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6 Best Note-Taking Apps For iPad And iPhone In 2024

Abhishek Agrawal
By Abhishek A Agrawal
April 27, 2024
Table of Contents

    Some people love the tactile experience of taking handmade notes but don’t want the hassle of using real paper. Fortunately, there are dozens of apps for students available on the iPad that utilize digital paper, preserving the analog feel of old-school note-taking.

    If you’re looking for the best note-taking app for the iPhone and iPad, you’ve come to the right place! Use this guide to find the right software for your digital writing.

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    What Makes A Great Note-Taking App For iPad And iPhone

    Whether you want to make handwritten notes or type them up, below are a few features you should look out for in the best note-taking apps for the iPad and iPhone:

    • Scanning options: Scanning documents with your device can be helpful for annotating and archiving.
    • Voice note features: Not everyone has the time to type or make handwritten notes. As such, a digital note-taking app with speech-to-text features can be useful.
    • Apple Pencil compatibility: Handwriting recognition and a smooth note-taking experience are essential if you want to handwrite your notes.

    What Are The Benefits Of Using Note-Taking Apps For iPad And iPhone

    Note-taking apps for students are a powerful tool for many reasons:

    • Organizational tools: Instead of keeping loose notes in a binder, you can keep all your notes in a single space using features like tabs and categories. You can even sync notes across devices. 
    • Sharing options: Working on a group project? You can easily share notes via AirDrop, email, or even through social media.
    • Backups: Unless you lose your device, you won’t have to worry about losing any stray papers – all your notes will be backed up on iCloud.

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    Our Top Picks For The Best Note-Taking Apps For iPad And iPhone In 2024

    Here are the top six best note-taking apps for the iPad and iPhone that we recommend.

    Apple Notes

    If you’re an Apple user and want to take quick notes for free, Apple Notes is your best option. With it, you can take impressive mixed media notes that contain images, audio files, tables, checklists, and more. 


    • Folders: While you can’t separate your notes using tags, you can put them into folders and sub-folders (only on Mac).
    • Collaboration features: Easily add collaborators or share notes to other Apple devices via AirDrop.


    • No optical character recognition (OCR): While you can scan documents and images, you can’t search them according to keywords.


    Apple Notes comes free with all Apple devices.


    If you prefer to type over handwriting your notes, try Simplenote. As its name suggests, Simplenote is light on features and is ideal for users who want a quick access note app that is easy to use. Plus, its plain text format takes up very little space on your device.


    • Markdown: Type in bold, underlined, or italicized words. Add headers to separate sections in your notes.
    • High responsiveness: Because all Simplenotes are plain text, they take very little time to render and don’t require much additional space.


    • No file attachments: If you’re looking to take audio notes or attach any images, you’re out of luck.
    • No stylus support: Simplenote is not compatible with the Apple Pencil.


    Simplenote is free to use.

    Google Keep

    Visual learners will love what Google Keep has to offer. This scrapbook-like app for notes supports handwriting, file attachments, and taking photos directly from the app. Plus, syncing up with Google Drive is easy.


    • Labeling: You can easily organize your Google Keep notes by using multiple labels and tags. You can also customize note backgrounds with up to 12 different colors.
    • Reminders: Easily turn your notes into reminders by tapping on the bell icon.


    • No formatting: While Google Keep can capture features like checklists and even sketches, it’s relatively limited in terms of formatting.


    Google Keep is free to use.

    Drafts 5

    Have you ever heard of an actionable note? You can use Drafts 5 to turn notes into reminders, text messages, emails, and even tweets. This unique note app connects with other third-party apps, making it an excellent contender against more popular software like OneNote. 


    • Custom templates: With a premium plan, you can unlock custom themes, templates, and icons. You can also add widgets and install extensions.
    • Impressive organizational tools: Separate notes according to tags, custom filters, flags, and archives.


    • Paid premium features: To get the most out of Drafts 5, you have to get the premium version.


    You can get a pro plan with Drafts 5 for $19.99/year or $1.99/month.

    Zoho Notebook

    If you’re looking for something like Apple Note but use other non-Apple devices, Zoho Notebook is for you. It’s compatible with Apple Pencil, but the app doesn’t have handwriting search recognition. 


    • Card organization: Zoho Notebook organizes your notes by card. You can assign cards according to content type, like rich text, attachments with audio, images, or PDF files, and more.
    • Color coding: Zoho Notebook has a generous color wheel of 14 pre-selected colors that you can use to organize notes.


    • Zoho account required: To use and sync notes on Zoho Notebook, you’ll have to create a Zoho account.


    Zoho Notebook is free to use.


    For students and freelancers who need to annotate PDF files or create sketches, Notability is an excellent choice. It’s best for iPad Pro users with an Apple Pencil – the inking technology is seamless.


    • Sketching and drawing: Notability is the best app for note-takers who need to create diagrams and illustrations. You can even pick between different writing tools like a regular pen or marker.
    • Dividers: Want to emulate the experience of using a real binder? You can add dividers to your notebooks.


    • Paid: While Notability isn’t by any means expensive, you still have to pay to use it.


    You can purchase Notability for a one-time fee of $8.99.

    Which iPad And iPhone Note-Taking App Is Best For You

    What you decide is the best note-taking app for you will depend on whether you prefer to type or handwrite notes. If you prefer to do the former, something as straightforward as Simplenote may do. If you like having the creative freedom to sketch, we recommend Notability.

    The analog way of taking notes is far from obsolete but there are also better platforms than there were before. If you frequently use your iPhone or iPad, we hope these note-taking app suggestions can help you stay organized!

    Do you use an app with actionable notes? Do you want to share your files with others? You can easily automate these actions with Integrately.

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    FAQs about Note-Taking Apps For iPad And iPhone

    What is the best cross-platform note-taking app?

    The best cross-platform note taking app is Zoho Notebook, although Evernote and OneNote are also good choices.

    What is the best note-taking app for the iPhone for free?

    The best free iPhone note-taking app is Apple Notes – it comes conveniently pre-installed with all Apple devices.

    What is the best handwriting-to-text app for iPad?

    The best handwriting-to-text app for iPad is Notability. It’s a versatile program that offers a great handwriting interface, plus useful features like PDF annotations and handcrafted templates.
    Abhishek Agrawal
    Author - Abhishek A Agrawal
    Abhishek is the founder of Integrately, CompanyHub, and Dreamwares. He is passionate about technology and entrepreneurship. He is always looking to leverage technology for the growth of the business. He has a deep understanding of how businesses work and uses this knowledge to build products that help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
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