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Note-Taking Apps: 10 Top Best Notebooks Management Software -Choosing The Best Option

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Do you use a paper notebook the old fashioned way? After all, modern digital notebooks allow not only to quickly and easily save important information, but also synchronize them between any devices, as well as share information with other people.

Electronic notebooks really have countless advantages over traditional paper ones. They are available on any device – from mobile gadgets to personal computers, always at hand and are equally well suited both for text recordings and for storing voice notes, photos and videos, making to-do lists, recording momentary thoughts and fresh ideas. With their help, you can conveniently organize and structure information, quickly find the notes you need, schedule tasks, create reminders and combine all records in one application, the choice of which will help our selection of such software solutions.

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Before proceeding directly to acquaintance with the heroes of the material, let us take the liberty to make a small lyrical digression and briefly talk about the criteria for evaluating programs for taking notes, which we were guided by in the process of preparing the review. First of all, the support of cloud technologies was at the forefront: you must agree, it is stupid to keep in the memory of a gadget or PC software that cannot synchronize data within one account between several devices. The second important point that we paid attention to is functionality. The product should fully meet the needs of ordinary users and at the same time not be distracted by meaningless options.Another plus in the piggy bank of this or that solution, we accrued for the stability of the work and the convenience of the interface, combined with the competent arrangement of the program controls. Also, the emphasis was on the number of platforms supported and, finally, on a reasonable ratio of price and quality of the product. In total, there are five key criteria that allowed us to use the five-point system familiar from school to evaluate applications.

10 Top Best Note-Taking Apps

OneNote

  • Developer: Microsoft.
  • Product website: onenote.com .
    Supported platforms: Web, Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, iPadOS.
  • Cost: subscription from 2,300 rubles / year; the basic set of functions is available free of charge.
  • 3DNews rating:      
Note-Taking Apps: 10 Top Best Notebooks Management Software
OneNote – Note-Taking Apps: 10 Top Best Notebooks Management Software

The honorary right to open our review fell to Microsoft OneNote, available both as part of the Microsoft 365 office suite and as a standalone product.

OneNote allows you to create an unlimited number of notebooks, which, in turn, can be divided into pages and sections – all this helps to build a multi-level data structure and intelligently organize information. Handwriting and drawing functions are supported, you can insert web videos and screenshots, record audio notes, and add Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations as file attachments or as virtual printouts (images). Important and up-to-date records can be tagged for quick access later, and notebooks with confidential information are password protected. OneNote also has advanced search tools and allows you to share notes with co-workers, friends and family.

Of the distinctive features of OneNote, it is worth highlighting a convenient ribbon menu, the ability to write in an arbitrary place on a sheet and the ability to combine handwritten fragments with printed ones. The built-in OCR engine that allows you to extract texts from images and integration with the Microsoft Translator translation service deserve special mention. And finally, an interesting feature of the program is the ability to solve mathematical equations (including those written by hand) with a step-by-step explanation aloud of all the stages of solving the problem. This function can serve as a good help for high school students and students. It is no coincidence that Microsoft is actively promoting OneNote in the educational environment and offers free licenses for schools and universities.

By the way, about licenses. Without a subscription to Microsoft 365, the user is offered only the basic set of OneNote functions and 5 GB of cloud storage space. The free option will not support local notebooks and handwriting recognition, and the ability to solve mathematical equations will be minimized. However, even in this configuration, OneNote is a great option for taking notes and organizing personal information.

Evernote

  • Developer: Evernote Corporation.
  • Product website: evernote.com .
  • Supported platforms: Web, Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, iPadOS.
  • Cost: subscription from 220 rubles / month; the basic set of functions is available free of charge.
  • 3DNews rating:     

One of the pioneers of the software market for taking notes and organizing information. Over the years, Evernote has matured with a variety of features and is now more focused on the corporate sector.

In terms of the features offered, Evernote is in no way inferior to the OneNote discussed above, but it loses a little in terms of the organization of the user interface, to the classic execution of which you have to get used to. Evernote also supports working with various types of notes (text, drawings, photos, audio files, videos, PDFs, copies of web pages, screenshots, and much more), allows you to attach Microsoft Office documents, PDFs and other files to records, can recognize printed documents, drawings and handwritten text. Notes can be organized in any convenient way, add tags (tags) to them and share notes with other people.

The strengths of Evernote are the ability to search for text in PDF and Office documents, scan and extract data from business cards, integration with Google Drive, Outlook, Slack, Microsoft Teams and other services, setting different levels of permissions for accessing content and co-editing notes in the mode real time. Especially for corporate users, the program provides a set of templates for quickly creating records of a suitable format and design.

