Digital note taking for mac

Ditch Pen and Paper: Best Note-Taking Apps When an app had a unique factor, we compared it to similar apps and selected one to represent that subcategory. For example, in the subcategory of apps for sketching, we chose Paper. As you read, look for the line beginning "Best for…" to see what makes each app among the best. A word on apps we did not include: Any app labeled a word processor or text editor was not considered.

Those apps are excellent for writing, but they don't give you a simple and quick way to make a note when you're on the go, which note taking apps do. We also did not consider journaling apps , which typically remind you to write or help you add detail about your day.

Read more about how Zapier chooses apps to include in articles.

  1. Stay organized and productive with a notes app.
  2. Forget Apple Notes: 5 Unique Note-Taking Apps for Mac.
  3. The Best Note-Taking Apps |

Below are summaries of the best note taking apps, including highlights about what makes them different from one another. The Apple-only notes app Bear could easily be mistaken for a distraction-free writing app. It supports Markdown formatting in lieu of presenting an excess of menu options although it does allow you to work with fully viewable inline images.

The Best Note Taking Apps

Bear also offers a focus mode that strips away unnecessary bells and whistles from your view. You can add tags to organize your notes by simply using hashtags within the note body. And Bear stores all your notes as plain text, which keeps the app lightweight. Other features include an info panel for each note showing word count and other metadata, as well as web clipping, or the ability to automatically copy the contents of web pages to one of your notebooks via a browser extension. There are some showstoppers worth knowing about before you choose Bear.

For one, it doesn't have a web app, so you can't simply log into Bear from any internet connected device. The developers who make the app have said that a web app is in the works, but they have yet to pin down a release date. Second, Bear runs on Apple devices only, so it's not a good option for cross-platform folks. Third, storage and syncing go through iCloud, so you're really at the mercy of read: Finally, the free account comes with some limitations that make it less than ideal as a note taking app no syncing, limited export formats , so be prepared to pay for a Pro subscription.

Overall, it's a low-cost note taking app best suited for Apple device owners who are looking for a pared-down experience. Boostnote is a free, open source note taking app made for programmers. What makes it special for programmers? When you create a new note, you choose either Markdown note, used for creating any kind of text document, or snippet note, which simply gives you a text editor for code.

When creating and editing Markdown notes, Boostnote puts an extra panel on the right side of your window to preview the formatting of the note as you write. You can create any kind of notes you want in this note type. Markdown notes even support LaTeX blocks, for those writing hefty mathematical formulas. Snippet notes, however, look like code in an ordinary code editor, with visual cues you'd expect, such as line numbering and color-coding of text.

With Boostnotes, you can work with text snippets, too. Text snippets are lines of text you tend to use repeatedly, whether boilerplate or particular lines of code. Other excellent features include customizable hotkeys, the ability to change the font, and dozens of light and dark visual themes for the interface. Storage is entirely in your hands with Boostnote, so you can keep your notes saved locally and percent offline, or you can pop them into a file storage and syncing service of your choosing to make them accessible to you everywhere. Evernote was an early leader in the digital note taking space.

In many ways, it shaped expectations about what a note taking app should do and how it should look. It's one of the most capable services you'll find, supporting a wide variety of note types text, images, audio memo, sketches, scanned documents, checklists, clipped web pages and with excellent tools for organizing and searching your notes as well. It has apps for all the major platforms, and with a Business account, you can even use Evernote for real-time chat and collaboration with colleagues.

The Top 5 Best Note-Taking Apps

One of Evernote's most impressive features is its ability to search text found in images. If you snap a photograph of a for rent sign, for example, and save it to your Evernote account, you'll later be able to find the note by simply search for the word "rent. Evernote also doubles as an excellent scanner, and if you combine those two features, you can use the app for some pretty interesting projects, such as digitizing recipes from books. Evernote also integrates with other apps and tools you use, such as Google Drive, Slack, and Salesforce. If you can't find the app you need among the natively supported ones, you can create new Evernote integrations using Zapier.

Evernote handles all the syncing and storage. Basic members that is, those on the free plan get 60MB of space per month for storing notes and uploading files.

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It's also worth noting that the free plan lets you sync only two devices, a limitation that may or may not work for you. Unused space each month doesn't roll forward. Learn 30 tips for Evernote to make the most of your notes.

Featured Note-Taking App Reviews:

Sep 10, Note taking apps are the digital equivalent of notebooks, and because they're digital, they . Boostnote (Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows). Aug 31, You might want a note-taking app as an artist, to take notes during a iA Writer is on Windows for $, macOS for $, and iOS for $

Microsoft OneNote is a full featured note taking app that can do more than just about any other, save for Evernote. The two square up rather equally, though they couldn't be more different in their look and feel.

