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The 10 Best Note Taking Software Tools

The 10 Best Note Taking Software Tools offer innovative features and benefits aimed at improving productivity, organization, collaboration, and data accessibility.

Learn more about our top picks for: Note Taking Software

Note-taking software is a digital application designed to create, manage, store, and share notes electronically. These software tools allow users to write down thoughts, ideas, reminders, and tasks, replacing traditional paper-based methods of note-taking. Modern note-taking software offers advanced features including multimedia support (text, images, audio and video), tagging for easy organization, multi-platform accessibility, collaboration capabilities for shared note-taking in real time, syncing across multiple devices, handwriting recognition, and even AI-driven context-aware features. Examples of popular note-taking software include Evernote, Microsoft OneNote, and Google Keep.

The Best Products

Our Recommendations: Note Taking Software

Pick #1

Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote is a digital notebook software application developed by Microsoft that facilitates information gathering and multi-user collaboration. As a note-taking software, it enables users to jot down notes, create checklists, insert images, audio, and video files, which can be shared with other OneNote users over the internet. It is structured with a free-form canvas, where users can move elements like text boxes and images around the page, essentially providing a digital simulation of a physical notebook. It’s widely used for its features like syncing across various devices, collaborating in real time and organizing notes into sections and pages, making it a preferred tool for both professional and personal documentation purposes.

Seamless Synchronization: OneNote seamlessly syncs across multiple devices with the user's Microsoft account, enabling them to access their notes from anywhere at any time. This ease of access makes note-taking and retrieving information convenient.
Integration with Other Microsoft Applications: OneNote integrates effortlessly with other Microsoft applications such as Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. This enables users to import contents such as emails or spreadsheet data directly into their notes.
Advanced Search Feature: OneNote's advanced search feature makes it easy to locate information within notes, even text within images. No more shuffling through pages to find a particular piece of information.
Multimedia Note-Taking: Unlike traditional note-taking, OneNote allows users to take multimedia notes. Users can insert videos, audio files, images, drawings, and even printouts into their notes, making note-taking more dynamic and interactive.
Collaboration Capabilities: OneNote provides real-time collaboration features, allowing multiple users to work on the same note simultaneously. Users can also share their notes with others, making it an effective tool for group projects or team collaboration.
The hierarchical structure of Microsoft OneNote can be complex and confusing to navigate for new or casual users, particularly compared to simpler note-taking applications.
In terms of multi-device synchronization, OneNote occasionally faces issues. Changes made on one device sometimes don't get immediately reflected on the others.
The search function is quite basic. For instance, there's no option to bug-search within a certain section or within a particular set of tags. It essentially lacks advanced searching capabilities in comparison to other similar software.
Microsoft OneNote doesn't support markdown language which is an important feature for many power-users in a note-taking application. Markdown lets the user add links, change text format, etc, using plain text inputs - an intuitive system that OneNote's lack of can make it feel slower and fiddlier to work with for some users.
While tags are available in Microsoft OneNote, they are not as intuitive or powerful as in some other programs. You can't generate a list of notes based on specific tags or use it for more granular organization, which can make managing notes more difficult for more advanced users or those with very specific organizational needs.

Pick #2


Evernote is a versatile note-taking software that enables users to create, organize, and store various types of notes in a structured manner. Its comprehensive interface supports textual notes, images, web extracts, voice memos, and even handwritten notes. These notes can be sorted into notebooks, tagged for easy searching, and shared with others for collaboration. Evernote also offers excellent syncing capabilities across multiple platforms, including PCs, tablets, and smartphones. Notable features include offline access to notes, integration with other apps, and a document scanning function. Its advanced functionality makes it an ideal tool for personal, educational, or professional use.

