7 Best Apps for Note-Taking On iPad

Updated on September 16, 2022  |  App Reviews 

The iPad is one of the most famous pieces of technology on the market. They are portable, efficient, and often more affordable than a standard laptop. Many people use them to take notes, whether in a job setting or a classroom location. There are a lot of apps out there that you can use to do this task. It can be a little hard to narrow it down to just one.

Notability Logo


Notability is a popular tool since it allows you to include many types of media while taking notes. It is the greatest note-taking software for the Apple Pen.

microsoft onenote icon

Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote is excellent since it can be used by individuals of all ages. It's speedy and one of the most dependable apps on this list. It's also free.

Evernote Icon


Evernote is great since it offers both a free and premium edition. You may start with the free edition and then upgrade to the $7.99 per month version if you enjoy it.

Goodnotes icon


The best feature of GoodNotes is that it allows the user to switch between writing and typing. You can quickly switch to the keyboard style and retain your notes the same.

Here, we’ll go over a few of the best apps for note-taking on iPad. They can all be utilized with a writing tool, and each has features that varying people can enjoy. Naturally, the best app will be different for each person, but we consider a few as the best note-taking apps for the iPad.

Why Take Notes on an iPad?

If you take notes, you might wonder why an iPad is a quality format for writing down words. There are a couple of reasons that prove why the iPad works for all kinds of people. First, it’s a good piece of technology that almost seems to have been created specifically to take notes and document information.

The iPad is great for taking notes because:

  • It saves paper that would ordinarily be used for taking notes
  • The stylus attaches magnetically to the side, meaning a pencil is always with you
  • You can easily share copies of the notes with others
  • You can attach files, images, and even voice memos to your notes
  • You can scan files and put them onto the iPad

When comparing it to paper and the laptop, the iPad easily comes out on top. It is more portable and better for the environment overall. Students and business people alike can take it to their learning or business space without being dragged down by the weight.

What Makes a Good Note-taking App?

There are a few standards that determine whether a note-taking app is good or not. We believe that these are critical to deciding which option is the best overall. By assessing each of these, the most quality note-taking apps for the iPad float to the surface.

The criteria for a good note-taking app include:

  • The amount of money that it costs compared to the quality
  • Features that can be used by those who invest in it
  • Storage space available
  • What can be used to write
  • Who the app may work for the best 

All these traits help to define what makes a note-taking app great. Many factors work together to create a flawless experience for those who are always writing items down. Each criterion might be more important to some than to others. Therefore, we recommend you pick the app that works best for you based on your personal preferences.

7 Best Apps for Note-Taking On iPad

Now, we’ll go over some of the best apps for note-taking on the iPad. There are many free and paid options, but all of them are accessible to most financial situations. In addition, there are different features and styles within these to fit with many kinds of people.

Once you’ve read about these apps, you can determine which is best for you based on your preferred features. There is sure to be a great note-taking service on this list that will satisfy your needs.

1 . Notability

Notability is an app that is popular because it permits many kinds of media to be involved as you take notes. It’s the best note-taking app you can use with an Apple Pen. Though it’s not free, the $8.99 price tag is worth it for all the items you get inside one app.

Some of the other benefits of Notability include:

  • The ability to sketch and draw on top of notes, as well as add in pictures, slide, and annotations
  • A wide variety of layout options
  • Digital dividers for sorting information
  • Exporting methods to many sources, including Airdrop and Google Drive

Notability is easily one of the best apps for note-taking on the iPad. Its cost is a small price to pay for all that it gives to the user. Unfortunately, Notability can only be used with the Apple Pen. It also can use the bare hand to write if that is not the option.

2 . Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote is quality because it works for all kinds of people, from young to old. It’s fast, and it’s also one of the most reliable apps on this list. It is free, but you will need to pay for cloud storage if you use more than 5GB of space on your iPad. This upgrade can cost around $1.99 a month for 100GB. This price includes storing other items on your iPad, like pictures or messages.

Some other great features that Microsoft OneNote possesses includes:

  • Its ability to work on many platforms
  • A “web clipper” that allows notes to be added from websites
  • Formatting options for any need
  • Drawing tools to place inside or on top of the notes
  • Document scanning features

OneNote works for anyone, so it’s a safe bet. It’s also the best free note-taking app for the iPad on this list. Microsoft OneNote’s ease of access is highly appealing and great to have one hand. It can’t hurt to try it. 

3 . Evernote

Evernote is excellent because it has both a free and a paid version. You can try the free version first, and if you like it, you can shift to the variety that costs $7.99 a month. Evernote is worth the cost, as the paid version will permit lots of storage space and greater access to collaboration on other platforms.

