What are the best note taking apps?

I've used Evernote for a handful of years, been forced to use OneNote for work, and picked up Google Keep along the way recently as a test. I'm looking to consolidate by at least one. Cheers!
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26 recommended
  1. 42
    Bear

    A beautiful, flexible writing app for notes and prose

    Ahmed
    AhmediOS/macOS Engineer. Founder of Flawless · Written
    This one is really great! I use it daily for note taking and note management. It has beautiful UI, cloud sync and supports Markdown so you can create truly rich notes.
    CommentsShare
    Juha Liikala
    Juha LiikalaFounder, Stripped Bare Media · Written
    Highly recommed Bear! Been in love with it the moment I first tried it. 👏
    CommentsShare
    Ga Huy
    Ga HuyUI Designer · Written
    absolutely right!!! 👍
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    • Justin Deardorff
      Justin DeardorffHunter/Gatherer of Ideas

      I searched high and low for a replacement to the Mac OS default Notes app, which is incredibly limited in functionality and insufficient for my needs. I had one twist - I needed to find a note taking app for Mac that did not sync or store notes in the cloud. Bear does just that and it happens to be great. I really enjoy the hashtag categorization system and ability to have multiple tags on a note. It's a twist on Evernote style tags, but with a lighter-weight style of notebook organization and management.

    • Scot Krueger
      Scot KruegerFounder of Krutech.com

      Overall I love Bear. It is beautifully designed. I love the simple interface and the ability to tag notes is amazing. It makes searching for old notes so much easier. This is better than Apple Notes and I love it so much more than Evernote.

  2. 30
    Google Keep

    Save your thoughts, wherever you are

    Sahil Sardessai
    Sahil SardessaiExperience designer, autodidact · Written
    You can add quick notes, and add tags/labels to them to sort. Photos, doodles, audio etc. are also supported. It's a digital color-coded post-it board. Cross-platform, seamless.
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    Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré
    Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré10Co-Founder PurposeBeyondProduct.com · Written
    Add notes, lists, photos, and audio to Keep.
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    Frank Schwarz
    Frank SchwarzExec. Producer of The SEO Show · Written
    I love the ability to share my notes with others and the ability to take a picture of something (book cover or handout) and use the OCR feature makes life better.
    CommentsShare
  3. 28
    Evernote

    Note taking gets even simpler

    Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré
    Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré10Co-Founder PurposeBeyondProduct.com · Written
    Inspiration strikes anywhere. Evernote lets you capture, nurture, and share your ideas across any device.
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    Jakub Rogalski
    Jakub Rogalski35Community Manager at Brand24 · Written
    Not only do I use it for taking notes but I also find it extremely useful whenever there's no image scanner around, and I urgently need to send a scan of an important document, for instance.
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    • Emily Kellert
      Emily Kellerttech lover & travel freak & tractive PM

      Absolutely love Evernote. Use it for work and personal use and that is easy with the ability to make notebooks. Tags are super helpful as is annotating a document or editing a picture with Skitch. Makes my life easier and more organized!

    • David Neira
      David NeiraChape Fitness - Online Personal Training

      Evernote is a platform that allows you to organize, store, share and then search your information. Evernote impacts a business's productivity by streamlining the collection and distribution of critical information by enhancing its retrieval. Evernote's gives your business enhanced control of the information you own or information already collected by your employees. It's your business. It's your information.

  4. 16
    iA Writer 4

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

    Fred Rivett
    Fred RivettCo-founder @ The Dot · Written
    If you're looking for a simple not taking app I've had a great experience with iA writer. It's by far the most distraction free note taking app, and easily syncs over iCloud. It handles markdown beautifully, and has some powerful features too, like including one note inside another. 99% of the time though it's just simple notes, to do lists or blog posts I write in there. Never leaves me wanting anything else.
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    • Karthik Subramanian
      Karthik SubramanianContent and Branding guy

      I deep dive into writing rituals using this software. Tough to explain beyond it. But they have gotten their UI perfect for a writing mode.