Multi-Platform Accessibility - Evernote shines when it comes to accessibility as it is available across various platforms. Whether you're using a computer (Mac or PC), a tablet, or a smartphone (iOS or Android), you can enjoy seamless access to all your notes.
Web Clipping Features - Evernote's Web Clipper is a powerful tool that allows you to grab and save content from web pages - text, images, or even the whole page, which you can then annotate and store in your notebook.
Search Functionality - Evernote's advanced search capabilities are a key feature. You can easily locate specific content within large amounts of text, images, handwriting, PDFs, and even in Word documents or other digital files you've stored in the software.
Integration with Other Tools - Evernote integrates well with many other productivity and business tools like Google Drive, Slack, Microsoft Teams and Outlook, which means you can share your notes and collaborate with others directly from the app.
Templates and Formatting Options - Another standout feature of Evernote is its ability to offer pre-made templates for different types of content or meeting notes, along with various formatting tools. This not only saves time but also provides consistency across your notes.
Limited Formatting Options - Evernote does not offer as extensive formatting tools as some other note-taking software do. Its formatting toolbar is basic, it may be difficult to create complex layouts or to customize notes with specific branding or coloring.
Limited Collaboration Features - Evernote does not offer real-time synching and collaboration features. When multiple users are working on a single note, changes must be sync manually, which can lead to confusion and inconsistency in the information.
Learning Curve - The interface, while intuitive to some, can take time to get used to for new users. The variety of options and tools can be overwhelming and it might take time for users to become proficient with the software.
Lack of Built-in Presentation Tools - Evernote does not have built-in presentation tools. While it does allow users to create slides, these are very basic and lack the functionality and professional feel of dedicated presentation software.
File Attachment Limitations - Evernote limits the size of individual notes, which includes any attached files. Hence, users may not be able to upload larger files like large images, lengthy documents or extensive spreadsheets. This could limit the usefulness of Evernote for some users who often work with large sized files.

Pick #3

Google Keep

Google Keep is a note-taking software that allows individuals to quickly capture what’s on their mind and recollect their thoughts whenever required. As part of Google’s ecosystem, it offers a seamless user experience across multiple devices, underlining features for creating notes, lists, photos, and voice memos. In addition, it enables users to categorize notes with labels and colors, set time or location-based reminders, and collaborate on notes with others in real-time. Google Keep merges the simplicity of a notepad with powerful AI-integrated features, thus providing a holistic note-taking platform suitable for both personal and professional use.

Easy to Use Interface: Google Keep has a very simple and intuitive interface which is easy to navigate. This makes it easy for users to create, organize, and search through notes.
Integration with Google Ecosystem: Being a Google product, Google Keep integrates seamlessly with other Google services such as Google Calendar, Google Docs, Gmail, and Google Drive, thereby enabling you to access and manage your notes across different platforms.
Voice Notes and Transcription: Google Keep allows you to record voice notes. Additionally, it's capable of transcribing these notes, making it beneficial for users who prefer dictation or want to quickly capture a thought.
Colour Coding and Labels: Google Keep supports colour coding and labels. This helps with the organization and categorization of notes, allowing you to have quick visual cues about your note’s topic or priority.
Optical Character Recognition: Google Keep has Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology built into it. This feature allows you to extract text from images, which is useful for transcribing information from a photo to a digital text format.
Limited formatting options - Google Keep has basic formatting tools, making it less versatile for users who require advanced note-taking functionalities such as creating tables, using various fonts or text colors.
No hierarchical organization - Unlike some other note-taking apps, Google Keep lacks the ability to create sub-categories or hierarchical organization which limits its usefulness for more complex note-taking needs.
Lack of word count - Google Keep does not provide a word count feature, which might be necessary for users who need to know the length of their notes for various purposes.
Lack of advanced search/filter - Although you can search notes in Google Keep, its search functionalities aren't as comprehensive as other note-taking software. Tags, labels, and colors can help organize and find notes, but this system is more basic than the more advanced search/filter options found on other platforms.
No dedicated desktop app – Google Keep is available as a mobile app or can be accessed via a browser, but it does not offer a standalone desktop application which can be a drawback for users who prefer to use desktop apps for their workflows.

