The best note-taking apps for your phone
Most of us always have our smartphone close at hand, so it’s perfect for taking notes. You can simply unlock it, type in what you want from the store, your friend’s new address, the name of a movie you want to watch, or whatever, and get on with your day.
There are plenty of great apps out there to help you take better notes, and beyond the basics, they offer extras like advanced note organizing options, note sharing, and note reminders.
Of course, GoodNotes doesn’t miss out on self-promotion with its choice of name, but it’s really good—very good, in fact. You can see that a lot of care has been put into the interface as there are many different tools that can be used on images, drawings and text. You can even use it to annotate PDFs.
We love the many features available in the app, such as the choice of paper styles, the ability to search through handwritten text, and support for scanned images and voice notes. It can also be easily synchronized with various cloud services.
You can work on up to three notebooks for free within GoodNotes, while a one-time fee of $9 removes this limitation. The beta version of the app for Android was recently released, but it is not yet widely available.
GoodNotes free or $9 iOS and Android.
Agenda connects your note-taking to your calendar, so you can easily attach dates and reminders to your notes when needed. You might be surprised how often this comes in handy, whether you’re planning something big, like a vacation, or a smaller task, like jotting down the outline of an upcoming work meeting.
The app can work with handwritten scribbles, but it’s primarily designed to handle lots of text across multiple projects and notebooks. You can format text in a variety of ways, attach files to your notes, apply tags for easier organization, and even create links between notes. This is heavy duty software.
[Related: Turn your handwritten documents into searchable digital notes]
Agenda is free to use, but certain premium features, such as team collaboration tools and additional note customization options, must be unlocked with a one-time payment of $15.
Agenda free or $15 iOS.
Notion’s main appeal is its flexibility and versatility: it’s basically an open canvas that you can use however you want, whether it’s detailing instructions for a coding project or making a to-do list before the weekend.
It’s smooth, accessible, and fun to use. You can add text, links, tags, and images to your notes, and simply drag and drop items to move them around. Everything is saved immediately, so there is no risk of losing work, and each note can refer to others. Look around the web and you’ll see that there are countless ways to use Notion, which is a testament to its quality.
Both free and paid plans are available with Notion. If you pay $5 a month for the premium plan, you can share notes with more people, access a longer history log, and upload unlimited files to your account.
Concept free or $4 per month Android and iOS.
Evernote is a venerable old-timer in the note-taking app scene, dutifully recording people’s thoughts, plans, to-dos, and agendas since 2000. Today, it includes almost every feature you could need in an app like this one.
Some of these features include support for text, images, files, audio and drawings, advanced search and tagging options, the ability to format information in notes in a variety of ways, and the ability to easily scan paper documents or references. to internet sites.
[Related: How to export your Evernote content to another app]
If there’s a fault with Evernote, it’s that it does too much — fans of minimalism might look elsewhere, but for everyone else, it’s fantastic. You can use it for free, but with a premium subscription of $9 per month you get extras, including support for more devices, more customization, larger file uploads and more storage for your notes.
Evernote free or $9 per month Android and iOS.
Squid is specially designed for handwritten notes and logos, so it’s perfect if you want to jot something down quickly. Once that’s done, it’s very easy to organize your sketches and order your notes the way you want.
Tasks such as copying and deleting are intuitive and easy, as is changing the color and line thickness of the on-screen pen. If you have a phone with a pen, or want to sync your notes with other devices that use a pen, Squid is definitely worth considering – although you can easily take notes with your finger.
Squid is free to use, but you can pay $1 per month for a premium plan that includes more tools (like text boxes you can type in), extra backgrounds, and importing PDFs.
Cuttlefish free or $1 per month Android.
6. Apple Notes
Don’t overlook the default apps that come with your phone—if you have an iPhone, Apple’s Notes app. Apple is constantly adding new features to this app and recently introduced the ability to lock certain notes behind a password with iOS 16.
The app makes all aspects of note-taking easy, including formatting text, introducing images and checklists, organizing notes with tags and pins, importing drawings and scanned documents, and sharing notes with others (such as for shopping lists and work projects). ).
[Related: How to undo text in Apple’s Notes app]
If you spend a lot of time on Apple devices—not just iPhones, but iPads, Apple Watches, and Macs—Apple Notes will sync everything between them. However, if you are using Android, this is not possible.
Apple notes is built in iOS.
7. Google Keep
Google’s note-taking app matches the colorful virtual Post-it look. It’s simple enough to get started, but if you dig deeper, you’ll find that it has tons of advanced features.
For example, you can associate notes with specific dates and times and get reminders about them, or share notes with others when you need to collaborate on something. The app also allows you to use tags, so you can quickly group different notes into categories of your choice.
Since this is a Google product, the search function naturally works well, and if we don’t want to type, we can scribble or dictate via voice recordings. This is one of the best options if you need something simple, but not too simple.
Google Notes free for you Android and iOS.