The 10 Best Note-Taking Apps in 2024

About The Author

Nikhil-KhandelwalNikhil Khandelwal VP Engineering
LinkedIn|28 May 2024

In our fast-paced lives, managing information and staying organized can often seem complicated. This is where note-taking apps step in, acting as our digital superheroes! These innovative tools have revolutionized capturing ideas, thoughts, and important reminders. However, with many options available, selecting the ideal note-taking app can take time and effort.

Think of note-taking apps as your digital notebooks on steroids. They're like a high-powered notepad that allows you to type, insert images, record ideas, and even store everything online for easy access from anywhere. Unsurprisingly, the note-taking app market is set to explode in the coming years – people recognize these tools' incredible potential to boost productivity and maintain knowledge. 

According to a recent study by the global note-taking app market, it is expected to reach a staggering USD 19.46 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 18.9%. This growth highlights the increasing demand for these versatile tools as individuals and businesses strive for improved productivity and knowledge management.

This blog post is your ideal solution for finding the best note-taking app in 2024. We'll crack open the top 10 apps, showing you all their cool features, the good and the not-so-good stuff, and how much they cost. Plus, we'll discuss the key things to consider when picking the perfect app for you.

Best Note-Taking Apps

Best Note-Taking Apps

1. Microsoft OneNote

Imagine a digital notebook that lets you go wild. That's OneNote in a nutshell. It's a free app from Microsoft that lets you create multiple notebooks with sections and pages just like an actual binder. You can type, add pictures, record ideas with your voice, and even store everything online to access it from anywhere. It works seamlessly with other Microsoft Office products, making it a favorite among Windows users.

Features:

  • Organize like a pro: Create notebooks with sections and pages to keep your notes tidy. 
  • Multimedia magic: For a richer experience, include text, images, audio recordings, and web clippings in your notes. 
  • Work from anywhere: Access and edit notes across your devices, whether they're your Windows PC, Mac, Android phone, iPhone, or web browser.
  • Team up!: Share notebooks and collaborate with others in real-time, making group projects a breeze. 
  • Pen to paper (almost): Take handwritten notes with a stylus on touch-enabled devices.

Pros:

  • Free with a generous storage limit to get you started. 
  • Powerful organization tools keep your notes from becoming a jumbled mess. 
  • Integrates perfectly with Microsoft Office for a productivity boost. 
  • Works offline too, so you're never without your notes.

Cons: 

  • It can get cluttered if you cram too much information in there. 
  • Limited image editing options compared to some other apps. 
  • The interface might take some getting used to compared to simpler apps.

Pricing:

OneNote is free and comes with 5GB of storage. You can upgrade with a Microsoft 365 subscription if you need more space. Plans start at around ₹4,899 per year.

2. Apple Notes

If you're an Apple user, you already have a great note-taking app at your fingertips: Apple Notes. It's known for its clean and user-friendly interface, making it super easy to jot down notes and keep them organized.

Features:

  • Drag-and-drop delight: Create and organize notes with a simple drag-and-drop functionality. 
  • Rich text magic: Enhance notes with bold, italics, and bullet points for better readability. 
  • Checklist champ: Create checklists to stay on top of all your tasks and never miss a beat. 
  • Pin your favorites: Keep frequently used notes readily accessible at the top for quick reference. 
  • Seamless syncing: Notes sync seamlessly across all your Apple devices, so you can pick up where you left off on any device.

Pros:

  • Free and already on your Apple devices, so it's super convenient. 
  • User-friendly interface with drag-and-drop for easy note creation and organization. 
  • Notes sync seamlessly across all your Apple devices, so you can pick up where you left off.

Cons:

  • Limited functionality offline compared to some other apps. 
  • Fewer advanced features for getting super organized. 
  • Not compatible with Android or Windows devices.

Pricing:

Apple Notes is free to use with iCloud storage. You get 5GB of free storage for all your iCloud services, with additional storage options starting at around USD 0.99 per month.