Pick #4


Notion is a comprehensive note-taking software that provides an all-in-one workspace where you can write, plan, collaborate, and organize. It essentially blends everyday work apps into one, covering aspects like note-taking, task management, calendaring, and project managing. Notion supports the embedding of multiple types of media and documents, interlinked-databases, and joint editing. The flexibility and expansiveness of its features make it a powerful tool for individuals and teams, enhancing productivity and ease of managing work tasks and information.

All-in-One Workspace: Notion allows you to take notes, manage tasks, and also create databases all in one workspace. This reduces the need for switching between different software for various tasks.
Intuitive Organization Systems: Notion offers hierarchical structures that allow you to organize information by creating nested pages. It also offers features like tagging and search functionalities which makes retrieving information easy.
Flexible Templates: Notion provides a wide array of customizable and flexible templates. These templates can be tailored to your specific needs including note taking, project management, or content creation.
Collaborative Editing: Notion allows multiple users to edit a document at the same time, making it a powerful tool for team collaborations. You can share pages with others, allowing for real-time collaboration and feedback.
Easy Integration with other Apps: Notion is equipped with powerful integration features with other apps like Google Drive, Figma, Github, etc. which makes it easier to pull in data from other sources directly into your notes.
Complex Interface - Notion has a steep learning curve, making it daunting for beginner users. Its interface isn't very straightforward compared to other note-taking apps which offer simplicity and quick setup.
Slow Syncing Speed - Notion's sync speed sometimes can be slow compared to other note taking apps. Users, especially those dealing with high volumes of data, might find it irritating.
Lack of Quick Notes Feature - While other note-taking apps offer the ability to quickly jot down ideas, Notion requires creating a new page or database, which may not be ideal for quick, on-the-fly note-taking.
Limited Offline Functionality - Notion's offline usability is limited; users have to open pages while online before they can access them offline, which may not always be convenient.
Lack of Handwriting Input - Note-taking often involves handwriting inputs for drawing or jotting down quick notes. Notion doesn't have an intuitive option for handwriting and sketching within the app, making it less versatile as a comprehensive note-taking tool.

Pick #5

Zoho Notebook

Zoho Notebook is a comprehensive note-taking software that allows users to conveniently organize and store digital information. It offers diverse capabilities such as text notes, checklists, audio notes, and even clip content from the web. Its prominent features include intuitive, auto-grouping of notes, multiple viewing options, synchronization across multiple devices, offline access, and robust search. The uniquely identifiable “note card” style and user-friendly interface enable users to seamlessly manage and retrieve content, proving it to be a valuable tool both for personal use and professional collaborations.

Multiple Content Types: Zoho Notebook lets you store text, images, audio, video, and even hand-drawn sketches, making it a versatile note taking app that caters to many different types of content. Smart Cards Organization: Zoho Notebooks uses a unique "card" system to categorize and organize notes. Each card can contain different sorts of content, and they can be easily moved and reorganized even across notebooks.
Integration with Zoho Suite: If you're using other Zoho products (like Zoho CRM, Zoho Mail), there is well-founded integration in Zoho Notebook which allows for easy importing/exporting any needed content between the platforms.
Automatic Sync: Zoho Notebook offers automatic syncing between devices. So, you can start taking a note on your phone and finish it later on your PC. This facilitates seamless transition between different devices.
Smart Search: The app offers content search across all your notebooks. It can also search content within images or text within documents, which is a great aid when you're trying hard to locate specific information in bulk content.
Limited Text Formatting: Zoho Notebook does not offer as many text formatting options like bullet points, checklists, or tables as some other note-taking apps.
Absence of Hierarchical Structure: Unlike other note-taking software, Zoho Notebook doesn’t support a hierarchical structure for notes. This may make the organization and categorization of notes difficult for users who deal with complex and multifarious notes.
No Markdown Support: Zoho Notebook doesn’t support markdown language. This means if you need certain technical functionalities like scripting, creating tables, or other advanced formatting, this might not be the best tool for you.
No Internal Linking: Zoho Notebook lacks the ability to create internal links between notes. This can be an obstacle for those who wish to create a network of interconnected notes for a more sophisticated note management system.
No Collaboration in Free Version: Zoho Notebook’s free version does not include collaborative features. Real-time collaboration can only be achieved with the premium version. In some other note-taking applications, collaboration features are available even in the free tier.

