Best note-taking apps for Android

May 10, 2012

Technology has developed rapidly over the course of the last few years, paving a way for innovation and establishing itself on a pedestal. Gone are the days when bringing a sticky note or a pad with you helped you to keep track of your tasks and assignments. Now, you just need your device and you’ll never miss those important dates again.

Because our devices are vital to our everyday lives, the Google Play Store is absolutely brimming with note-taking apps. We’ve put together a list of the top note-taking apps for your Android device, so you’ll never have an excuse to not take notes again.

Evernote

No doubt, the first thing you will see when searching for a note app for your Android device is Evernote. It has the highest number of downloads and is voted as one of the must-have Android app by New York Times, making it the most popular note-taking application. Evernote has amazed a lot of its users with its simplicity and functionality. Practically, it’s available for every platform. You can save your file on your desktop and sync it to different devices such as your iPhone or your BlackBerry for viewing or editing.

One of Evernote’s main features is the ability to take photos so you can attach it to your notes for reference. You can also share your notes with your colleagues via email or Facebook. Tweets can also be saved in Evernote. Evernote can also record voice reminders, so you won’t forget the important dates. Evernote’s downside, however, is being unable to access your saved files without an Internet connection. For offline access, you’ll need to sign up for Evernote’s premium service at US$45 per year.

ColorNote Notepad Notes

If you are looking for the electronic version of a Post It, then this app has got to be it. Its simple UI and user-friendly menu makes it a perfect choice for people always on the go. Creating a note is as simple as one-two-three. ColorNote Notepad Notes comes with tiny, beautiful widgets which make it convenient to scribble anytime of the day while giving you the ultimate freedom to choose the color of the note. If you’re going shopping, use ColorNote Notepad Notes to make sure that you’ve got all the items you need. If you want, you could also secure your notes with a password, called a Locknote, which is very important especially if you will be storing confidential information. It surely does what it is expected of a notepad and best of all, you don’t have to spend a cent to own it.

Catch Notes Notepad

If a simple and elegant interface is what you seek in a note app, Catch Notes is definitely the answer. Catch Notes doesn’t only look visually pleasing but it also has a functional dashboard for quick access to features. It enables you to attach multiple photos and voice recordings in one note. You can also enabled Catch Notes to send you important reminders. Searching for notes had never been so easy until Catch Notes; you can filter your search results alphabetically, by stars or by tags.

The free version of Catch Notes can create up to 3 streams for sharing notes and working with other contributors. You have the option to upgrade the app to Catch Pro, allowing you to create 10 streams and attach Office/PDF files or Catch Premier for up to 50 maximum streams and 5 MB storage of new information monthly. You won’t ever worry about running out of storage space for your notes.

http://youtu.be/oedZIDm44c4

AK Notepad

Another excellent app from developer Catch.com is AK Notepad. Users have been raving about how astonishingly simple yet very handy and operative it is. Many have tried downloading various note apps but ended up deleting everything except this one. You have the freedom to change its theme according to your preference. You can import and export the notes, set up a password and securely back notes up on Catch.com, or have them saved on your SD card. This means you can download your notes anytime and anywhere you want. Speed and interaction is very commendable.

AK Notepad comes with wonderful widgets and you can always pin your favorite and important notes on the homescreen. You won’t have to root around to find that note that you really need. The things you can’t do, though, is resizing the widgets. AK Notepad has minimal size options and lacks the ability to place your notes in folders but otherwise, AK Notepad is perfect for typing those random notes or thoughts. Best of all, AK Notepad is free.

Note Everything

Created by developer SoftXPerience, Note Everything is great for everyday use, especially during times when you need to take notes. Note Everything does what it is told to do, from creating text and voice notes to drawing with your finger and making to-do lists. It consistently saves your files, fast, without any questions, and opens a file right away.

Although it allows you to email and text your notes, this is not an app for advanced users as it has no sync and export function. This may be something you’ll want to consider, especially if you intend to share your work and collaborate with others. Regardless, a lot of users find themselves upgrading to Note Everything’s paid subscription. It enables password protection for your notes and lets you stick your memos to the status bar. The best thing about Note Everything is you could share your notes with the Dropbox application so you have a copy of your notes anywhere you go.

InkPad Notepad – Notes – To do

You’ll completely enjoy having the InkPad NotePad app on your device. This app is user-friendly and just like on real paper, you don’t have to press anything just to save your note. Its auto-save feature makes it stand out from the rest of the pack and lets you type anything you want without worrying about saving it.

