:

  • Precise erasing – As tedious as this may sound, having precise erasing can be a game changer in the digital note taking world. Most apps will erase the entire word or shape that you’ve created, but not GoodNotes. This app will let you choose what you want to erase
  • Present – Simply connect to a Mac computer using airplay or an HDMI and present a lecture, notes, or project fast and easily. 
  • Paper templates – Choose from a variety of templates for covers or to take notes on (blank paper, ruled paper, Cornell paper, checklists, etc.)


GoodNotes has virtually everything you would want in a note taking platform.

What users are saying about this app:

“GoodNotes delivers. I use it for EVERYTHING, for work and my home life.” – Saminer


There are only two reported downsides, they include that there are no colored pencil or crayon utensils among the pen, brush, highlighter, etc. utensils and that there is no audio recording that can sync your voice to your notes like Notability.


5. Nebo



Nebo is a newer app that has clearly done their homework. They have a bunch of new, special features that match or better their competitors.


  • Price: Free, option to pay more if you would like a fuller “productivity pack”
  • Rating: 4.6/5 with 13,300 reviews/ratings
  • Platform: iPad only to take notes
  • Language: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese


The best of Nebo:

  • Write-to-text conversion – Your chicken scratch handwriting will be turned into proper text and professional documents with Nebo’s recognition software. This software can even convert your handwriting into your choice of 66 languages. 
  • Nebo viewer – This is a separate app from Nebo; however, it allows you to view your notes, from your iPad, on your iPhone. There is no editing that can be done, Nebo viewer is a read-only app. This app is perfect for sharing your notes in the correct format without having to take screenshots on your iPad. 
  • Reuse freeform content – Copy content from your notes and paste them into other notes or apps. 

What users are saying about this app:

“This is, hands down, the best app to use if you want to convert your handwriting into typed format.” – Theblast99

“Overall, this is a great app and the above issues are very mild annoyances that are very tolerable.” – 0verwatch36O

The developers of Nebo reply to every review they receive, whether it is positive or negative! If this doesn’t tell you that a company cares, I’m not sure what will.

Now, you’re probably thinking that the responses are all super generic, but you’re wrong again. The Nebo developers will respond personally to every review, even signed with the responder’s name.


Most of Nebo’s negative reviews are about lag or various gestures or abbreviations. This means that some of the app’s abbreviations may not be working or that they aren’t working as smoothly as they could be.

Also, this app lacks template designs and its freeform handwriting falls short of other handwriting note taking apps.



6. Evernote


With a stellar recommendation from the New York Times, it is clear why Evernote is one of the best note-taking apps for iPads.

Evernote allows you to organize your ideas and your workspace just how you like it.  Evernote is a solid note taking app. It has been around since 2008 and has made many updates to its features throughout the years.


  • Price: Free, $7.99, $9.99 or $14.99 (all per month)
  • Rating: 4.4/5 with 38,300 review/ratings
  • Platform: iPad, iPhone, Mac, iPod touch
  • Languages: English, Arabic, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese


The best of Evernote:

  • Sync to Google Calendar – Create a bridge between your notes and your busy schedule
  • Sync across any device – Like Apple Notes, the ability to automatically sync your notes and notebooks across any of your devices
  • Relevant information – Evernote will automatically and instantly put your most popular/relevant notes on the Home dashboard

What users are saying about this app:

“I am loving Evernote now more than ever. My productivity has increased, and my peace of mind has doubled.” – dlw2112

“Use Evernote as the place you put everything” – The New York Times

When you search Evernote on Apple you will come across a lot of negative reviews. Most of these reviews are from at least 3 years ago, so don’t let them scare you off.

Evernote has made many updates that users, old and new, love. Evernote makes consistent updates to their app frequently. Whether this be improving the speed or fixing various bugs.


The biggest setback of Evernote is that you need to pay for the best of this app.

“While I use this app every day and find it far superior to others I’ve used, IT IS TOO EXPENSIVE.” – firelance80

The free version doesn’t allow for larger note sizes or for more than two devices to be synced.

It also has limited collaboration tools unless you are willing to pay $7.99, $9.99 or $14.99 per month.


7. Apple Notes

Out of all the apps listed, Apple Notes is by far the most accessible note taking app because it is already downloaded on every Apple product upon purchase.

All you need to do to use the app is go on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. 

Besides its easy accessibility, Apple Note has plenty of standout features.



