Whether it's making a shopping list or taking detailed notes at a business meeting, there are many excellent note-taking apps out there that excel at both. Some BlackBerry users enjoy the BlackBerry Notes app, but its cloud-sync capability is currently limited to Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync supported accounts. Fortunately, there are some excellent alternatives out there with some great features.
- Google Keep
- Microsoft OneNote
- Box notes
- Google Docs or Microsoft Word Online
You already use an Android phone, so why not use Google's own notes app? For those who prefer an uncomplicated, minimalistic approach to note-taking, this should be one of your top choices. Just create a note, tag it, and you're done. Keep also integrates very nicely with Google Assistant, allowing you to set reminders and create notes hands-free. Cross-platform compatibility means you can use it on just about any device.
With decades of experience making great office and productivity software, Microsoft's signature notes app is a safe bet. Rather than using tags to keep track of your notes, you create separate notebooks. Within a notebook, you can create multiple sections, and within each section, you can create multiple pages of notes. It's a great way to stay organized in the same way you would with paper notebooks but without the paper. Like Keep, it's cross-platform, so you can access your notes on your computer or phone.
This app may not be from one of the software giants, but it's quite popular on the Google Play Store, and for good reason. The elegant, simple interface gives Keep a run for its money. As you can tell from the name, notes are organized according to color. It does have limitations compared to other note apps - for example, you only have 9 colors to choose from, so you are limited to 9 different categories or labels. You also cannot format text or embed images within notes. It does, however, support syncing via the cloud, claiming to use bank industry standard AES encryption. The calendar view is also great. It's only available on Android, but if all you want is a great app to make lists or jot down some text with as little fuss as possible, take a serious look at ColorNote.
Whether you prefer to use open source software or just want good alternatives to what the software giants offer, look no further than Joplin. It's feature-rich and cross-platform (including Linux). It may not be as pretty as other notes apps, and the interface is not very intuitive, but once you get the hang of it you'll be a note-taking pro. You can create notes and lists, and it supports tags like Keep, but also separate notebooks like OneDrive. You can also attach images and files. It supports cloud-sync, but it's not tied to any single company, so you can sync via OneDrive, Nextcloud, WebDAV, or Dropbox.
Until someone in the CrackBerry Forums pointed it out to me, I wasn't even aware this was a thing. Within the Box app is an option to create a note. It's very simple, just allowing for text and some basic formatting, but if you are already a Box user and want to keep your notes saved to Box, this might be an option worth checking out.
Google Docs or Microsoft Word Online
Sometimes just creating a Word or Google Doc and putting it wherever you want is just what the doctor ordered. Use either app to create a new doc, they will be in your Google Drive or OneDrive when you need it. Easy-peasy.
Evernote is still a favorite of many for good reason, their basic offerings are great but they're not without some limitations. As a basic account user, you can sync across 2 devices, upload up-to 60MB, set reminders to keep on top of activities and write to-do lists but then limitations kick in. You won't have access to their more advanced features such as offline access, the ability to forward emails into Evernote or search in Office docs & PDFs but it's still a fine app.
Do you have a favorite note-taking app? Is there a must-have app that we missed here? Be sure to leave us a comment and let us know about it!
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