  5. Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré
    Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré10Co-Founder PurposeBeyondProduct.com · Written
    Do you scribble great ideas on napkins and sticky notes? Is precise filing more your style? OneNote's got you covered whatever way you shape your thoughts. Type, write or draw with the free form feel of pen to paper. Search and clip from the web to picture ideas.
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    Sahil Sardessai
    Sahil SardessaiExperience designer, autodidact · Written
    This has great organization as a notebook, with subject-specific sections, and pages. However, there are layout issues, and it doesn't support fonts. I have annotation/highlighting issues. It's not the same experience on mobile, Mac and Windows. But if fonts and layout is not much of an issue for you, this app is great to take notes, if text is all that matters. You can draw/doodle with a stylus/pen. But it's not as good on smaller screens.
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    landen
    landenStudent at Lighthosue Labs, Toronto · Written
    I'm a student, and OneNote is invaluable to me. - It's the only note-taking app I've found that supports equation formatting. - There's a rich array of text formatting options. - A newly upgraded interface makes my notes look fantastic on all platforms. - You can take photos of whiteboards and documents and have them edited to look good. And all of this is completely free.
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  6. I recommed Boostnote! Boostnote is not an app suitable for everyone, but it‘s a handy note-taking app for programmers. mainly ・Markdown editor ・code snippet
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  7. Sahil Sardessai
    Sahil SardessaiExperience designer, autodidact · Written
    Seamless syncing within the Apple ecosystem. Simple and minimal, intuitive and easy-to-use.
    CommentsShare
    I've gravitated towards this as well. Especially with iOS 11, I find that this is the fastest notebook app to open and get the thoughts out of my head.
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  8. 7
    Notebook for Mac

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

    thomas ross
    thomas rossStartup analyser and investor · Written
    The app is very well designed. Its very cool and fresh. Probably the best notes app I have seen in a while. It's interesting how so many new note-taking apps are popping up
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    Kyle Petersen
    Kyle PetersenStudent at Oregon State University · Written
    Very intuitive note taking app. I use this on a daily basis.
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    Akhil Prabhakaran
    Akhil PrabhakaranTechnology Evangelist, Zoho.com · Written
    The refreshing look on the Notebook and its clipper features are a life saver. Love the app.
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  9. 8
    Notion 1.0 Web + Mac App

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

    Arijit Bhattacharya
    Arijit BhattacharyaHonest effort admirer. UI Dev@freshdesk · Written
    A notes app is about - the writing experience (markdown support, quick rich text editing) - organization and curation (Notebooks, Folders, Tags) - embedding information other than text (Youtube, Vimeo, Books, iFrame embeds) - collaboration (Real time collaboration, comments, and public sharing) - Retrieving existing information(search) I think Notion brings focus to each of these pillars. And it offers the right amount of flexibility in layout (creating columns of data) to enable a document to work as a wiki or a basic to-do list. I like it that took on the challenge between minimalism and versatility.
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    Muhammad Usman
    Muhammad UsmanWeb developer @ Weebly · Written
    Clean and intuitive. Gets out of your way when you want to just write a lot of notes, helps you when you're trying to add something like a bookmark or embed. The design is minimal yet beautiful! Great for real-time editing, sharing permissions are easy to understand. I discover a new feature almost every day!
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    • Kiran Kunigiri
      Kiran KunigiriA guy who makes cool stuff.

      Overall, Notion is like a bunch of widgets and management apps combined into one awesome package. I've been using it for several months now, and it works really well. It's most useful for team projects, where you can make an entire directory of pages for the different types of tasks you need to handle, and keep all progress and information synced into one app.

      Being able to move content blocks and pages around makes it very easy to organize, and the comment feature makes it easy to start a new thread to discuss a topic. Integration is also great, since I can embed code, videos, and even Google Drive documents. You can also customize the look and feel of pages (I love being able to set icons and header images for each page) to make them easily recognizable, and create complex layouts. There is a huge list of features that makes it possible to do almost anything you would want to do in a management/organization app.

      It's still improving, and they have a list of new features coming soon (the one I'm excited for is being able to assign tasks to people). There's an iOS app beta (that doesn't work on my device currently). There are a few minor bugs that I come across, but it's nothing that distracts you from using it. It's a solid app that I'll continue to use for both group and individual projects.

    • Brad Dunn
      Brad DunnProduct guy at @Ohno

      I actually was just so sick of confluence and was asking someone at #Productboard about what they use and they told me about this. It's just pretty fun to use. Also the free trial is helpful if you're a small startup.

  10. 6
    Workflowy

    Turn your entire life into a list.

