You often take a lot of notes – at university, at business meetings, at meetings, etc. – but do you happen even more often to lose them on the street? Would you like to find a solution that allows you to avoid these unpleasant inconveniences? If so, you should definitely read this post in which I will show you some note-taking apps thanks to which you can always carry your notes with you without running the risk of losing them around.
Some of the applications that I will list in the next paragraphs are 100% free (or almost), while others are paid and/or require subscriptions. Whether you have an Android, iOS, or Windows device, you can rest assured that after reading this article you will be able to find an app that can be right for you. Losing your notes will only be a distant memory of the past!
Then? Are you still interested in knowing what are the best solutions for taking notes on your smartphone or tablet? Well, in that case, take a few minutes of free time all for yourself, read the next paragraphs carefully, and evaluate which application is best suited to your needs. Good reading and good fun, or good work, depending on your point of view!
One of the best note-taking apps is Evernote, a free solution that is available for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS and can be used conveniently from both your mobile device and your computer. With Evernote you can easily start writing a note on your smartphone or tablet and, thanks to the synchronization offered by the service, continue working on your computer. It is good to know, however, that the free version of the service limits data synchronization to two devices and does not allow you to access notes offline from smartphones and tablets (in addition to having many other limitations that you can find listed here ).
After downloading Evernote on your smartphone or tablet, open the application by tapping the Open button or by pressing on its icon on the home screen and create your free account to start using the service. Then enter the e-mail address you want to use to register for Evernote in the E-mail or username field and press the Continue button or, alternatively, the login with Google option to authenticate through your Google account.
After completing the creation of your account, presses the (+) symbol located on the Evernote home screen and, in the menu that opens, choose one of the available options: Camera to capture patterns and / or notes in a few seconds found on a sheet of paper or a blackboard; Attachment to add files to the note; Audio to insert audio notes; Reminder to enter a new reminder; Handwriting to write freehand on the display or Text note to type notes using the keyboard of your device.
After pressing one of the aforementioned options, tap on the Note title command located at the top, type the title you want to give to the note you just opened, and, to write your notes, tap the command What do you have in mind? To format the text, tap on the A icon and, in the menu that opens, press on one of the available options (bold, italic, etc.). When you have finished writing your note, press the checkmark located at the top left to save it.
As I mentioned earlier, you can use Evernote for free, but to take advantage of more storage space and to synchronize your notes on an unlimited number of devices, you need to subscribe to one of the most complete versions of the service, starting with 29.99 euros/year.
Evernote is also available as a computer program. If you want to know how to use the service on desktop, please read the in-depth study I have prepared in this regard.
A valid alternative to Evernote is OneNote, a free app that is part of the Microsoft Office Suite, and that allows you to take notes very easily and synchronize them between multiple devices, a feature particularly appreciated by those who love to access their notes anywhere and from any device.
OneNote is available on Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS and does not require a subscription to the Office 365 service to use. After downloading it on your device, open it, press the Sign up for free button, and follow the instructions on the screen to complete the procedure for creating a Microsoft account (account through which you can synchronize notes between multiple devices). If you already have a Microsoft account, press the Login button and log in directly with it.
After logging into your Microsoft account, press the + Notebook button to create a new notebook and, in the screen that opens, type the title you want to assign to it. Then tap on the + Sheet option and create a new worksheet in which to write your notes.
To add attachments and other elements to your notes, use the icons available in the menu located at the bottom: the camera to capture notes using the device’s camera (very useful for copying notes written on a sheet of paper or a blackboard); the microphone to add short vocal notes; the pencil to write freehand notes or the checkmark to create a list of items. On tablets, tools for adding attachments to notes are found on the Insert tab (top).
After writing your note, you don’t have to worry about saving it: the app will do everything automatically, synchronizing it even on the cloud (and therefore on all your devices).
Another note-taking app that I recommend you try is Google Keep, a free solution thanks to which you can create your own notes and synchronize them with your Google account in just a few taps. The app can be downloaded on Android and iOS devices and can also be accessed from the web using its online interface or by installing the appropriate extension for the Chrome browser.
