Only a few apps have risen to the top charts as fast as the recently released Bear has. Bear is a very versatile note taking app that not only makes it easier to make quick notes but also allows you to capture content which can be a little lengthy. The inbuilt formatting tools are easily accessible, as they are places right above the keyboard. You can also use Markdown editing if you prefer it. My favourite feature of Bear is the organisation of notes using tags. You can create multiple tags for a single note. This not only allows you to organise different notes in a single notebook but also allows you to keep a single note in multiple notebooks, a feature missing in most of the note taking apps.
Probably the best thing about Bear is that it is free to use if you want to use it locally. However, that will not unlock its full potential. When you buy the subscription, you can sync your notes between your iPhone/iPad and Mac. Not only that, going pro will also allow you to customise the Bear app using different themes. It’s a really good add-on to an already exceptional app.
When it comes to normal functions, the appis very well optimised. It is lightning fast to open and moving between the notes feels like a breeze. The UI is minimalistic and very beautiful. Even Apple recognised the beauty of this app and included it in the 2017 Design Awards Category. An amalgamation of note taking and short prose writing, this one will fulfill the needs of most of the users.
Install: (Free, $14.99/year)
If you have ever used a note taking the app, there’s a high probability you have heard about Evernote and for right reasons. Launched almost a decade back, Evernote is one of the few services which has survived the ongoing cut throat competition in the world of the internet. If you are looking for a note taking service you can rely upon and which will most probably be around for next 5-10 years, this is the one. Apart from reliability, Evernote also gives you functionality which is unmatched by any app on this list. You can create notes (written, voice, and photos), organise them into notebooks, use tags and filters to categorise the notes, and much more.
One of the biggest strengths of Evernote is its cross-platform availability. Currently, Evernote is available for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Even if you are on a Linux Device, you can use its web client to access all your notes.
The syncing of notes across platform is pretty fast and you will never find yourself waiting for your notes to be available to you on different devices. Over the years, Evernote has evolved into a very powerful tool used by millions of users across the world. However, there are a couple of drawbacks of using Evernote which made us place it on the 2nd spot on our list. Firstly, the app has become a little bit complicated and has a little bit of learning curve associated with it. Also, it’s not that easy to capture small and instant notes on Evernote, as it is on Bear. Also, the basic version is pretty limited with only 60 MB of uploads per month. If you want to upgrade, you will have to look into its multi-tier paid plans, all of which are costlier than Bear. Still, if you are a power user looking for an app which will handle anything you throw at it, Evernote is the one and the best option for you.
3. Dropbox Paper
This one is a little different from all other apps on our list. This is technically not just a note taking the app, but since we are covering the whole spectrum and wanted to find one app for every use case scenario, it made our list. So, this one is for people who like to collaborate on their notes. Dropbox Paper was made keeping businesses in mind where a team can collaborate on a project by sharing their notes and ideas with each other effortlessly. You can create notes and documents and organise them into folders. You can share your notes so that people can collaborate on them. Users can comment, highlight and edit your notes depending upon the level of access you give them.
I have been using its iOS app since quite a few weeks and I am in love with it. The app is fluid, responsive, and syncs at real time. Since it has Dropbox support, it is very easy to add images and other media files to your notes. I love its export feature, which is quick and easy. The best part is that it is included in your Dropbox subscription which means you do not have to pay anything extra to use the app. Even the users utilising the free Dropbox services can use this app with the usual 2 GB upload restriction. If collaboration is your thing, Dropbox Paper has you covered.
Install: (Free – in-app purchases)
If you are a student, there’s high probability that you are already using Microsoft Office tools including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. These tools are also prevalent among business users as Apple’s own iWork suite is just not enough. In any case, the point is if you are already inside the Microsoft’s ecosystem, there’s no better note taking the app for you than OneNote. It is intuitive, easy to use, fast, syncs across platforms and is just all together a really good package. The app’s interface is quite simple. When you launch the app, you are greeted by the home page which houses all your notes in a chronological manner. You can pin notes to keep them at the top. You can create folders to organise your notes and even create folders inside folders.
If you own an iPad, you can use your Apple Pencil to write down your notes. One of the best features of OneNote is its search, which is lightning fast and you can even search handwritten notes with accuracy. Its handwriting recognition is one of the best we have ever seen. Like Evernote, you can attach photos and other files like PDFs and documents. You can even edit your documents from inside the notes app without having to deal with downloading and uploading of the documents again. Everything you do is sync across devices using OneDrive. It has all the features you will ever need from a notes app. You will never regret making it your one and only notes app.
