Taking notes is critical enterprise, and having the proper note-taking app to your Android system could make a world of distinction in your potential to remain organized. That is as a result of a great note-taking app does not simply make it easier to take notes; it additionally makes it simple to discover what you’ve got saved later, no matter the place you’re or what kind of system you are utilizing at that time.
However determining which note-taking app makes probably the most sense for you is not all the time simple. The Google Play Retailer has an countless array of similar-seeming choices, and what’s splendid for one particular person will not be optimum for an additional.
I’ve spent a variety of time exploring probably the most outstanding contenders for note-taking on Android, and I’ve recognized the apps that rise to the highest in three core classes: a “finest for most individuals” tier, with a happy-medium steadiness of options and usefulness; a “finest absolutely featured” division, with a deal with apps that present a extra strong set of features for individuals who want it; and a “finest no-frills” class that provides a suggestion for these in search of the utmost in simplicity. I am additionally together with a bonus class to focus on a comparatively new up-and-coming app that is not fairly fleshed out sufficient but to earn a full suggestion however that is value testing and holding in your radar.
Right here, part by part, are the most effective note-taking apps for Android.
The very best Android note-taking app for most individuals
Google Hold (free)
Google’s note-taking app has come a good distance since its awkward 2013 debut. Today, Hold is a well-rounded but exceptionally intuitive providing with many compelling components, significantly for anybody invested within the Google ecosystem (as many Android customers are typically).
Simplicity is a key a part of Hold’s enchantment — as a result of the fact is that the majority of us do not want a posh, multilayered note-taking instrument with oodles of superfluous options. Most of us simply need a easy and efficient place to jot down ideas, concepts, and lists in a manner that’ll make them easy to entry at a second’s discover.
And that is exactly the place Hold excels: Open the app and faucet the round plus icon in its lower-right nook — or arrange Hold’s wonderful Android widget on your own home display (by long-pressing any clean space of your own home display and deciding on the “Widgets” possibility that seems) — and also you’re off to the races. You may kind utilizing your onscreen keyboard, write utilizing your finger or a stylus, communicate (after which save each an audio file and a plain-text transcription of your ramblings), or snap a photograph of a doc or anything and let Google pull the textual content out of the image for you.
Hold’s primary display is a delightfully manageable assortment of your most up-to-date notes. Altering a word’s place is as simple as dragging and dropping it or tapping a pin icon to make sure it stays on the prime. You may color-code notes, if you need, and provides them labels for subject-specific searching. And, in fact, you should use the search field on the prime to shortly discover notes by key phrases — each these included in your personal textual content and people seen in any connected paperwork or photographs.
All the pieces inside Hold syncs mechanically, with none configuration or guide motion required. And you may get to your notes from just about anyplace, since Google gives near-identical interfaces for Hold on iOS and on the internet.
So far as ecosystem, Hold integrates intelligently with Google’s cross-platform reminder system — which suggests you possibly can create a reminder on any system after which have it pop up in your telephone at a selected date and time and even whenever you enterprise into a specific geographical location.
And Hold works hand in hand with Google Docs as properly: With a pair fast faucets, you possibly can ship any word from Hold to Docs for extra concerned modifying. The Docs web site, in the meantime, enables you to pull up your notes in its sidebar and ship content material in both path.
Think about Hold’s multiuser collaboration characteristic, which helps you to share notes with others to allow them to edit them, and this simple-seeming app is definitely chock-full of performance. It might not have all of the bells and whistles different merchandise provide, however so long as it has all the pieces you truly want in a note-taking app, its lack of muddle and complication is usually a vital productiveness characteristic.
The very best fully-featured Android note-taking app
Microsoft OneNote (free)
For some folks, a note-taking app is greater than only a searchable digital notepad; it is a finely organized system with mountains of options and complicated choices. Properly, when you’re somebody who wants just a little additional oomph in your note-taking hub, Microsoft OneNote is the Android note-taking app for you.
OneNote does virtually all the pieces Hold can do after which some. Along with the above-mentioned fundamentals, the app contains a notebook-based system for categorizing and organizing your memos. It enables you to simply export any word as a PDF or plain textual content file so you possibly can share it with another person with out requiring them to signal into the service. And it makes it simple so as to add each emails and net pages into your notebooks by way of a distinctive tackle for forwarding messages and a desktop-based browser Net Clipper extension for capturing content material in your pc.
Talking of content material, along with offering an account-wide search perform, OneNote means that you can search inside particular person notes as you are modifying them. And in contrast to Hold, it has a bevy of superior text-formatting instruments for making your notes look any manner your structure-loving coronary heart needs. You may even mix common typed-in textual content with finger- or stylus-made writing and markups in virtually any association possible.
If you wish to change to one thing less complicated, OneNote features a separate Sticky Notes part that is virtually like a miniature, scaled-down model of Hold throughout the app. It means that you can make fast Publish-It-like notes with none frills or problems after which later discover them in that very same part.
