Best Programs for Digital Note-Taking

Taking notes with the traditional pen and paper has widely been abandoned in favor of the numerous apps for note-taking now available. We are more apt to have our smartphones or laptops by our sides than to have a spiral bound notebook in our back pockets.

Note-taking software is now available from several sources, including well-known brands and those which specialize in this specific type of program. They can feature all of the bells and whistles to keep you organized or a bare-bones approach to digitizing your data.

For those who are looking to make the transition from traditional to modern, how can you tell which program offers the best note-taking software?

Best Note Taking Apps

Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Note-Taking Apps

Before you start to download any of the programs onto your phone or computer, you need to understand the real cost and benefits. In our ranking, we’ll cover key details that you need to weigh with good note-taking apps, including:

  • Price
  • Organization abilities
  • Collaboration opportunities
  • Memory

If you need help deciding which companies offer the best note-taking apps, you’ll find our compilation helpful for getting started. Consider what types of notes you jot down most often as we begin to develop a case for the best note-taking software in the detailed reviews below.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Note-Taking Apps

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the apps below to go directly to the detailed review section for that note-taking software):

Top 6 Best Note-Taking Apps | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Best Note-Taking Apps


Key Features

Apple Notes


  • Great for those who use Apple products already
  • Recover recently deleted notes
  • Access on all devices when signed into iCloud
Dropbox Paper


  • Attributions for changes to documents
  • Syncs due dates and Google Calendar appointments
  • Easy-to-use note-taking template

Free to $69.99 per year

  • Enhanced organizational features
  • Can sync to all devices (two on the free membership)
  • Holds up to 10 GB of data each month
Google Keep


  • Location-based and time-based reminders
  • Advanced filtering features
  • Color-coded notes


  • Free collaboration with the entire team
  • Transform handwritten notes to text later
  • Import data from Microsoft Office documents


  • Simple tagging and organization systems
  • Available across multiple devices
  • View old versions of your notes with the version time slider

Table: Top 6 Best-Note Taking Software | Above list is sorted alphabetically

What to Look for in the Best Note-Taking Software

Unfamiliarity with note-taking software can make it difficult to distinguish which programs qualify as top choices. Consumers are still just beginning to make good use of developing apps for note-taking. How can you really tell which company offers the best note-taking software?

When you’re looking at a comparison for the best note-taking app, you’ll notice a handful of features are constantly being compared.

First and foremost, consumers are concerned with the price of these best note-taking apps, and rightly so. Many contenders for the best app for note-taking come with no cost, while others charge a monthly subscription fee or an annual fee.

Best Note Taking APP

Image Source: Best Note-taking Apps

You’ll have to decide whether the cost of the digital note taking program is worth the features it has to offer.

When calculating whether a particular note-taking app offers consumers a great value, you need to consider some of the more important features that you are being charged for. Some of the key considerations for the best app for note-taking would include items like:

  • Ability to share notes or collaborate with others on documents
  • Maximum upload limit each month
  • Organization ability and search function
  • Types of notes that can be created

Not all of the apps for note-taking will allow you to proceed with more advanced options without paying a subscription fee. Evaluate how often you would use these abilities, such as collaborating on documents or sharing them with a team. You may find that the best note-taking software for you does not include those functions.

The other largest factor in the cost can be the number of devices your account will sync to. Tally up the devices where you would want to access your note-taking program. Depending on the number, you may find that your preferred note-taking program will require you to pay for the service.

Finding a simple solution for the best app for note-taking isn’t as easy as it sounds. Your personal preferences and technological needs will play a big part in the overall function of the note-taking software. Take a look at the detailed reviews below to help you discover the top choices for the best note-taking apps to help you get started.

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AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology

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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Note-Taking Apps

Below, please find the detailed review of each app on our list of good note-taking apps. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these apps for note-taking to score so highly in our selection ranking.

Apple Notes Review

Apple Notes is now offering a top note-taking software choice for the nearly 50% of households that own at least one Apple product.

