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20 Best Note Taking Apps Worth Trying In 2021

Have a thought, but no paper & no time? We’ve got you covered with these top note taking apps!

Best Note Taking Apps

The thing with ideas is that they can come to you at any time and any place, be it listening to your favorite song or just doing your night scrolling on Instagram new features. Not all ideas are amazing and out of the box but sometimes you might get a million-dollar idea that you would like to note down at that very moment.

Would you rather frantically search for a pen and paper to write down the idea or make some quick memo notes? Or you can simply open an awesome and effective note taking app on your mobile device. The latter sounds like a great option as our smartphones are something we like to conveniently place near ourselves at all times.

Now that we have talked about the need of the note taking apps and note taking tools, let’s further discuss the things that simplify the process of taking a note easy and making note taking application amazing.

What Makes an Awesome Note Taking App?

When it comes to finding top-notch mobile apps in a particular category there are some standards that have to be met by the applications. For instance, the app should have a great UI (User Interface), the app should offer the option of multitasking to the user, the app should provide the user with additional tools and much more. In addition to this, factors like price i.e. subscription fee and user experience are equally important.

Keeping the above-mentioned factors in mind, we have shortlisted a list featuring the best note taking apps for smartphones, including both Android and iOS.

List of 20 Top Note Taking Apps For 2021

Keeping the above-mentioned factors in mind, we have shortlisted a list featuring the best 20 note taking apps for smartphones, including both Android and iOS devices: 

1. SimpleNote - Best Note Taking App

As the name suggests, Simplenote is an app that is here to offer its users the ease to take note by being one of the simplest note taking apps on the market. The Simplenote note taking app delivers an easy way to maintain notes, lists, and ideas.

One can also say that its core user experience is all about providing speed and efficiency to the end-user. These features have made this simple notepad application land among the best note taking apps for iPad Pro and iPhones that are free of cost.

SimpleNote - Top Note Taking App

Pros of SimpleNote:

  • It has a very simple and clean interface.
  • Geared towards fast usage
  • 'Time machine' style revision control on the notes
  • Collaborative features
  • Works offline
  • Users can export your data

Cons of SimpleNote:

  • Save-to-disk feature is poor
  • No reminders
  • Search is limited to one tag
  • No integrated social media sharing

Download this note taking app for Android and iOS

2. Bear - Best Note Taking App

Bear is a digital note taking application for just iOS and macOS devices. This Apple-only app supports the Markdown formatting instead of displaying an excess of menu options.

In addition to this, Bear also allows its users to work with fully viewable inline images while offering a focus mode that eliminates unnecessary elements from your view. Although Bear is not available for Android, you can find many memo app alternatives for Android on this list.

Bear - Top Note Taking App

Pros of Bear:

  • Easy tagging
  • Flawless sync
  • Lots of export formats
  • Hashtag support
  • Simple to back up and export the entire note database
  • Beautiful User Interface (UI)

Cons of Bear:

  • It's only subscription-based
  • No Tabs - can only view 1 note at a time
  • No inline editing and markup of pictures
  • Sometimes there are sync problems between iOS and macOS

Download this note taking app for iOS

3. Quip - Best Note Taking App


Check out: Detailed Quip App Review

Even though Quip isn't a typical note taking mobile app, rather it is more like a word processing or spreadsheet application with collaboration tools. This online note taking application lets the users work with others on their best notes, spreadsheets, and other documents while discussing the tasks in the same place.

One can also state that it is similar to Google Docs in many ways, in terms of collaborators' remarks, questions, suggested changes in real-time, etc.

Quip - Top Note Taking App

Pros of Quip:

  • A wide range of collaboration tools
  • Clean and user-friendly interface.
  • Various commenting and accessibility features
  • Easy to use even for the first time
  • 0 delay in collaboration
  • It consists of efficient mini apps for documents
  • Good integration of comments with a chat function

Cons of Quip:

  • No internal task delegation or planning features
  • No report building feature
  • It requires more than one step just to access the folders
  • Should have more editing ability
  • Still, it lacks some basic features

Download this note taking app for Android and iOS

4. Microsoft OneNote - Best Note Taking App

Are you looking for a great sticky notes app for your Android devices? Then check out the Microsoft OneNote application, which is basically a fully featured note taking app that can do a lot more in comparison to any other note taking mobile app. Here, the user can create a new note and can click anywhere on the page to add content to that position.

Along with that, users can also choose a background for their sticky notes app to look like textured paper or opt for different types of templates.

The Microsoft OneNote note taking app also offers the classic binder functionality with notebooks, sections, tabs, etc as different options to organize notes. A large percentage of people consider the OneNote application as one of the best note taking apps with stylus support.

Microsoft OneNote - Top Note Taking App

Pros of Microsoft OneNote:

  • Offers flexible encryption
  • Stylus and digitizer pen support
  • Sharing and collaboration
  • Comprehensive organizational methods
  • Converts handwriting to text on Windows version
  • Powerful table editor and outline application

Cons of Microsoft OneNote:

  • An uninspired and bland user interface
  • Requires a Microsoft account
  • It may seem too complex for some
  • Sync option isn't stable
  • Menu/ribbon can feel packed

Download this note taking app for Android and iOS

5. Evernote - Best Note Taking App

Check out: Detailed Evernote App Review

From iOS to Android, Evernote application is one of those note taking apps that have been in the race for quite some time now and are effective at taking notes. It offers highly capable services to its users such as supporting a wide range of note types including text, images, audio memo applications, sketches, scanned documents, checklists, clipped web pages and much more.

