We earn a commission from brands listed on this site. This influences the order and manner in which these listings are presented.
Advertising Disclosure
Last Updated: Jun 2024

Top 10 Note-Taking Apps

Whether you take notes for work or for a busy family life, there are plenty of great note-taking apps that can help you stay organized.

The Best Note-Taking Apps on the Market

Note-taking isn’t just for students—it’s for anyone who has important things to remember, like work projects, family responsibilities, to-do lists, and more. 

Life is hectic. Life is fast-paced. Life is full of of responsibilities toward work, family, friends, community, and more. And these responsibilities don’t occur in a bubble; they occur during a time when Americans are more stressed out than ever. And if you’re one of those stressed out Americans, you may find that juggling all of your responsibilities leaves you tired and burned out.

In addition to the negative physical effects of stress on the body, being stressed can make you forgetful. Sometimes, it’s minor things we forget, like taking out the garbage before leaving for work in the morning or turning off the lights before going to bed.

Other times, it’s more important things we forget: A friend’s birthday, a child’s after-school activity, a doctor’s appointment, a work deadline. This is where it gets complicated—because forgetting these things can have a real, negative impact on our lives.

Which is why it’s more important than ever to find ways to keep track of all our needs and responsibilities without dropping the ball and getting even more stressed out!

One way to do this? Note-taking apps.

Note-Taking Apps Can Help Us Manage Our Responsibilities

While “note-taking apps” may sound like they’re for students, they’re actually for everyone. Everyone, that is, who needs a little help remembering all of their responsibilities and ideas and staying on top of their game.

Does that sound like you?

If so, you’ll want to find out exactly which note-taking app is best for your busy lifestyle.

Note-Taking For Everyday Life

Life is full of appointments, grocery-shopping, vacation days (yay!), family outings, weddings, birthday parties, and more. If you’re a busy parent who needs help keeping track of your appointments and your kids’ activities, note-taking apps can be a lifesaver.

For example, let’s say you want to renovate your kitchen. You go to the local Home Depot and start looking at kitchen sinks. There are a few that really speak to you, but you’d like your husband’s (or contractor’s) input before you plunk down a large sum of money.

Note-taking apps make it easy to accomplish something like this. You just open the app in our phone—Zoho Notebook, Apple Notes, or Google Keep—snap a picture of the sinks in question, and share with whoever you want. You can include notes with the pictures to explain your thoughts, ideas, etc. You can also take notes to remind yourself of what you thought at the time about each option.

Another way note-taking apps can help you with family life is through sharing to-do lists and instructions with family members. For example, your kids may come home from school before you come home from work. Using a note-taking app like SimpleNote or Evernote can allow you to write notes and share them with your kids. For example, “Take lasagna out of the oven at 6:00 pm” or “Take Fluffy for a walk after you finish your homework.” These notes can help your kids remember what to do, and perhaps just as importantly, they can help you follow up on their tasks to make sure they actually get done.

Note-Taking Apps for Work

Note-taking apps can be helpful in the professional sphere as well, especially for people who work with teams, and even more so when these teams are creative and tend to brainstorm and throw around lots of ideas.

When you use a note-taking app like Evernote for Business, OneNote, Bear, or DropBox Paper for your creative team, it means that every person on the team will be able to keep track of every idea, which makes for a super-efficient workflow. It also ensures that no good ideas get forgotten. (And the bad ideas can just get deleted!)

The app you choose for your team will depend on your exact needs and what each app offers. It may also depend on the brand behind each app. For example, OneNote is from Microsoft, which means that if your team is super-comfortable with Microsoft products, you’ll want to stick with that brand. The same goes for Dropbox Paper.

On the other hand, Evernote and Bear are their own brands, and they too have their own unique selling-points. Bear, for example, offers beautiful themes and typography; Evernote for Business is great for collecting research.

Note-Taking Apps for Artists and Writers

If you are an artist or writer, or at the very least, you know an artist or writer, you know how important it is to keep track of ideas. When inspiration hits, it doesn’t hang around forever.

Fortunately, there are note-taking apps specifically for creative people who need to stay organized. OneNote, which is good for business, is also good for artists—it allows you to type, scribble, or draw notes and save them for note. Bear, also appropriate for business, is appropriate for writers of prose; it offers different fonts, text colors, essay-mode, and more. Notability is another app that lets you create unique, hand-crafted notes using text, images, your own sketches, and more.

Apple Notes is another good one; many artists, musicians, and writers tend to prefer Macs over PCs, which make Apple Notes the ideal choice for keeping track of inspiration and ideas.

Stay Organized and Stress-Free by Using Note-Taking Apps

Sometimes life can be so stressful that we feel like we’re spiralling out of control—whether it’s the Little League game you forgot about or the awkward moment at work when you couldn’t remember your company’s marketing strategy.

Fortunately, note-taking apps are a great way to take control of the reins and show your life who’s boss. They can keep your organized, focused, and ultimately, less-stressed. The question is now, which app should you use?

Whatever you do, don’t stress about the decision.

How we created this
Compiled from “Best of” lists published by the world’s most trusted sources, and with our own recommended brands peppered in - this Top10 list aims to help consumers make smarter decisions.