While this may not be a choice that will accommodate every user, enough consumers are using Apple products that it deserves to have a mention as a choice for the best app for note-taking.

Apple Notes uses their well-known iCloud to store any ideas, notes, or blurbs that pass through your mind and automatically syncs those thoughts to all devices. The only requirement is to be able to sign into your iCloud account on the device in question to receive access to the note-taking program.

The best part of this note-taking software is that you can also access it on a friend’s Windows computer simply be signing in online.

The Apple Notes note-taking program is free to download and use.


What can you expect to do with Apple’s version of the best note-taking apps? The basic version of their good note-taking apps includes functions you would expect to come standard: creating new notes with standard text including pictures, movies, links, and other files as attachments.

The upgraded version of Apple Notes (available on iOS 9 or later and OS X v. 10.11 or later) has even more capabilities:

  • Make checklists and paragraphs
  • View attachments and locked notes
  • Organize digital note-taking in folders
  • Recover recently deleted notes

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Dropbox Paper Review

Dropbox Paper is a popular offshoot of the Dropbox program, an app designed to help individuals and companies easily share and collaborate with one another. In the same vein, the Dropbox Paper note-taking app is created to encourage flexibility and collaboration. The flexibility provided by this note-taking software is part of what allowed us to rank it as one of the best note-taking apps around.

The benefit of this best app for note-taking is the ability to include multiple types of information. Notes created through the note-taking software can include text, coding, pictures, or film for your convenience.

Currently unavailable offline, Dropbox Paper does lose some of the functionality available from the other best note-taking apps. However, the program itself is free and comes with three separate choices for a note-taking template:

  • Brainstorming
  • Project overviews
  • Meeting notes


Unlike some of the best note-taking software available that does not allow you to share documents, this is a primary feature of Dropbox Paper. One of the ideal features for online note taking with their good note-taking app is the ability to attribute changes on documents to specific users.

For companies who are using the best app for note-taking and want to see which team members contributed, this is an ideal quality to look for.

Also ideal for business usage, Dropbox’s best note-taking app includes the ability to add due dates and sync a Google Calendar. Administrators for the accounts can manage visibility and control who has the ability to share specific documents and content.

note taking software

Image Source: Dropbox Paper

Evernote Review

Individuals who are familiar with some of the best note-taking software have likely already heard of Evernote. This note-taking software has been around since the very beginning, when note-taking apps were just beginning to rise in popularity. Still treasured by many consumers as one of the best note-taking apps, Evernote has some of the most intense features for avid users.

Unfortunately, the largest disadvantage to using their best note-taking app is the expense associated with it. While many of the good note-taking apps are free for use, Evernote’s basic subscription is free but limited in what you can do. The free subscription allows you to upload 60 MB of data per month and sync across two devices.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Premium membership costs $69.99 annually. The upgrade includes enhanced features, such as increased access to customer support, the ability to present notes, and searching text within attached documents. It also allows you to upload up to 10GB of data each month.

Keep in mind that there is a separate price for those who wish to share items and collaborate on projects for a business. This comes in at $12 per user each month, with an administrator making the note-taking template for who can access which items.


Users love the ability to easily search through their previous notes in order to find what they need, including handwritten notes. This is a unique ability not available on many of the best note-taking apps.

The most popular feature to mention in a top review of the best app for note-taking is the intense organization that users are able to capitalize on. There are four main methods of organizing your note-taking apps, according to Evernote:

  • Searches
  • Tags
  • Notebook stacks
  • Note titles

The self-proclaimed difficulty levels are ranked according to both set-up challenges and maintenance difficulties. Maintenance is considered to be easy to moderate for all, while some of the higher-level techniques are labeled as challenging to set up. Consumers who take lots of notes will want to pay close attention to their note-taking template for these features.

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Google Keep Review

Many consumers are already using the Google Calendar to keep track of appointments, so using Google Keep is a natural next step. Offering one of the best note-taking apps on the market, Google Keep allows you to record almost any type of reminder that you may need.

