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The 11 Best Note Taking Apps In 2024

Stay organized and productive with digital note-taking apps that suit you and your team's needs. Check out our top picks and options.

By Hannah Sheehan  •   March 27, 2024  •   10 min read

Whether your teams need to take notes of meeting insights, capture feedback or next steps, or map out future strategies, finding the right tool to aid your note-taking can significantly impact productivity and workflow. Discover the top 11 note-taking apps and what they’re best suited for.

What are the advantages of using a note-taking app?

Take notes anywhere

Note-taking apps make note-taking more convenient. They allow your teams to access your notes from any device, anywhere, ensuring you never lose track of key insights and thoughts. Depending on the software, your employees can take notes on their phones while on the go and even access them on their desktops or in the cloud at home or work.

Collaborate in real-time

Many note-taking apps have collaboration features that let you share notes and edit them together with your team in real-time. This ensures that you and your team aren’t working in silos but constantly sharing information and improving decision-making. Some apps even allow tagging people, commenting, or assigning action items with due dates. This facilitates teamwork and coordination across the organization.

Take meeting notes in real-time with AI

Let Fellow’s AI Meeting Copilot take meeting notes, summarize your meeting, and provide meeting outcomes. Built for remote and hybrid teams, Fellow enables your teams to review past notes, encourages everyone to add talking points to the meeting agenda, and never forgets what was discussed.

Save physical space and digital storage

With paper notes, you’ll actually need to set aside physical storage space to store everything. Digital notes not only reduce paper waste, but they also save physical space and take up less digital storage space than other files like documents or media. This also ensures that you can always find your notes easily, versus having to sift through piles of paper.

Stay organized

Handwritten notes require constant upkeep to organize. Your team members must remember where you wrote key information down and rely on your memory or filing system most of the time. Digital note-taking apps allow your team to effortlessly organize notes into notebooks, tag them, and even search notes for keywords, making it easy to find information later.

What is the best notes app?

1 Fellow

Fellow is an all-in-one AI meeting transcription and management software that integrates with 50+ tools and centralizes your organization’s meeting notes, recordings, discussions, and action items, guaranteeing productivity and accountability in every meeting. Teams can create digital notes for shared projects, collaborative meetings, and one-on-ones. These notes can also be categorized into note series for specific clients or projects. Fellow can also automate note-taking with advanced AI features. Fellow is available on mobile and desktop on Mac, Windows, IOS, and Android.

Strengths:

  • Integrates with 50+ tools for productivity, calendar, conferencing, project management, CRM, and more
  • Allows for real-time collaboration on meetings and action-item assigning within your notes
  • Browser extensions enable real-time note-taking directly in the call, so users don’t have to leave the meeting tab to take notes or access relevant documents
  • Searchable and customizable notes with various formatting and style options
  • Notes are linked to every calendar event for easy access
  • Previous meeting notes are accessible below the current one for recurring meetings, and undiscussed talking points and action items automatically carried forward to the next meeting
  • AI Meeting Copilot can automatically join your calls to record, transcribe, and summarize every meeting into detailed recaps and notes, automating the meeting note-taking process

Weaknesses:

  • Lacks offline access
  • More suited for organizations vs. personal note-taking use

Use cases: Fellow is ranked the #1 meeting management software for collaborative meeting agendas and notes, action items, and AI meeting transcriptions and summaries. It is designed specifically for remote and hybrid organizations.

Pricing: Starts at $7 per user per month

Learn more about Fellow’s plans

2 Notion

Notion is a workspace app available for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and Web devices that allows individuals and teams to create notes and documentation. It provides users with a “Team Wiki,” “Projects & Tasks,” and “Notes and Documents” feature. 

Strengths:

  • Notes can be created privately or can be shared for collaborative editing
  • Robust customization features
  • Integrations with 80+ tools
  • Allows for note-taking of code snippets or math equations

Weaknesses:

  • UI can be too complex to navigate, especially for quick and easy note-taking
  • No offline access

Use cases: With Notion’s Wiki and Documents features, this application is best for documentation and company wikis. 

Pricing: Premium plans start at $8 per user / per month (billed annually)

3 Evernote

Evernote is a note-taking app that allows users to create notes in text, images, audio, drawings, and other web content. 

