The Best Note-Taking Apps for 2021

The Best Note-Taking Apps for 2021

What Makes a Nice Be aware-Taking App?

Having a superb note-taking app is like having your individual private web the place you possibly can lookup something you may ever must find out about your work or private life, irrespective of the place you might be. What films and books did my pals advocate? In that assembly final month, when did the shopper say they wanted approval by? The place’s a duplicate of my eyeglasses prescription? Be aware-taking apps may also help you be more organized and extra productive.

With the proper note-taking app, you may make notes about something and sync them to all of your units. You may hold a day by day diary, snap photos of whiteboards full of assembly notes, save screenshots from digital conferences, and document lectures whereas additionally writing down their most necessary concepts in the identical place. You can also make to-do lists, save and annotate recipes, hold a document of everybody to whom it is best to ship a thank-you card, save copies of your youngsters’ vaccination data, and on and on. The use instances are limitless.

The true worth is available in having the ability to arrange, share, and discover the notes you want whenever you want them. The very best note-taking apps have highly effective search instruments and varied methods to prepare and catalog your notes. Some use optical character recognition (OCR) to look textual content even when it is in a picture or PDF.

Most of the finest note-taking apps even have e-mail forwarding, that means you possibly can ahead an e-mail to a particular deal with and have the message flip up in your note-taking app as a be aware.

In the end, the perfect note-taking app is the one which clicks for you and the kind of notes you are taking.

Greatest Free Be aware-Taking Apps

A number of of the perfect note-taking apps are free or not less than have a good free tier of service. Sometimes, if you wish to use a note-taking app free of charge you possibly can, so long as you do not exceed the free storage restrict.

Microsoft OneNote has essentially the most options of any free note-taking app, and Joplin is our favourite free and open-source possibility. Each are Editors’ Selection winners. With OneNote, storage comes from OneDrive, the place you get 5GB free of charge. You may pay $1.99 per 30 days for 100GB of storage, which is a implausible deal, or get 1TB of storage with a Microsoft 365 account, beginning at $6.99 per 30 days. With a Microsoft 365 account, you additionally get a number of Workplace apps, so it is plenty of bang on your buck.

With Joplin, you need to carry your individual storage, so the true value of that app comes right down to how a lot storage you want and the place you get it. It really works with Dropbox and OneDrive, amongst others.

Different completely free note-taking apps that we listing among the many finest are Google Preserve, Zoho Pocket book, and Simplenote.

Greatest for Enterprise Use and Collaboration

Now we have yet one more Editors’ Selection winner, and that is Evernote Premium—which isn’t free. Though Evernote does technically have a free tier of service, we don’t advocate it as a result of it is too restrictive to be value utilizing. Evernote Premium prices $7.99 per 30 days or $69.99 per 12 months. There’s additionally a Enterprise model that runs $14.99 per individual per 30 days with a minimal of two folks. 

Evernote has a mess of spectacular options, a beneficiant storage allotment that renews month-to-month, and spectacular collaboration options. You may share notes with others and co-edit notes. You may even get options for associated notes based mostly on key phrases and different metadata concerning the notes, which is useful in enterprise environments particularly.

Regardless, the value for Evernote Premium is excessive, and dependable Evernote customers have been let down by the corporate greater than as soon as in the previous few years, because of sudden adjustments within the pricing and plans, plus an inexcusably buggy app replace. Though Evernote stays an Editors’ Selection winner for its total standing amongst note-taking apps, we have lowered its rating to replicate these points.

Now we have one different semi-related decide for enterprise use, or moderately, group notes and process administration mixed. Notion is a relative newcomer to the area that also has plenty of kinks to work out however is a promising app. To get into Notion, you need to clear plenty of setup hurdles. The app has a complicated construction. It is all too straightforward to litter the interface with unnecessary junk. In case you can handle, nonetheless, Notion could be a highly effective software for groups.

Greatest for College students

Be aware-taking apps are nice for college students, and our prime decide for them is Microsoft OneNote. Not solely do you get lots free of charge, but in addition the app has a number of options that college students might want.

On touch-screens, for instance, you possibly can write by hand and make sketches for lessons in biology, physics, and others. With a Microsoft 365 account (free for students and educators), OneNote acknowledges math equations written by hand and might remedy them. OneNote can also be considered one of only a few note-taking apps to nonetheless supply in-app audio recording, letting you seize total lectures to take heed to once more when it is time to examine. In case you do go this route, make sure you take a look at our recommendations on How to Use OneNote to Take Notes for School.

Greatest for Creatives

The very best note-taking app for designers and different creatives is Milanote. This app has the freeform really feel of a diagramming or mind-mapping app, whereas nonetheless being a note-taking app.

It offers you boards (as an alternative of pages) the place you place photos, textual content notes, to-do lists, colour swatches, URLs with previews, and different materials. You progress the weather round nonetheless you want on the board. You may overlay arrows and emoji, or publish your boards to a public hyperlink to share them with others. Milanote additionally helps full coauthoring, so a number of folks can work on a board concurrently. Although distinctive, Milanote does have some room for enchancment nonetheless. Even so, it is the perfect note-taking app presently accessible for creatives.

Greatest for Textual content-Solely Notes

If the one form of notes you plan to make are text-based, then you do not want a feature-rich app. Simplenote by Automattic (the identical firm behind WordPress) is a free note-taking app that syncs to all of your units and comes with no storage restrict, nevertheless it solely helps textual content.

It is easy to make use of, light-weight, and completely dependable. In case you do not want an app that may save photos, scanned paperwork, sketches, and different multimedia, then Simplenote is an excellent possibility.

Take Notes, Sync, and Go

In previous years, PCMag had just one Editors’ Selection winner amongst note-taking apps, so it is a nice change of tempo to now have three prime contenders: Evernote, OneNote, and Joplin. These apps and the others on this listing, allow you to seize your concepts and stick them someplace helpful. That manner, it doesn’t matter what it’s good to know and irrespective of the place you might be, you possibly can pull up the data you want.

Whilst you’re interested by notes and note-taking, you may also take a look at our 10 Tips for Managing Your Digital Notes.


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