Google Keep - Free

While Evernote looks squarely like standard business software, Microsoft OneNote mimics paper. When you create a new note, you can click anywhere on the page and add content to that spot, just as if you were working with paper, rather than be tied to the linear movement of the cursor. You can choose a background for your notes that looks like textured or lined paper or use templates for meeting notes and more.

OneNote also mimics the classic binder, with notebooks, sections, and tabs for organizing your notes. With OneNote, you can type text, drag and drop images and file attachments into notes, use a digital highlighter, create checklists, record audio, draw sketches, and so forth. And because each note is meant to appear like a piece of paper, you can move elements around the page, placing an audio memo next to a block of text, for example. As much as OneNote fondly embraces some elements of paper, it's also technologically savvy. Scan and upload images of handwriting, such as a picture of a whiteboard with notes, and Microsoft's OCR will make all the writing searchable.

For every note you can open a record of its version history, too. And an ink-to-text feature lets you write by hand and have your text converted to type. OneNote also integrates with other apps, such as mobile scanning app OfficeLens and the paperless system NeatConnect. You can create more OneNote integrations using Zapier. OneNote is free to use, with no feature limitations in the free version. Syncing occurs via Microsoft OneDrive, and non-paying members are capped at 5GB though you can earn additional space through some promotions and purchases. Microsoft OneNote is perhaps the best free note taking app you can find.

It's easy to learn to use, too, although you can rely on Zapier's tutorial for OneNote if you need some pointers. An honorable mention goes to Google Keep , another very capable and free note taking app.

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If you think in images rather than words, your note taking app should still give you tools to express yourself. Milanote caters directly to designers and other visual thinkers but it's not for sketching. It's more of a pasteboard or pinboard, presenting you with a canvas on which you can paste images, arrows, text blocks, checklists, and other elements.

Milanote has a drawer on the right side of the page that holds page elements you intend to use but haven't placed yet. I like that you can see and consider all the pieces you need to add without having to put them on the board before you're ready. Milanote also has a web clipper tool, so you can easily snap images online and add them to your visual notes.

There are no mobile apps or desktop apps at this time, just a web app and a mobile-optimized site. Milanote could use a few more markup tools, such as a highlighter or a marker for drawing freeform lines, as it's light on options. It's important to note that Milanote isn't strong as a general note taking app. It's not good for making text notes or audio memos. It's really only for pasteboard work. It does support collaboration and sharing, however. Milanote handles syncing, storage, and backup rather than handing off those responsibilities to a third party.

Free Milanote members have some tight limitations on what they can upload: 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. 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. Just insert something like work in a note, and the tag acts like a folder. You can view all notes under a tag by clicking it in the sidebar. One of the best reasons to use Bear is the interlinking notes. When you want to link to a note for reference, simply type double brackets followed by note you want to link to.

how I take pretty notes ♡

Here are several reasons it wins the Bear Notes vs. Apple Notes battle. Bear lets you add images them inline, so they blend with the rest of your note. Bear Free, subscription available. Here are the best note-taking apps designed with coders and developers in mind.

If you take notes on multiple devices or decide to stop using a Mac, your notes will stay with you. OneNote uses notebooks for organizing, with each note taking a page in a notebook. Notes can consist of anything: You can freely draw or sketch notes using your mouse, trackpad, or even a third-party drawing tablet. Microsoft OneNote Free. Do you regularly record audio and take notes at the same time? Pear Note is designed for you. The app comes with basic text formatting support, but the real magic is in the audio recording capabilities.

As you record audio, Pear Note also keeps track of what you type. When you play the audio back, Pear Note highlights every keystroke you took while recording. You can even click anywhere in your text to jump to that point in the recording. This is great if you missed something, since you can add in more text if needed. It also helps you interpret what a note meant. On top of the handy audio recording, Pear Note can record video with the audio when you need visuals.

Pear Note is an older application that also has an iOS version.

While no new features are planned, it still works fine. The developer plans to fix any issues should they arise with future OS updates. Notes are an important part of life. Thankfully, your Mac paired with these apps makes it easier than ever before. Here are some of the most effective tips for becoming a digital note-taking pro. Explore more about: Your email address will not be published. Top Deals. Forget Apple Notes: Mac Productivity Forget Apple Notes: Email Facebook Whatsapp Pinterest Twitter.

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