The Google Keep app intuitively allows users to make the most of its features in a convenient manner. You can set time-based or location-based reminders to keep your day moving forward. They can even include audio reminders instead of written ones.

A major advantage of this note-taking software that qualified it for our ranking is the ability to sync across all devices at no charge. Internet connection is required to use this feature, but it applies to all three of the major devices most consumers use: computers, tablets, and smartphones.


Consumers will love how simple the organization features are through the Google Keep note-taking software. Unlike programs like Evernote that feature detailed and somewhat cumbersome organization tactics, Google Keep allows you to simplify the process. The best app for note-taking from Google allows you to color-code each note to help you better manage what you see at a quick glance.

best note taking apps

Image Source: Google

The search feature also allows you to filter through the types of notes included within their best note-taking app. Filter by color, shared notes, notes with lists, and more to find the necessary information quickly.

Messages can be shared with friends and family with real-time updates. Keep track of a to-do list or shopping list with less communication necessary when you use this note-taking software.

OneNote Review

OneNote is Microsoft’s version of note-taking software designed to help users create a cohesive platform for recording their thoughts. Many would consider this program to be the best app for note-taking because of their familiarity with the other Microsoft Suite programs such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Consumers who are considering using OneNote will find that it works great with the other Office products. For example, you can include notes from your Outlook Email or insert data from an Excel spreadsheet into your OneNote app for future review.

This note-taking software is completely free to use. Devices of all kinds can make use of the note-taking app, including Apple and Android products, Windows desktops, and any device with access to the internet. Notes can be made and accessed even without online connectivity.


A key feature to consider for the best note-taking software is the ability to add notes conveniently into the program. Consumers who prefer to make handwritten notes will find comfort in the ability to draw with a stylus or fingertip. Later, these hand-drawn notes are easily converted to typed text for increased readability.

OneNote also makes it easy to perform a number of other actions that can be helpful:

  • Organizing notes
  • Drawing notes, great for making the transition from pen and paper to digital note taking
  • Clipping web pages to make them into picture ideas
  • Collaborating with others

SimpleNote Review

Advertised as a light and clean way to stay organized, SimpleNote makes it easy to keep track of all your ideas. It incorporates some of the more advanced organizational features of Evernote with the simplicity appealing to more consumers.

These note-taking apps allows you to sync information across every type of device:

  • Platforms running iOS or macOS
  • Android devices
  • Windows 7 devices
  • Linux devices

SimpleNote offers a solution for consumers who want the best app for note-taking without the price tag. At no cost to the user, this note-taking software tends to be a top choice for those who want a program with a few basic features and no financial commitment.


The note-taking software available through SimpleNote allows you to go back through old versions of your notes. Whenever you make a change, the previous version is backed up. All you need to do is move the version slider to see old versions if you made a mistake or forgot an important step.

Note Taking Softwares

Image Source: SimpleNote

The best note-taking software here also allows you to collaborate with other individuals. You can use the SimpleNote note-taking program to share your documents and reach conclusions with team members at no additional cost.

For those who need their best note-taking software to have a heavier organization component, SimpleNote does have something to offer. Instant searching allows you to find what you need quickly. Their simple tagging feature is a huge help, as well, without the more time-consuming endeavors of Evernote.

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Conclusion—Top 6 Best Note-Taking Apps

The best note-taking app can take on multiple forms depending on what your individual needs or business needs may be. Some apps for note-taking are geared more toward the ability to collaborate with a team. Others are designed for personal use, to make your life simpler and more organized.

Different brands are well-known for competing to produce the best note-taking software on today’s market. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get caught in the crossfire with all of the confusion this can inspire.

If you’ve been attempting to make the switch from pen and paper to digital note taking, it’s time for you to consider one of the best note-taking apps. The note-taking program choices included in our ranking are all top selections. Consider what your personal or business needs are to determine which of these best note-taking apps will suit your needs or devices the best.

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