I have tested many different ways of keeping myself organized and by the best app for note taking I have found is Evernote. Allow me to explain why.
There are certain functionalities for a note taking app that are absolute requirements. Any good note taking app needs to have the ability to:
- Backup notes in the cloud.
- Sync notes across multiple devices so they are available offline.
- Provide access to notes anywhere at any time, including via any Web browser.
- Capture information in multiple ways, including text, graphics, photos, Web screen grabs and the like.
- Organize notes at multiple levels, including notes, notebooks and folders or stacks.
- Easily search all of your notes at once.
The better note taking apps also provide more advanced functionality, such as the ability to:
- Capture hand written notes and sketches or drawings.
- Store and retrieve business cards.
- Easily annotate photos and screen grabs.
- Share notes with other individuals or a group so you can jointly edit them.
Evernote’s bread and butter is the ability to quickly and easily capture typewritten notes. Those notes are then available on any device that you have sync’d to your Evernote account. In addition, you can access your notes from any standard Web browser by logging in to your Evernote account online. This “always available” nature of notes taken in Evernote is really the key functionality that has generated the massive popularity of Evernote and other cloud-based note taking applications.
Evernote was an early pioneer in this space, which is part of the reason that they are the market leader. But Evernote is not just the best app for note taking because they were among the first. What really sets Evernote apart is the fact that they have pretty much all of the functionality that one would want in a note taking app and, unlike many of their competitors, they provide this functionality in an easy to understand and use interface. Many of Evernote’s competitors, which I will review later this week, tend to have so many features and functionalities that they are very difficult to use. Evernote has also acquired several other startups that have added functionality to their product suite, such as Skitch for image markup, Penultimate for handwritten notes and sketches and CardMunch (previously owned by LinkedIn) for business card scanning. These additional applications, all of which store their documents in Evernote, have added important features to the Evernote product suite.
Bottom Line: Evernote is the best app for note taking because it provides all of the features and functionality of the competition in a user interface that is much more intuitive to use.