Skip to main content ↓

The World’s Best Note-Taking Apps to Maximize Productivity

a lady on a video call waving to the camera

Without note-taking apps and tools, there’s a good chance we’d forget important details and that many of the world’s most brilliant ideas would simply vanish. Thankfully, no such dystopia exists, and note-taking software is very much alive and thriving.

In fact, there are so many note-taking apps on the market today that dating a Kardashian may seem more achievable than testing them all to find the perfect one for your needs. But we’re here to simplify that process for you.

Our team has scoured the note-taking world to sample and determine the best of the best. Consider your note-taking conundrum solved with our list of the best note-taking tools available. Read on to discover more.

What is a note-taking app?

A note-taking app is software that helps you organize and save ideas and important information. These tools let you take notes via written text or transcription from voice and often allow you to include images, lists, diagrams, recordings, and drawings.

More advanced note-taking software may offer several additional features, including manipulating and organizing notes. These applications come in desktop and mobile app formats, and cloud-based options are also available.

The 11 best note-taking apps on the market

These are our top picks for the best note-taking tools available to help you take efficient and effective notes:

  1. Nutshell’s Notetaker
  2. Microsoft OneNote
  3. Google Keep
  4. Notion
  5. Obsidian
  6. Joplin
  7. UpNote
  8. Bear
  9. Evernote
  10. Simplenote
  11. Apple Notes

1. Nutshell’s Notetaker

Nutshell Notetaker note-taking app

Best for note-taking that supports customer relationship management

For the ultimate in easy-to-use voice-to-text note-taking, look no further than Nutshell’s Notetaker. This note-taking software uses your computer’s microphone to transcribe your words to text and is ideal for meetings and get-togethers where typing or writing notes may not be practical.

Notetaker saves individuals and teams tons of time and allows you to focus on the meeting discussion rather than getting as many important points as possible on paper. Its transcription length per session is unlimited, which means you can use it for short and lengthy meetings, training sessions, client appointments, etc.

While this tool is part of Nutshell’s all-in-one CRM app, you’ll benefit from a note-taking system that supports your sales, marketing, and customer support teams. With it, they’ll streamline their workflows, increase productivity, and build long-lasting customer relationships.

Pricing

Notetaker is a feature included in Nutshell’s Power AI pricing tier, which starts at $52 per user per month. However, users on other Nutshell plans and Nutshell trial users can enjoy five free Notetaker transcriptions each month.

Looking for a CRM with artificial intelligence to power growth?

Nutshell Power AI has what you’re looking for, with features to supercharge your team’s productivity.

Explore Nutshell Power AI

Nutshell Power AI logo

2. Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote note-taking software

Best for users in need of a free note-taking tool

Have you ever used a visual diary or one of those notebooks that include pages without lines so you can include illustrations? If so, Microsoft OneNote may be the ideal note-taking app for you. It’s the ultimate in flexible note-taking, letting you create multiple digital notebooks and color-coded tabs for easy organization.

Part of Microsoft 365, OneNote allows users to type notes, add images, draw diagrams, and include snippets from the Internet, which automatically include a link to the source URL. The app can also read your notes back to you, making it a highly accessible tool. Due to its integration with Microsoft 365, you’ll be able to share and transfer notes easily in different formats.

Pricing

Users can access OneNote with a free Microsoft 365 account but will have limited OneDrive storage space. Priced plans begin at $99.99 per annum for two to six people and include a host of Microsoft applications.

3. Google Keep

Google Keep note-taking app

Best for users who prefer Google products

Those looking for a straightforward and swift note-taking solution will appreciate the simplicity and ease of use synonymous with Google Keep. This popular software offers quick note-taking and options for note organization, including color-coding features.

Of course, Google Keep integrates seamlessly with other Google tools, but note-takers will find its integration with Google Assistant particularly helpful. Google Assistant adds the ability to operate through voice commands and dictate voice notes while on the go.

Pricing

As is common in the realm of Google products, Google Keep is free to all users with a Google account.

4. Notion

Notion note-taking software

Best for teams that need to collaborate on notes

There’s a reason why businesses, particularly those in the tech industry, love Notion. One of the reasons is that the app offers several useful features. Another reason is that the platform can be customized to your business’s requirements. But more importantly, it’s one of the best note-takers for teams due to its collaboration features.