Apart from that, the Evernote note taking app also consists of an array of excellent tools for organizing and searching your iPhone/iPad notes as well as other documents on Android devices.

Evernote - Top Note Taking App

Pros of Evernote:

  • Powerful note formatting
  • A focused and uncluttered user interface
  • Powerful features for organizing your notes
  • Flexible image manipulation
  • Evernote application is synchronized
  • OCR functionality to convert images into searchable text

Cons of Evernote:

  • Free version limited to 2 devices
  • Bloated and complex
  • Poor text formatting abilities
  • Security issues
  • It lacks search and replacement capabilities

Download this note taking app for Android and iOS

6. Zoho Notebook - Best Note Taking App

Next in the list of the best note taking apps for students as well as professionals is the Zoho Notebook app, which is a free note taking application that you can easily find on the internet. This app provides its users with a wide range of features and is also available on a majority of platforms.

After creating an account, you can start writing down notes and uploading images right away. The Zoho Notebook app also allows you to lock your notes, add time and set reminders in your documents, making it one of the best notepad apps for Android and iOS devices.

Zoho Notebook - Top Note Taking App

Pros of Zoho Notebook:

  • Completely free and ad-free with unlimited device support
  • Provides ease of use
  • Pre-built checklist and audio notes
  • Cloud sync option
  • Great User Interface
  • Affordable subscription plans

Cons of Zoho Notebook:

  • Lacks some basic functionality
  • More features could be added
  • Weak support community in comparison
  • No text formatting option
  • Monthly bandwidth limit

Download this note taking app for Android and iOS

7. Standard Notes - Best Note Taking App

Standard Notes is a free and open-source note taking application where users can write and sync their notes across multiple devices, such as iPhone, Android, iPad, Mac, etc. On this note taking apps, your notes here are end-to-end encrypted, so only the user can read their own notes.

So if you are looking for a top-notch notes app for your iPhone or iPad Pro and pick Standard Notes as it is one of the best notes applications for iOS devices.

Standard Notes - Top Note Taking App

Pros of Standard Notes:

  • Markdown support
  • Cross-platform support
  • Has offline support
  • Global search and tag feature
  • A wide range of themes

Cons of Standard Notes:

  • Syncing issues with the notepad
  • Need for third-party tools for editing notes
  • Consistency issues with features
  • Additional steps are involved in setting up procedure

Download this note taking app for Android and iOS

8. ColorNote - Best Note Taking App

The ColorNote application is a simple yet efficient free notepad app for Android devices including a wide range of tablets and smartphones. With the help of this free Android notes app, users can easily create their own sticky notes, checklists, memo notes, and note reminders while maintaining their online notepad for free.

As the name of this note sharing app, the UI (User Interface) of ColorNote app is designed neatly and allows the app users to create their notes in a variety of different colors.

ColorNote - Top Note Taking App

Pros of ColorNote:

  • It is an online notepad with a lock and master password
  • Integrated calendar
  • Consists of a built-in sharing option which includes SMS, Bluetooth, email, etc
  • Provides support for sync and data backup
  • Notes can be searched via the voice search tool
  • Transfer your sticky notes to the archive section

Cons of ColorNote:

  • Do not support the iOS platform
  • Lack of searching options for multiple notes at once
  • Chrome extension is also not available
  • The app lacks some basic functionalities

Download this note taking app for Android

9. Notion - Best Note Taking App

If you are searching for a not so 'basic' note taking app then Notion might be the one that will suit your preference. This note tasking application gives you the best of both worlds by bringing together advance notability capabilities for Android and iOS platforms with an array of highly productive functionalities.

Some of the main functionalities it includes are a simple text editor, integrated calendar and various other spreadsheet functions.

Notion - Top Note Taking App

Download this note taking app for Android and iOS

10. MyScript - Best Note Taking App

The MyScript Nebo is not a traditional note taking app but rather a digital one, this is mainly because it uses impressive technologies like digital ink and handwriting recognition. Along with this, MyScript app comes packed with multiple features that further allow the end-users to draw sketches and diagrams that are relatively easy.

Another worth-mentioning point about this notes app is that it supports more than 50 languages for handwriting recognition and some of them are French, Spanish and English.

MyScript - Top Note Taking App

Download this note taking app for Android and iOS

11. Dropbox Paper - Best Note Taking App

Check out: Detailed Dropbox Paper App Review

Next in the queue is the Dropbox Paper application which is more like a collaboration software that is perfect to use in a workspace or professional setting.

From essential note taking features to high-level task management tools, this app is here to provide its users with everything and that too in real-time. Here, users also have the option to add audio, pictures, and even videos in their notes and other documents.

