Apple Notes Is a Great Starting Point
Note-taking apps are essential tools for organizing things, and there are many available for macOS. A good note-taking app has all the features you need and none that you don’t. There’s also no single perfect app for everyone, so we’ve compiled a list of the best so you can make an informed decision. Table of ContentsFree and Simple for Apple Users: Apple NotesFeature-Rich and Powerful: Microsoft OneNoteText-Only and Cross-Platform: SimplenotePolished and Premium: Bear AppCollaborative Development: Boost NoteApple Notes Is a Great Starting Point. Free and Simple for Apple Users: Apple NotesFeature-Rich and Powerful: Microsoft OneNoteText-Only and Cross-Platform: SimplenotePolished and Premium: Bear AppCollaborative Development: Boost NoteApple Notes Is a Great Starting Point. If you primarily use Apple devices, Apple Notes is a great option. The app has come on leaps and bounds since the early iOS days, with Apple not only adding powerful features but also making it much more pleasant to use. RELATEDHow to Make Macs and iOS Devices Work Together Seamlessly with Continuity. Apple Notes syncs with all your devices using iCloud, which means you can access your notes across devices using the built-in Notes app. If you need to access your notes from a non-Apple device like an Android smartphone or Windows PC you can use the web-based version by logging in at iCloud.com. It’s not perfect if you spend a lot of time with those operating systems, but it’s better than nothing. The app supports attachments including photos, maps, web links, and documents which you can “scan” using the built-in document scanner on iPhone and iPad. There’s simple text formatting, tables, and the ability to create checklists.
You can even lock notes with a password and use Face ID and Touch ID to unlock them on supported devices.
Best note-taking apps for Mac
Apple relies on hashtags and folders for organization, and you can even elect to keep notes out of iCloud and just on your Mac or mobile device. Your data is indexed and easy to find on Apple devices thanks to Spotlight search, which can often fail with third-party solutions. You can even use smart folders to collate notes based on tags. Notes also has some powerful collaboration features. You can add other users with an Apple ID to your notes and even use in-line mentions to draw their attention with a notification. RELATED:How to Quickly Add Links, Photos, and Media to Apple Notes on iPhone and iPad. Microsoft OneNote is a heavyweight note-taking app that includes a huge number of features, and it doesn’t cost a penny to use.
Feature-Rich and Powerful: Microsoft OneNote
You don’t need a subscription to access all of the app’s features, including cloud sync across platforms. If you use more than a Mac then you’ll be pleased to know that OneNote has native apps for almost every platform, including Android, Windows, and the cloud. There’s also a native Apple Silicon version, which performs excellently on Apple’s latest computers. RELATEDThe Beginner's Guide to OneNote in Windows 10. OneNote more closely resembles part of the Office suite than a simple note-taking app, with an array of UI elements and formatting options absent elsewhere. This is part of OneNote’s approach to letting you lay out your notes precisely how you want to. It’s a scrapbook-like approach: you can type anywhere, format the text, drag the container around the page, and arrange other items alongside it.
Text-Only and Cross-Platform: Simplenote
This approach is liberating for power users and overkill for anyone looking for a simple note-taking app. It’s great if you’re organizing meeting notes, snapping photos of whiteboards, and annotating product designs or concept art. It’s a bit much if all you want to do is make a shopping list or take a quick memo (but it still works).
Use these Sticky Note Alternative to remember things
There’s a heavy emphasis on drawing, complete with a “Convert to Shapes” option if you lack artistic merit. You can also take audio recordings, solve equations, create tables, attach files, change the paper color, secure notes with a password, or have the body text read aloud to you. This exhaustive approach is reflected in OneNote’s approach to organization, which uses notebooks, sections in notebooks, and pages in sections.
1. Boost Note
You can select from in-built tags like “To Do” and “Important” to organize things quickly or create your own. Re-ordering and sorting notes, sections, and notebooks is also fast and easy to do.
Collaborative features are also strong, with a simple “Invite to Notebook” link allowing anyone to contribute.
- You can share view-only links, check when your note was last synced with the server, and see other people making changes in real-time.
- If you crave simplicity but need better native support than Apple Notes, take a look at Simplenote.
- The clue’s in the name, but Simplenote is about as no-frills as a note-taking app can get.
- This comes at the cost of features, but it makes for a fast and pleasant note-taking experience.
Simplenote has no support for attachments, which means it’s a purely text-based note-taking experience.
- 22.7 MB
- Requires macOS 10.15.4 or later.
- Age Rating
It’s completely free to use, with free syncing between the many native versions available.