Taking notes is one of those simple but extremely personal things. Some notes are more important than others, but we keep them all together to make sure they’re organized in one place. Whether you’re jotting down a simple shopping list or a random thought you want to keep for later, having a dedicated and reliable note-taking app on your phone is super crucial to making sure you can quickly access it wherever and whenever you want.
Finding the right note-taking app, however, can be a bit tricky due to the sheer number of options available. There is no shortage of note-taking apps on the market in 2023, so I’ve decided to highlight a few of the best and my favourites. Not only do they cover all the basics, but many offer advanced features like voice recording, cross-platform support, and more. I’ve highlighted them in no particular order, so feel free to go through each option and find out which one is right for you.
1 A note
OneNote from Microsoft is a feature-rich cross-platform note-taking app that is available for free on different platforms. It’s integrated into Microsoft’s OneDrive and offers a long list of features, including the ability to protect your notes with a password, real-time collaboration with others, and simple export options, among other things. The fact that it is integrated with Microsoft products such as Word, Excel, etc. makes it special, but you don’t necessarily have to be part of the Microsoft ecosystem to enjoy everything it offers.
OneNote also offers a number of advanced features to enhance your note-taking experience. Besides the basic features that let you edit text and add media, you also get a solid text editor with several formatting options and features like voice recording. OneNote takes advantage of Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage to save and sync your data, and it also has Android Wear support.
Evernote is one of the most popular options that have been around in the note-taking scene for quite some time. It has evolved a lot over the years and offers a large list of features used by millions of users worldwide across multiple platforms. From a rich text editor to more advanced features like a tag system to organize all your notes, Evernote comes with many useful features to help you save all your important notes. You’ll need to pay a monthly or yearly fee to unlock all of Evernote’s features, but the free version is enough to get you started.
Some other highlights of Evernote include a robust search feature that even lets you search for particular text in PDF files, a browser extension, a fully customizable dashboard, and more. The free version of Evernote will limit monthly uploads and note sizes to 60MB and 25MB, respectively. A personal plan will bump these numbers up to 10GB and 200MB while also adding support for home screen dashboard customization, Google Calendar integration, and more. Evernote also has a pro plan to increase those limits and give you access to more calendar accounts and more.
3 Standard notes
Standard Notes is a solid choice for those who prioritize security. It’s an open source note-taking app that secures all your notes with industry-leading encryption. The free version of the app offers plenty of security features like end-to-end encryption, two-factor authentication (2FA), and even password protection for notes. You’ll also get access to cross-platform sync with Standard Notes, but you’ll need to get Productivity or Professional subscriptions to unlock other premium features like a text editor and things like checklists, history, and more.
The Productivity subscription for Standard Notes will cost you $63 per year, while the Professional tier will cost you $84 per year. It’s available on Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, Windows, and the web, and all your notes are automatically synced to the cloud for easy access across all compatible platforms.
4 Google Keep
Google Keep is one of the most popular Google apps that hardly needs any introduction. It is one of the simple note taking apps that allows you to easily save all your notes and access them on a number of platforms including the web. You get different themes, background colors and other customization options for your notes and they all show up like neatly laid out tabs that you can swipe through. You can get an option to search, but keep in mind that you cannot search for a particular text within each note.
Google Keep offers a decent set of features, including voice recording and the ability to collaborate with people, but it lacks things like password protection and good search options. It’s a good option to consider for those who want a basic note-taking app for everyday use and are also part of Google’s rich ecosystem, but it won’t be my first choice for power users looking for a more reliable app and note apps with feature-rich options to keep up with their digital life.
Notion is also an excellent note-taking app that also offers a good list of productivity tools to help you get things done. In addition to standard notes, Notion offers support for multiple types of content and the ability to save and sync them across devices. One of the highlights of Notion is that it also works very well with other third-party services such as OneDrive, GitHub, Slack and others. The support for rich integration is what makes it popular among various businesses.
Another cool feature of Notion is that it comes with a rich template library, allowing you to choose from a variety of templates for your notes and other text content. You can also explore templates submitted by the Notion community and invite others to collaborate on your notes. Some other highlights of Notion include password protection, bulk PDF exports, and more. However, not all features are readily available to use, and you’ll need to pay a monthly fee to use those locked behind a paywall.
6 Notes of apple
Apple Notes, as you probably know, isn’t for everyone. But you can’t go wrong with this particular app if you only use Apple devices. It comes with all Apple devices out of the box, which means you don’t have to waste time downloading an additional app to your device. You can access it on the web if you want to access your notes on other platforms for any reason. The process isn’t as simple as you’d like, but you can access the notes you’ve saved in Apple Notes on Android and Windows if you like.
Apple Notes isn’t the most powerful or feature-packed note-taking app on this list, but it includes all the essentials, including the ability to organize and search notes, collaborate on entire shared folders or specific shared notes, and more. . It also comes with a built-in document scanner that works very well for converting your physical documents into digital PDF files. I highly recommend considering it if you’re looking for a simple note-taking app and mostly use Apple devices.
Download Apple Notes
The Best Note-Taking Apps: Final Thoughts
The apps listed above, as I mentioned earlier, are in no particular order and are all equally capable of replacing your physical notes. You may need to pay a small fee to unlock some premium features on some of the apps mentioned above, but they all offer a free tier to get you started. I highly recommend considering OneDrive and Google Keep if you don’t want to spend money on keeping your notes. Apple Notes is also a solid choice for Apple users and is one of the built-in apps that are ready to go as soon as you set up your Apple device.
I’ve been using the autotext feature in messaging apps lately to keep tabs on my notes and to-do lists on my Galaxy S23. I truly believe it is a convenient way to save and access all your important notes, files and checklists. It’s not for everyone, but I highly recommend you consider it if you don’t want to use the apps highlighted in the list above, or if you want to explore something new.
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