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Best free note taking app for iphone

Simplenote is a bit different. Rather than throw a series of complicated features at you, Simplenote wants to be your best friend when it comes to the act of just jotting down information. Google Keep most certainly lives up to that billing. The great thing about Google Keep is the way that it allows you to easily utilize several different designs that are perfect for a variety of notes.

What it is, though, is a slightly visually appealing app that makes up for some bland design elements with a variety of features that those who prefer a professional style of note app will surely admire. For those who are creating notes they want to share with others, OneNote is a tremendous app. For many people, note apps are a way to quickly organize personal information. Dates, parking spots, grocery lists…that kind of thing. However, there are times when the notes you take are designed to be shared with other people. For those times, you need Paper.

Bear is quickly and quietly becoming one of the most popular and beloved note apps out there. Bear is just a really good note app. Being a really good note app might not sound like enough, but using Bear really helps you understand why some apps are better than others.

Best note-taking app for iPad Pro of | TechRadar

The elegant way this app combines those seemingly opposite design styles makes it truly special. Notebook by Zoho is such an app. Whether or not you care about creating truly stunning looking notes may be irrelevant once you see the notes that Notebook is capable of creating. Paper is defined as a note app in this instance largely by virtue of a technicality. The reason you use Paper is that you want a virtual sketchpad that takes advantage of the medium.

In other words, you want to doodle and design while being able to use those doodles and designs for more productive purposes. This app is a minor miracle for artistic types who need to do more than jot down their thoughts in simple words.


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Long before we got to enjoy the luxury of using note apps, people loved to jot down their thoughts in journals and diaries. To be honest, there are few note-taking apps out there that replicate the experience of keeping a journal. Diaro is one of the best of those precious few apps.

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Diaro conveniently divides your notes into daily records. Yes, you can use it to keep track of what dairy products you need, but this is the app you use when you want to log the notes from your vacation or keep a modern diary. The Apple Pen is quickly becoming that accessory that everyone likes to poke fun at but secretly wants. Penultimate is an app for those same users. The line between document apps and note apps is a pretty thin one.

The best note-taking app for iPhone and iPad

For the most part, though, the best note apps are designed to primarily be used as a way to quickly jot down small pieces of information. Anything more complicated than that usually counts as a document app. Perfect for programmers and professionals, 1Writer is as easy to use as a note app but ensures your notes are professionally presented. In its fifth version, Drafts has arguably perfected what the original version of the app set out to do.

That is to say that Drafts is an app that is primarily designed as the best possible digital version of a blank sheet. What that means is that Drafts is a great note app for those who just want to write down whatever information they may need to write down and then worry about what they are supposed to do with it. While each Bear note is stored in plain text, the information section offers you seven ways to export your note.

Exporting a note in one of these formats is quick with a simple tap and becomes a valuable part of the app if you are sharing notes with multiple people using different platforms. When writing in Bear, your notes are displayed in a rich preview with support for inline images. Bear also can detect elements like an address, for example, and will format it to be clickable in Maps. Another natively supported markup language is Polar Bear.

The keyboard shortcut bar is where you access all the tools necessary to help you write; from to-do lists and sketches to outlines and long-form pieces. Swiping through and tapping on the different options helps make writing in Bear both convenient and fast. While search is fast and near-instant, when you start accumulating a lot of notes or are working on a project with notes associated with each other, organization becomes important. Bear offers two nice features, tags and note links, to help you get to the note you want faster.

The tags feature is really simple to learn, but is also very powerful. To add a tag, use the number sign to hashtag a word. No matter where you place this hashtag in your note, the tag will now show up in the sidebar of Bear for quick access to that note or multiple notes.

While typing out a tag, a picker menu pops up and changes as you type, making it easy to select a tag that already exists. To take your note organization further, you can have nested sub tags that allow you to break out tags under a parent tag. Each tag you create will show up in that left sidebar for quick viewing, and you can also customize how these tags look in the sidebar. TagCons are very popular and a great way for visual people to scan their notes list in short order. Complimentary to tags, note links allow you to link to another note.

You can do this in two ways. The first way is by typing the title of the note that you want to link to in between two brackets, like so: The second way is to navigate to the notes list, swipe left on a note, tap More , and tap Copy link. Within a note, you can launch a sketch by using the keyboard shortcut represented by a squiggly line.


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  8. This will bring you to a blank canvas with a pencil, marker, and eraser tool. Each drawing tool has three widths and eleven colors to choose from. After you start a sketch, undo and redo buttons are also available. By default, Bear uses Avenir Next. The High Contrast and Panic Mode themes are among some of our favorites to use. Based on the theme you have chosen, Bear gives you the option to match its home screen icon to that theme. We used Bear to write this review and it was a pleasure to work in the different visual environments.

    For this review, we used Bear on an iPhone, iPad, and Mac to test out the syncing capabilities.

    The best note-taking apps for the iPad and Apple Pencil

    We were happy to find no issues while using Bear in normal use and were impressed by how fast sync works. Even when intentionally trying to edit a note on two devices at the same time, Bear handled potential conflicts really well by preserving edits on both devices and adding conflicted copies to the notes list.

    Bear syncs your notes every chance it gets. If you want to make sure a sync is happening, there is a sync status section in the settings area that shows when the last sync occurred.


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    From here, you can import notes from other apps and services on your device like Dropbox and Google Drive, and you can customize how Bear handles titles for imported notes. The export section exports your entire notes library 1 with customization for including tags and attachments and an option to merge all notes into one file.

