Find the Best Note Taking App for iPad in 2024

Last updated Jan 1, 2024

Fahim Joharder

Fahim Joharder, an expert in software review & AI, blends deep tech insight with practical advice. Known for his critical analyses & innovative solutions.

Nowadays, taking notes is a much more efficient process thanks to technology such as the iPad and its many note-taking apps. But with so many options out there, how do you decide which one is the best note taking app for iPad with the features for your needs? This blog post looks at 7 of them in depth – discussing their unique capabilities and potential benefits in terms of productivity, learning, and creativity. So, let’s take a closer look into what makes each app an ideal choice when selecting that perfect note-taking app for your iPad!

Key Takeaways

  • Explore the top 7 note-taking apps for iPad, each offering unique features and benefits.

  • Assess needs and features to find the best handwriting or typing notes app.

  • Compare the pricing of paid apps with free alternatives to get a suitable solution that fits your budget & requirements.

Top 7 iPad Note Taking Apps

A collage of different note taking apps for iPad

In the hunt for the most suitable iPad note-taking apps, we have narrowed down our choices to these remarkable top options: GoodNotes 5, Notability, Microsoft OneNote, Nebo, Evernote, and Bear. Each of them boasts a plethora of unique features that set them apart from other standard applications such as handwriting recognition tools or collaboration instruments with multimedia integration capabilities – making each app more distinctive than others in terms of taking notes.

This article will look into all their characteristics and every respective benefit they bring forth so you can determine which one is best suited for your needs regarding notetaking activities.

From basic functions like writing down quick thoughts right through group work organization – there’s an iPad note-taking application that perfectly fits whatever requirements you may have while being aware of keywords such as “iPad note-taking,” “best iPad note taking,” or even just “Best Note Taking Apps”.

What are the main features to look for in a note-taking app for iPads?

There are numerous notes taking apps on iPads. What are the features of the Notes App for iOS devices? This will make drawing easier than writing on paper or pen. Organization: Look for apps that let users organize notes as it suits them. It may also enable a folder-like structure, tag / or category creation.

GoodNotes 5

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GoodNotes 5 is the ideal digital note-taking app, with a range of impressive features that make taking notes easier. It has an easily customizable interface and tools such as eraser, pen, and highlighter which can be adjusted for tip sharpness and pressure sensitivity to provide users with the ability to write precisely.

GoodNotes’ multi-window view allows you to open multiple pages simultaneously when composing your notes providing even more convenience.

As well as these advanced functions it also enables intricate mathematical formulas or chemical symbols that may not always work using standard keyboards. As if this wasn’t enough, organizational capabilities like creating custom notebook covers & folders are Enabled by integration with 3rd party cloud apps (such as Dropbox + Google Drive). When all considered, its one-time fee of $7.99 provides superb value for money, making it definitely worth considering!


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Notability is a note taking app that offers users an array of features for creating handwritten notes, typed text, and audio recordings all within the same convenient space. It also allows annotation of PDFs and multiple paper styles to make your written or sketched content unique.

Users can share their notebooks with cloud service integration such as Dropbox or Google Drive, too!

Notability’s advanced ability includes editing capabilities like splitting, trimming, and merging multi-recordings into one file while preserving user privacy by requiring permission before recording starts.

They offer two subscription options: $14.99 per year (cost-effective) or $4.99 monthly. They do provide a free version, which has limited functions available).

Microsoft OneNote

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Microsoft OneNote is one of the best note taking apps for individuals who want to be organized and collaborate with others. It offers valuable features, such as the math assistant that will walk you through problem-solving steps, handwriting recognition technology for equations, and notebook sharing capabilities – all at no extra cost!

Plus, it provides users with customizable organization options, including organizing by notebook, notes, or pages in its sidebar menu.

No wonder Microsoft OneNote has become one of today’s most widely used apps for taking quick notes. If more storage space is needed subscribers can upgrade their account via any number of Microsoft 365 plans available on offer.

Its extensive range of tools plus free access makes this particular tool a prominent choice amongst many other similar applications in the market currently offering note taking experience.


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Nebo stands out in handwriting recognition and conversion with its high accuracy. It can even understand small punctuation like colons or commas, as well as decipher illegible writing. The feature-rich app boasts:

  • Outstanding ability to read printed words correctly;

  • Understanding tiny punctuations such as commas & colons; – Ability to identify scrawled letters effectively; Translating

    into equations from handwritten notes and math formulas using custom blocks for inserting diagrams. You can use Nebo’s services free without cost, but paying $8.99 would enable you to have access to extra features alongside synchronization capabilities

    If that’s what you are looking for regarding accurate reading abilities concerning handwritten texts. In conclusion, Don’t hesitate and grab this opportunity should exact handwriting recognition is

    a major concern!