5. Google Keep
Google Keep is my favourite note taking app when it comes to jotting down quick notes and making a list. The app is really simple, you install it and login with your Google account and that’s it. You don’t need to create a password or anything. Doesn’t matter which device you use in the future, all your notes are securely synced in the cloud. When you launch the app, you see a row of icons which allows you to directly create a list, write notes using a keyboard or just with your finger. My favourite feature is the colour coding of notes. It allows you to assign a different colour to different notes. For example, I always assign the red colour to those notes which are on priority.
You can create folders and pin notes to the top. I really love the noticeboard view. All your notes are displayed in squares like a sticky note on a notice board. It gives you a lot of information just at a glance. You can tap at a note to open it or 3D-touch it to use peak and pop. It is a very simple app which you will surely fall in love with.
6. Notes (Stock App)
There were days when the stock Notes app which came with the iPhone used to be a trash, not anymore. The Stock Notes app has become pretty powerful over the years and can fulfill the needs of many users. This one is best for people who are already deeply tied into Apple’s ecosystem. All your notes are synced across your various Apple devices. You can perform all the basic functions like creating notes and organising them into folders, adding photos, and sharing your notes. I like some of the new features including fingerprint security for certain notes and the ability to create a note using Siri. You can also use the notes app to scan documents and save it. All in all, it is a good app which covers the basics and adds some extra functionality.
Simplenote, as its name suggests, is a very simple note taking app. When you launch the app, you see an icon at the upper right-hand corner, tapping on which will open a new note. The first line of any note is the heading and the rest is the body. There are no extensive formatting tools, you can just start typing your ideas or list or whatever you want to. It has a dark mode which I think is pretty nice. You can categorize your notes using tags. One thing I do not like about this app is that when you are viewing all your notes, there’s no discernible line which separates the two notes. I have found Simplenote to be too simple for my usage pattern, but it might be enough for some of you. It’s free and there’s no harm in checking this one out.
8. Zoho Notebook
This one takes a little different approach to notes app which is quite refreshing to see. However, some of its features like colour coding of the notes and the easy way it allows you to create a checklist, do seem to be highly inspired from Google Keep. But the similarity ends there. One thing you will fall in love with when you open the Zoho Notebook app are the notebooks. When you create a notebook, you can choose between different covers which are beautiful and a unique feature of this app. Inside the notebook, you can add text, create a list, add photos and audios and much more.
One cool feature is the merging of the notes which lets you create a stack of notes. You can easily see all the notes by pinching out or by swiping to move between the apps. You really have to use this feature to get a full understanding of it. The app also allows you to password protect individual notes and notebooks which is a handy feature to have. Although not very popular, it is a really good app and you should surely give it a try.
If you are a writer or just someone who likes to jot down long ideas when you are on the go, this one is for you. You don’t want to use this app to create a shopping list or anything similar to that. I mean you could use it for that, but it’s not meant to be used that way. 1Writer is essentially a Mac app, which was made keeping long-form writing like blogs or even novels in mind. The iOS app is just an extension of that. This is to be used when you are away from your Mac and suddenly the muse struck you. You can use its super clean interface with Markdown editing features to get your writing done on the go.
This app is similar to 1Writer in the way that it supports markdown formatting and has a very clean UI. But, where it differs from 1Writer is that it focuses more on notes creation than on long-form writing. The app syncs your notes using your Dropbox or iCloud account. So, online syncing is not a problem. It also has a dark mode which is quite beautiful. You can export your notes in different formats including PDF, rich text, and HTML. One unique feature of the app is the toolbar it places at the top of your keyboard which allows you to use easy formatting options. It even has scroll wheel which allows you to easily scroll insider the written text. A nifty feature to have. If you want a free app which supports markdown editing, you can give Write a chance.
SEE ALSO: 10 Best Writing Apps For Your Mac
Create Notes Easily Using These Best iPhone Note Apps
Note taking is something which we all have to do on a daily basis on your iPhone. Whether you are creating a shopping list or writing the plot for your next big novel, these note taking and even writing apps will come in handy. There’s no one size fits all, hence try out these apps and select the ones which best meets your needs. If you are already using an note app which is not on the list, do tell us about it. We love to check out new apps which somehow flew under our radar.