Pick #6

Apple Notes

Apple Notes is a note-taking software and application developed by Apple Inc., which comes pre-installed on all iOS and Mac devices. It allows users to create text-based notes, voice memos, and add attachments such as photos, videos, links, or maps. The notes can be organized into folders, locked for privacy, and synced across all of a user’s Apple devices through iCloud. Apple Notes also supports scanning documents, drawing sketches, and creating checklists, and it integrates well with other Apple apps like Safari or Mail. It’s designed to be user-friendly and efficient for quick notes or more detailed memos.

iCloud Synchronization - Apple Notes syncs all your notes across devices seamlessly if they are connected to the same Apple ID. This allows for easy access to your notes whether you're on your Mac, iPad or iPhone.
Integrated Drawing Tools - With Apple Notes, you can doodle or make handwritten notes using a variety of pencil and marker types. This is a great tool for visual thinkers and for people who prefer sketching ideas before jotting them down.
Attachment Support - Apple Notes allows for embedding and viewing a wide variety of media types within notes. You can add photos, scanned documents, links, and location details, making your notes more comprehensive.
Collaborative Features - You can share your notes with others and collaborate in real time, allowing for efficient team work. This is a great function for group projects where team members need to contribute collectively to a single note.
Text Formatting and Organization - Apple Notes provides options for creating headings, subheadings, bulleted lists, and more. These allow you to structure your notes in a way that makes sense to you, improving clarity and legibility. Furthermore, you can create folders to categorize and organize your notes, streamlining your note-taking process.
Platform restriction: Apple Notes is tied to the Apple ecosystem, which means it cannot be used on devices with other operating systems such as Android or Windows. This lack of cross-platform compatibility can be a significant limitation for those who use multiple devices or are not entirely in the Apple ecosystem.
Limited formatting options: While Apple Notes allows for basic text formatting, its capabilities are far less comprehensive than other note-taking apps. For users who prefer rich text options – such as multiple indent levels, custom fonts, or colors – Apple Notes may prove inadequate.
Lack of advanced features: Unlike other note-taking apps, Apple Notes does not support advanced features like tag-based organization, note linking, and embedding of audio and video files. This means it may not be suitable for those who need these more complex functionalities in their workflows.
No version history: Apple Notes doesn’t provide a feature to view previous versions of the notes. This makes it difficult to track changes or restore information that was mistakenly altered or deleted.
Lack of robust collaboration features: While Apple Notes does allow for note sharing, its collaboration features are quite rudimentary when compared to other note-taking apps. It lacks real-time collaboration, detailed permission settings, and there's no clear way to track changes made by different collaborators.

Pick #7


Simplenote is a cross-platform note-taking application that offers a simplistic yet effective approach to creating lists, ideas, and other brief textual content for personal and professional use. It focuses on providing users with a clutter-free and user-friendly interface for quick note-taking with support for tagging and search functionalities. It enables content synchronization across various devices as it is accessible from anywhere through web, desktop, and mobile apps. Moreover, Simplenote offers version history that allows users to revert to previous versions of their notes, making it a reliable solution for preserving and editing information.

