When a person searches the web for "best note taking apps," which apps ought to appear? Spoiler alert: there's no single right answer. It depends entirely on your note-taking use cases.
And yet, when you Google this, you'll find no shortage of beat writers offering their unqualified opinions as to which note taking apps are "best for 2023." Nothing against beat writers, but their confidence that they could know what's best for every user is misplaced. With more than 20 note taking apps that could credibly call themselves the best in some user niche, it's an impossible task for any writer to fully cover the vast expanse of the "note-taking universe" in 2023.
We believe the most useful take on "the best note taking apps of 2021" is one that considers as many note apps as possible, grounded with hard data and screenshots to show how each feature looks in each app. So, that's what we built, and what you will find on the rest of this page.
To date, NoteApps.info has cataloged 9,074 provider-features (32 note apps with 291 features evaluated per app), to allow data-backed decision-making about which note app best matches your needs. This is the largest freely available data set illustrating what features are available in which note apps.
Let's try to find the perfect note taking app for you 👇
If you're already a note-taker, the app you use as a go-to says a lot about your needs and preferences. For those who are coming from apps that Google indicates as common search terms, we have created data-backed guides to help evaluate a possible switch.
These apps have a strong overlap with Evernote's featureset, while bringing more modern sensibilities to the mix. Most have an Evernote importer. Top recommendations: Amplenote, Nimbus Note, Notion, Bear.
These recommendations are weighted toward advanced table support, collaboration/team-based features, and better offline document availability. Top recommendations: Coda, Nimbus Note, Craft, Amplenote.
Note apps with strong backlinking capabilities, content transcluding, and Zettelkasten readiness. Top recommendations: Amplenote, Obsidian, Notion, RemNote.
Data-backed guide to the best Roam Research alternatives of 2023
These apps offer the most analogous drawing and free-form canvas experience to the venerable Microsoft incumbent. Top recommendations: GoodNotes, Evernote, Notion, Craft.
Different apps specialize in different areas. The list is ordered by perceived degree to which app embodies the best version of category.
Apps regularly praised on Twitter and by industry press for their product design. These generally offer a minimalistic UX, along with slick native apps. See Craft, Obsidian, Bear, ClickUp or compare all four
Built for users who want to use their notebook as a replacement for (or augmentation of) Wordpress. These apps provide a straightforward path to publish, embed and style note content. See Amplenote, Notion, Standard Notes, Obsidian or compare all four
The extent to which collaborative faculties are offered is a major differentiator among note taking apps. The apps on this list make it easy to share note content with groups of users, and to collaboratively edit note content. See Notion, ClickUp, Coda, Notejoy, Asana or compare all five
iPad users need native drawing tools, a diverse range of features & navigation available via keyboard, and a striking aesthetic presentation. These apps best deliver all of the above. See Craft, Evernote, GoodNotes or compare all three
Third-generation note apps have gone all-in on backlinks and Zettelkasten as a means to organize life and "build a second brain." These apps draw disproportionate interest among those who use their note taking app for undertaking research. See Roam Research, Obsidian, Amplenote, RemNote or compare all four
Good code highlighting is the baseline requirement for this category, but these apps tend to also have a focus on security and plugins/extensibility. See Obsidian, Joplin, Standard Notes, Roam Research or compare all four
Apps with a documented claim to secure note client on the client, such that notes can be stored in a way the note app provider themselves could not access. See Joplin, Standard Notes, Amplenote, Obsidian or compare all four
Robust table/database support can starts with allowing formulas to be applied within tables in the note app, but also includes enumerated data types and thus notes that lend themselves to sharing as templates. See Notion, Coda, OneNote, Nimbus Note or compare all four
Powerful to-do list features like recurring tasks, unlimited task attachments, and collapsible task hierarchy are available. See Amplenote, ClickUp, Taskade or compare all three
Choose a platform and at least one feature group below. Results will be sorted by which note apps share the most features with your tastes, with precedence given to apps that offer a superset of the features you expect.
This method of sorting note apps is provided last for a reason: it's the least useful. The number of features we have cataloged by app depends on what counts as a "feature." As of mid-2021, our feature set is most heavily weighted toward Formatting, Performance Benchmarks, and Tasks.
To try to compensate for potential bias introduced by the number of features per group, each app below is scaled by the number of features it makes available relative to the number of features that NoteApps defines for each group.