3. Google Keep

Do you need to capture a fleeting thought or a grocery list on the go? Google Keep is your go-to app. This free, lightweight app from Google is perfect for jotting down quick ideas and reminders. It's super easy to use and lets you create text notes and checklists, add images, and even record voice notes.

Features:

  • Lightning-fast capture: Capture ideas instantly with text, voice, or images, no matter what pops into your head. 
  • Color your world: Organize notes visually with color labels to make them easy to find. 
  • Never forget: Set reminders for notes so you never miss a deadline (adios, forgotten to-dos!). 
  • Collaboration: Share notes and collaborate with others to keep everyone on the same page. 
  • Pin your favorites: Keep frequently used notes readily accessible at the top for quick reference.

Pros:

  • Free and easy to use so that you can get started in seconds. 
  • Capture ideas with different formats to suit your needs. 
  • Organize notes with color labels for a visual approach. 
  • Set reminders for notes to stay on top of deadlines.

Cons:

  • Limited organization options compared to more feature-rich apps. 
  • Few options for integrating with other tools you might use. 
  • Not ideal for extensive note-taking for complex projects.

Pricing:

Google Keep is free to use with Google Drive storage.

4. Notion

The notion goes beyond just simple note-taking. It's a powerful tool that lets you create wiki-style pages, databases, and Kanban boards, making it ideal for complex projects and working with teams. Think of it as a super-powered workspace for all your ideas and projects.

Features:

  • Customization king: Highly customizable workspace to tailor it to your exact needs. 
  • Project management pro: Powerful project management features to keep your projects on track. 
  • Teamwork makes the dream work: Excellent collaboration tools for working with others on projects or brainstorming ideas. 
  • Web clipper whiz: Clip interesting web content directly into your Notion workspace for easy reference. 
  • Markdown master: Supports Markdown, a lightweight formatting language, for easy note creation. 
  • AI assistant (bonus!): Even has some AI features to make things even smarter!

Pros:

  • Highly customizable and versatile, so you can tailor it to your exact needs. 
  • Powerful project management features keep your projects on track. 
  • Excellent collaboration tools for working with others on projects or brainstorming ideas. 
  • Supports Markdown and even has some AI features to make things even smarter!

Cons:

  • There's a bit of a learning curve compared to simpler apps, so it might take some time to get the hang of everything. 
  • The free plan has limitations on storage and collaborators, so keep that in mind. 
  • The web clipper could be better, and it can initially feel overwhelming with all the features.

Pricing:

Notion offers a free plan with limited features and storage. Paid plans start at $8 per user per month.

5. Obsidian

If you're someone who thinks outside the box and makes connections between ideas quickly, Obsidian is your app. It's a unique note-taking app focuses on non-linear thinking and knowledge management. Unlike most apps with folders and notebooks, Obsidian lets you connect your notes web-like, allowing you to see how your ideas are related. Plus, it stores your notes locally on your device, giving you more privacy control.

Features:

  • Markdown master: Create notes using Markdown, a lightweight formatting language, for easy writing. 
  • The big picture view: Visualize connections between notes with a graph view to understand relationships between ideas. 
  • Plugin power: Enhance functionality with plugins developed by the Obsidian community. 
  • Tweak it to your taste: Customize the interface and workflows to suit your needs. 
  • Local storage: Notes are stored locally on your device, offering privacy and control.

Pros:

  • Ideal for non-linear thinkers and knowledge management. 
  • Highly customizable and open-source, so you have more control over your data. 
  • Local storage for privacy-conscious users. 
  • Offers a wide range of design options to personalize your workspace.

Cons:

  • It requires more technical knowledge than user-friendly apps. 
  • Limited collaboration features, making it less ideal for teamwork. 
  • Syncing notes across devices requires a paid plan.

Pricing:

Obsidian is a free, open-source application. The commercial plan with cloud syncing starts at USD 50 per year.

6. Joplin

Security-conscious and looking for a free option? Look no further than Joplin. This open-source note-taking app prioritizes privacy and security with end-to-end encryption, keeping your notes confidential. Plus, it offers a user-friendly interface and robust features for efficient note management.