Simplenote's primary feature is its minimalistic design and user interface. This translates into an uncluttered, distraction-free environment for note taking, focusing only on the content created.
It allows sync across multiple devices. You can seamlessly work on your notes irrespective of the device you are using - laptop, tablet, or phone. The content gets synchronized in real time across all devices.
Simplenote supports markdown. This enables users to format their text directly while writing, a feature that can be quite useful for people creating notes with a lot of formatting.
It comes with Version History, allowing you to revert your note to a previous version. Though it's a relatively simple tool, this can come in handy if you accidentally delete important information, or are tracking changes over time.
Simplenote has a straightforward tagging and search system. Users can add tags to their notes, making it easier to categorize and retrieve notes. Its instant searching and simple tagging system makes it quicker to locate specific notes.
Limited text formatting - Simplenote only supports plain text notes, meaning users cannot use different fonts, font sizes, or colors. This inability to format text can limit the usefulness for individuals who need to include more detailed notes.
Lack of multimedia support - Unlike a lot of its competitors, Simplenote doesn't support adding images, videos, or other multimedia content to your notes. This could be a problem for users who are used to attaching images or files to their notes.
No integrated to-do list or task management functionality - Even though it is primarily a note-taking app, compared to others in the market, Simplenote lacks task management features which can be a hurdle for individuals who want to synchronize their notes and to-do lists.
No offline access for web version - Although you can use Simplenote offline on your mobile devices or desktop application, if you are using the web version, you need to have an active Internet connection.
No way to organize notes using folders - Simplenote allows you to tag notes, but it lacks the ability to group notes into separate folders. If you're someone who likes to have everything neatly organized into folders, this can be a limiting factor.

Pick #8


Turtl is a secure and encrypted note-taking application that allows users to safely store their notes, bookmarks, passwords, ideas, documents, images, and more in a secure, private space. The application emphasizes data privacy and security, utilizing high-end cryptographic technology to ensure that only you and those you choose can access your information. This open-source software also supports note sharing, syncing across multiple devices, and content tagging for better organization, therefore making it easy to manage information.

Hierarchical Organization - Turtl allows you to store your notes in 'boards', which can be nested for a hierarchical structure. This offers more organized and efficient access to stored notes.
Rich Text Formatting - This note-taking software provides rich text formatting support. You can embed images, add links, and use markdown for effective notes making.
Searchability - Turtl provides an impressive search functionality, enabling users to find the information they need quickly. It also allows the creation of tags for a more refined search.
Versatility of Note Types - Beyond text notes, Turtl supports various types of content including passwords, images, and bookmarks. This makes it more versatile than many other note-taking software options.
Synchronization Capabilities - All your notes are automatically synchronized across devices. This ensures that you have access to your data wherever you are, as long as you are using a Turtl-supported device, enhancing usability and efficiency.
Limited Formatting Options: Turtl does not provide as many formatting options as other leading note-taking apps, which could limit users' ability to customize their notes to their preference.
No Real-Time Collaboration: Turtl does not support real-time collaboration which makes it less suitable for team projects or shared notes.
Absence of in-built OCR: Unlike some of its competitors,Turtl does not have Optical Character Recognition (OCR). This means it is unable to translate images of text into editable or searchable text.
Interface and Usability Issues: Turtl's user interface can be considered relatively unintuitive and confusing initially, which may lead to a steep learning curve for some users.
Limited Cross-Platform Support: Turtl is not available on all platforms. It mainly supports Windows, Mac, and Linux. There are no official versions for iOS or Android which may limit its usefulness for users who prefer mobile devices.

Pick #9


Bear is a flexible, intuitive note-taking and writing application designed for Mac, iPhone, and iPad users. It incorporates a clean and minimalist interface with advanced features such as smart data recognition, markdown support, cross-note links, and tagging. Users can effortlessly jot down ideas, create to-do lists, write detailed reports, and even draft novels. Bear also offers seamless synchronization across devices using iCloud, providing users with a unified writing and note-taking experience. Extensive exporting options, including PDF, HTML, Docx, JPEG, and more lend versatility to the platform, making it a favorite among writers, students, and professionals alike.