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Evernote is a note taking app renowned for its features. It has an intuitive user interface allows you to store numerous types of input from images, text notes, and web page clippings, all compiled into one file, making collaboration easier. This app supports cross-platform compatibility and is available on Android devices and computers.

With the free tier, certain limitations apply, while Evernote Premium, which requires subscription fees, provides complete access to additional benefits such as sync between various devices, 10GB of uploads every month, plus live chat support so that your offline notes remain accessible too!

For those prioritizing their own or group work effort and advanced multimedia capabilities. Then this functional Taking App solution ticks many boxes without Ado!


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Bear is a fantastic note-taking app created especially for Apple devices, boasting a markdown editor emphasizing text formatting and code blocks. Compatible with the native Apple Pencil, Bear facilitates writing or drawing effortlessly. At the same time, users can access an independent whiteboard mode to make handwritten notes as desired – they’re getting two great tools in one!

Aside from aligning content, encouraging words, and adding strikethroughs. This application provides options like underlining, which are perfect for people who prefer concentrating on rearranging texts effectively.

Those using iPhones or iPads should seek out a top-notch mark-down editor equipped with Apple Pencil linking ability. Bear takes care of all needs, making it the preferred choice for appliance device lovers needing anything quickly yet powerfully.

Zoho Notebook

A screenshot of Zoho Notebook, the best note taking app for iPad, displaying its user-friendly interface and various note-taking features.

If organization and integration are top note taking priorities, Zoho Notebook is the app of choice. This free application functions as a comprehensive notes solution with no ads added in.

It has an intuitive interface that enables users to create sketches, add images or audio recordings into one single note file, edit text documents, or take down individual thoughts, all within this versatile platform.

It integrates seamlessly with other Zoho products, such as Docs Sheet and Show, while remaining compatible with popular cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive.

These features make up why people would choose this particular note taking app over any other option!

How We Evaluate and Test Note Taking Apps

All our app reviews have been designed for users who use the software in many of their careers. Throughout our research and tests our app developers use each app as it was intended and evaluate each application based upon the categories we set for them.

The content on this website is not sponsored unless you use the app or link to this webpage. The complete rundown of our selection procedure is available on the Zapier site if you want more information. My mother took my note in elementary school.

Handwritten Notes vs. Typing: Which Is Better for You?

A person writing notes with an Apple Pencil on an iPad

Regarding the best note-taking apps, the debate between handwriting notes and typing on a device still stands. On one hand, writing information by hand can help boost memory recall, focus levels, and comprehension of the material.

Those who prefer speed may find digital devices like iPads more efficient when quickly capturing data. Ultimately, what works best is determined according to individual preference and learning style.

Thus, choosing a suitable app with features tailored to your needs ensures successful record keeping and all its benefits while taking notes down digitally or otherwise.

Finding the perfect app should offer paper-like qualities, such as various styles that make writing or drawing look natural via digital means, ensuring no helpful piece of info gets lost during the process!

When assessing these factors, you can pick out effective note-taking apps offering maximum advantage towards meeting educational goals without effort concerning handwritten notes vs. typed notetaking methods.

The Magic Pencil Addiction

A person using a digital pencil to draw on an iPad

Apple Pencil is an invaluable tool for digital note taking due to its pressure sensitivity, palm rejection, and gesture recognition; numerous note-taking apps are designed specifically with this pencil in mind and can assist those who prefer handwriting their notes.

One of the standout programs is Apple Notes – a straightforward choice that seamlessly integrates into other hardware from the same brand.

Various activities can be completed using this device, such as drawing diagrams or mapping out ideas, plus annotating slideshows. All use the same level of comfort associated with pen on paper. It’s not hard to see why so many people rely upon it when jotting down important information!

Users can access various innovative features that make taking notes easier, like never before! From sketched mind maps to marking up photos swiftly, there’s no limit to what you can create thanks to these capabilities provided by individual note-taking applications linked directly herewith..

Integrating Multimedia in Your Notes

A person using an iPad to take notes with multimedia

Note-taking with multimedia elements can help to improve your learning and knowledge retention. Some apps like GoodNotes, Evernote or Notability provide templates, stickers, and audio recording functions, making it easier for users to create visually appealing notes.

There is the option of web clipping from these same sources plus interactive diagrams/mind maps to construct more comprehensive and engaging content-related material.

To maximize this potential, you may consider capturing lecture recordings or adding video clips, etc., while also taking advantage of voice recordings, thus strengthening comprehension by activating multiple senses when storing information accordingly, creating a more complete experience overall.

OCR support

OCR is the feature most of us forget to check, but it’s one of the characteristics of a great note-taking app. OCr Stands for “Optical Character Recognition, ” meaning it can look at an image and identify if there are texts in it and copy them in editable format.

Most iPad Notetaking Apps have advanced optical character recognition to help you find words in images and in written text. Many apps on iPads can be used with the help of handwriting recognition to make you read typewritten words.