Some of the other features that Evernote has are:

  • The ability to put images on your notes
  • A sophisticated organization system that can filter, tag, and store data
  • Access to clipping notes from the web if they are needed
  • Sketching platform on the notes

Evernote is ideal for those who want to use their iPad to sync the notes to all kinds of platforms. You can also take notes by using any stylus or your fingers. It’s a versatile app, like a step-up from the basic Apple Notes.

4 . GoodNotes

The best feature that GoodNotes boasts is that it permits the user to use writing and typing interchangeably. So if you’re writing with a stylus or your finger and get tired, you can easily use the keyboard format and keep your notes the same. This app costs $7.99, an average for the paid note apps.

Some other items that come with GoodNotes include:

  • Presentation mode for turning your iPad into a whiteboard 
  • Recognition of writing style
  • A multitude of layout and templates
  • The ability to import your styles

Goodnotes is a solid option. It’s great if you’ll need to present your notes so working individuals may get the best use from this one.

5 . Apple Notes

Apple Notes is integrated into the iPad, so you can use this feature if you don’t want to download an app. For those who don’t need glamour in their notes, it works well. It’s especially useful if you transfer your notes to paper later. Apple Notes is best as a placeholder.

Some great qualities of Apple Notes include:

  • Its simplicity, which makes it easy to operate 
  • The way that it flows with the iPad since it is built-in

The downside of Apple Notes is that it is so simple, it is easy to get bored with this style. However, for those in need of an app that is easy to use, this will do well. All your notes can be kept and labeled in one place.

6 . Simplenote

Simplenote is straightforward, but don’t be turned away by this. It’s easily one of the best free notes taking apps for the iPad. Those unimpressed by the bells and whistles of other apps can turn to this one for help.

Besides this perk, Simplenote shines because it:

  • Is a free platform that anyone can use
  • Makes note taking straightforward
  • Allow tags and web links
  • Utilizes passcodes if you want to make sure some items stay private on your device

Simplenote is basic, but don’t be turned away by this. It’s easily one of the best free notes taking apps for the iPad. Those unimpressed by the bells and whistles of other apps can turn to this one for help.

7 . Noteshelf

Noteshelf costs about $9.99, but the price tag is well worth it for the many features that it provides. Perhaps the best one is that it can recognize 65 different languages and translate them into whatever you would like. So if you speak multiple languages or are learning one, this can serve you well.

Some other great things that Noteshelf gives its users include:

  • Ways to export onto different platforms
  • Allowance of multiple windows to be open at once
  • Permits screens to be open side by side

In a world where the classroom has been shifted online, Noteshelf allows students to read and write simultaneously. This technology is one of the best note-taking apps for the iPad and is great for multitaskers everywhere.

Should You Get Free or Paid Apps?

There are both free and paid note-taking apps that you can find. The best free note-taking apps for the iPad are quality, but paid versions are just as good. You might wonder which is better to invest in, especially if you will be using this service constantly.

Some of the pros of using a free version include:

  • No money out of your pocket
  • No pressure to use it if the path of your life changes
  • Instant access without the fear of wasting your money

Free note-taking apps always have basic note-taking features. Paid versions will have more accessories and perhaps additional graphics. They might even hold the ability to store more information or have advanced fonts.

Whether you invest in paid or free is up to you. It might be useful to buy if you can afford it since paid options tend to store information better. However, you are sure to get the good stuff out of the best free note-taking apps for the iPad.

Who Can Use Note-Taking Apps?

The best thing about these note-taking apps is that almost anyone can use them. Several operate just like traditional paper and pen. Whether you are eight or ninety-five, most everyone can download and use the note feature if you have a pen and an iPad.

The simpler ones, such as Apple Notes, will work best for those inexperienced with technology. More complicated ones, like Notability and Microsoft OneNote, will be better for those familiar with it. There’s a choice out there for anybody.

What Can You Use to Take Notes on iPad?

Many believe that you need a special pen to take notes on the iPad. While this is generally true, the writing tool you need to take notes comes connected to the iPad. If you don’t lose that, you are all set.  Your hand can become the instrument to take notes, or you can get a keyboard if you prefer typing.

Replacement Apple Pens can be expensive. There are cheaper styluses available, but apps like Notability can only use the Apple Pen. It’s critical to take into consideration what tool each item requires. If you don’t have an Apple Pen and can’t afford to replace it, you might not want to get an app like Notability.


Note-taking is a tedious task. Unfortunately, it is one that most people need to do at some point in their lives. The iPad is a great way to document things, and many apps function on this device to make it even easier.

Whether you like organization or disorganized notations, there is an app that will work best for you. All the best notetaking apps for iPads vary in cost and functionality. It is up to you to decide which one will work best for your situation. Note-taking will quickly become a breeze!

About the Author

Nick Patrocky writes SaaS and Business Software reviews. He's also the head of design at a rapidly growing fintech company. Nick's worked with hundreds of software companies and startups over the last 10 years. Reach out if you have any questions or if you'd like to collab.