OneNote is absolutely able to working offline, and all the pieces you do within the app mechanically syncs with OneNote on the internet, on iOS, or within the devoted Home windows or Mac apps. And all of these apps, in fact, combine properly with the remainder of the Microsoft ecosystem — a serious plus when you’re already invested in that universe.
For all of its positives, the OneNote Android app does have some noteworthy downsides. First, given the service’s complexity, it is simply not as intuitive as Hold. Navigating via the app’s layers of menus can get fairly complicated, and its “canvas” system for formatting notes — which helps you to place textual content and different components in particular person, moveable packing containers all all through the display — is usually a little overwhelming to wrap your head round.
The telephone app, fairly surprisingly, additionally lacks some basic-seeming components — akin to a built-in reminders system, assist for looking handwritten notes, and maybe most vexing of all, entry to OneNote’s multiuser collaboration system and note-tagging system (each of which are out there in OneNote’s different editions).
Nonetheless, when you can stay with these compromises and wish the additional bells and whistles Hold does not present, OneNote gives an distinctive set of options and a refined expertise together with a degree of ecosystem integration you will not discover in another absolutely featured Android note-taking app. Most different critical contenders have much more compromises together with weaker ecosystems and a good quantity of clutter-creating and efficiency-reducing bloat — and they usually come at a not-insignificant value, too, in comparison with OneNote’s fully free nature.
The very best no-frills Android note-taking app
The final official suggestion in our record is for anybody who desires a clear and minimalist house to take notes with none extras or pointless distractions. Simplenote lives as much as its identify and gives a refreshingly pared-down surroundings for writing and thought assortment.
The app, made by Automattic, the identical firm behind WordPress, presents you with a sparse record of text-based notes and a clean web page for modifying them — no picture or audio attaching, no formatting, no fuss by any means.
Simplenote does have a handful of options past absolutely the fundamentals, together with a easy system for tagging notes; an possibility for publishing notes to shareable URLs; and a slider for viewing a word’s historical past and restoring previous variations. And the app retains your information synced and accessible throughout a number of platforms and gadgets, with variations out there for Home windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, and the net.
Apart from that, although, there’s actually not a lot to say about Simplenote — and that, notably, is kinda the purpose.
An up-and-comer value watching
Bundled Notes (restricted free model; $2 a month or $18 a 12 months for a Professional-level plan)
This last app is filled with promise — however it is not fairly far sufficient alongside in its improvement simply but to earn a proper spot on this record. It is referred to as Bundled Notes, and it is a quickly evolving, refreshingly totally different tackle Android note-taking.
Bundled Notes is the hassle of a single impartial developer, and it is consequently bettering at a a lot quicker tempo than what you usually see with apps made by Google, Microsoft, and different tech titans. One of the simplest ways to think about it’s like Carry on steroids: The app emulates Hold’s default grid-like view and even brings to thoughts the Hold’s common interface, however it injects tons of probably helpful instruments, choices, and areas of customization into that primary framework.
As an alternative of simply exhibiting particular person notes on its primary display, as an example, Bundled Notes shows bundles (get it?!) — that are mainly like folders to maintain your notes organized into thematic collections. Inside every bundle, you then have a extra conventional particular person word view.
Inside any word, you possibly can format textual content, create lists that stay alongside common textual content, and connect any variety of color-customizable tags. You may share any word as a plain-text or HTML doc with a pair fast faucets. And past that, you possibly can create your personal customized swipe gestures for performing actions on notes; you possibly can pin a word to your notification panel for straightforward, ongoing entry; and you may set super-customizable reminders for any word — controlling precisely how and after they seem and even how aggressively they warn you.
Bundled Notes has plenty of different fascinating options, together with an optionally available Kanban-style system for organizing bundles into Trello-like boards of lists and oodles of different choices for controlling how your notes are sorted and displayed.
Bundled Notes gives an online interface, too, which is accessible when you pay for the app’s Professional-level subscription. Doing so additionally removes a restrict of six bundles and 300 notes and unlocks the power to set recurring and protracted reminders.
Some areas of the app, nevertheless, nonetheless look like a piece in progress. At the moment, as an example, the app lacks any method to connect photographs or information right into a word, which looks like one thing that is desk stakes for any extra absolutely featured note-taking app. It additionally does not provide any type of collaboration inside any of its interfaces. (Its developer says these options and others — together with a degree of end-to-end encryption a lot of the big-name note-takers nonetheless do not present — are within the works.)
For now, Bundled Notes is a powerful early effort that has the potential to blossom right into a scrappy, nimble competitor to the cell note-taking behemoths. It is properly value testing and keeping track of — so, y’know, you’ll want to make your self a word to recollect.
This story was initially revealed in December 2017 and most not too long ago up to date in December 2020.