The free version of InkPad NotePad supports unlimited synchronizing and has a history feature when you use it online. Oh, and the synchronizing feature is automatic; you don’t have to do it manually every time you finish composing a note. The app also has an auto-rotate screen setting, which is uncommon for note-taking apps. InkPad NotePad’s sorting style makes it very convenient for the user because of its list system. Simply check or uncheck your notes to delete them or to move them to the bottom. This app has a relatively small file size, occupying only 19 kB, which is perfect if you’re only after a simple note-taking app.

Note Pad

Does the name sound familiar? There’s no reason for you to forget that grocery list or those very important meeting schedules as you can store all those details in the palm of your hand. That is, unless you forgot to bring your phone.

Note Pad by developer www.Freewarelovers.com perfectly mimics the concept of a real writing pad. You can tweak the app to a text size of your choice and easily sort your notes out. Note Pad also has the ability to import and export your notes from your SD card. You can send your notes via email to make sure you’ve got a back up or to share them with friends and co-workers. There are no hidden ads in Note Pad, nor does it request any bogus, questionable permissions. Note Pad is not perfect, however. It’s so simple and straightforward that it lacks some essential features. Password protection or encryption is especially important for users who like to store personal information on their mobile devices. Note Pad could also benefit greatly from a sync feature.

Mobisle Notes-Notepad

Another wonderful note-taking app is Mobisle Notes-Notepad by Mobisle Apps who have also made Mobisle Notes-Gdocs Notepad. This app also features a very simple, back to basic note pad, enabling you to write down notes, ideas, schedules and to-do lists in a blink. You can organize your notes in folders and secure passwords. Mobisle Notes-Notepad also has a global search box if you are having difficulty searching through your vast collection of notes. If you’re done with a note, you can just delete it by checking it off. You can share your notes with your friends online via a URL. You can also collaborate with them on a project. Mobisle Notes-Notepad has automatic sync features which is great for shared notes. It also has the added feature of converting numbers into clickable links for dial or save options. Mobisle Notes-Notepad’s drawback, however, is that you need to pay around US$2 to have an ad-free app. The app however is more than worth it.

Notes

From the word itself, Notes is a replica of the common notepad we have on our desktops. Made by Dev Yuli, Notes’ major features include importing notes from SMS, photo notes, and encryption. Notes has great backup support and gives you the option to export data to your memory card. It also runs very smoothly, but needs a little improvement in its interface.

Notes features easy access for opening, deleting and editing notes and a built-in reminder function. You can label your notes for easy organization and have them protected with a password. Notes is a basic app built for people who don’t want note-taking to feel like a chore. You don’t even need to read through how to’s as Notes is very simple to use. Notes’ cons are the inability to send your notes via email and sync them online. You can only keep your Notes to yourself, which might be a drawback when you need to share your notes and work on them with others.

GNotes

Wondering what the G means? You guessed it. GNotes is a note-taking/organizer app that allows easy synchronization with your Gmail account. You just need to set up your account and voila, every note you enter is stored in your Gmail account, allowing you to easily share your notes online with family and friends. GNotes lets you do a lot of things, from image drawing to painting. You can attach audio or video files. GNotes supports a lot of file types and gives the user the flexibility to choose between list view and thumbnail view. Users can also arrange their notes according to priorities. You can stick a single note on your home screen–perfect for those important appointments you should never miss. GNotes has an elegant, minimalistic interface, and lets you create folders to organize your notes. GNotes is highly recommended for users who like to stream their notes.

With so many note-taking apps on the Google Play Store to choose from, leave that bulky notebook at home and keep your notes with you, everywhere you go. If your favorite note-taking app didn’t make it to the list, share it with us in the comments below.

Comments

  • Kamran Haikal

    no springpad? really?

  • Tim_bb

    Amazing apps

  • http://webweenie.blogspot.com/ Stephen A.

    GNotes looks like a winner to me, and the price is right too!

  • olbp

    You didn’t even rate the app in the Galaxy Note. You missed a winner, even if it can’t be run on anything but the Note.

  • Dude

    Ak

  • ColinT

    Still a ways to go for use in a business environment. Need an Android version of Awesome Notes HD ….need to be able to have templates eg for meeting minutes; good to have a calendar that has your meetings and then you add in the minutes. You need to have typed text and the ability to hand draw diagrams/pictures in the one note. Then I need to insert action items within the note that have alarms. Sure, add photos and voice memos, location of notes, auto date stamping, ability to email, share, export to gdrive, dropbox etc.
    And definitely need to be designed for ICS Tablet …got to look sleek, modern, sharp and not like its for kids cartoons or old style scribing.
    Cannot be restriction like Catch in terms of storage etc.
    Got be alot more useful than just making shopping lists….think business applications, life projects, research projects, documenting life events.