Features:

  • Fort Knox for notes: Secure your notes with military-grade end-to-end encryption. 
  • Go anywhere: Access notes on various devices, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. 
  • Markdown master: Utilize Markdown for formatting and creating rich notes. 
  • Web clipper whiz: Clip web content directly into Joplin for easy reference. 
  • Tagging teamwork: Organize notes with tags and link them for better information flow.

Pros:

  • Free and open-source, making it a great option for budget-minded users. 
  • Secure note-taking with end-to-end encryption for privacy. 
  • Cross-platform support for accessibility across your devices. 
  • Excellent interface and importer tools for easy note-taking.

Cons:

  • Lacks some advanced features found in paid apps. 
  • It may require some technical knowledge to use all the features effectively. 
  • Limited customer support compared to some paid apps.

Pricing:

Joplin is free and open-source software. However, Joplin Cloud offers paid plans starting at USD 3.23 monthly, adding syncing and extra storage.

7. UpNote

If you're a student or knowledge worker juggling multiple tasks, UpNote might be your perfect match. It's a feature-rich app designed to help you organize your notes, brainstorm ideas, and study more effectively.

Features:

  • Master organizer: Organize notes hierarchically with an outliner view for structured thinking. 
  • Mind map magic: Visualize ideas and brainstorm with mind maps to connect concepts. 
  • Flashcard friend: Create flashcards to aid in studying and knowledge retention. 
  • Web clipper whiz: Clip web content directly into UpNote for easy research and reference. 
  • Template trove: Utilize pre-built templates for meeting notes, project outlines, and more to save time.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive organization tools for structured note-taking. 
  • Mind maps and flashcards enhance learning and brainstorming. 
  • Offers free and paid plans with varying features to fit your needs. 
  • Rich text formatting with Markdown support for creating visually appealing notes.

Cons:

  • The free plan has limitations on features and storage. 
  • File uploads are limited to 20MB in the free version. 
  • The interface might feel cluttered for some users who prefer a minimalist look.

Pricing:

UpNote offers a free plan with limited features and storage. Paid plans start at USD 4.99 monthly and provide increased storage, collaboration capabilities, and advanced features.

8. Bear

Calling all design enthusiasts! Bear is a premium note-taking app known for its beautiful and user-friendly interface. It offers a minimalist aesthetic and rich text formatting options, making writing and creating notes a joy.

Features:

  • Markdown master: Craft beautiful notes using Markdown syntax for easy formatting. 
  • Tag and bag it: Organize notes with tags and nested folders for efficient management. 
  • Rich text wizard: Enhance notes with bold, italics, headings, and other formatting options for visual appeal. 
  • Night owl mode: Read notes comfortably in a dark environment with night mode. 
  • Wrist-friendly access: View and edit notes on your Apple Watch for on-the-go convenience.

Pros:

  • Beautiful and user-friendly interface for a smooth writing experience. 
  • Rich text formatting for creating visually appealing notes. 
  • Apple Watch support for quick access to notes.

Cons:

  • Requires a paid subscription to unlock all features. 
  • Limited collaboration features compared to some apps. 
  • The free-form approach may be limiting for users who prefer structured organization.

Pricing:

Bear offers a free trial and a paid subscription for Pro features. The Pro subscription costs USD 2.99 per month, billed annually at USD 29.99.

9. Evernote

Evernote is a long-standing player in the note-taking game, and for good reason. It offers a comprehensive workspace for capturing ideas, organizing information, and collaborating with others. Whether you're a student, professional, or casual note-taker, Evernote has something for everyone.

Features:

  • Versatile note-taking: Create text, audio, video, and web clip notes to capture information in various formats. 
  • Organization on steroids: Utilize notebooks, tags, and advanced search functionality to keep your notes organized, even with a large volume. 
  • Web clipper whiz: Clip web content easily for future reference and research. 
  • Team player: Share notes and collaborate with others in real time for seamless teamwork. 
  • Offline access: Access notes even without an internet connection for added flexibility.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive features for diverse note-taking needs. 
  • Powerful organization tools for managing large amounts of information. 
  • Offline access ensures you can access your notes anytime, anywhere. 
  • Accessible across different platforms for flexibility.

