note taking tools

Best Note Taking Tools of 2023

Note taking is an essential asset for countless jobs. We cannot be expected to remember everything necessary that we hear from a supervisor, so we need to be well-versed in different ways to remember these crucial instructions, assignments, details, or deadlines. Note-taking tools can be a great way to make your notes better organized, faster, and more detailed.

Moreover, these kinds of tools can be used to fix many different kinds of personal hindrances that people have with note taking. For example, some apps specialize in making note-taking faster, and others focus on making them more organized. 

Here we present a list of a few note taking apps and what they do well to help you decide which is best for you. 

  • TextExpander
  • Evernote
  • OneNote
  • Notion
  • Bear
  • Google Keep


Do you ever feel that no matter how quickly you type that you end up missing an important section of a meeting or class? TextExpander is a highly-regarded productivity tool that can enhance the speed and convenience of your note-writing.

One key feature is the use of Snippets—small, reusable pieces of text that you can insert anywhere with a simple keyword or abbreviation. For example, if you frequently start your notes with “Meeting Date: ” you could set a snippet that automatically expands this phrase whenever you type “mdt” or another unique abbreviation.

Another impressive feature is TextExpander’s date and time macros. This feature automatically fills in the current date and time when prompted, eliminating the need to check and type this information manually. For instance, you could create a snippet “ldt” that inserts the current date and time when invoked, ensuring that your notes are always accurately timestamped.

The fill-in-the-blank feature, where the user can create a template with fields that require manual input each time the snippet is used, is another notable functionality. This could be especially useful in note-taking for standardizing format while still allowing for customization.

The software also boasts a robust autocorrect library and the ability to create custom autocorrect entries. If you routinely misspell certain words in your notes, TextExpander can automatically correct these errors, increasing the overall quality and professionalism of your writing.

TextExpander’s power lies in its ability to personalize efficiency, making note-taking a quicker and easier task.

  • Platforms supported: Chrome, macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS
  • Price: $3.33 monthly to $10.83 monthly


Evernote is a powerful note-taking app that can significantly enhance the speed and ease of creating notes, thanks to its vast array of features.

Firstly, Evernote allows for personalization in your note creation. You can choose to type your notes or use voice dictation if you’re on the move. The app also supports image and PDF attachments, enabling you to integrate various types of information seamlessly.

The “Web Clipper” feature is a significant time-saver. If you find a useful article, blog post, or webpage while browsing, you can clip it directly into your Evernote account for later reading or reference. This eliminates the need to copy-paste content manually.

Templates are another useful feature. Whether you’re jotting down meeting minutes, planning a project, or making a to-do list, Evernote has a range of pre-formatted templates that can speed up note-taking and ensure a consistent format.

Evernote’s powerful search function allows for quick retrieval of notes. It even recognizes text within images, allowing you to find any piece of information in seconds.

Finally, Evernote’s synchronization feature ensures your notes are available across all your devices. Whether you switch from your laptop to your phone, your notes are always at your fingertips, making the writing process smoother and more convenient.

  • Platforms supported: Web, macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS
  • Price: Free to $14.99 monthly


OneNote, a popular note-taking app from Microsoft, offers a host of features that can simplify and accelerate your note-taking process.

One standout feature is OneNote’s free-form canvas, which enables you to click anywhere and start typing or drawing, emulating the flexibility of physical paper. OneNote also supports voice dictation, allowing you to record notes verbally and transcribe them automatically.

OneNote’s organizational structure, with notebooks, sections, and pages, makes it easier to keep your notes tidy and accessible. You can color-code sections and use tags for more granular organization, thus making information retrieval quicker.

Another key feature is the ability to insert files, images, audio, and video clips directly into your notes. This multimedia support facilitates comprehensive note-taking without having to leave the app, saving time and keeping all your information centralized.

OneNote’s ”Ink to Text” feature can convert your handwritten notes to typed text, useful for digitizing and searching handwritten content. It also supports mathematical equations, converting handwritten equations into standard text.

Integration with other Microsoft apps, like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, is a significant advantage. You can embed files and documents directly into your notes, making the note-taking process more streamlined.

  • Platforms supported: Web, macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS
  • Price: Free to $9.99 monthly


Notion is a versatile tool that blends note-taking with robust task management and database functionalities, making it a one-stop solution for many productivity needs.

In Notion, all content is stored as ‘blocks’, and you can manipulate these blocks in myriad ways, making note creation highly flexible and efficient. Blocks can be text, images, checkboxes, embedded files, and more. You can drag and drop these blocks, nest them within each other, and convert one type into another.

The ‘/ command’ is a time-saving feature that allows you to quickly add any type of content block without leaving your keyboard. For example, typing ‘/image’ will let you quickly add an image to your note, while ‘/date’ will let you add a date picker.

You can also create custom templates for different types of notes you often take to decrease the time it takes to write notes. This feature ensures consistency and saves time in laying out your notes.

Moreover, Notion’s powerful search and sorting features allow for quick retrieval of notes. You can tag notes for easier searchability, and the linked databases feature helps maintain interconnections between different sets of notes.

Finally, Notion allows for real-time collaboration. You can share pages with others, assign tasks, and leave comments, making it an excellent tool for collaborative note-taking. By merging your note-taking, task management, and collaboration into one app, Notion can significantly streamline your workflow.

  • Platforms supported: Web, macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS
  • Price: Free to $15 monthly


Bear offers a range of features that make note-taking faster and easier.

One notable feature is the use of Markdown, a simple coding language, for formatting. This allows you to easily create headers, bold or italicize text, create lists, and more, directly from your keyboard, which can significantly speed up the writing process.

Bear utilizes a tagging system for organization, which is both easy and powerful. By adding a hashtag to a word anywhere in your note, Bear will automatically organize those notes under that tag in the sidebar. This allows for swift note categorization without interrupting your writing flow.

Additionally, Bear offers a Focus Mode that minimizes distractions by hiding all unnecessary tools and options, allowing you to concentrate solely on your writing. It also features a variety of beautiful themes to customize your writing environment.

For quick note access and organization, Bear offers Pinned Notes to keep important notes at the top and Note Links to interlink your notes. Plus, its powerful search function makes finding the right note a breeze.

Lastly, Bear syncs across all your Apple devices, ensuring your notes are always accessible. This means you can jot down a quick note on your iPhone and elaborate on it later on your Mac, making your note-taking process smoother and more flexible.

  • Platforms supported: MacOS, Windows, and iOS
  • Price: Free to $2.99 monthly

Google Keep

Google Keep, a straightforward note-taking app from Google, is a perfect blend of simplicity and functionality that aids in efficient note-taking.

With Google Keep, creating notes is incredibly fast, thanks to its intuitive interface. You can quickly jot down text notes, create checklists, or record voice notes that are automatically transcribed.

A unique feature is the ability to take image-based notes. You can snap photos or import them from your gallery, and even annotate them within the app. Moreover, Google Keep uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to extract text from images, which you can then edit and search.

Color-coding and labeling options in Google Keep make organizing notes straightforward. You can assign different colors and labels to your notes, making them easier to group and find.

A stand-out feature is the integration with Google Assistant for hands-free note-taking. Simply ask your assistant to take a note, and it’ll be saved in Google Keep.

Google Keep’s reminders linked with time or location help create prompt notes. For instance, you can set a grocery list to pop up when you reach your local supermarket.

What differentiates Google Keep is its simplicity and seamless integration with the Google ecosystem. While other apps offer complex features, Google Keep focuses on making the note-taking process as fast and straightforward as possible. 

  • Platforms supported: Web, Android, and iOS
  • Price: Free