After completing the download of Google Keep on your device, start the app, log in with your Google account, and, on its home screen, press the Start button to start taking notes and notes on your smartphone or tablet. In the screen that opens, tap on one of the available options. Then press the option Write a note to create a new text note; on the bulleted list icon to add a to-do list; on the pen icon to write a freehand note; on the microphone icon to add a voice note or on the camera icon to photograph a note written, for example, on a sheet of paper or on a blackboard.
After deciding which type of note to use, type the title in the appropriate text field. To save and synchronize your notes, however, you will not have to do absolutely anything: everything you write will be saved on the cloud and synchronized automatically on all your devices.
Google Keep also provides users with a particular function thanks to which you can add a reminder to your notes, in order to remember what to do at a certain time of day or when you are in a specific place. To add a reminder, tap on the hand icon and, in the box that opens, press the Now option if you want Google Keep to remember what to do at a certain time of day, or press the Place option if you want the reminder is triggered when you are in a specific place. After creating the reminder, save it by tapping on the appropriate Save command. Very useful this function, right?
One of the most popular apps for those who have replaced digital notes for paper ones is Notability, a solution available for iOS and macOS that can be purchased for € 10.99 on both platforms (for a total of € 21.98. ). The app, in addition to allowing you to take notes by writing freehand on the screen of your device, offers the possibility to add audio recordings to your notes, write texts with the keyboard and create annotations on external PDF files.
After downloading Notability to your device, open the app and, on the home screen, hit on the New Note option (the pen icon) to create a new spreadsheet. In the screen that opens, tap on one of the available options to writing your notes. Then press on the pencil icon to choose the thickness of the stroke and the color of the virtual pencil to use; on the highlighter icon to highlight portions of text with various colors; on the eraser icon to erase a wrong stroke or on the microphone icon to create an audio recording.
Notability also allows you to add text using the keyboard of your device. To access this function, press the T icon located at the top and tap on the point of the sheet where you want to write. If you want, you can also format the text by choosing, in the menu located at the bottom, the font, the font size, its color, etc.
Notability, like all the other apps I’ve mentioned so far, allows you to easily synchronize the notes written on your iPhone / iPad with your Mac. To do this, simply install this app on all devices and connect it to your iCloud account.
The note-taking apps that I have listed in the previous paragraphs are, in my humble opinion, the best you can try right now. In any case, there are also other applications that I recommend you consider, and that is definitely worth trying.
Color Note ( Android ) – this app is one of the simplest to use but at the same time one of the most complete on the Google Play Store. Color Note allows, in fact, to take notes with ease, organize them by color and even use Sticky Note widgets to always have an eye on the most important notes and things to do.
Classic Notes ( Android ) – if you are looking for an “essential” app that is easy to use, this could be the solution for you. Classic Notes, as its name suggests, is a no-frills app that lets you create notes in just a few taps. You don’t even have to worry about saving your notes, as the application itself will do this.
Bamboo Paper ( Android / iOS / Windows ) – this free app allows you to write freehand notes with certain intuitiveness, thanks to the “clean” interface, without unnecessary commands. Notes can be conveniently organized in virtual notebooks that can be customized to your liking, which makes the management of notes particularly orderly. To access all the tools made available by Bamboo Paper, however, it is necessary to make some in-app purchases starting from € 0.49 (Android), € 1.09 (iOS), or € 5.99 (Windows).
Simplenote ( Android / iOS / Windows / macOS / Linux ) – simplicity is the main feature of this 100% free app. Simplenote is characterized by a very flat interface, which also corresponds to a very fast note synchronization engine. It is also supported by many third-party clients that allow you to synchronize notes, create new ones, and edit existing ones. If you’re tired of Evernote and OneNote seems a little too feature-rich, this is the app for you!
Notes ( iOS ) – if you have an iPhone or iPad, you should definitely try this app included “standard” on Apple devices. Notes is truly complete: it allows you to easily insert new notes, synchronize them with iCloud on all your devices, protect them with a password, create “collaborative” notes that can be shared with other users, adds images, links, drawings, and much more to your notes. even more.
Penultimate ( iOS ) – this free app is developed by Evernote and, as you can imagine, it allows you to easily synchronize your notes with the popular service I told you about in the first part of this tutorial. Penultimate offers the possibility to write your notes by hand using a rather large set of tools and to capture the notes written on paper notepads through a special function that allows you to do this in a few taps.