Dropbox Paper - Top Note Taking App

Download this note taking app for Android and iOS

12. Ulysses - Best Note Taking App

Also featured in: Best Writing Apps

The Ulysses application is more like a task management app than a note taking app which is only available for iPhone, iPad Pro, and other macOS devices.

Being an effective workspace notes app, Ulysses also includes additional features for its end-users to assist them in personalizing their notes with a style that suits their preferences. Some of its functionalities are keyboard navigation, markup-based text editor, automatic backup, etc.

Ulysses - Top Note Taking App

Download this note taking app for iOS

13. Google Keep - Best Note Taking App

The Google Keep notes application is yet another quite famous note taking app that provides its users with a comprehensive note taking software with an advanced inbuilt array of features.

This notes app also offers other functionalities such as image collection, notes preview option without even completely opening a document or a note, specific location reminders, to-do checklists, transferring documents to Google Docs, pinboard feature, keep notes, audio transcriptions, multi-device sharing, etc.

Google Keep - Top Note Taking App

Download this note taking app for Android and iOS

14. - Best Note Taking App

Any.DO is another all-in-app task management application with a wide range of impressive note-taking features that will help the users in simplifying the maintenance process of their do-to list. In addition to this, Google Keep also provides the users with functionalities like customizable recurring tasks, location-based reminders, unlimited collaboration and so much more. - Top Note Taking App

Download this note taking app for Android and iOS

15. Notability - Best Note Taking App

Notability is a well-known note taking app from Ginger Labs that is only available on iTunes that means it only provides support for the iPhone and iPad Pro.

Apart from this, the Notability application is highly recognized by Apple as the Best Selling Paid Productivity app for four consecutive years. So go ahead and try out this app to sync written notes with audio recordings and annotating documents.

Notability - Top Note Taking App

Download this note taking app for iOS

16. SomNote - Best Note Taking App

SomNote is basically a cloud-based application for taking notes with around 100 MB of free cloud storage provided to each user account. With this app, users can easily draw sketches as well as graphs while utilizing different themes and fonts for their documents.

Along with this, SomNote also lets you sync your notes to any device, create multi-colored folders, use password protection, access view modes, conduct a faster keyword search, and many other options.

SomNote - Top Note Taking App

Download this note taking app for Android and iOS

17. GoodNotes - Best Note Taking App

The GoodNotes app may not be the only note taking application for iOS out there, but it surely is a good one. This notes application offers its users the option to search their important notes and also organize their different types of documents.

Although, we have to admit that the UI (User Interface) provided by the app is amazing and takes the user experience to another level. In short, the GoodNotes application is a simple yet classic note taking app, perfect for your iPhone and iPad.

GoodNotes - Top Note Taking App

Download this note taking app for iOS

18. Coda - Best Note Taking App

The next we have Coda in the list of the best note taking apps. It can be referred to as a new resource that basically combines the document creation functionality with various interactive tools such as gantt, kanban, tables etc.

Many users also claim that this notes app is a combination of other applications like Dropbox Paper and Evernote. Currently, its user base is constantly growing, making it an efficient place to store notes and documents.

Coda - Top Note Taking App

Download this note taking app for Android and iOS

19. Drafts - Best Note Taking App

Also featured in: Best Writing Apps

With every version update, Drafts has improved itself while perfecting the services it provides to its users. If you compare the latest version with the original version of the app, you will see that the improvement is impressive.

In other words, we can say that Drafts is a note taking application that is mainly designed to be a top-notch digital version of a blank sheet.

Drafts - Top Note Taking App

Download this note taking app for iOS

20. Diaro - Best Note Taking App

Last but not least, we have Diaro in our list of best notes apps which is one of those precious few note taking apps that conveniently categories all your notes into highly organized daily records. This further makes it super easy to use especially to keep track of daily tasks.

This note taking app also replicates the experience of keeping a journal while giving a modern twist to it.

Diaro - Best Note Taking App

Download this note taking app for Android and iOS

MAD Recommendation: Our Favorite Note Taking App

Let’s start by getting a quick overview of the list of best note taking apps:


What are the Best Note Taking Apps for Android?

  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Evernote
  • ColorNote

What are the Best Note Taking Apps for iPhone And iPad Pro?

  • Dropbox Paper
  • Simplenote
  • MyScript

What are the Best Note Taking Apps for Mac?

  • Bear
  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Quip

What are The Best Note Taking Apps For Windows?

  • ColorNote
  • Zoho Notebook
  • Simplenote

After doing an in-depth review of the pros and cons offered by these top note taking apps for iPhone and Android smartphones, we have to go with the Evernote note taking application. This is because Evernote is not just a note taking app, it is a productivity application that is highly useful for professionals.

However, in a clash of productivity apps like Google Keep and Evernote, the competition is pretty close. But Evernote is a feature-rich application allows the users to customize almost everything and takes the lead in this list of best note taking mobile apps.

Vikram <span>Content Manager</span>
Written By
Vikram Content Manager

Vikram is an experienced wunderkind, who embraced technology at a very early age, and today he is at the helm of it. Mobile apps are something that excites him the most, and now he is up to give this vertical the best shot. He routinely catches up with the new apps and comes up with the top apps that can excite you to the core.

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