University of Nebraska Medical Center

7 Note Taking Apps: Pitch the Pen and Paper!

Keeping convenient, easily accessible notes can be a difficult task. Notebooks and papers are forgotten or lost while pens and pencils run dry or break. As luck often has it, times when you have a great idea are times you find yourself without the tools to jot it down.

Many note taking applications eliminate these problems by storing digital notes that can be accessed anywhere by smartphones, tablets, and computers. No more losing notebooks and no more searching for pens. With most of these apps, notes you need to write or review are protected in an online cloud service.

Here are 7 of the best note taking apps available on any device, except where noted.

1. OneNote

OneNote provides a large suite of utilities, perfect for gathering your multimedia notes. A great feature is optical character recognition, allowing you to transcribe editable text from an image.

2. Evernote

Looking to keep more than your own words? Evernote lets you quickly save web pages, calendar dates, photos, PDF documents, and other information that you can later review. A search function allows you to easily sift through even the largest archive of notes.

3. Google Keep

With Google Keep, you can upload all kinds of multimedia and use the optical character recognition feature to transcribe image text. Because Keep ties to your Google account, it’s a great way to ensure your note taking capabilities are only a click or tap away.

4. Simplenote

Simplenote does not offer multimedia uploads, which is perfect if simple text is your thing. Being a web-based program, this means there are no installs required and your notes are stored online.

5. Zoho Notebook (iPhone/Android only)

Designed for mobile devices, Zoho Notebook lets you create multimedia notes including text, voice, photos, and lists. While it does not offer quite the array of utilities that other programs do, its simplicity keeps it uncluttered.

6. Notes (iPhone only)

For a quick note that needs remembering, the iPhone’s built-in Notes app is perfect in a pinch. The program can automatically sync to iCloud, allowing you to still view your notes if your iPhone is tragically misplaced.

7. MacJournal (Mac only)

If you want powerful simplicity, MacJournal is for you. Working like a word processor, it’s a perfect place to record drafts, outlines, and thoughts.

About the Author

Peggy Moore, MSEd, is the Director of E-Learning at UNMC. She specializes in adult learning with over 20 years in learning and development solutions, instructional design and educational technology. She loves the fast-paced environment of e-learning and collaborating with faculty on developing curriculum in higher education.
   peggy.moore@unmc.edu  |   @UNMC_eLearning

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