Cons:

  • The free plan has limitations on storage and features. 
  • The interface can feel cluttered for some users who prefer a simpler layout. 
  • Not ideal for large-scale enterprise document management. 

Pricing:

Evernote offers a free plan with limited features and storage. Paid plans start at ₹333.25 per month and offer increased storage, collaboration features, and advanced functionalities.

10. Simplenote

For those who value simplicity and a clutter-free workspace, Simplenote is a great option. This free, lightweight app provides a distraction-free environment for crafting quick notes and ideas.

Features:

  • Clean and clear: Simple and clean interface to minimize distractions and enhance focus while writing. 
  • Markdown made easy: Use Markdown for basic formatting to add structure to your notes. 
  • Version history hero: Access previous versions of notes for easy rollback in case of mistakes. 
  • Cross-platform access: Access notes across various devices to seamlessly switch between your computer and phone. 
  • Publish to the world (optional): You can publish notes directly to the web for easy sharing (if you choose to).

Pros:

  • Free, lightweight, and user-friendly, making it a great option for beginners. 
  • A clean interface minimizes distractions and helps you focus on writing. 
  • Cross-platform accessibility ensures you can access your notes from anywhere. 
  • Offers Markdown support and the ability to share notes publicly.

Cons:

  • Fewer features compared to more robust apps, so it might not be suitable for complex projects. 
  • Limited organization options for those who need a highly structured note-taking system. 
  • Leans towards a simpler functionality, so it may not appeal to users who need advanced features.

Pricing:

Simplenote is a free-to-use application with no ads, making it a budget-friendly option for anyone looking for a basic note-taking app.

These are some of the top note-taking apps in 2024, each offering unique features to fit your workflow. Whether you prioritize simplicity, organization, collaboration, or something entirely, an app empowers you to capture, organize, and utilize your ideas.

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Which Note-Taking Apps Are Best?

The ideal note-taking app depends on your individual needs and preferences. Here are some factors to consider when making your choice:

  • Note-taking style: Do you prefer a structured, hierarchical approach or a more free-form, non-linear style? 
  • Features: Identify essential features like text formatting, image and audio embedding, web clipping, collaboration tools, and offline access.
  • Organization: Consider the importance of organization tools like notebooks, tags, and advanced search functionality.
  • Platform: Choose an app compatible with your preferred devices (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS) and web accessibility.
  • Budget: Determine if a free plan with basic features suffices or if you require the expanded functionalities offered by paid subscriptions. 

Once you've identified your needs, explore the above apps to find the best fit. Here are some additional considerations:

  • Learning curve: Some apps offer a more intuitive interface, while others require a steeper learning curve for mastering advanced features.
  • Security and privacy: If privacy is a concern, consider apps with end-to-end encryption or those that store notes locally on your device.
  • Integration with other tools: If you use a particular project management software or calendar app, look for a note-taking app that integrates seamlessly. 

What Features Should You Look for in a Note-Taking App?

What Features Should You Look for in a Note-Taking App

Here are some key features to consider in a note-taking app:

  • Text formatting: Basic formatting options like bold, italics, headings, and bullet points are essential for organizing and structuring notes.
  • Multimedia support: The ability to embed images, audio recordings, and videos enriches your note-taking experience and caters to diverse learning styles.
  • Web clipping: Clip exciting web content for future reference, streamlining research and information gathering.
  • Organization tools: Features like notebooks, tags, and advanced search functionality are crucial for effectively managing large amounts of information.
  • Collaboration tools: If you plan to share notes and collaborate with others, real-time editing and commenting features are necessary.
  • Offline access: Working without an internet connection is valuable, as it lets you capture ideas or access notes on the go.  

But how do you choose the ideal Note-Taking App? Let’s check it out!

