Trying to keep all needed information in one place while on the move can be a challenge. Online applications that can collect your notes and bits of information on the fly and collaborate with team members can be essential. The advantage of being able to use your cell phone includes some powerful video, photo, scanning and audio input. Here are some of the best note-taking apps, according to industry reviewers.
In the Apple universe, there is Apple Notes, a free app that makes notes, creates folders and task lists, pins items, adds attachments and saves everything to iCloud. Notes Plus is well suited for artists, sketchers and those who take handwritten notes. Write a note and it converts to text. Import PDFs and documents for annotating.
Google Keep is free and part of the Google Docs Editors suite. It works with both Android and iOS, making it universally convenient. Because it is compatible with other Google systems, you can take notes on your mobile, pick them up at your desktop, access your drives, import or share docs, and collaborate on the move. Google Keep includes search filters, reminders and a small recordable notetaker.
Microsoft OneNote is a standard workhorse. Designed to be like a notebook with tabs, you can write notes in text or with a stylus, copy images, audio, video or screenshots, draw freeform in colors, mark up an article, or use voice dictation to take notes. OneNote is included in most Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions and, at this writing, there is a free version as well.
Evernote is more of a productivity organizer. It takes notes in just about any form imaginable and cleans it up for the best resolution. It takes web clips, sets up project lists with deadline reminders, uses keyword search and tags, and it can sync with other devices. Evernote includes password protection for individual notes, and two-factor authentication is available. Evernote basic is free for two devices, with limited uploads and meager individual note size. A personal home upgrade stretches that out substantially with a managing dashboard and templates. The executive upgrade has everything the other two offer in addition to greater capacity, more powerful search routines and connectivity to outside software.
Notion.so is a visually friendly team notepad with an easy-to-use sidebar menu, lots of colorful icons, and drag and drop actions that help you put together projects, people, timelines and even bugs to be worked out. The free personal subscription can be shared with five guests but has limited uploads and no real-time collaboration. Upgrades are available for individuals, professionals, teams and enterprises.
Unlike some other note-taker apps, Roam Research lets you link your thoughts together. They call it “networked thought.” While working on a main note, you can also access a sidebar or a graph. The graph is amazing, acting as a map to visually display connections between your thoughts and your collected bits of information.