Start with a blank slate and build a workspace that makes sense for you and your team. Then, integrate your CRM, calendars, and reminders with Notion to bring a significant portion of your workflow organization into one place. These features make Notion ideal for project management and team collaboration, although some may find the tool complex due to its versatility.

5. Obsidian

Obsidian note taking software

Best for users who want more than just a note-taking app

Obsidian offers users intelligent note-taking software that adapts to the way you capture and save information and makes it better. The app includes a host of features and plug-ins geared toward building a resourceful knowledge base more than a mere collection of notes.

Use the tool’s Links feature to connect ideas, and its Graph feature lets you explore your saved notes and information in the form of an interactive graph. Take notes the way you prefer with a blank canvas to add and arrange text, diagrams, snippets, and more.

Pricing

Obsidian offers a free plan, which it stipulates is for personal use. However, businesses and others utilizing the app commercially can purchase a license for $50 per user per year.

6. Joplin

Joplin note taking app

Best for users who want a free option that works on multiple platforms

Another completely free note-taking app option on our list is Joplin, an open-source tool that offers several customization options through themes and plugins and supports Markdown syntax.

While the Joplin app interface is a little clunky and not as refined as other note-taking software on this list, it is versatile and safe. The app offers end-to-end encryption, so you can rest assured your notes and information will remain private and secure.

Pricing

Joplin is free for note-taking. However, if you’d like to sync and share your notes across different devices and publish them online straight from the app, you can purchase Joplin Cloud. Joplin Cloud plans also provide additional storage and start at €2.40 per month, billed annually (approximately $2.57 per month).

7. UpNote

UpNote note taking software

Best for users in search of a good value-for-money note-taking app

If you’re looking for note-taking software that you can use on different operating systems and platforms and provides numerous tools for organizing and managing your notes, UpNote may fit the bill. It gives users a sleek, user-friendly interface with all the features needed for optimal note-taking.

UpNote delivers several note customization options, including colored tags and highlighters, attractive themes, the ability to sync to other devices, and more. One of its standout features is its Focus Mode, which hides other notes and menus while you work to minimize distractions.

Pricing

With all the features offered by UpNote, one would expect to pay a significant amount. But all this functionality is available to you at just $1.99 per month or $39.99 once-off for lifetime access.

8. Bear

Bear note taking app

Best for Apple device users who want a few more advanced features

While Apple users have a decent built-in note-taking tool on their devices, Bear offers them the option to take notes with some additional features. These are somewhat advanced features, including optical character recognition and the ability to save web content in your notes.

Bear can detect links, URLs, and email addresses and format them automatically within a clean, easy-to-use user interface. You can customize your workspace to align with your needs using Markdown syntax and leverage tags and colors to organize your notes. Bear also integrates with other Apple applications.

Pricing

Bear offers a free plan with limited features, like three free themes. There’s only one paid plan, Bear Pro, which allows complete access to all the features for $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year. Bear also enables users to test the app with a 7-day free trial.

9. Evernote

Evernote note-taking app

Best for existing Evernote users

If you’re already using Evernote as a productivity tool or for team collaboration through a paid plan, there’s no reason to switch to a different note-taking tool. While it offers robust note-taking features, it’s far more expensive than the other options on our list.

When you choose Evernote as your note-taking app, you can save web page snippets linking to the source, integrate with many useful apps, and utilize advanced note-searching functionality. New users may experience a steep learning curve, but they will benefit from the app’s many features and powerful organizational capabilities.

Pricing

Evernote offers a very limited free plan, which doesn’t offer much. Paid plans start at $10.83 per month, billed annually, for a Personal plan. A Professional and a Teams plan are also available at $14.17 and $20.83 per month, respectively, and they are also billed annually.

10. Simplenote

Best for users who just want a straightforward note-taking tool

Simplenote may be the epitome of simplicity when it comes to note-taking, but it allows users to create highly effective notes at speed. Taking notes with Simplenote is a pleasure, with an uncomplicated, sleek interface for better clarity and efficiency.

You won’t find any advanced features in Simplenote, such as adding multimedia elements or leveraging special organization features. However, it supports Markdown syntax, giving you some room for customization.

Pricing

Simplenote is absolutely free to all users and is compatible with all operating systems and browsers.

11. Apple Notes

Best for Apple users

All Apple users can take advantage of the built-in Apple Notes app, which is a default feature on their Apple devices. Although Apple Notes started out as a basic note-taking app, it’s undergone several updates over the years, including some handy features.

