Nowadays, our phones have become more and more essential to our lives. Not only to connect with the people we care about, but they’ve also become secondary brains where we can store and keep lots of information. One of the most popular has to be nots. There are lots of ways to take notes. The simplest way is perhaps carrying a notebook and a pen, or if you want to go digital and make full use of your iPhone and iPad you can use note taking apps.
There’s a huge number of note taking apps in the App Store. From simple plain-text based note-taking apps to full featured apps that can recognize handwriting and record audio. Keeping plain text notes has worked the best for me thus far. Using plain text makes them incredibly portable and compatible with many apps. Here are my 5 recommendations of note-taking apps you can use on iOS.
Drafts is where text starts on iOS. It’s because Drafts provides you with a blank canvas upon opening so you can use it to take notes quickly. Next, you can send those notes to various apps. Make your note into calendar events in Fantastical? Check. Turn it into to-do list in OmniFocus? Check! Notes you take with Drafts sync via iCloud and you can access them with Drafts on other devices as well.
Drafts is a perfect place to start text for nearly any application. It’s a favorite of many App Factor writers.
- $4.99 – Download
As the name says, Simplenote allows you to save notes in plain text. All you need to do is sign up for an account and you can start using it right away. Recently Simplenote has added markdown syntax. Simplenotes’ synchronization is blazing fast. Changes you make on other devices will sync nearly instantly on other devices. On Mac, you can use the popular nvAlt to access your notes if you don’t want to use its official app or website interface.
- Free – Download
Bear is a newcomer app in the note-taking space. It’s a beautifully designed app with support for multiple themes which you can unlock via a in-app-purchase. Bear’s IAP also allows you to sync notes to Mac or other iOS devices. Bear supports image attachments and internal links to other notes. If plain notes alone aren’t enough, you can also make checklists. I started using Bear recently and my favorite features is its integration with Workflow. You can use Workflow to turn webpages into markdown formatted notes, add tags and save directly into Bear. You can get the workflow here.
- Free w/IAP for Pro features – Download
Better Notes excesl in note management. You can enter hashtags inside of your notes and Better Notes will automatically group them together. This makes it incredibly easy to see different groups of notes categorized by hashtag in a beautiful and very simple interface. You can add checklists, photos and even reminders into your notes. There’s no multiple device sync at this point, but you can backup your notes to iCloud Drive.
- Free – Download
The default note-taking app from Apple has gotten better and better with each iteration. We’ve written many articles about all the little features Apple has included. It now syncs seamlessly between Apple devices, supports adding checklist, photo attachments, note collaboration (that actually works!) and you can also sketch too (with support for Apple Pencil on the iPad Pro). If your notes are really important or have sensitive information, you can protect them with Touch ID or a passcode. If you’re looking to stick with stock apps, Notes is a no brainer.
What’s your favorite note-taking app?
I’m always moving between different note taking apps. What features matter most to you and what’re you currently using? Let me know in the comments below.