    This is a clean and simple tool to write. It lets you focus on the writing itself somehow. It can be categorize by tags as well.
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    • Pedro Paredes
      Pedro ParedesFullstack developer

      Usually my thoght process goes from general idea to multiple sub-ideas until I get to doable tasks. No other app that I've tried allows you to do this the way Workflowy does. They all let you group by tag, or notebooks or whatever but they are usually one level grups.

    • Artem Ushanov
      Artem UshanovPM at Adeptik

      Best outline and note-taking app for me.

      Using WF for:

      - projects list

      - clients list

      - "inbox", "tasks" and "later" lists in kinda GTDish style

      - quick note taking during meetings and

      Using WF everyday for two years, happy with it's simple efficiency. No automation at all, but you can invent any kind of workflow using tags and search. Lately company significantly improved their Android app, but it still need more.

  11. This App which is an Andorid exclusive is clean simplistic and has a nice concept of categorizing the your notes with #hastags
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  12. 6
    Simplenote

    Simple, lighter alternative to Evernote

    I love simplenote. It is... Simple! And works / syncs on all platforms, for free.
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    Manikandan
    ManikandanProduct Designer • Made Radiohere.com 📻 · Written
    I use this for last 2 years.
    CommentsShare
    • Arun Sathiya
      Arun SathiyaHappiness Engineer, Automattic

      Simplenote is one of those finest note-taking apps you can ask for. Coming from Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, it enables seamless ability to publish the notes online. Great app, to sum it up!

    • Simplenote truly was the most beautiful app of its day. It completely transformed what productivity was for me. There aren't many apps you expect to still be using ten years later.

  13. 5
    Standard Notes

    A simple and private notes app.

    Andreas Wagner
    Andreas Wagnerlooking for..........😎 · Written
    The best for keeping Your notes private!
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  14. Sahil Sardessai
    Sahil SardessaiExperience designer, autodidact · Written
    Syncs really well, cross-platform. It's very simple and easy to use. You can export everything to PDF. Unlimited space for documents created with Google Docs on Google Drive. Real-time collaboration is a big positive. Only gripe is offline availability on desktop (it supports that on mobile).
    CommentsShare
    Easy To Use, Collaborate In Real-Time, Version History, Share To Anyone, Export And Import, Store Files In Folders, Available On Mobile And Online.
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  15. 4
    Notepin 2.0

    Extremely simple note-taking + blogging ✍️

    Amrith Shanbhag
    Amrith Shanbhag6Community at Product Hunt & Feathrd · Written
    The simplest way I've taken notes before, so easy to get started with and it's actually distraction free and gets the job done.
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  16. 4
    Drafts 4

    Quickly capture text on iOS and send it anywhere

    All note taking should start here - then can be routed anywhere
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  17. 3
    Box Notes

    A note-taking app built for teams

    Tweegenic1
    Tweegenic1Noble Investor · Written
    Seems awesome. Suddenly seems this the one to collaborate
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  18. 3
    Dropbox Paper

    Collaboration tool built for teams

    Arijit Bhattacharya
    Arijit BhattacharyaHonest effort admirer. UI Dev@freshdesk · Written
    Paper offers a delightful writing and collaboration experience. Although the app lacks in the department of curation, the minimalism of the tool is worth the trade-offs. I also appreciate its export to markdown and print layout. The iOS app is a thoughtful companion to the web experience.
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    • Instant Expert
      Instant ExpertInstant Experto, Vlogger

      Its a great tool for starters, For teams I do not recommend. there are lots of apps that do the same, even google docs is more intelligible when collaborating and working with. But we already have OneNote, Evernote, Word Online, with lots of features way ahead Paper.

    • zedgoat
      zedgoatChemist, Developer, Stoic.

      Use Paper to manage technical stuff and my team, and love it. Just the right number of features, document crosslinking and image embedding fits my needs exactly, and works for quick notes or longer documents.

  19. 3
    nValt

    Notational Velocity with MultiMarkdown features

    The fastest way to search, edit and create plain-text-notes. Seriously, it's FAST. And free.
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  20. Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré
    Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré10Co-Founder PurposeBeyondProduct.com · Written
    Take collaborative notes, share data and files, and use comments to share your thoughts in real-time or asynchronously. Every contribution is marked with the author's name, so your breakthrough idea won't get left behind.
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