With Apple Notes, you can group and pin notes for better organization, format them with headings, checklists, and more, and add attachments. The app also lets you add videos and images to the notes, and you can create calendar events and reminders by clicking on dates or locations in your notes.

Pricing

Apple device users can access the Apple Notes app at no additional cost.

Criteria for choosing the best note-taking software

Before committing to one particular note-taking application, it’s wise to consider all the requirements crucial to your note-taking needs. You should also consider some core elements that make a specific note-taking tool great.

As you peruse the options available and our list of the best note-taking apps above, examine the following essential aspects:

  • Easy to use: You never know when inspiration will strike, which means you need an app that makes it quick and easy to capture your thoughts and access your notes when required.
  • Accessible anywhere: If you want to access your notes on different devices and platforms, you’ll need an online or cloud-based note-taking app or one that syncs across devices.
  • Integrates with other apps: The ability to transfer your notes to another application is only possible if the note-taking tool can integrate with other software.
  • Offers enough versatility: Consider whether you only need to type text-based notes or if you’d like the option to transcribe voice notes, add photos, insert drawings, and more.
  • Secure and private: Where there’s software, there’s a need for data security, and you’ll want to make sure your note-taking app can protect your notes and keep them safe.
  • Suits your budget: Ensure your chosen note-taking tool offers the features you need at a price you can afford.

Top tips for constructive note-taking

Taking notes related to your thoughts and ideas in your own time is one thing. But you’ll need to take a slightly different approach when it comes to effective note-taking at work. Here are a few proven tips for getting the most out of your note-taking in client meetings, training sessions, team huddles, and more:

  • Choose your tool: First and foremost, select the right note-taking tool for the task at hand to ensure optimal efficiency and avoid falling behind.
  • Keep things organized: Decide early on how you’ll structure your notes, including how you’ll represent headings and subheadings, which colors you’ll use to highlight which types of information, bullet point and number list levels, etc.
  • Note the key points: While all the information you receive is vital to some extent, you can write everything down, so it’s essential to stick with summarizing the most critical points and adding to them if you have time.
  • Listen attentively: Taking notes can be distracting and could result in you missing a point, so it’s best to prioritize listening to ensure you understand what’s being said while getting the notes you need.
  • Highlight important points: Use a color highlighter tool to accentuate the most important points shared, making it easier to find them when referencing your notes later.
  • Review as soon as possible: Reviewing your notes soon after the meeting is essential, as it will help you add to them while the information is still clear in your mind.
  • Group the information: When reviewing your notes, group sections logically, add notes and comments to clarify points, and include your thoughts.
  • Add visual elements: If you’re a visual learner, you may benefit from adding images and diagrams to help you make sense of your notes when you reflect on them in the future.
  • Ask others for feedback: A great way to catch points you may have missed and gain an alternative perspective is to speak to others who attended the same meeting, swap notes, and ask for their feedback.
  • Summarize comprehensive notes: If, after a lengthy meeting or workshop, you find you’ve just about written a book, it’s best to review your notes as early as possible after the event and summarize them.
  • Record the meeting: The easiest way, by far, to ensure you don’t miss a thing and have the headspace to listen actively is to record and transcribe the meeting with a reliable AI-powered note-taking tool.

Make note-taking easier with advanced voice-to-text software in your CRM

Writing or typing notes may still have its place, but conversational AI wins the day when it comes to productivity in a meeting setting. Notetaker tool offers Nutshell CRM users the convenience of advanced voice-to-text note-taking with extraordinary speed and accuracy.

Nutshell users can use Notetaker to log an activity or write a note within a Person, Company, or Lead record. Notetaker also makes adding notes during a phone call or client meeting quick and easy and helps sales, marketing, and customer support teams deliver better customer experiences.Try Nutshell free for 14 days and discover how Notetaker can help you save time and remain focused on your team or customer meeting.

See Nutshell in action

Give our powerful, easy-to-use CRM a try for free for 14 days! Or join a live demo to see Nutshell at work!

START YOUR FREE TRIAL

SEE A LIVE DEMO

a cartoon drawing of a woman holding a light bulb
BACK TO TOP
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Join 30,000+ other sales and marketing professionals. Subscribe to our Sell to Win newsletter!