The Best Note Taking Apps for iPhone and iPad

These are the best iOS note taking apps for iphone or ipad to save all your ideas

Best Note Taking Apps for iPhone and iPad
Apps for taking notes on iPhone and iPad

If you needed any more evidence that the world has moved beyond taking notes with a pen and paper, I would have directed you to count the number of note-taking tools and apps available on your app store. But I know you don’t just as I know that you’re simply here to check out which app would serve you best.

However, before we get started on the list proper, you should know that this list of best note apps is truly a homage to the phone-companionship model of living that the world has assumed. As such, it would be best for you to have an idea of what you’re looking for before you make a decision.

What are the best note taking apps for smartphone and tablet?


Price: Free/ Starts from $4.99
Screenshot of Evernote - Notes Organizer app for iPhone
Screenshot of Evernote – Notes Organizer app for iPhone

When Evernote was released to iOS users, note-taking apps were not that popular and it has built on its pioneer status impressively over the years. The app offers a variety of formats for users including video, images, web clippings, and hand-drawn sketches.

In addition, there’s also an inbuilt scanner for the app. However, all that pales in comparison to the range of synchronicity it offers. In true pioneer fashion, the app allows for notes taken to be shared on many devices even when they are utilizing different operating systems. Cool, right?

Apples notes

Price: Free
Screenshot of Apple Note app for iOS
Screenshot of Apple Note app for iOS

You already have a music app, app store, TV and then there’s the note. The default note app for apple devices would allow you to take notes build lists and add the extra features of allowing you to share said notes with other contacts or sync them with your other iOS devices. For iPad users, it brings state of art note taking features by using Apple Pencil.

Apple doesn’t just provide all sorts of functional tools for users; they also value the privacy of data and that’s evident in the quality of the lock feature that the notes sport.


Price: Free/ $1.49 per month
Screenshot of Bear - Markdown Notes app
Screenshot of Bear – Markdown Notes app

Another note-taking app that is immensely popular is Bear’s. They offer the same flexibility in the format of notes that Evernote does and has an even better interface. The downside to using the app is you have to pay for synchronization with other devices and it’s only available for iOS. However, that shouldn’t be too much of a discouragement considering the three-panel design that allows users to multitask handily.

Microsoft OneNote

Price: Free
Screenshot of Microsoft OneNote app for iPhone
Screenshot of Microsoft OneNote app for iPhone

Onenote is designed to consolidate the popularity of an existing brand. The OneNote app is intended to function closely with the Microsoft office application and OneDrive. As such, it would require a Microsoft account. The app would also allow for inter-platform synchronization as its available on other devices. Though it allows for note=taking in text, video, and audio formats, it is slightly disadvantageous for some users in that it doesn’t take handwritten notes.

Google Keep

Price: Free
Screenshot of Google Keep - Notes and lists app
Screenshot of Google Keep – Notes and lists app

Microsoft has theirs, Apple has theirs, where is Google’s? Cue Google Keep. This is a rather simple app compared to some of the others on this list, but it allows for the basics; multi-format note-taking and the creation of checklists. However, there’s no slacking off here from Google. One of the notable features of the app is the fact that items on a checklist are transferred to a completed-tasks tab after they are checked. The app also allows for notes to be created in colors that improve appearance and aid searches as well.

Notebook from Zoho

Price: Free
Screenshot of Notebook - Notes,To-do,Journal app
Screenshot of Notebook – Notes,To-do,Journal app

This is a card-based note-taking app for iOS users. As expected of an app made by developers of digital tools, this notebook allows for the synchronization of notes with other devices. The app is also good for multi-format note-taking especially when privacy is of the utmost importance. Individual notes taken here can be locked in with ease using a passcode or the Touch ID of your device. I found that the speed with which changes were reflected was one of the most impressive of the apps reviewed.

Paper by Dropbox

Price: Free
Screenshot of Paper by Dropbox Note app
Screenshot of Paper by Dropbox Note app

If you’re familiar with Dropbox and the ease it brings to work and file sharing, I can assure you that paper by Dropbox would be perfect for you. Consider it to be the note-taking extension of the regular app, complete with sharing function as well. Thanks to the fact that the app is available on android devices, you can synchronize on a wider range of mobile devices and Dropbox as well. Events can also be linked from your mobile calendar to the app if you so wish.


Price: Free
Screenshot of Quip - Docs, Chat, Sheets app
Screenshot of Quip – Docs, Chat, Sheets app

Compared to the apps that have been covered earlier, this is not so popular but it has a lot of sway with corporate heads in need of a platform that enables efficient team management. Quip allows for tasks to be assigned via shared notes (by tagging the relevant individual). The app also supports multiple formats, utilizes spreadsheets in notes (for those that need them), and facilitates chatting with the people on the other side of a shared note.

Pages by Apple

Price: Free
Screenshot of Pages Document Editing app for iPhone
Screenshot of Pages Document Editing app for iPhone

This isn’t a dedicated note-taking app but I had to include it here seeing as the description requires me to wax lyrical about note-taking apps on iOS devices. Pages is actually a word processor (Apple’s version of Microsoft Word if you may). It also allows for notes in audio, video, and image formats. As expected, notes taken can be synchronized across all Apple devices. Look out for the templates available in the app as they were among my favorite features.


Price: Free
Screenshot of Simple notes, todos and memos app
Screenshot of Simple notes, todos and memos app

Amidst all of the functionality offered by many of the apps on this list, users could forget the basic function of a note-taking app (hint in the name). as the name of this app goes through, it stays simple and true to its purpose. While it allows for the use of tags and pins to sort notes, users of this app can only make notes but cannot format text or attach files to notes. Notes made can be accessed on other devices as well.

Price: Free/ $2.99 per month
Screenshot of To do list & Calendar app
Screenshot of To do list & Calendar app

As you know, Any.Do is one of the best apps to use as a reminder, but can also be used to take quick notes and write down things to remember. You can then set an alarm in the form of a notification or sound so you’ll never forget an appointment or event. You can even take notes by using voice to text feature.


Price: Free/ Offers IAP
Screenshot of Penultimate note app for iPad
Screenshot of Penultimate note app for iPad

Penultimate is one of the best note-taking apps for iPad. It gives you the natural experience of writing on paper using an apple pencil with the power and availability of Evernote technology. You can take notes, preserve drawings or share your next discovery on your iPad in the office, when you’re traveling, or from the comfort of your home. It is one of the oldest iPad note apps that still keeps up with its reputation. You can get some of the most useful modern features for free offered by costly note apps.

You have read through my list of note-taking apps for iOS devices from the refreshingly simple to the immensely functional. Now, make a decision on which is best for you and do the rest on app store.

Danica Simic
Danica Simic
Danica Simic is an aspiring data scientist and software engineer who enjoys writing technical articles and informational content using her academic knowledge. She also loves reviewing different products, especially gadgets and gizmos, as well as writing concise guides and tutorials.


  1. I would suggest “Fast Key Board” app as well. It syncs with Evernote and has the best keyboard of any I have found with a multitude of symbols integrated.


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