    In addition to the seven file types offered when exporting a single note, bulk export options include Task Paper, Bear Note, and Text Bundle formats.

    Jot down that thought in a jiffy

    You can activate it inside any app supporting the iOS share sheet, and it can start a new note, append a note, or prepend a note based on what you have selected. Free members also can't search their boards and content. Pro members get unlimited storage unlimited notes, images, links, and files , plus a search bar for all their content.

    Milanote Pro costs much more than other options, including Evernote Premium, however. Paper by FiftyThree is a drawing and note taking app for iPad and iPhone. You can use it to create all kinds of notes with your fingertips or a stylus, whether a sketch, annotated image, or handwritten text. Beautifully designed with a minimalist bent, Paper incorporates animations that make it inviting and fun to use. It has some tools for organizing your notes, too, such as the ability to group them into notebooks and share them.

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    The Paper app also lets you choose different pen types and colors. Paper cleans up your drawing as you go, so even if you're not particularly artistic, it's still a joy to use. Draw simple loops, for example, and Paper knows to turn them into neat circles. Choose the pen tool, and your writing will magically look like calligraphy. If you prefer to type on a keyboard, you can do that as well, writing text notes, checklists, and so forth. Paper also gives you a few special tools for creating business diagrams.

    You'll have the best experience with Paper if you use it with a stylus. It's made to look like a graphite pencil. The tip lets you create pressure-sensitive drawings, while the reverse side acts as an eraser. The app used to backup your notes for you, but the company no longer does as of March , so be sure you have adequate space in an iCloud account before committing to Paper. Quip isn't a typical note taking app. Rather, it's more like a word processing and spreadsheet application with collaboration, though once you get rolling with Quip, you'll likely find it's the place you want to store more general notes, too.

    This online app lets you work with others on notes, documents, and spreadsheets while discussing the work in the same place. Quip shines brightest when you used it to collaborate with others. In many ways, it's similar to Google Docs, in the sense that you can see your collaborators' remarks, questions, and suggested changes in real time.

    Quip is thorough in how it saves, documents, and displays every single suggested edit, question, and comment in your notes. It provides complete visibility into how the collaboration process works. You can connect your Quip account to other tools, such as Dropbox and Google Drive, and you create other Quip integrations by using Zapier. With Quip, you and your teammates can create folders and subfolders to organize your notes. You can create private folders for notes that you don't want to share with others as well. The search function is reliable, but not especially fast, given Quip accounts often have a lot of data beyond plain text in them.

    Quip takes the matter of storage and syncing into its own hands, so you don't have to bring your own. With a paid plan you get unlimited storage, too. While I wouldn't necessarily recommend Quip as the right note taking app for an individual, it's wonderful for business teams. If you're in the market for a distraction-free app for taking notes, Simplenote is the first one you should consider.

    True to its name, Simplenote gives you a clutter-free space for creating and editing notes. It's a no-frills experience. You get little more than an unlimited number of blank white pages for making plain text notes. There's no rich text formatting, no image uploads, and no file attachments. Don't expect to draw or record audio memos either. Simplenote is a pure minimalist in the note taking app category. Seeing as you can save nothing but typed text, the search functionality is fast. Syncing and storage comes included.

    You get a version history for all your notes and the ability to restore any prior version. You also get tags for sorting and organizing your notes, plus options for sharing and collaborating with others. Simplenote can run in any browser, and there are apps for all the major platforms as well. It's completely free with no upsells or subscription plans.

    If you want a truly distraction-free environment and don't need many features beyond the ability to make plain text notes, then you can't do better than Simplenote for your note-taking needs. Squid also known as Squidnotes and formerly called Papyrus is a note taking app that supports handwriting and sketching for Android tablets and some Chromebooks. The app was designed to have low latency, meaning as soon as your stylus or finger drags across the screen, the mark in the app should show up immediately, with little to no delay.

    In the app, your options for paper include blank white pages, lined pages, staff paper for music, and gridded graph paper in a variety of styles. You can write or draw freeform, as well as import images and PDFs to annotate them. Squid supports digital signatures, too, so you can import a document that you need to sign, scribble your name on it, export it as a PDF, and send it to the recipient.

    Squid includes other tools for capturing, organizing, and editing notes. While the app is free to download, Squid sells a Premium subscription that unlocks all the paper backgrounds, tools, and a few capabilities you might actually need. Some of the features restricted to Premium are a highlighter; a few shape tools; the ability to import PDFs for markup; and the option to backup, restore, and bulk export options using Box or Dropbox.

    Squid is one of the best apps for Android and Chromebook that supports handwriting, image and PDF markup, and other ways to take notes. Zoho Notebook is one of the best free note taking apps you can find. It has a healthy array of features and is available on all major platforms although as of this writing, the Windows version isn't freely downloadable; and you have to request a copy from Zoho. When you first create an account, the app encourages you to create a few notebooks, which appear on screen as notebooks with different images for their covers. You can name them however you like.

    As you create notes, whether by typing them, uploading images, or clipping them from web pages, you can add rich text formatting. Your notes then appear as cards with preview images when applicable. You can also lock notes, add time and date reminders to them, view their full version history, and revert back to an earlier version.

    Zoho Notebooks doesn't offer tags as of this writing, so it's a bit harder to classify your notes and make them sortable beyond putting them into notebooks.