Cian Mac MahonSoftware Engineer, HubSpot

What's the best notes app for Mac?

I'm a long time paying user of Evernote, and have finally given up on hoping that they'll improve the Mac editor UI. The only thing locking me in is their OCR - I have 6 years of handwritten notes saved in there. What notes app do you use on Mac OS and iOS? OCR support is not a requirement, but a huge plus.
Featured 
Your recommendation
🤓 Have a recommendation? Join to share.
45 recommended
  1. 241
    Bear

    A beautiful, flexible writing app for notes and prose

    Tyler DowFront End Developer · Written
    I just recently imported all of my notes from Evernote to Bear. If you are a fan of using multiple notebooks, getting used to the Hashtag as a way to organize your notes will take some time. However, I am a big fan of the interface and think they do a fantastic job keeping the app fast, light & enjoyable.
    Comments (5)Share
    Vladimir VasilevskiProduct Designer @ venikom.com · Written
    It's an amazing note taking app. I love the design that is what got me to use it more than any of the other features. If someone knows the designer(s) tell him that she/he/they have done a great job. The only downside for me is the subscription :( I am willing to pay for it for sure for this version and I would pay for the next version for sure. Great app I highly recommend it!
    CommentsShare
    I wish there was some open web sharing of notes, but other than that I dig it. I'm dyslexic and they have the option of using the "Open Dyslexic" font, which helps a lot for folks like us.
    CommentsShare
  2. 121
    Evernote

    Note taking gets even simpler

    Vytas ButkeviciusFreelance designer · Written
    Never had to look for a different note taking app. It's got an incredible amount of useful features as well
    Comments (1)Share
    Kumar LouhitFounder, Spontie, Inc · Written
    I have been using Evernote since Day 1. Works seamlessly and syncs with all my devices via iOS and macOS. Simplest tool ever.
    CommentsShare
    I've been using Evernote for a long time and am a big fan. It syncs easily between iOS and macOS.
    Comments (1)Share
  3. Probably not that cool and all, but damn straight useful to me. Especially since Apple updated Notes.app a couple of years ago. I've tried Evernote, Bear and many others. But in the end I always came back to Notes on my Mac/iPhone/iPad.
    CommentsShare
    Victor Bous👨🏼‍💻 Freelance lifestyle / Tech geek 📱 · Edited
    I am such a flip flopper. I used almost all note apps mentioned in this list. But the truth is, native Notes app is the fastest of them. I could open Notes 3 times before Evernote really launches. Plus, I like the design. Minimalistic from its core. The only thing I miss is adding anchors, but can live without it. Furthermore, the sync between devices is totally free (Hi, Bear👋🏻) and it's secure and encrypted.
    CommentsShare
    I really like the simplicity of Notes app. I don't need all the fancy features that other apps have. Just for noting down some random stuff I need to, this is the fastest to open and easiest to work with. Syncs immediately and is a ease to work with. I use the native Evernote app too, but it takes more time to open and I usually use it for more structured and long notes. For everything else, its the Notes app!
    CommentsShare
  4. 53
    Dropbox Paper

    Collaboration tool built for teams

    Abel LenzVP Product & Design, Opticlose · Written
    Now that they added offline editing (gotta note on the subway), Paper has officially replaced Evernote as my second brain across all devices. It's got something Evernote never got around to: reliability.
    CommentsShare
    It's simple to use and supports markdown, attachments and much more. Works well across iOS, Android & Web. Did I mention it looks very elegant? Their collaboration options are also very simple and usefull.
    Comments (1)Share
  5. Matija AbicicHead of Product Strategy at Sysrepublic · Written
    Easy, fast, synced w your google account, has iOS app...must have.
    CommentsShare
    David StandenCo-founder, Loveflutter · Written
    I use Google Keep a lot, really simple. I never really got into Evernote, guess some things stick and others don't.
    CommentsShare
    It's simple and really useful. I use it to take notes, make to do lists with the checkboxes but the lightning fast sync is the one I use it the most, when I need to copy some text from one device to another. Just type or paste the text on the phone or computer, and it appears on all my other devices in seconds!
    CommentsShare
  6. 44
    Notion 1.0 Web + Mac App