Advanced Markup Editor: Bear uses markdown for its note formatting which offers a balance of easy-to-read plain text and flexible formatting options. It also supports in-line images and photos.
Rich, Easy-to-Use Tagging System: It has a tagging system which can be used to categorize, prioritize and organize your notes. You can even create tag hierarchies and quickly find your contents.
Exporting Flexibility: Notes can be exported as PDF, HTML, DOCX and more. This means you can easily share your notes or projects in a range of formats, which could be particularly useful to professionals.
Cross-platform Syncing: Bear can sync across all of your iOS and Mac devices so you can access, edit and add to your notes wherever you are, helping to keep you productive on the move.
Integrated To-do Lists: Bear allows users to create integrated to-do lists within notes. This can help users keep track of tasks and projects directly in the note-taking interface, thereby increasing productivity and efficiency.
Limited Platform Availability: Bear is only available for macOS, iPhone, and iPad, which means its use is restricted for those who do not use Apple devices.
No Web Interface: Bear does not offer a web version. This can be inconvenient for users who wish to access their notes from various devices.
Lack of Rich Formatting: Unlike some other note-taking apps, Bear does not support rich text formatting. Some users consider this a limitation, particularly those who prefer visually dynamic and complex note structures.
Limited Organizational Flexibility: Bear uses tags for organization rather than traditional notebooks or folders. Users accustomed to a more hierarchical structure in their note-taking app may find this system difficult to adapt to.
Lack of Collaboration Features: Bear does not support real-time note sharing or collaboration. This makes it less suitable for team projects where multiple individuals may need to access or edit the same note.

Pick #10

Standard Notes

Standard Notes is an open-source, encrypted note-taking software that offers robust privacy-centric features. It enables users to jot down and organize notes in a safe and secure digital environment, with advanced encryption to secure data from unauthorized access. The software supports a wide range of devices, including iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux, which allows note synchronization across multiple platforms. Additionally, Standard Notes provides an extended version that includes features like automated backups, note version history, and various editor types such as Markdown, code, and spreadsheets.

Longevity: Standard Notes focuses on the long-term sustainability of your notes. You can rely on it for years to come because of its simplicity and prime focus on preserving user content.
Privacy and Decentralization: Standard Notes offers 100% private notes. It uses end-to-end encryption so only you can read your notes. It even allows local-only (no sync) settings, ensuring your notes aren't stored on any server if you prefer.
Cross-Platform Access: Standard Notes is accessible over multiple platforms. There are applications available for web, desktop and mobile devices, so you can create and access your notes from anywhere.
Extensibility: The extendability of Standard Notes is incredible. It provides a variety of themes and editors and supports Markdown, code, spreadsheets, and task editors out of the box, making it adaptable to your specific requirements.
Version History: Standard Notes automatically saves older versions of your note every 5 minutes. As a result, this feature allows users to easily restore previous versions of their note, adding an extra layer of information protection.
Lack of Rich Text Formatting - Standard Notes generally has a simple plain text interface without the ability for more complex formatting features such as bold, italics, underline or bullet points that exist in other note taking apps. This could be a downside for those who prefer more visually complex notes.
No Integrated Image Support - Standard Notes does not support the ability to embed images or other media directly into the notes, which may limit its use for certain users.
Limited Collaboration Features - Standard Notes is primarily designed as a personal note-taking application, and lacks advanced collaboration features such as shared editing of a note or real-time collaboration, which many other note-taking apps provide.
Lack of Integrated To-Do List - Unlike some other note-taking softwares, Standard Notes does not have a built-in to-do list functionality. This could be a disadvantage for those who want to use their note-taking software for task management as well.
Complexity of Extended Version - While the simple version of Standard Notes is easy to use, the extended version, that includes features like markdown editors, is more complex and could be confusing for less tech-savvy users.


What is note-taking software?

Note-taking software is a digital tool that enables users to write down, organize, and save their thoughts and ideas electronically. They can also categorize, edit, share, and retrieve these notes easily and swiftly.

Can I access my notes from any device?

Yes, most note-taking software supports synchronization across multiple devices. This means you can access your notes from any device (PC, smartphone, tablet, etc.) as long as you’re logged into your account.

Can I share my notes with others using note-taking software?

Yes, most note-taking software supports sharing capabilities. Users can invite others to view and or edit their notes, making it useful for collaborative work and team projects.

Is there any security for my notes in note-taking software?

Yes, note-taking software is designed to be secure. Many of them offer password protection for your notes. Some even offer encryption for added security, to ensure your notes are safe and private.

Can I organize my notes in different categories or tags in note-taking software?

Yes, most note-taking software offers the ability to categorize and tag your notes based on subject matter or whatever system works best for you. This makes it easier to locate specific notes later on.