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)
- Best Note Taking Apps for Windows (Android)
- Best Free Note Taking Apps
Best Note Taking Apps for Mac (Ipad)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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!
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.
Platforms: Android, iPhone and iPad
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.
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
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.
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.
Platforms: Android phone and tablet.
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
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
Platforms: Apple and Android mobile devices plus a web app
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.
Platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android
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
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
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.
Platforms: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
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.
Platforms: OS: iOS, iPhone, iPad
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.
Platforms: Android and iOS mobile devices, macOS, Windows, Linux, and the web.
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
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.
Platforms: iOS and Android
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.
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