    Docs, wikis, tasks – a minimal & unified workspace for teams

    Ivan ZhaoCo-founder, Notion · Written
    Ivan Zhao made this product
    There's a beta version of the iOS app too. Message the support in the app to get it!
    CommentsShare
    Nick Neuman3Product Manager, Grab · Written
    I love Notion - super simple and the team is really responsive to any questions or issues. Great for taking notes and sharing it with your team; we use it as a team wiki.
    CommentsShare
    Great tool for taking notes and organizing things for a team and also for yourself!
    CommentsShare
  7. 33
    Memo.AI

    The wiki that's always up-to-date

    Mircea Pașoi3Co-founder Memo.AI · Written
    Mircea Pașoi made this product
    I'm biased... but I think Memo is great for technical teams (works great for code snippets, technical documentation, meeting notes, etc.) and is deeply integrated with Slack. Here's some information on how it compares with traditional tools (Evernote, Confluence, Github Wiki and Slack Posts): https://memo.ai/compare
    CommentsShare
    Hugo Dozois-C.CTO & Co-Founder at Voo · Written
    Really like taking my notes on it. The UI is simple and easy to use. The integration with slack is great because it allows me to look through my notes without leaving my conversation.
    CommentsShare
    Been using Memo for the last few months and really love the simplicity and lightness of the app. Moved from Evernote which I found to be complex and lacked collaboration capabilities that my team needed. All the best Team!
    CommentsShare
  8. 30
    Ulysses III

    A powerful writing tool for Mac, iPad, and iPhone

    I use this one for all my note taking needs. Just because it has an awesome library function, markdown support and the iCloud sync is amazing.. It syncs across my devices without any problem. I just love it 😋
    CommentsShare
    Markdown support is just amazing. I use it for quick notes, short stories, and podcast scripts. Just beautifully designed and incredibly flexible for exports. A little on the pricey side, especially the iphone app, but love using it.
    CommentsShare
    Thomas SchoffelenCo-founder, Scholica · Written
    Super nice library function with folders and subfolders, custom icons, etc., which all sync perfectly across Mac and iPhone apps.
    CommentsShare
  9. 29
    Simplenote

    Simple, lighter alternative to Evernote

    Axel KrottlerGlas påsk! 🐣 · Written
    Just so simple and available almost everywhere!
    Comments (1)Share
    This is by far the simplest note taking app and it syncs very reliably and fast. I can switch between phone and computer white taking notes. It's like my second brain and I take a lot of notes.
    CommentsShare
    Duarte MartinsProject Manager @ Startup Lisboa · Written
    Native Mac + Android app. Very simple + easy to share notes. Just wish we could bold text.
    CommentsShare
  10. 27
    iA Writer 4

    Embed images, tables and text as blocks of content in text

    Paul StecklerFounder at Ramp Catalyst · Written
    IA Writer is cross-platform (iOS, Android, and iPhone that I use). Since it is file-based you can keep notes in Dropbox, Gdrive, etc. Your choice which is nice vs. someone else's cloud. Only needs: 1. Support for tables. I know I *can* do them in Markdown but a simple table editor would be nice. 2. Copy/paste images - I use this often from web sites, documents, etc.
    CommentsShare
    Very simple & focused.
    CommentsShare
    best mix of minimalism and well executed features
    CommentsShare
  11. Onenote just keeps getting better. The latest update brings a very beautiful interface and more delightful UI. Synchronization across platforms is perfect and the handwriting is a plus.
    CommentsShare
    Romain LavielleFounder, Digital Village · Written
    I used Evernote everyday then switched to OneNote. As powerful at least but keeps in mind the user (Me) mainly wants to take notes quickly. I dumped Evernote since
    CommentsShare
    Jade RobbinsProduct Manager, Workiva · Written
    There aren't many products that I flat out tell people to at least try, but OneNote is one of them. OneNote is flexible, yet structured and now available on almost every platform (the web version does have room for improvement).
    CommentsShare
  12. 18
    Workflowy

    Turn your entire life into a list.

    ronsheridan5co-founder, Pree.it · Written
    I've recently begun using Workflowy again. It's now my real time Note Taking and Task Manager app. The sharing feature nailed it for me (the ability to share specific outlines with people). Workflowy's hierarchical outline structure has some real advantages. My issues include not allowing embedded images and no hyperlinking.
    CommentsShare
    Amazing web app that is surprisingly flexible despite its simplicity and apparent rigidity: everything fits under a single heirarchical outline, with a good UX for navigating and organizing this heirarchy. If this happens to align with how your brain naturally organizes things, it's the perfect tool.
    CommentsShare
  13. 17
    Quiver