Alas, the strong inclination of Evernote developers towards the business segment significantly affected the capabilities of the free version of the product, which, with a bunch of restrictions, is only suitable for getting acquainted with the program. A modest 60 MB limit on the volume of monthly posted notes, support for only two synchronized devices and the lack of many popular functions in the free version – all this served as a reason for the product rating to be downgraded. Compared to numerous competitors, the conclusion suggests itself that Evernote Corporation should be closer to the usual user audience.

Keep

  • Developer: Google.
  • Product website: google.ru/keep .
  • Supported platforms: Web, Android, Chrome OS, iOS.
  • Cost: Free.
  • 3DNews rating:      

An organizer of notes, the main advantages of which are high speed of work, optimal functionality and verified minimalism of the interface without unnecessary frills. Perhaps, sophisticated paid software users will find the development of Google too simple and frivolous, but for the modest needs of the average user (storing texts, audio recordings, photographs, drawings, task lists, links), Keep has enough capabilities. Information in the program is recorded on separate sticky notes, which can be colored in different colors and marked with tags to simplify the search.

Keep supports voice input of text data, allows you to create reminders, share information with other users, and recognize text from photos of printed documents. For convenience, notes can be sorted by colour, content, or sharing. All functions are implemented as intuitively and simply as possible – in the spirit of Google software solutionsAmong the features of Keep that we have noticed, we note the existence in the service of a limit of 20 thousand characters (with spaces) on the size of notes. This point should be remembered if you are going to operate with large amounts of data or, for example, write a book using Keep.

Simplenote

  • Developer: Automattic.
  • Product website: simplenote.com .
  • Supported platforms: Web, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS.
  • Cost: Free.
  • 3DNews rating:     
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A note manager from the “couldn’t be easier” series. Indeed, it is much easier: after all, Simplenote allows you to work only with texts – there is no support for illustrations, attachments and other data formats. Ideal for quick notes – well, for those who are not used to being distracted by pictures and other tinsel when expressing thoughts.

With its outward simplicity, Simplenote is quite functional. The application can synchronize books between devices, supports interaction with tags and full-text search in the database, allows you to operate with the lightweight markdown language Markdown, allows you to collaborate on notes and publish individual entries on the Internet for public viewing. In addition, Simplenote automatically captures all changes made to notes and, thanks to the history of edits, allows you to roll them back to one of the previous versions at any time.

Notion

  • Developer: Notion Labs.
  • Product website: notion.so .
  • Supported platforms: Web, Windows, macOS, Android, iOS.
  • Cost: subscription from $ 4 / month; the basic set of functions is available free of charge.
  • 3DNews rating:    

Notion is a versatile program that can be used equally as an application for storing notes, and as a platform for building knowledge bases like Wikipedia, managing tasks and collaborating with colleagues. A kind of advanced analogue of Evernote, in which the main emphasis is on the possibilities of presenting information in various ways, from text blocks, tables, checklists, kanban boards or multilevel lists formatted as you like, to design templates for all kinds of documents. Whether an ordinary user needs such a heap of tools is a big question. In addition, judging by the numerous reviews of the product, Notion is quite difficult to master without first studying the documentation and noticeably slows down even on the latest models of mobile devices. Total – three points out of five.

Diigo

  • Developer: Diigo.
  • Product website: diigo.com .
  • Supported platforms: Web, Android, iOS.
  • Cost: subscription from $ 40 / year; the basic set of functions is available free of charge.
  • 3DNews rating:  

The product, which initially developed as a cloud service for storing web pages in bookmarks, later grew into a more functional solution. At the current stage of its development, Diigo allows you to store not only URLs and cached copies of web pages, but also text notes, images and PDFs. The program includes a simple graphic editor for annotating screenshots and the same simple PDF document editor for highlighting important information in color and adding notes. There is the possibility of collective work with the data stored in Diigo and support of social groups (communities) for the exchange of bookmarks, notes and images. Against the background of the solutions discussed in the review, Diigo looks like an absolutely faceless product, which is definitely not worth subscribing to.

