Exploring The Best Note-Taking Apps in The Market

Dec 12, 2023

The practice of note-taking is an activity that has been in existence since time immemorial. It's a tool, a mechanism that we, as humans, frequently use to organize our thoughts, to remember important details, and to make sense of complex ideas that we encounter in our daily lives. Whether it's the simple act of jotting down a quick grocery list on a scrap of paper or the more involved process of creating detailed summaries from a book for a study session, everyone has their own unique way of taking notes. Each person has their own style, their own method that works best for them. As we have moved into the digital age, the art of note-taking has evolved beyond the traditional pen and paper. It has expanded to include a wide array of applications specifically designed to cater to our diverse needs, to accommodate the various ways in which we process and record information.

The market today is flooded with a plethora of note-taking apps, each with its unique features and functionalities. This article aims to delve into the world of note-taking apps, highlighting the top contenders in the market today.

Table of Contents

  1. What Constitutes a Good Note-Taking App?

  2. Microsoft OneNote

  3. Apple Notes

  4. Google Keep

  5. Notion

  6. Obsidian

  7. Joplin

  8. Why Not Evernote?

  9. Choosing the Right Note-Taking Software

  10. FAQs

  11. Conclusion

What Constitutes a Good Note-Taking App?

While the market is saturated with note-taking apps, not all are created equal. A good note-taking app should meet the following criteria:

  1. Functionality: The app should effectively perform its primary function - taking notes. Any extra features should complement this function, not detract from it.

  2. Ease of Use: The app should be user-friendly, allowing you to create, edit, and organize notes seamlessly.

  3. Accessibility: A good note-taking app should be accessible across multiple devices and platforms, allowing you to access your notes anywhere, anytime.

  4. Value for Money: While there are numerous free note-taking apps available, some charge a subscription fee. The app should offer value for money, justifying its price through its features and functionalities.

Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote is a free note-taking app that offers a wide range of features. It allows you to add text, images, and even doodles to your notes. With its familiar interface similar to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, OneNote can be easily adopted by both novices and experienced users. OneNote's standout feature is its freeform note-taking capability. It's like a digital canvas where you can jot down thoughts or ideas anywhere. This flexibility makes it a great tool for students or anyone who takes long, elaborate notes. OneNote uses OneDrive for storage, providing 5GB of space for free. However, if you need more storage, you can upgrade to 100GB for $1.99/month.

Apple Notes

For Apple users, Apple Notes is a great option. It's built into macOS and iOS, and can also be accessed through a browser. While it started as a basic note-taking app, Apple Notes has evolved over time to include features like tags, sharing, and powerful search functions. Apple Notes offers seamless integration among Apple devices, making it incredibly convenient for those invested in the Apple ecosystem. It's a straightforward app that does what it promises - taking notes - without any unnecessary fluff.

Google Keep

Google Keep is a simple, yet efficient note-taking app that's particularly useful for those heavily invested in the Google ecosystem. It integrates well with other Google services, allowing you to access your notes from Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, and Google Drive. While Google Keep might seem basic compared to other note-taking apps, its simplicity is its strength. It's perfect for quick notes and reminders and comes as part of your Google account, making it a great tool for Google power users.


Notion is a powerful note-taking app that doubles as a task and project manager, and a reference wiki. It supports collaboration, making it an excellent tool for team note-taking or project management. Every document or note in Notion is a 'page' consisting of 'blocks'. Blocks can include text, checklists, headings, images, and more, allowing you to customize your notes to fit your needs. While Notion is a fantastic tool for teams, it might be overkill for individuals looking for a simple note-taking app. It's also worth noting that its offline functionality is not the best.


For individuals who are not deterred by the prospect of tackling a challenging learning curve, Obsidian presents a fresh and innovative methodology for note-taking. Essentially, Obsidian is a note-taking application that operates using text files, which are specifically formatted in Markdown. This unique feature provides the user with the ability to create connections between different notes by utilizing internal hyperlinks. Obsidian is highly customizable and extensible, making it an excellent tool for power note-takers. However, it requires a bit of effort to set up, so it might not be the best choice for those looking for a straightforward note-taking tool.


Joplin, a free and open-source application designed for note-taking, stands as a commendable alternative to the well-known Evernote. This application is characterized by its simplicity and user-friendly nature, boasting an interface that will feel familiar to those who have previously used Evernote. The layout is intuitive and easy to navigate, making it an optimal choice for those accustomed to Evernote's design. One of the key features of Joplin is its support for Markdown, a lightweight markup language that allows you to format your notes easily. Additionally, Joplin provides the functionality to organize your notes into folders and even subfolders, enabling a high level of organization. Another significant advantage of Joplin is its end-to-end encryption, which ensures the security of your notes. While Joplin is entirely free to use, it's worth noting that you may require a sync service to access your notes across multiple devices seamlessly.

Why Not Evernote?

Evernote has been a staple in the note-taking app space for years. However, it didn't make the list this year due to its high price, dated interface, and uncertain future. Along with that, there are better alternatives in the market that offer similar features at a lower price or for free.

Choosing the Right Note-Taking Software

The process of selecting the most suitable note-taking application is largely contingent upon your personal requirements and preferences. It's advisable to experiment with a variety of different options, testing each one to ascertain which truly aligns with your needs. Always keep in mind that the optimal note-taking application isn't universally the same for everyone. Instead, it's the one that most effectively accommodates your distinctive note-taking style and preferences, making your note-taking process more efficient and enjoyable.


Q: Are there note-taking apps that support collaboration?
A: Yes. Apps like Notion are designed with collaboration in mind, making them ideal for team note-taking or project management.

Q: Is there a free alternative to Evernote?
A: Yes. Joplin is a free and open-source note-taking app that's a great alternative to Evernote.

Q: Can I access my notes on multiple devices?
A: Most note-taking apps allow you to sync your notes across multiple devices. However, you might need a sync service to do so.


Ultimately, the superior note-taking application is the one that is tailored to your unique requirements and personal preferences. Whether you find yourself in the role of a diligent student, meticulously recording notes for an academic class, or you're a professional in the midst of a brainstorming session, jotting down innovative ideas for an upcoming meeting, or perhaps you're simply an individual seeking a method to neatly organize your thoughts and ideas, there is undoubtedly an application available that will meet your needs. Therefore, I encourage you to venture out, experiment with different platforms, and discover the application that functions optimally for your specific situation.

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