The 6 Best Note-Taking Apps of 2022

Staying organized in college can be tough. Luckily, several great note-taking apps can help you keep track of your classes — and life.

portrait of Kasia Kovacs
by Kasia Kovacs

Published on January 6, 2021 · Updated on May 10, 2022

Edited by Tyler Epps
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The 6 Best Note-Taking Apps of 2022
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It's easy to feel overwhelmed in college. With numerous classes, more responsibility than you had in high school, less oversight from instructors, extracurricular activities, and a social life to keep up with, many students feel a little lost.

To avoid feeling overburdened, staying organized in college is important. And note-taking apps are a great way to do that. In addition to creating a note-taking system for your classes, these apps allow you to keep track of your "life admin," so to speak.

To come up with this list, we looked at several apps that meet three criteria. Each app must have team collaboration support, mobile and web compatibility, and a free option.

We then tested note-taking apps, assessing their unique abilities, organizational features, interfaces, and overall writing experiences. Here are our top six picks.

1. Evernote — Best App for Advanced Note-Takers

Availability: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Web

Pros

Includes a search tool and useful tagging features Features an impressive web clipper extension Integrates with many apps, including Google Drive and Slack

Cons

Many features are reserved for premium users Limited number of devices with the free option The premium plan is pricey

Evernote helps you organize your notes with a combination of tags and notebooks. With the free basic plan, you'll get up to 60 MB per month and can upload files as large as 25 MB.

With the premium plan, the monthly cap increases to 10 GB. Students get 50% off the premium plan for a year. In terms of functionality and the dashboard interface, the app is intuitive and easy to use, with all the formatting features you could ask for.

Evernote impresses with its breadth of features and robust functionality, but the extra cost to fully unlock all of its capabilities makes it difficult to recommend to students on a college budget.

2. OneNote — Best All-Around Note-Taking App

Availability: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Web

Pros

Allows you to draw and write freely Features a sticky-notes tab for less structured notes Includes real-time collaboration

Cons

Interface can feel a bit cluttered Lacks more advanced features like embeds Doesn't always integrate easily with other apps

Developed by Microsoft, OneNote can be used on your browser or mobile phone as a note-taking app across operating systems. Users can type notes or draw with their fingers or a stylus.

With a collaborative setup, users can share their notes with fellow students, friends, or co-workers. The app allows you to attach and use several types of media, like audio notes, videos, and additional files. It also includes organizational tools and a "clipper" so you can save content easily.

Users can either download the app on its own or use it as part of the Microsoft Office Suite.

3. Google Keep — Best Note-Taking App for Google Users

Availability: Android, iOS, Web

Pros

A simple, easy-to-navigate interface Works seamlessly with other Google tools Pinning feature lets you keep important notes at the forefront

Cons

No offline support for Mac or Windows devices Lack of hierarchical organization Can take up space in your Google storage quota

The Google Keep interface imitates an intuitive, sticky-notes layout to eliminate a learning curve. The app permits a maximum file upload of 10 MB and provides you with 15 GB of storage, though you can purchase extra storage space if needed.

The app also features a minimal dashboard and allows you to work seamlessly across Google products. Although Google Keep lets you create unlimited notes, without folders and other common organizational features, you may find it hard to sort and maintain your jottings.

Nevertheless, if you prefer using Google Workspace products, such as Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Drive, Google Keep should be sufficient for your note-taking needs.

4. Apple Notes — Best Note-Taking App for Apple Users

Availability: Windows, Chrome, iOS, Web

Pros

Simple organization system Extensive formatting and tagging tools Syncs almost immediately with Apple devices via iCloud

Cons

Lacks advanced features and functions Doesn't integrate easily with non-Apple products Can't import PDFs, JPGs, or PNG files to the app

A handy note-taking app, Apple Notes is only available to users with an Apple ID; however, the app does offer web support, which is useful if you have an iCloud account. While Apple hasn't provided any details on file upload limits, it states that users receive up to 5 GB of storage.

The app's interface is clean and intuitive, and it syncs all your notes across your Apple devices. Apple Notes is relatively minimal, but the user-friendly interface makes it easy to create folders and subfolders.

If you have an iCloud account and are looking for a straightforward note-taking app to sync your notes across your devices, Apple Notes is among the best in the space.

5. Notion — Best Note-Taking App for Collaboration

Availability: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Web

Pros

Highly customizable interface Ability to create powerful tables and databases Features real-time collaboration

Cons

Doesn't have full offline functionality Can be difficult to use at first Search function isn't the best

If you work on a team, Notion allows a group of people to customize their notes collaboratively and interactively. Users can choose from different templates to fulfill various goals and purposes. Notion also connects to different apps, like Slack and Gmail, to help with workflow.

Notion's Team plan allows for an unlimited number of file uploads, and potential Team customers can start with a free trial. If you plan to use Notion by yourself, you can download the Personal option for free and upload up to 5 MB of files.

6. Bear — Best-Looking Note-Taking App

Availability: Mac, iOS

Pros

Advanced mark-up options Simple organizational system Sleek and intuitive user interface

Cons

Only available for Apple users Syncing requires a paid plan Limited features with free option

Bear prides itself on its sleek interface, with several themes, fonts, and settings to give users a polished user experience. The app works on iOS devices and has the ability to export notes to PDFs and Word docs.

Users can mark up their notes with editing options. They can also take advantage of Focus Mode to help them concentrate while working. If you're concerned about privacy, Bear Pro allows users to encrypt individual notes and lock their Bear app with FaceID.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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