Cloud Syncing and Cross-Platform Compatibility

A person using an iPad to sync notes with a cloud

Note-takers today need features like cloud syncing and cross-platform compatibility for improved access to their notes. Popular solutions are iCloud, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive, which allow users flexibility in selecting a suitable storage system.

Apps such as OneNote or Evernote can be accessed from any device on different platforms – maximizing productivity and enhancing collaboration opportunities amongst peers.

It is essential to factor in both Cloud Syncing & Cross Platform Compatibility when making note taking decisions, as it can drastically enhance your overall experience!

Collaboration Features for Teamwork

A person using an iPad to collaborate with a team

When it comes to group work and projects, having a note-taking app with solid collaboration features is essential. Apple Notes, GoodNotes 5, and Notability are excellent options that can allow users to collaborate in real-time and share notes with each other.

These tools make working together smoother by encouraging idea-sharing while streamlining project development. Thus providing an optimal environment for productive teamwork.

Access to collaboration features enables team members to stay up-to-date on tasks, resulting in improved efficiency when tackling shared objectives or challenges.

Customization and Organization Options

A person using an iPad to customize and organize notes

The best note-taking apps provide the option to customize their interface for a personalized experience, such as adjusting fonts and colors. They offer organization tools like tags, folders, or search functions, which make it easier to access specific notes quickly. When considering different note-taking applications explore its customization options along with other organizational features so you can create an efficient workflow tailored according to your personal needs.

Pricing and Free Alternatives

A person using an iPad to compare pricing and free alternatives

When it comes to note-taking, there are several options available. From free versions with limited features to more expensive apps offering advanced functionalities, users can compare pricing and capabilities to find the best option.

Microsoft OneNote, Nebo, or Zoho Notebook provide good alternatives if you prefer not getting a full version of an app. All three are gratis yet provide satisfactory results when taking notes down efficiently.

Thus, one should weigh both paid and unpaid apps so that they acquire what is required within a reasonable cost range while having access to necessary functions!


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After carefully considering the various features and benefits offered by the top 7 iPad note-taking apps – GoodNotes 5, Notability, Microsoft OneNote, Nebo, Evernote Bear, and Zoho Notebook, it is possible to find one that perfectly suits your particular needs.

Whether you prefer handwriting or typing on an Apple Pencil for taking notes, require multimedia integration, cloud synchronization of information, collaboration tools with other users, customization options in terms of organization as well as price point – there’s a suitable app out there that can help optimize your experience when making notations!

Such specialized software has immense potential to enhance the learning process through improved creativity & team efforts while boosting productivity at work/school.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What Digital Notes App should I use for my iPad?

Notability is widely recognized as the best note-taking app for iPad, providing powerful capabilities and robust features. Its user reviews sing praises of its convenience when it comes to making great notes that are well organized, not just in terms of price but also about compatibility and functionalities.

It’s an ideal choice if you’re looking for a comprehensive note taking application that’s simple yet has plenty of remarkable functions. It can be synced perfectly across multiple Apple devices too, so there won’t be any problem with whatever device you prefer using while jotting down your ideas!

Is Notability the best note-taking app?

Notability is commonly recognized as one of the best iPad note-taking apps. It has a user-friendly layout, various capabilities, and exclusive functions which make it so popular.

Whether in education, business, or pursuing an interest, Notability gives you all the necessary to succeed. With regards to note-taking programs on tablet devices, this app stands out due to its standout features and convenience, making life simpler!

Is GoodNotes 6 worth buying?

If taking handwritten notes is your preference, GoodNotes 6 has many great features, such as advanced handwriting recognition and AI. Otherwise, Apple Notes, with its more basic capabilities, should suffice if you prefer typing out your notes.

Both options provide the same core purpose of recording information yet are tailored for different note-taking methods.

What is the difference between GoodNotes and OneNote?

GoodNotes emphasizes writing annotations and controlling documents, while OneNote is noted for collaboration, digitalized handwriting, and note organization.

What are some key features to look for in a note-taking app?

When selecting a note-taking application, factors such as the ability for handwriting recognition, collaboration features, support of multimedia content, and cloud synchronization capability should be considered.

One must check if the app offers customization tools along with organization options. It is important to look at the pricing plans before choosing to take apps for iPad.

Why Apple Notes Didn’t Make the Cut

Notes is a software that takes notes and is available on most Mac devices. Nevertheless, the product was less than our expectations on our evaluation tests. It lacks numerous advanced functions for hand-written notes, including handwritten recognition.

While this app supports Apple pencils, it cannot use the full power. Moreover, iPhone notes use very low-resolution rasters, making writing smudge-free. This results in poor notes and a poorly written writing style.

Fahim Joharder

Hi, I’m Fahim. A software reviewer & AI specialist