Strengths:

  • Notes are accessible not only via desktop, mobile, or tablet, it’s also accessible via email
  • Allows offline downloads and access with the Premium plan
  • Rich formatting and customization options

Weaknesses:

  • Expensive compared to other note-taking tools, and the Free plan is very limited
  • Complex and slow interface
  • Lacks essential integrations for organizational use
  • Limited collaboration and automation features

Use cases: Evernote is best used for personal note-taking.

Pricing: Plans start at $14.99 per month.

Find out more about Evernote and how it compares to Fellow.

4 OneNote

Microsoft OneNote is a note-taking application that allows users to create typed, handwritten (via a stylus), web-clipped, and physically scanned notes. It is available through various devices and works well with other Microsoft applications, such as Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. 

Strengths:

  • Seamless experience for Microsoft 365 organizations or Windows devices
  • Ability to draw or handwrite free-form notes
  • Advanced organizational features
  • Free plan has most features available
  • Copilot feature can summarize, create to-do lists, or design a plan based on your notes

Weaknesses:

  • Limited formatting options
  • Lacks offline access
  • Not best suited for organizations that do not use Microsoft 365

Use cases:  This application is best used for personal note-taking due to the freedom to insert images, hand-write and draw, and scan physical documents, which allows users to take elaborate and lengthy notes easily.

Pricing: $1.99/month for every 100GB added. 

5 Bear

Bear is a note-taking application that is compatible with IOS and Mac devices. Bear allows users to create notes on their iPhone, iPad, or Macbook by creating a new note and then typing on their device. You can also add attachments to your notes via Bear. 

Strengths:

  • Clean and streamlined interface
  • Notes can be encrypted with Face/Touch ID
  • Seamless experience for iOS or Apple users
  • Multiple themes and export options (including HTML, PDF, DOCX, MD, and JPG) 

Weaknesses:

  • Only available on iOS or Apple devices
  • Limited free plan
  • No integrations

Use cases: Bear is best used for quick, personal notes on all Apple devices. This includes things like grocery lists or to-do lists. 

Pricing: $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year.

6 Apple Notes

Apple Notes is a note-taking application available on all Apple devices. It allows you to create notes and then add texts, images, scanned documents, handwritten notes, and checklists.

Strengths:

  • Free, seamless experience for Apple devices
  • Great for basic, convenient notes
  • Apple notes are also compatible with Siri
  • Users can also create folders to organize their notes and use the search bar to find older folders or notes easily

Weaknesses:

  • Limited advanced or formatting features
  • No integrations beyond Apple devices

Use cases: Apple Notes is best for Apple users who want an app for jotting notes or to-do lists.

Pricing: Apple users can access Apple Notes for free for up to 5GB. Upgrade for $0.99/month for every 50GB added.

7 Google Keep

Google Keep is a note-taking app created by Google that allows users to create virtual sticky notes. This application is compatible with IOS and Android; however, it is mostly recommended for Android users. You can also access your Google Keep notes on your Gmail account and through your Google Drive (Google Docs). 

Strengths:

  • Integrates seamlessly for organizations that use Google Workspace
  • Can create reminders with dates and times
  • No integrations beyond Google
  • Simple, easy-to-use interface

Weaknesses:

  • Only basic formatting features are available
  • No collaboration functionalities

Use cases: Google Keep is the best note-taking application for Android users to jot down notes and make checklists (it is not recommended for lengthy notes).

Pricing: Google Keep is free for the first 15GB of storage. You can upgrade to $1.99/month per additional 100GB.

8 Ulysses

Ulysses is a note-taking application available for Apple devices (iOS and Mac). It’s a great app for multiple notetaking purposes—both short jot notes and long summaries—and it allows users to organize their notes in folders. Users can then organize their notes in the folders by hierarchy. 

Strengths:

  • Easy publishing integrations with WordPress, Ghost, Medium, and Micro.blog
  • Rich editing capabilities
  • Built-in proofreading and editing
  • Seamless syncing across iCloud and Apple devices

Weaknesses:

  • No free plan is available
  • No collaborative features
  • May be too elaborate for simple note-taking needs
  • Only works for iOS and Apple devices

Use cases: This application is best for people who take long-form notes or write for blogs.

Pricing: This application is $5.99/month or $39.99/year.

