The Top Free Note-Taking Applications Currently Available

If you want to increase your productivity, you should take notes on this article.

The facts are clear: taking notes helps you remember and organize information. It enables you to remain on top of your work and prevents important details from falling through the cracks.

The best note-taking applications are practical, versatile, and superior to pen and paper. Here are the seven best note-taking apps for mobile and desktop devices.

Why use apps for taking notes?

There is a reason note-taking is one of the first skills taught in school. It is the ability to remember information useful throughout one's life.

But why use an application? While some individuals can get by with pen and paper, digital notes can be stored alongside other files and include images, links, and more.

Word processors are efficient. There was a time when I frequently used Powerpoint to take notes. However, the most effective note-taking applications typically provide additional features for convenience.

Best apps for taking notes

These note-taking applications are available for both desktop and mobile platforms. All of them are completely gratis to use initially.

1) The Microsoft OneNote application

At first glance, OneNote appears to be comparable to Microsoft Word. However, upon closer inspection, a few distinguishing characteristics make it ideal for note-taking.

First, you can organize your files into "notebooks" so that you can keep track of various topics. This nested storage option makes it simple to retrieve notes from specific dates and topics.

OneNote also makes it easier to draw, add images, and annotate documents than Word. With its user-friendly interface and quick tools, it's ideal for quickly noting down information.

OneNote, unlike most Microsoft Office applications, is completely free.

2) Evernote

Evernote is the best note-taking app for people who want to integrate notes into their workflow, as described in my Evernote review. Evernote is designed for business, whereas OneNote is geared toward students.

You can convert your notes into to-do lists by marking completed tasks in the Tasks window. Additionally, you can keep track of your notes using notebooks and tags. You can find a list of all your imported media and a notepad for quick reminders on your dashboard.

Pricing: Evernote is available for no cost. Personal and Professional paid plans include additional features and storage space. The Personal plan begins at $5.83 per month, while the Professional plan begins at $8.33 per month.

3) Google Keep

Similar to Google Docs, Google Keep is able to get away with being a relatively simple note-taking app due to its native integration with Google Drive.

While Keep's note options are somewhat limited, it displays your notes in a sleek, navigable feed. You can add notes and images at the touch of a button, color-coordinate your notes with ease, and organize them with tags. Unique to Google Keep is the ability to convert your notes into Google Docs instantly.

Cost is free. Apps are available for iOS, Android, and the web.

4) Notion

In contrast to some of the best note-taking apps, Notion creates digital versions of physical notes. Notion is one of several services (such as, Nifty, and Slite) that allows you to manage your entire workflow in written form.

Although it is not explicitly designed for note taking, Notion is one of the most robust note taking apps on the market due to its additional features. It permits the creation of homepages, checklists, reading lists, journals, and any other document imaginable.

Notion is not as user-friendly as other apps on this list. You might want to attend a session to learn the slash commands and other system functions. However, once you have mastered it, it can automate your entire daily routine. Even templates for documents ranging from meeting minutes to travel itineraries are available.

Notion is available for free for personal use. Additionally, they offer Personal Pro plans beginning at $4/month and team plans beginning at $8/user/month.

5) Obsidian

If you found Notion to be comprehensive, you may want to skip Obsidian. This command-driven knowledge base allows you to create and link plain text files. It is a true sandbox with over 500 available community plugins. Even your notes can be represented as a mind map.

Obsidian can perform virtually any task, but you cannot simply sign up and begin typing. Its system of vaults, links, and commands may intimidate novices. Those who are excited by the prospect of creating detailed mind maps may be dissatisfied by the extensive process required.

Obsidian may not be the most user-friendly note-taking app for newcomers, but tech-savvy users may find it to be one of the best available.

Pricing is free for personal use with no registration required. Catalyst tier ($25+ one-time payment) includes unreleased builds and developer support. Commercial customers have access to the $50 per year per user Commercial tier.

6) Zoho Notebook

Similar to OneNote, Zoho's Notebook is a free note-taking app included in a suite of office applications. Zoho provides an alternative to Microsoft Office in addition to a CRM, social media management, customer service, accounting, app development, email, and video conferencing.

I cannot comment on the quality of Zoho's entire menu of products, but Notebook is a solid, average notes application. It includes common features such as notebooks, highlighting, reminders, sharing, image attachments, and drawing.

If I had to make a complaint, it would be that Zoho Notebook does not offer many features that set it apart from other note-taking applications. Its greatest advantage is its mobile application, which has a superior, user-friendly design and more features than the vast majority of its competitors. Zoho Notebook is the ideal note-taking application if you require a mobile application.

In addition, they provide a Web Clipper browser extension that allows you to copy and paste portions of web pages into your notes. Evernote, Notion, and OneNote are among the many note-taking applications that offer comparable features.

Pricing: Zoho Notebook is offered at no cost.