Which Is The Best Note-Taking App Out There? [MakeUseOf Poll]

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Last week we asked you which devices (desktops, laptops, tablets) should be available for children at school. While not many of you chose to answer this poll, the discussion that ensued in the comments was interesting and enlightening, with many different opinions brought to the table. But which answer got the most votes in the poll?

Out of 233 votes, the results were as follows: 11% think laptops are the best option for schools, 13% think it should be tablets, 17% voted for desktop computers, 19% voted for networked clients, and 33% voted for some combination of these options. 6% think schools shouldn’t offer any of these options.

Full results and this week’s poll after the jump.

Don’t forget to check out last week’s best comment by Lisa Santika Onggrid. It was a very hard choice this week, but Lisa managed to pull forward and win 150 points yet again. Keep the awesome comments coming!

This week’s poll question is: Which Is The Best Note-Taking App Out There?

Want to make some extra MakeUseOf reward points? The most useful comment on the poll will be awarded 150 points!

Taking notes used to be a simple task: you get a piece of paper and a pen, write a note, and then carry the crumpled thing in your bag for a month before you throw it away. Things are different today; we now have note-taking apps we can use no matter where we are, and access our notes on all our devices, be it a computer, a tablet, or a phone. There are hundreds of note-taking apps available, but several big ones stand out from the crowd. Do you use one of the best known ones, or do you opt for a small one we’ve probably never heard of? Or maybe you still prefer pen and paper over all apps?

What makes your favorite app the best? Is there an app that should have been included but wasn’t? Are none of the apps as good as a piece of paper? Discuss it all in the comments.

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Comments (59)
  • pmini

    really surprised not to see Cherrytree notes on this list, simply excellent app.
    find it, use it!

  • Peter Carney

    These 3 things:

    1. Any IOS or high quality Android smartphone or tablet
    2. The CamNote app
    3. An Infinity Binder

    You’re welcome.

  • Sofye

    Nice article, really interesting.
    Personally, my essential app in business is Beesy. For me is the best note taking app: http://www.beesapps.com/beesy-testimonials-best-note-taking-app/. It’s a great tool for my everyday life at work, help to sort out and don’t forget a thing on my differents projects. Very useful also in meeting with I can import, make annotation and share my files with people. Take note and send minutes at the end of the meeting by mail very quickly and easily.

    I discovered this tool on Trunk Evernote, so I think it’s can be interesting.


  • Lisa Santika Onggrid

    Personally, I think Dee White’s comments are all insightful. Last week’s poll was very interesting as many seems to be able to relate to the topic.
    As for this week’s poll, funny that you ask it, Yaara, because this is a topic I’m struggling with for a long time now. As a student and hobbyist writer, I need something to help me tame my notes. I’ve lost many, many notes over the course of the years, some of them I totally regret even till this day.
    My schoolnotes are still in paper notebook because it’s easier that way. We don’t use digital notes at school because some teachers would check your notes every now and then to make sure you have all necessary materials (plus making Mathematical formula in notetaking app is usually a nightmare). I mainly use notetaking app for writing projects and half-attempt at journalling.
    I’ve tried almost every notetaking app out there. OneNote impressed me for a few months, until I find the ‘save as printout’ functionality broke in x64 (which my laptop uses) and I can’t open my notes elsewhere. Evernote seems nice, but rely too much to the cloud. Notelens almost won me over, but it would only save in My Documents folder. I store quotes and thoughts in Fetchnotes for a while, but I don’t have constant internet connection so it’s not too effective either. Currently my notes are scattered in both Flashnote and Clipcube-haven’t got the time to sort them through. Everything is sub-par because I’m not constantly with my computer. Laptop isn’t good enough either. It’s a hassle to take it out your bag, waiting it to boot just to jot down some notes. At the end, I resort to my phone for quick thoughts and flashes of ideas, or pen-and-paper if the supply is near.My phone isn’t a smartphone, so I just stash them in my message drafts folder.
    When I have time at weekend I’ll sort my notes in Flashnote and Clipcube, then type everything in my phone and notebooks. I keep them because they fulfill my criteria of notetaking app: saving in plain text, easily searchable, taggable, portable, and can be opened with a hotkey. Clipcube is essentially a clipboard extender so each will fill different needs. I put them in my Dropbox for easy retrieval. Evernote is overkill IMO.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid

      Almost forgotten. Informations for long-term storage goes to WikiOnaStick (I’m building my personal encyclopedia). Small, customizable, and works anywhere with a web browser.

    • Yaara Lancet

      You seem to have it covered. :) A great, detailed comment, as usual. Thanks Lisa!

  • Rodney Willis

    While Evernote is easy for jotting down a quick note and accessing it from any device, OneNote is my go-to tool for serious notes.

    I am using OneNote in the following ways:
    1) Writing a book (has enough word-processing capabilities, plus easy to maintain all the meta-data about characters, places, plotlines, etc.)
    2) Developing software (with pen-input, can draw screen mockups, annotate them, outline features, keep track of progress, etc.)
    3) Meeting Notes (easily search all meetings looking for specific information).

    KeyNote NF is another program I have used a lot, but the ability to create an outline can only be found in OneNote. I tend to think in outlines, and use them extensively in organizing my thoughts for many activities. OneNote uses a similar outlining capability that is found in Word, and that is a good thing. No other program that I’ve found has it.

    Finally, a good note-taking application must be cross platform. Things that are iOS and Android-only simply don’t cut it for a multi-device person.


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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.