9 Zoho Notebook

Zoho Notebook is a note-taking application that allows users to take notes in multiple formats and is available for IOS, Android, Mac, and Web. The application also allows you to add PDFs, Word documents, and Spreadsheets to your notes and can be used across other platforms, such as Slack, to create shared notes between team members. Additional features include to-do lists and whiteboard features

Strengths:

  • Can organize your notes into notebooks and embed documents or media
  • Available across devices
  • Different note formats and customizable colors

Weaknesses:

  • Only basic formatting features
  • Limited collaboration features
  • Limited integrations

Use cases: This application is best used for users who make personal notes in multiple formats.

Pricing: $1.99/month

10 Dropbox Paper

Dropbox Paper is a note-taking application for iOS, Android, and Web users that enables collaboration with team members by sharing notes and previewing and editing other people’s notes.

Strengths:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Allows for real-time editing, commenting and formatting with your team
  • Free with any Dropbox account
  • Catalog of templates available (but limited)

Weaknesses:

  • Only basic formatting tools
  • Limited storage

Use cases: This application is best used for collaboration and Dropbox users.

Pricing: Dropbox Paper is free for current users of Dropbox to sign up and use.

11 Obsidian

Obsidian is a knowledge-based tool that enables users to create a personal wiki, users can link their notes, visualize their connections through a graph view, and embed content within each other. Obsidian is available for iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

Strengths:

  • Robust customization features
  • Free plan has all app features
  • Offline access available
  • Unique organization features, e.g. links, graphs, canvases
  • Some collaboration features

Weaknesses:

  • Hard to navigate, takes time to learn
  • Expensive for paid plans
  • Limited support for free plan

Use-cases: Obsidian is best suited for building a personal knowledge base or a Zettelkasten system where each information piece is densely interlinked.

Pricing: Obsidian’s core features are free for personal use. For commercial use, licenses are available for $50 USD per user per year. Additional add-ons are available.

What makes a great note-taking app?

We’ve all experienced the dreadful task of finding the perfect meeting notes app for our phone, desktop, or tablet at one time or another to improve productivity at work and in our personal lives. Before spending your time and money, learning what makes a great note-taking app is important.

1 The app should perform like it says it does

Downloading an app only to find out it doesn’t do what you need is frustrating. So, it’s important to read the description of the app’s functions. Reading the reviews and ratings of the app will also help you determine if the app’s description matches what the app says it does. 

For instance, you can read reviews from Fellow users here.

2 The app should be easy to navigate

Overly confusing apps only frustrate users. Thus, looking for note-taking apps that are easy to navigate is important. Mobile apps that provide “how to use” tutorials are a great place to start.

3 The app should provide good value for your money

Spending ridiculous amounts of money on an app is not necessary when you can find reasonably priced alternatives. Therefore, looking for an app that fits your needs and budget is important. 

How to choose the note-taking app that’s right for you 

Choosing the right note-taking application for you can be difficult. So, remember to set your priorities before searching for your perfect app. 

Knowing what you are looking for in a note-taking application will help determine which is best for you. Whether looking for a note-taking app for meeting notes, documentation and wikis, education/collaboration, or personal purposes, this list will help you determine the best for you. 

Personal Notes:

  • Evernote
  • OneNote
  • Fellow
  • Bear
  • Apple Notes
  • Google Keep
  • Zoho Notebook

Documentation and Wikis:

  • Notion

Education/collaboration:

  • OneNote
  • Ulysses
  • Dropbox Paper
  • Fellow

Meeting Notes:

  • Fellow

The most integrated AI meeting notes, transcripts, and summaries

Elevate your note-taking experience. With Fellow, you can collaborate on meeting notes, assign and sync action items with project management tools, and keep track of meeting decisions in one place, ensuring actionable outcomes in every meeting. Fellow’s advanced AI features automatically transcribe and summarize your meetings into accurate meeting notes, so follow-ups are clear. Plus, Fellow seamlessly integrates into your meeting workflow and syncs with 50+ of your favorite tools.

Parting advice

Having comprehensive notes is an important step in ensuring great record-keeping, building accountability, and moving work forward in an organization, so investing in a good note-taking app is worth your business’ time and money. And if you’re a remote or hybrid tech organization looking for a way to centralize the entire meeting note-taking and productivity workflow, Fellow is your best bet.

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