Note-taking on the go is a must for any busy professional. The ability to search, tag and organize notes is a minimum requirement for any worthwhile note-taking app. Many apps today even allow users to add images, record voice notes, take handwritten notes and upload files.
Here are five of the best note-taking apps available. Determining which app is best for you depends on your needs, note-taking style and the user interface you prefer.
A well-known service that works on most desktop and mobile devices, Evernote sets the quality standard for free note-taking apps. Evernote syncs across your devices when you create an account; this ensures 24/7 access to your notes.
It’s easy to use and has a great user interface. It allows you to type in notes, create checklists, record voice memos and add pictures. Using the browser plug-in, you can also clip content from the web and add it to a notebook in Evernote. Using the free version, you may only upload 60MB worth of notes per month; this includes text, audio, photo or video content and uploaded files.
- Easily browse notes and notebooks
- Identify notes based on where they were created
- Everything is searchable (notes, attachments, tags, images, etc.)
- Mark up and edit images (PDFs can be marked up only with a Premium account)
- Optional 2-step security account verification
- Easily integrate with additional Evernote products
Price: Free; $5 per month or $45 per year for Premium account.
Notability works on the iPhone and iPad. It’s everything you want in a note-taking application. You can import and mark up documents, record meetings, lectures or voice memos, and sync written notes with audio. You can also handwrite notes, add photos and manipulate text on a page easily.
Notability also allows you to sync handwritten and audio notes in a pretty innovative way. Say you are recording a lecture and taking notes at the same time. Later on, you can tap on a word or section in your meeting notes and can automatically jump to the point in the recording when you originally took those notes.
- Upload and annotate documents, slides, photos, etc.
- Pen tool allows you to write—rather than type—notes
- Record and take notes at the same time
- Sync notes with the cloud
- Export notes via email, Dropbox, Google Drive, Twitter, Box, WebDAV and more
- Clean, intuitive interface
Springpad works on iOS, Android and the web. It helps you take more useful notes by organizing your content as you create it. When you click the plus sign on the top right to add a new note, you can choose from four simple options: Write a Note, Add a Task, Make a Checklist or Paste a Link. Besides these top-level options, Springpad allows you to choose among numerous formats: recipe, product, place, movie, book, TV show, video, photo, wine event, alarm and contacts. If you upload a file, add a picture or take content from the web, Springpad’s automated categorization can help you quickly get your work organized.
- Login via Google+, Facebook, Twitter or Yahoo! or create an account
- Create notebooks for specific categories
- Chrome and Firefox extensions let you clip content from the web
- Allows media, links and files to be added to notes
- Alarm feature lets you set a reminder to take action on a specific note
- Collaborate on a specific notebook; keep other notebooks private
- Sleek WYSIWYG editor
Simplenote works on Android, iOS, Mac and your browser; there’s also a version for Kindle. The design is clean and minimalist. Its divided screen shows the note that is open on the right and the list of all notes on the left. You can search notes by word or add tags to notes, which can help you search your notes later on.
- Revert to earlier versions of notes
- Publish any note to the web; access or share it via a short URL
- Share the note with someone, and they can edit the note too
- Web app syncs with Simplenote when downloaded to your device
Google Keep works on the web as part of Google Drive and on Android devices. It’s simple and clean, but in a browser, it appears too minimalist for its own good. It functions well for notes, and (like Springpad) you can add photos, create checklists and set an alarm. It is one of the few note-taking apps that allows you to create a voice note and automatically translates it into a text version of the note.
- Simple interface; intuitive
- Perfect for simple notes
- Voice notes are automatically translated
- Location-based note reminders
- Integrated to Google Drive (you can also search for Google Keep files in Drive)