Say what? 5 note-taking apps to capture every word

Last updated: July 3, 2019

In the age of information (and multitasking), it can be hard to keep track of all our to-dos, to-reads, and to-ponders. Enter note-taking apps: These elegant tools will allow you to capture and organize your every thought and inspiration.
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Evernote

1,512,398
100,000,000
Offers in-app purchases
Why we love this
  1. 1Organize everything, from business card contacts to spontaneous thoughts, in this feature-filled app
  2. 2Embed photos, audio, checklists, sketches, and more in a single note
  3. 3Search for text within images and notes (both typed and handwritten), and even in PDFs with premium
This robust note-taker packs a whole lot of function into an accessible package. Share notes with various permissions levels, link notes to each other, and edit saved webpages. Note that you’ll need to upgrade for several significant features – like syncing on more than two devices or uploading over 60 MB per month.

Google Keep - Notes and Lists

807,025
500,000,000
Offers in-app purchases
Why we love this
  1. 1A colorful, pinboard-style interface makes for seamless idea-gathering, list-making, and note-scanning
  2. 2Access your notes on all your devices – they’ll sync across your phone, tablet, laptop, and watch
  3. 3Dictate thoughts, and Keep will add both the audio clip and transcription to your note
Keep turns thoughts, annotated images, and checklists into a digital wall of perfectly spaced sticky notes. You can organize (and filter) notes by color, category, and tag, with pinned notes remaining at the top. Deleted notes are archived, so you can still search them while keeping your screen clean.

NOTEBOOK - Take Notes, Sync

20,269
1,000,000
Offers in-app purchases
Why we love this
  1. 1Visually appealing Notebook will have you looking forward to organizing notes and completing checklists
  2. 2Choose from over 30 notebook covers (or upload your own), and grid (square) or landscape-style notecards
  3. 3A fun interface invites you to pinch color-coded notes to stack them, then double-tap to expand the stack
With Notebook, stacking and swiping through notes is a pleasure – as is creating them. Choose between audio, image, text, sketch, and checklist notes (or combine them all), with text effects including highlights and hyperlinks. You can even upload PDFs and scan documents – though you’ll need to leave the app to view them.

Squid - Take Notes & Markup PDFs

Offers in-app purchases
Why we love this
  1. 1This note-taking experience is as close to handwriting as you’ll find, short of putting pen to paper
  2. 2Adjust your brush’s thickness and color – and turn on optional pressure sensitivity (for stylus use)
  3. 3Mark up imported PDFs (a premium feature) and images, and easily adjust image size
Writing with Squid is wonderfully intuitive, and a helpful tutorial adds extra guidance. Special tools, like a “true” eraser (to delete portions of a stroke) and highlighter, plus backgrounds ranging from engineering graph paper to music composition paper, are available for purchase by pack or with a subscription.

Dropbox Paper

7,919
1,000,000
Offers in-app purchases
Why we love this
  1. 1Make note-taking collaborative and easily share ideas in this team-focused workspace
  2. 2Share and comment on “docs,” and assign to-dos with email-triggering notifications
  3. 3Edit starred and recent docs or create new ones, even when you’re offline
With Paper’s rich formatting, you can change text size, add bullets, insert links, and more. We love how the task menu pulls in to-dos from docs, sortable by date or file. We just hope to see the mobile app catch up to desktop; currently, media links don’t load previews, and though GIFs load via links (!), you can’t insert them through the keyboard.
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