  • Price: Free on all apple devices.  
  • Rating: 3.5/5 with 1,700 ratings/reviews. 
  • Platform: Apple Products (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac)
  • Language: English, Arabic, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese


The best of Apple Notes:

  • Checklist – Elevate your organization
  • Scan and paste documents – The perfect tool without a printer or a USB, all you need is the camera on your device 
  • iCloud – Since Apple Notes is an Apple product it is automatically synced with your iCloud account. So, anytime you take a note, whether it be on your iPhone, iPad or any other apple product, it will automatically show up in your notes on your other devices

What users are saying about this app:

“Quick notes on the iPad.” – appleSoftware

“This is just pure awesomeness.” – Serenity Burden

“I love Apple Notes. It’s an extremely useful app to have already installed on your phone. Whenever I need to write something down, I simply pull out my phone and go in my notes.”

“The sheer amount of words that it holds is incredible. Though that comes with lagging”-Alligator96


Users have had issues with apple notes. Some of which include deletion of notes, slowed processing speeds or not being able to recover notes after they have been deleted.

It can also be difficult to transfer your notes from your iPhone to Mac and there are very few customizable features in the app, especially compared to extensive features in other apps.

Apple Notes is the most basic of note taking apps.



8. Whink


Unlike other apps, Whink combines every aspect of your life, even texting through iMessage.

Now I know you are probably looking for a great app to take notes on your iPad, however, Whink offers this cool feature that most other note taking apps don’t.

The reason Whink is able to do this is because of the sharing capabilities they provide using iCloud.

So, if you need a great app to take notes on and a way to send personal, handwritten messages over text, Whink may be the perfect app for you.

Outside of the cool iMessage feature, Whink has also many great features.



  • Price: $4.99, one time purchase
  • Rating: 4.2/5 with 105 reviews/ratings
  • Platform: iPhone, iPad, iPad touch, Mac
  • Language: English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese


The best of Whink:

  • Audio Recordings – Insert recordings into your notes/PDF’s, arrange your audio/voice notes, and record lectures, presentations, or meetings while you take notes and play them back at anytime
  • Post-its – Add post-it notes to your notes just like you could do in a physical notebook. Quickly search your notes by adding tags or post-its. 
  • Backup and share your notes – You will never lose your notes with quick and easy backup using iCloud. Open your notes in other apps using Whink’s Open-in feature.

What users are saying about this app:

“All the good stuff, none of the dumb stuff.” – alpalorama

“One of the most aesthetically pleasing apps I have.” – Sammy Duck


Most of the negative reviews left for Whink are at least three years old, thus they are not extremely relevant considering the app, like others, goes through updates frequently.

Also, there were only a total of ten reviews left for the app, most of which are positive.


Overall, the app is pretty basic and good for people who don’t want to pay for anything super fancy.


9. LiquidText

Unlike other iPad apps, LiquidText is more of a research tool.

More specifically, this app is the perfect way to organize your research and annotate PDF’s.

Also, LiquidText updates their app very frequently. They even show you what parts of the app have been updated in the app store before you purchase the app. 

LiquidText has some unique research software that puts this app in front of other note taking apps.



  • Price: Free, unless you want to upgrade (prices vary)
  • Rating: 3.8/5 with 321 reviews/ratings
  • Platform: iPad and Mac
  • Language: English


The best of LiquidText

  • Unified workspaces – Ability to add multiple documents to the same workspace.
  • Visually connect ideas – Draw lines/connections in between multiple notes and documents to create visual hyperlinks
  • Universal document reader – LiquidText supports various types of documents. Therefore, you can import virtually any type of document into the app, whether this be PDF, Web Pages, PowerPoint, etc.


What users are saying about this app:

“All you need for deep research projects.” – Macworld, Jackie Dove



Many users claim to love the concept of this app, however, not the way it is executed. The major downside of this app is how easily data and notes can be lost within these large workspaces.

Also, this app is extremely specific for users who are geared towards looking at or performing research. If you aren’t doing research, there are much better note taking apps for you.



10. Notion


“This app has taken over my life as I spend a big part of my day working in Notion.” – Hextered

Notion is perfect for someone who wants to build a personal workspace, perhaps for a job or a class.

With Notion you are able to craft the database, dashboard, website, or overall system that you need for your line of work. 

