Poll: What is your favorite iOS note taking app?

in General Discussion edited November 2015
AppleInsider is searching for the best note taking app for iOS and we need your help. Vote for your favorite app and we'll tell you the winner next week.

Last week we asked you which note taking app for iOS was your favorite. Now we've got our top seven, and it's time to find a winner. You can vote below. Your nominees are:


Like many of the nominated apps, Notability ($5.99) keeps your notes in sync between all your devices and computer. It claims power and simplicity, with PDF annotation.


Evernote (Free) boasts the ability to clip notes from anywhere on the web and team collaboration. When you're away from your device, you can also access your notes on Evernote.com.

Notes Plus

Notes Plus ($6.99) has been around a long time--since the first iPad was released. It has some cool features like audio recording and folders.

Apple Notes

This is an app that may not have been a serious contender in the "best note taking app" until it's recent upgrade in iOS 9. You can now make checklists, add links, pictures, and more. It's definitely the most-integrated note taking app for iOS since, after all, it comes on every Apple device.


GoodNotes ($7.99) has been around a long time--since the first iPad was released. It has some cool features like audio recording and folders.

Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote (Free) allows you to clip notes from the web, much like Evernote. You can also email yourself notes to your OneNote address and they will be saved to your OneNote.



  • Reply 1 of 44
    The simple answer is: None of the above.

    My favorite note taking app was 'Notes' on the Apple Newton, I still have my fully functional MessagePads 2100 and 130. You could write anywhere where you could type and it did HWR (handwriting recognition) with about 90% accuracy.

    I played with the iPad Pro in an Apple Store the other day and decided not to buy one yet, it still, after all this time (18 years) cannot hold a candle to the newton when it comes to note taking in meetings. Back to pencil and paper for now, it costs about $1200 less than the current Apple solution and works just as well.
  • Reply 2 of 44
    AI -- please note that "your favorite" != "the best". Notes is certainly my favorite, because i use it the most, but i dont know that it is also the best app. i have no idea if it is or not...its just my favorite.
  • Reply 3 of 44
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    I only use the built-in Notes app.
  • Reply 4 of 44
    Evernote is by far the best, albeit a bit slow. Text, voice, web clips, scanner, photos, flawless syncing, handwriting recognition. All there.
  • Reply 5 of 44
    Notes on the iPhone looks nothing like what you show on the iPad. It has no folder management. There is no Notebooks cataloging.
  • Reply 6 of 44
    Too bad there's no way for Nate's favorite app to win...
  • Reply 7 of 44

    I have own them all and have used them all.


    I also have bought every stylus around so I think I can make a pretty good judgement.


    Apple notes is probably the worst. A basic note editor and nothing else


    Evernote and One note are excellent. I use evernote although one note has made major strides and I have noticed evernote dropping the ball lately and trying to move users to a paid tier. If they remove features from the standard basic option to a paid option I think their days would be numbered.


    They both do similar things and are not really note taking apps in the, " I am writing notes" sense. They are excellent for typed notes, saving tid bits and have excellent desktop and synchronisation abilities.


    Notability - a good program but no stylus or text conversion support.


    This leaves good notes and notes plus. 

    I use both but prefer notes plus. It can convert my scrawl into text and sync this and the folder management is better. The developers are cramming features into the app which I don't believe is the best strategy as it makes the app too bloated. The focus should be on making the writing really good and sometimes it misses this point.

    Good notes is simpler and better laid out and can certainly stand on its own but its folder management e.g. to create a quick note is cumbersome. 

  • Reply 8 of 44
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member

    I've had Evernote for years.  Never used it even once.

  • Reply 9 of 44
    sennensennen Posts: 1,468member

    Simplenote, in my experience, has the most reliable Mac & iOS synching (even on an old 12" PBG4 via web), and is my preferred app, then the native Notes app. I still like Vesper and use it occasionally, but the lack of Mac/iOS synching really is a knock against it.

  • Reply 10 of 44
    Note encryption is important. Can you provide info on what encryption various apps provide? Thx.

    -- JW
  • Reply 11 of 44
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,112member
    I used GoodNotes and it was very good to me on my iPad Air 2.

    NotePlus is much nicer and more advanced than GoodNotes since it implemented handwriting feature and lets you have different "brushes" which can make your writing look prettier. It is extremely simple and intuitive. It supports OCR so it can recognize your writing and convert it to text which is extremely useful when you need to search for files containing keywords. It lets me annotate PDFs. It's been updated to support Apple Pencil. It lets you delete a word or sentence when you scribble over it which is a main plus for Pencil since it lacks erase.

    OneNote is overly complex for just note taking and takes too many steps to get there.

    Notability lacks the OCR thus making search useless.

    Evernote requires monthly subscriptions to unlock more productivity tasks. Not worth it.
  • Reply 12 of 44
    You left out a very popular one- iAnnotate, which has amazing search capabilities, pdf and ppt compatibility, awesome markup tools.
  • Reply 13 of 44
    Until Apple Notes can be alphabetized, it will never neither "favorite" or "best" note app -- maybe if you have 10 notes...not if you have dozens...
  • Reply 14 of 44
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,950member

    Apple Notes is my favorite because it saves to my IMAP server, keeping confidential information backed up and confidential.

  • Reply 15 of 44
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,112member

    Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

    Note encryption is important. Can you provide info on what encryption various apps provide? Thx.

    -- JW

    NotesPlus offers password protected pages/notebooks. 

  • Reply 16 of 44
    I use Apple Notes every day and have over 1500. It's cool they added the ability to sketch and add pictures, but I've never used them. I just write text. I love the instant iCloud syncing with my Mac. I've tried several other apps, but I keep coming back to Notes. But I do use Day One for more private notes since it is lockable, and it syncs over iCloud too.
  • Reply 17 of 44
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,331member
    Originally Posted by RonAnnArbor View Post

    Until Apple Notes can be alphabetized, it will never neither "favorite" or "best" note app -- maybe if you have 10 notes...not if you have dozens...


    I have 664 Notes. Never had a problem finding anything, and it's never taken more than 3 seconds.  Have you heard of something called "search"? Or when you're looking for something online or on your device, do you go through an "alphabetized" listing? It has never even occured to me that it's something anyone would want, and even though I use and add Notes every single day from my Mac, iPhone, and iPad, I have never once wished for that. Really, just remember a single keyword in your notes and you'll have no problem finding them. 

  • Reply 18 of 44
    2oh12oh1 Posts: 503member
    Simplenote isn't showing up in the poll.

    Simplenote for iOS pairs perfectly with Notational Velocity on the Mac.
  • Reply 19 of 44
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,425moderator
    I used EverNote for a couple years, but I found its interface a bit heavy. I like minimalist design. So when iOS 9 brought a revised Apple Notes app, I cleaned up my EverNote heap and tossed all the old stuff, copying what remained into Notes. For the first few days I lamented that the notes aren't sorted, then quickly got over that when I realized that it didn't add value. Just swipe down to get the search box, enter anything you recall about a note and bam, you're looking at it, along with any other notes that also share those keywords, which is so much better than scrolling through a sorted list. I find Notes to have all the functionality I need, along with a clean interface. Perfect.

    [IMG ALT=""]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/63486/width/500/height/1000[/IMG]
  • Reply 20 of 44
    Consider Lyfebucket....more extensive than the above Apps..does more than just note taking. More like a personal diary.
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