Your iPad is a great movie player, a top-notch Facebook browser, and a decent camera. But if there’s one thing it does better than anything else, it’s taking notes. Sitting anywhere, IPad tucked securely into an iPad Pro 12.9 case, you can record your day, your thoughts, and any information you need to remember.
You can take notes with your keyboard, with an Apple pencil, or by swiping away at the in-screen keyboard. Note-taking apps keep those notes organized, structured, and readily available. They optimize your routine and enabling you make the most of the information you have.
There’s only one problem. There are so many note-taking apps out there, all claiming to be best in field— but they can’t all be. That said, which is best for you depends on your unique needs and preferences. Here’s a rundown of the top ten, both free and paid options.
Apple Notes is the oft-forgotten default on your iPad’s operating system. There are no pretty lights or glitter, no fancy schmancy features. That said, what Apple Notes does it does well.
You can take notes three ways: by typing, by writing with your apple pencil, or by asking Siri to write a note. The interface is sleek and responsive, and drawing/handwriting works well within the app. But Apple Note’s biggest selling point is the way it is completely integrated within your iOS account and the iCloud. Your notes will show up in your iPhone, on your Macbook, iPod or second iPad.
Goodnotes 5 takes good notes; there are no two ways around it. With good aesthetics, an intuitive interface, and easy to use templates, this app is a big favorite among iPad notetakers. A variety of drawing tools are available, and you should notice no lag while writing.
If GoodNotes has any weak point, it would be a lack of sharing features; while you can share your documents with a link these are not viewable by people outside the app.
Notability is another favorite among note taking apps, and if you try it you’ll see why: it allows you to combine all your favorite ways of notetaking annotating pdfs, typing, writing, and sketching. You can even add in photos. The organization gets high marks in many reviews: folders are on your left sidebar, notes on your right and you get to group your notes by subject to make them easy to find.
Notability plus, a paid add-on system, includes handwriting recognition, math conversion, and ready-made planners and stickers.
Noteshelf is a smooth, easy to use iPad app that allows you to take handwritten, typed, or voice notes, annotate PDFs, and multitask to your heart content. If you write in a language other than English you may appreciate that it recognizes handwriting in 65 languages, including Norwegian and Turkish. It also syncs across devices and can back up to iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, or Evernote. There’s also an AppleWatch app so you can record voice notes straight from your watch.
Penultimate, developed by Evernote, is a favorite app of many users of the note taking giant. Choose from a wide selection of layouts, and write or type out your notes as desired.
These notes will be saved to the Evernote notebook you choose, and accessible anywhere you’ve got Evernote installed.
Downsides of Penultimate: users report it has its quirks, and organizing your notes the way you want them is difficult to impossible.
Ofcourse, some Evernote users prefer to simply take their notes within the Evernote app. There’s nothing wrong with that, though the professional design may dampen the creativity of the itinerant doodler. Use the Evernote web clipper to take notes from the web, scan a whiteboard, or type your own notes at will.
Evernote is used for task management for some users, to manage recipe collections for others, but if the interface vibes with you it can perform well as a full-featured note taker as well.
OneNote, the major notetaking app by Apple’s biggest rival, is still seeing some major popularity in 2022. Choose your preferred note structure and adjust your notes, notebooks, and pages in a handy sidebar.
OneNote supports a mixture of typing and drawing, and has advanced synchronization and collaboration options geared toward a professional audience. The only downside here is a slight lag; OneNote is not always as lightning fast as you might desire.
Liquid text is all about taking notes directly from webpages or other text. You can pull out the interesting bits, drag-and-drop them into your interface, and annotate as desired. Maybe there’s nothing cutting edge about it, but there’s something about this app that can completely change the way you think about that page of text. Drag, drop, shrink, grow; it’s all in your fingertips.
Here’s a simple app with one claim to fame: the best handwriting recognition you’ll find anywhere. If you write neatly anyway, this may not be a game-changer. That said, if you were the kid in high school whose essays the teacher never could decipher? This may be the app you’ve been hunting for.
There are a few other fun features in Nebo. For instance, the native gestures: scribble on text to delete it, or separate two words you wrote too close by writing a line in between. Nebo also does well with math equations and custom diagrams, making it especially helpful for students.
Notion is a great note taking app with just one downside: it doesn’t support drawing or writing with the apple pencil. If you don’t have a pencil anyway and just want a note taking app with some pretty good organization, this app may be your preferred choice. Notion is also pretty stellar at collaboration, and if your team mates or class mates use the app you’ll be able to use mention for them to receive notifications in real time.
So, which note taking app is your favorite? Let us know! And, once you’ve settled on the best note taking app, don’t forget to equip your iPad with an iPad Pro 12.9 case to keep it protected while you’re out and about.