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How Do You Choose the Ideal Note-Taking App?

Choosing the right note-taking app can feel overwhelming with so many options available. Here's a step-by-step approach to guide you:

  • Identify your needs and preferences: Consider your note-taking style, essential features, organization requirements, and preferred platforms.
  • Research the available apps: Explore the apps listed in this guide and explore those that interest you.
  • Read reviews and comparisons: Utilize online reviews and comparisons to gain insights from other users' experiences.
  • Try free trials or free plans: Many apps offer free trials or free plans with limited features. Take advantage of these to test-drive the app and see if it aligns with your workflow.
  • Consider long-term needs: While a free app might suffice initially, if you require advanced features or anticipate increased note-taking volume, explore paid plans or consider future scalability.

By following these steps and referencing the information provided, you'll be well-equipped to select the perfect note-taking app to enhance your productivity, information management, and learning experience.

Here are some additional options to consider:

  • For Handwritten Notes: If you prioritize pen-and-paper style note-taking on tablets, explore apps like GoodNotes, Notability, or Noteshelf. These offer pressure-sensitive stylus support and features like handwriting-to-text conversion.
  • For Research and Knowledge Management: If you focus on research and building a knowledge base, consider apps like Roam Research or Logseq. These offer unique features for connecting ideas and creating a web of interconnected knowledge.
  • For Minimalists: If you prefer a distraction-free environment for quick note-taking, explore minimalist options like Stackedit or HackMD. These offer a clutter-free interface for composing basic text notes.
  • For Programmers and Coders: Programmers might benefit from language-specific note-taking apps like Bear or Typora, which offer syntax highlighting and features tailored to coding workflows.

Choosing VLink to Create Note-Taking Apps

While this guide has focused on pre-built apps, a unique approach is to consider building your custom note-taking app with VLink. VLink’s development platform allows users to create customized applications without extensive coding knowledge.

Here's how VLink can empower you:

  • Tailored Functionality: Design an app that perfectly aligns with your needs and workflows. Include features you require and eliminate those you don't.
  • Integration Capabilities: Integrate your note-taking app with other tools you use, streamlining your workflow and centralizing information.
  • Scalability and Customization: As your needs evolve, easily modify your VLink-built app to adapt and grow with you.  

That's all we have on the top note-taking apps for 2024. Now conquer your note-taking needs as per the features most important to you and try out a few apps to see which one clicks!

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Conclusion

The digital note-taking revolution empowers you to capture ideas, organize information, and boost productivity. With the plethora of available apps, there's a perfect fit for every note-taking style and workflow. By carefully considering your needs and exploring the options presented in this blog, you'll find the ideal note-taking app to unlock your full potential.

Do you have questions or want to create your favorite note-taking app? We'd love to hear from you! Feel free to contact us now. Remember, the journey of exploration doesn't end here. Stay curious, experiment with different tools, and discover what works best for you in the ever-evolving digital note-taking world.

FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I prioritize free or paid Note-Taking Apps?

Free apps often have basic functionality, while paid plans offer more features like storage space, offline access, and advanced formatting. If you're a casual note-taker, a free app might suffice. But, a paid subscription might be worthwhile for extensive note-taking or needing powerful features.

I need an app for both note-taking and project management. What are my options?

Consider apps like Notion or Evernote that offer note-taking alongside project organization features like task lists and calendars.

Do any of these apps work offline?

Yes! Many apps, such as OneNote, Evernote (with a paid plan), and Joplin, allow you to access and edit your notes without an internet connection.

Can I collaborate on notes with others using these apps?

Absolutely! Apps like Notion, Google Keep, and Microsoft OneNote offer real-time collaboration features, allowing you to simultaneously work on notes with others.

I'm worried about my notes being lost. How secure are these apps?

Look for apps with solid security features like password protection and two-factor authentication. Some apps also offer cloud storage with encryption for added security.

What's the future of note-taking apps?

Expect advancements in AI integration, natural language processing, and seamless cross-device functionality. Integration with other productivity tools will likely become even more robust.

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