Zoho Notebook

  • Developer: Zoho Corporation.
  • Product website: zoho.com/notebook .
  • Supported platforms: Web, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS.
  • Cost: Free.
  • 3DNews rating:    
Zoho Notebook - Note-Taking Apps: 10 Top Best Notebooks Management Software
Zoho Notebook – Note-Taking Apps: 10 Top Best Notebooks Management Software

In terms of the approach to displaying notes, Zoho Notebook is similar to Google Keep, only more advanced in terms of functionality. Zoho Notebook carries a full-fledged text editor with a spell checker on board, allows you to draw and take notes by hand, add audio recordings, view the contents of Microsoft Office files and PDFs, create color notes and lock access to notebooks with a password. The cataloging of notes by notebooks is available, in each of which you can create pages with attached documents of various formats. You can tag your most important notes and add them to your favourites for quick access. Now to the cons. The ability to share notes with other users in Zoho Notebook is not provided – this is the first thing. And secondly, on Google Play, there are a lot of complaints from users of the program about the sudden disappearance of notes when they are synchronized with other devices. This behaviour undermines the credibility of a generally good product.

WizNote

  • Developer: Beijing Wozhi Technology.
  • Product website: wiz.cn .
  • Supported platforms: Web, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS.
  • Cost: subscription $ 9 / year; the basic set of functions is available free of charge.
  • 3DNews rating:    
WizNote - Note-Taking Apps: 10 Top Best Notebooks Management Software
WizNote – Note-Taking Apps: 10 Top Best Notebooks Management Software

The Chinese representative of the notebook family, which implements the same ideas that are laid down in Evernote. The similarity cannot be called one hundred percent, but there are a lot of overlaps and obvious borrowings: the same three-column user interface with almost identical arrangement of some controls, the same set of key functionalities focused on the corporate sector. The difference lies in the details and, of course, in the financial side of the issue. Even as a free option, WizNote offers what Evernote users could only dream of: unlimited storage in the cloud, support for an unlimited number of synced devices, and an impressive list of available features that can be expanded for as little as $ 9 per year. But you shouldn’t rush to part with money: firstly,the quality of software products from the Middle Kingdom often leaves much to be desired, and WizNote is hardly an exception to the rule; and secondly, the application slows down a lot when exchanging data with Chinese servers. In the program settings, you can activate integration with Russian server sites, but, alas, such interference in the configuration of WizNote does not play a significant role.

WorkFlowy

  • Developer: WorkFlowy.
  • Product website: workflowy.com .
  • Supported platforms: Web, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS.
  • Cost: subscription from $ 5 / month; the basic set of functions is available free of charge.
  • 3DNews rating:     
WorkFlowy
WorkFlowy

An analogue of the Simplenote discussed above, which allows you to structure information using lists of any nesting and exclusively text data. It is unlikely that WorkFlowy has a chance to appeal to a wide audience, but those who are used to thinking logically and ordering interrelated data, the tree-like system of records implemented in the program will appeal to their liking. It makes no sense to agitate in favor of WorkFlowy and talk about all its capabilities, because this product is one of those whose originality can only be assessed in practice. Try it! Who knows, perhaps you will like the concept of hierarchical representation of data in the form of multilevel lists, which is the basis of the application, to such an extent that you want to purchase the full version of the program.

Nimbus note

  • Developer: Nimbus Web.
  • Product website: nimbusweb.co .
  • Supported platforms: Web, Windows, macOS, Android, iOS.
  • Cost: subscription from 125 rubles / month; the basic set of functions is available free of charge.
  • 3DNews rating:      
Nimbus note - Note-Taking Apps: 10 Top Best Notebooks Management Software
Nimbus note – Note-Taking Apps: 10 Top Best Notebooks Management Software

And finally, another piece of software that is getting on the heels of Evernote. In terms of capabilities, Nimbus Note is in no way inferior to a competitor, while it costs half as much and, according to subjective feelings, works much faster. Nimbus Note supports recording audio and video, thanks to the built-in OCR engine, it can extract text data from scanned documents, allows you to create nested notebooks and reminders, as well as view the contents of Microsoft Office and PDF files. In addition to this, you can set colored labels for notes, protect confidential notes with a password, share notebooks with other users, and more. Despite its American roots, the Nimbus Note interface is completely Russified. Moreover, not only program controls have been translated into Russian,but also the documentation attached to the product. And this is already a serious claim for success in its segment on the Russian software market.

Let’s sum up

So which program for taking quick notes and organizing personal information do you prefer? The answer to this question depends on the scenarios for using these types of products. There is no universal recipe: some tasks are better solved by one application, some by another. For admirers of time-tested and reliable developments, we definitely recommend Microsoft OneNote. For lovers of simpler solutions, we advise you to take a closer look at Google Keep or the minimalistic Simplenote. Do not write off the good old Evernote and its young but very promising follower, Nimbus Note.


 

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