Best Note-taking apps: If you love the idea of taking notes on your iPad with the Apple Pencil, then you’re not alone. All you need to do is to install a note-taking app on your device and do the writing with a stylus on the screen which feels better than writing on paper with your pen.
While these two methods are almost the same since you’re doing it with your hand, you can’t underestimate what the digital system can offer in terms of comfortability and clarity.
Though a certain part of digital note-taking involves writing on a paper and then scanning into an app like Evernote. However, writing on a large screen has taken the limelight as the most convenient way of taking notes if you have the required tools.
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Writing notes on your iPad using the Apple pencil could be a blissful experience if you use the best note-taking apps. As you know that having an iPad and Apple pencil wouldn’t be enough, so using a well-designed Note taking app will provide a more convenient means of taking notes. These apps are designed with lots of useful features aimed at giving you a smooth experience while you write notes on your Apple iPad.
There’re lots of them if you’re searching for one which is why we’ve written this article. Below you’ll find the best note-taking apps that you can install on your iPad. It will only take a few practices to master these apps and start taking notes with ease.
Some of these apps provide an option to make notes in the form of PDFs or record them as voice notes. Apps like Notability and Noteshelf perform all the aforementioned, but there’s a little price to pay.
You can freely use the Apple Notes without any monthly or yearly subscriptions while you get a lot of benefits from the integration with iOS. Also free to use, the CollaNote is a very interesting note-taking app that offers some nice features alongside Apple Notes. Read our full review to know more about these apps and a lot more.
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Table of Contents
Best Note-taking apps: Apple Notes
Apple Notes has been available since 2007 when the first version of iPadOS was launched. Though the app is old, it’s still more comfortable and easy to use than most recent note-taking apps. Like a good note-taking app should be, the Apple Notes has a writing implement (pensil), an eraser, a lasso selector, a ruler, and a highlighter, all arranged on a toolbar.
Unfortunately, you cannot record voice notes or import any PDFs, JPG, or PNG files to the app. As we mentioned earlier about the iPadOS integration, the Apple Notes is compatible with any iPadOS version or device. This means that you’ll get to use the app if you have the iPad Pro or iPad mini.
This could be more incentive to Apple fans as the app fits well into Apple’s ecosystem, providing easy compatibility once the iPadOS is concerned. Also, the app’s native software is on macOS and watchOS, so you can get notes from your Mac and Apple Watch too.
The Apple Notes could be a great choice for Apple users despite the limitations. But if you weren’t satisfied with what Apple Notes has brought to the table, our next on the list would do well for you.
Notability is an all-around good note-taking app with lots of helpful features that will improve your writing experience. The app provides an easier way to embed images, import PDFs, and record voice memos. Lots of customizable options are on the app as well, allowing you to arrange your notes using digital dividers, including some flexible layout options as well.
Meanwhile, Notability is good for sketching and drawing, enabling you to sketch out illustrations quickly if you need to. The experience you’ll get while using Notability is the same as what you’ll get while using a paper.
Also, you can freely customize the app’s interface, resize and move your drawings. Using Notability will take your writing experience to a whole new level, and you can share your notes via Google Drive, Dropbox, and Airdrop.
Notability has offered all these features for $11.99/year which feels like paying a dollar per month. We recommend this app to anyone who wants the one of the best note-taking apps on an iPad.
The CollaNote is another note-taking app that provides a solid note-taking experience with some useful tools and some extra goodies that come with the interface. The app enables pressure sensitivity by default, meaning that your text can grow or shrink as you write on the screen, depending on how hard you press your pencil against it.
Inside the CollaNote interface, you’ll find tools like the color fill tool to quickly insert colors, and the curve tools to draw curve lines, especially when you’re dealing with graphs and charts. Lastly, you can connect with your fellow CollaNote users by creating a CollaNote account. Though this app lacks some features that are found in Notability, it’s still nice to take notes on, and it’s free to use.
has proven to be a great alternative to Notability, as you’ll find all the tools that will make a great impact on your writing experience. The interface is designed with many customization features like page templates, notebook covers, different pen types, and the colors and sizing of your tools. All these features will help you navigate the app easily, plus an option to save your new creations in the favorites toolbar.
Just like Notability, you can create audio recordings which you can attach to your notes. As a student, this will be helpful if you need to recall what was being taught in a lecture or presentation by listening to the playback. In addition, the Noteshelf works on iPad and Android devices as well, thereby making it a better and preferable option among other note-taking apps.
Alongside Notability, Notepad+ is a very great note-taking app for sketching and drawing. The app is really fun and exciting to use for taking notes, offering the ability to embed images of any file format to your notes with different fonts and colors.
The most interesting part of Notepad+ is the option to create fun notes by adding icons and emojis to them, and you can easily switch between different text formats and handwriting in your notes.
There’s no shortage of customization features on Notepad+. You can resize, and change the color of your pen and the highlighter tools which can also double as a marker for drawing. The interface is similar to that of Apple Notes, so it’s easy t learn.
Depending on what you’re up to, you can choose between different note-taking styles like an option for school use, professional, and personal note-taking.
You can back up your notes when you’re done writing using Dropbox, iTunes File Sharing, and Evernote. Sharing your documents with someone through Email is also possible, and there’s a blur tool to hide some specific parts if you don’t want the recipient to see them.
Generally, Notepad+ is an excellent note-taking app, providing a stylish way of taking notes with a touch of elegance. The standard version is free to use while you’ll have to pay for the Pro version.
Best Note-taking apps: Whink
Whink is one of the best note-taking apps you can easily get used to even if you’re the type that struggles with technology. The pen tool in the app acts like a gel pen with different ink colors, and using it feels like writing with a pen on paper.
Whink features a split screen which makes it easy to multitask with the app, so while you might be watching a movie or reading a document on one part of the screen, you can use the other to take notes. This feature is already available on the iPad settings, but using it through the app is more interesting.
Whink doesn’t cost much when compared to Notability or Noteshelf, but it has all the features you’ll find on these higher note-taking apps. Fortunately, you’ll have the audio recording feature, import and annotate PDFs and photos, share notes and sync to Dropbox, iCloud, and other services. Whink has a lot to offer without costing much like most note-taking apps, and the interface is sleek with enough writing tools.