8 Best Note Taking Apps for Mobile Devices

May 21, 2019 • Devin Partida


Smartphone capabilities have made it so that many of us no longer worry about bringing notebooks, pads, pens, and pencils to meetings, classes or other events that require taking notes. It’s merely necessary to have at least one note-taking app on your mobile device. Here are eight great options, all of which work on either iOS or Android gadgets. There’s a good chance you’ll find the best note taking app after going through this list.

1. Evernote

Evernote is a cloud-based app that keeps all your notes synced whether you write them on the desktop version of the tool or a mobile device. Think about using it to jot down ideas for a project, plan a travel itinerary or even make a bullet journal to categorize your tasks. The app also allows you to scan book pages or grab web clippings. Some tiers of the product also let you add data without an internet connection and transfer it to a gadget later. (Free with premium plans starting at $7.99)

2. Microsoft OneNote

Something that sets Microsoft OneNote apart from some other similar apps is that it allows you to take handwritten notes with a finger or a stylus and convert them into a digital format later. Also, you can insert images or sound clips to add context to your notes.

If you use OneNote without an internet connection, the changes you make automatically get applied to the content on other devices as soon as the gadget containing the new material goes online. (Free)

3. Simplenote

Evernote is undoubtedly one of the most popular apps for taking notes. But, some people find it has too many features. Simplenote is an alternative to Evernote that lives up to its name by being exceptionally straightforward.

It has a clean, crisp interface, and supports the markdown format. You can instantly search for keywords within notes or tag your notes to find them faster later, too. Every time notes get edited, Simplenote saves a new version. But, if people need to retrieve an older version, they can use the slider feature to go back in time. (Free)

4. Google Keep

If you’re an Android user, you may already know Google Keep since it comes pre-installed on most phones with that operating system. The app gives you several options for recording your notes. For example, you can type them out using your phone’s keyboard, or use a pencil tool that responds to the touch of your fingertip on the screen.

Google’s voice recognition used for the Google Assistant also works on Google Keep, letting you take notes without using your hands. It aligns with the Google Assistant in other ways as well. One thing you can do is set a location-based reminder that pulls up a shopping list and puts it on your screen when you get to the grocery store.

Moreover, you can search for notes by color or type. Those options work particularly well once you use Google Keep long enough to build up a large collection of notes. (Free)

5. Zoho Notebook

This note-taking app has a slightly different formatting option than the ones above. More specifically, it allows you to arrange your notes into cards. Each card looks different depending on the kind of content you add to it. As such, a card with an audio clip looks different than one containing a picture or a checklist. But, a Text notecard can accept any material, making it exceptionally versatile.

Additionally, there are Smart Cards, which automatically add the necessary formatting for certain content. A Smart Card for a recipe has integrated formatting for an ingredient list and an image of the dish.

You can also choose from more than two dozen artist-designed notebook covers or get creative and make one. There’s lots of customization in the colors for your notes, too. Pick the hues from a color wheel, and create some preset options from your favorite shades. (Free)

6. MyScript Nebo

MyScript Nebo is an excellent solution once you have one of the many digital pens — also known as “active pens” — compatible with it. Draw and edit diagrams, write cursive letters and convert handwriting to typeset text.

MyScript Nebo also responds to the size of your device’s screen and allows you to make freeform sketches or add annotations to on-screen content. If you use the iOS version of the app, it’s possible to export a note to a Word, PDF or text file and work with it on other devices. ($7.99)

7. Voicea

Voicea is an artificial intelligence (AI) app powered by the EVA (Enterprise Voice Assistant). This is an app intended for taking notes in meetings or other settings involving near-continuous talking. The EVA listens for the important moments that happen during a meeting and makes a collection of notes from the results. You can search through the notes record later and share the content with people. (Free with in-app purchases/subscription plans starting at $19.99)

8. SomNote

When you’re fed up with taking notes by hand, let SomNote come to the rescue. It’s a cloud-based service that keeps content secure and synchronized. The app also enables you to retrieve data if you lose or break your phone. The colored notes make it easy to categorize your notes for hassle-free visual reference. You can also attach files such as images and PDFs to notes.

You can switch between different viewing modes too, such as a notebook list view or sticky note option. (Free with an available Premium tier that gives more storage and features)

Have You Found the Best Note-Taking App?

This list will get you off to a good start as you explore ways to take notes via an app. Once you find the one that works best for you, taking notes will never be the same.