    A notebook built for programmers on your Mac

    AnirudhSDE Intern @Hasura. GSoC '17 @Haiku. · Written
    This doesn't solve the main task of daily notes, I use this to jot down the highlights of what I learn/see online. It's built for programmers, supports LaTeX, Markdown and Code view with line numbers. Love to have all these features at disposal though I don't use them all.
    CommentsShare
    Mohammed RidwanSoftware Engineer @ShopifyPlus. · Written
    I use Quiver for every single note taking need, whether it is making to-do lists or doing research on a project. Quiver handles LaTeX, Markdown, Code so well! Also pair this with Lightshot Screenshot and you have the perfect research scrap-booking tool.
    CommentsShare
    I was looking for a note taking application where I control my data. I switched to Quiver because it stores my notes in a plaintext library of JSON that I can move across git, gDrive, dropbox or just transfer between devices manually. I also use Quaver (an community-developed android app) to get an _alright_ mobile experience out of it.
    CommentsShare
  14. 12
    Standard Notes

    Notes app with focus on privacy and longevity.

    Mo Bitar made this product
    You mentioned your frustration with the editor in Evernote. The cool thing about Standard Notes is that the editor can be completely swapped out or customized with extensions, and anyone can easily build their own. Other than that, Standard Notes is lightweight and features end-to-end encryption, so your notes are encrypted before they leave your device.
    CommentsShare
    joshua bradleyCelebrating people, making life better. · Written
    I wrote elsewhere how Standard Notes has replaced Evernote for me. I dig everything about how they are building, sharing and decentralizing their product via extensions. Small footprint and encryption just sweeten the deal.
    CommentsShare
    Best notes app ever.
    CommentsShare
  15. 9
    Notebook for Mac

    The beautifully simple note-taking app from Zoho. Now on Mac

    It's simple and a bit nostalgic like writing in composition notebooks. It also sync's easily across all my Apple devices. You can also do pretty neat things like Stack notes book pages / cards , attach images , record audio , create checklists , change the background color of each text note , and again it's not overwhelming :)
    CommentsShare
    Đăng Trầnfont-end developer · Written
    Great note tool for me.
    CommentsShare
  16. 8
    Dynalist

    A web app for structuring your thoughts into lists

    Very easy to organize content without cluttering. Awesome UI / UX.
    CommentsShare
  17. 9
    Sublime Text 3

    Sophisticated Text Editor For Code

    Kunal Bhatia47Co-founder & Design Lead @SlidesUp · Written
    Believe it or not, but me and my brother use Sublime Text for notes. He's a PM, I'm a designer, and we both write software. With Sublime, we can keep detailed notes and expand/collapse sections easily. This was our solution to Evernote! No OCR, but I think you might like it.
    Comments (1)Share
  18. 8
    Notational Velocity

    A unique modeless, mouseless Mac OS X note-taking app

    Michael XanderProduct Designer, mymorningroutine.com · Written
    Slim, fast, and an open file format (Markdown).
    CommentsShare
  19. 7
    Notability

    Powerful cross-platform note-taking platform

    Robert SpivackRS Development Group, LLC · Written
    Notability is the perfect solution for handwritten notes on an iPad Pro using an Apple pencil. Just the right set of features - more capability than standard Apple Notes, but not too complex a user interface like the more advanced drawing apps. The multi-platform angle - being available on both iOS and macOS is very important as it means all your notes are synced and available back at your desk without digging out your phone or iPad. Not very many other notes apps on iOS also have a Mac option.
    CommentsShare
    LyondhurSM UX/IxD Designer Agile/Scrum Coach · Edited
    Without a doubt, all day. Editing, Media, Audio and Scribbling notes on iOS and Mac seamlessly synched via iCloud (with optional Box/Dropbox scheduled backups). What I love about it is the fact you can record a meeting/class' audio while writing notes by hand, adding photos/videos or typing. It's what Evernote wants to be, what OneNote definitely is not and what Bear and its hype pretends being; with the right light and simple UI and a reliable experience.
    CommentsShare
    Chad PersonBizDev & Strategy · Written
    My kids taught me about this one....they can record a lecture/meeting and their notes appear on the recordings timeline.....or you can skip back to the specific recorded portion when reviewing the written notes.
    CommentsShare
  20. 5
    Stack

    A beautiful and smart key-value based writing app

    Christoph BieringSoftware Engineer. Maker. · Written
    Christoph Biering made this product
    A free, beautiful and smart markdown key-value based note taking app. Don't worry where you save your notes just stack them.
    CommentsShare