Notion has many very unique features that other note taking apps don’t have or use, some of which include:


The best of Notion

  • Never hit a storage limit – With Notion you can add as much content as you would like
  • Say goodbye to messy folders – Notion allows you to nestle pages or information into other pages (if you would like)
  • Publish a website – With a couple clicks you can turn any of your work into a website using the app


What users are saying about this app:

“This app has taken over my life as I spend a big part of my day working in Notion.” – Hextered



Notion doesn’t have many if any negative reviews that are relevant to note besides possible bug issues.

These issues are addressed and fixed with every update that the app goes through, so it is not something to pay much attention to or worry about.



  • Price: Free
  • Rating: 4/5 with 2,100 ratings/reviews
  • Platform: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac
  • Language: English, French, Japanese, Korean


How do you Choose the Right Note Taking App for you?

Before I continue, I want to say that all of the apps above are great options; there isn’t a bad app listed.

However, choosing the right app that you trust to take care of your precious notes and organize your ideas is important. If you can’t decide based on the descriptions above, then consider looking at the price or platforms that the app is available on besides iPad.

All the apps above have their prices and platforms listed. Now, when you look at the price, more expensive doesn’t always mean better and if the app is free, it doesn’t mean that app is cheap. It depends on what you want.

The first step in choosing what app you want is deciding why you need it, whether this is for everyday life, work, research, etc. You need to decide what you need the app for first.


What is the best app to use with an Apple Pencil?

While most of the note taking apps above are great to use with Apple Pencil, the best app to use with an Apple Pencil is Notability because of the app’s easy navigation.

Notability has some of the smoothest writing out of all iPad note taking apps and the most writing tips to choose from (such as pen, pencil, chalk, etc.).

The app also allows you to choose between standard writing and calligraphy writing, this addition, again, enhances the writing experience for the user especially with an Apple Pencil.


Other Cool Apps for College Students to Download on iPad

An iPad is not only for taking notes, but also used to hold/use other apps. Below are some great apps to add to your home screen:


  • Amazon – We all know what Amazon is, a great place to shop. Adding this app to your iPad will allow you to take your shopping with you wherever you go. Also, if you have an Amazon Student Prime account you can watch Amazon Prime on the go on your iPad. Amazon is a free app, but if you want to experience the benefits of Prime, consider starting a subscription. 


  • Google Calendar – If you struggle with being organized, download this app on your iPad right now! You can sync your class, personal and work schedule all into one calendar and you can connect with others and view their Google Calendars to see when they are available for meetings. Google Calendar is a fantastic tool that isn’t talked about nearly as much as it should be. You can even color code all your events! Google Calendar is free in the app store. 


  • Quizlet – If you are in a class with a lot of multiple-choice tests, this app will save your grade. Quizlet is an online flashcard app. Not only can you make your own set of flashcards, but you can also search, view, and use other people’s flashcard sets. In both high school, and college, this app has saved my grade and my friends’ grades. Quizlet is free in the app store. 


  • Forest – Struggling with procrastination or constantly scrolling through tic tok? Consider downloading Forest. This app was voted the best app in 2018 and 2019 in the App Store and for good reason. Forest will help you focus on your studies in the cutest way possible. Every time you use the app and stay focused, you plant a tree and build a forest on your phone. Soon enough you will have a completely personalized forest of your own. Forest is available for purchase in the app store for $3.99. 


  • Canva – This app is perfect for editing pictures, videos and creating graphic designs. If you don’t have any experience designing, no worries. Canva makes it extremely easy to use and navigate editing. The app even provides thousands of templates for you to utilize when designing. Canva is free in the app store. 


  • Duolingo – If you want to learn a new language or simply get ahead of your language class, download Duolingo. This app allows you to learn over 35 languages through quick, daily learning checks. You can practice listening, speaking, writing, reading and vocabulary on the app. Duolingo is free in the app store. 


  • Headspace – Learn to practice mindfulness with Headspace. This app helps you learn to manage stress, relax, meditate, and even sleep. As college students we know how important getting sleep is. So, learn how to live a healthier lifestyle and learn how to become more mindful with Headspace. The app is free in the app store but there are in app subscriptions that can be purchased for $12.99 per month. 


  • Google Translate – Whether you are in a language class or traveling the world. Google Translate is a great app to have. With this app you can take pictures of menus and translate them into any language of your choice, you can type directly into the app for translations or just try to learn a new language. Google translate is free in the app store.     


Still not sure what is the best note taking app for your iPad?

No worries! Watch video below for more information.


That’s a wrap. This article was all about Best Note-Taking Apps for iPad Junkies. 





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