    • Tim Mcbride

      Which app to you currently use or have you found that none of them meet your criteria?

      • Colint

        I’m using Gnotes at the moment which is OK but still on the lookout for something more sophisticated and more ready for business.

  • bflower

    SPRINGPAD. Seriously, folks. How could you leave it out? I like it better than Evernote.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GQEZYSKL4RWLGEJKFR5CTJZ7DM Cjbon

    Evernote for me and SecretVaultpro if I want encrypted notepad.

  • http://twitter.com/DataSymphony DataSymphony

    I tried about 30 note taking, tasks and outliner apps for Android – all the top ones. Some of the note apps are quite good, but don’t support hierarchies (just Notepads and Notes). Outliners do support hierarchies but I couldn’t find a decent one for Android. So, we had to develop our own Notes and Tasks app – Memability. Check it out on Google Play Store – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=au.com.ds.ma – it’s FREE. For more details visit
    http://memability.com

    • nerys

      sure. but it only works on 4.0 eliminating most users and it has no sync (google sync zero interest in yet “one more account” anywhere else.

  • thatsme

    MyShelf is missing…

    • tu

      stuck

  • dfhdg

    Still a ways to go for use in a business environment. Need an Android version of Awesome Notes HD ….need to be able to have templates eg for meeting minutes; good to have a calendar that has your meetings and then you add in the minutes. You need to have typed text and the ability to hand draw diagrams/pictures in the one note. Then I need to insert action items within the note that have alarms. Sure, add photos and voice memos, location of notes, auto date stamping, ability to email, share, export to gdrive, dropbox etc.

  • blknight2

    I’m looking for a note pad were I can take the note on the computer and transfer it to my phone as an editable note… not a pix

    • AJ2449

      Google Drive will do that.
      Any notes you make from your computer are accessible from your phone or tablet, using the Google Drive App.

  • Vladimir Volodin

    I found a kinda new app which I really like – m> notes notepad. I loved the stickers you can attach to your notes and overall style, reminds me of Bamboo for iOS which is pretty cool. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.devmiles.mnotes&feature=more_from_developer

  • nerys

    what I want is a nice updated program that LOOKS like Mobisle Notes-Notepad that has a nice widget (again super simple and clean not fancy) AND syncs to google. I have ZERO interest in yet another account somewhere else.

    Right now I use tasks and todo’s and it syncs PERFECTLY and TRANSPARENTLY

    when I install on a reset device or a new device once I “link” with google once its seamless and transparent. all my stuff is simply their.

    I just want something a little “cleaner and simpler”

  • JerrySkywalker

    two copies. Anywho long story short I tried to format my memory card and
    ended up deleting everything on my phone. Tried to get them back but to
    no avail. Evernote was my fave and probably still is but I need a note
    taking app that not only backs up your notes (Gnotes, evernote and Catch
    etc) But I need an app and a program that lets me BACKUP extract and
    EXPORT all of my notes manually without using there services. For
    example once a month I will drag and drop or export the notes and save
    them as a .doc or a pdf on my PC. I would love to find a program to do
    that. Google Notes (Gnotes) sounded the most promising for this but the
    3rd review I read someone wrote he lost ALL his apps and this being the
    3rd time I lost everything (first time on a palm second on an iphone) I
    dont need to a program that will be counter intuitive by not letting me
    manually back up in plain text (I dont need oics date stamps I dont care
    about those) my notes. I had a few movie scripts I just started on as
    well as a few months of stand up material and a bunch of improv scenes.
    Thank goodness i remembered most of them so I rewrote them on my
    standard Android note taking app. If you can export notes in Evernote or
    gmail I would love a quick walkthrough or how to guide. I am not the
    most tech savvy person but I could follow a basic set of instructions.
    Thank you all very much! It is much appreciated =]

  • JerrySkywalker

    I was wondering if anyone here knows of a app for android that lets you manually EXPORT all of your notes onto your PC not using software. Like a manual back up. two copies one being on their server and one of my own backup. I love Evernote and its probably my fave note taking app but I recently had a bad experience. Long story short I tried to format my memory card and
    ended up deleting everything on my phone. Tried to get my notes back but to
    no avail. Evernote was my fave and probably still is but I need a note
    taking app that not only backs up your notes (Gnotes, evernote and Catch
    etc) But I need an app and a program that lets me BACKUP extract and
    EXPORT all of my notes manually without using there services. For
    example once a month I will drag and drop or export the notes and save
    them as a .doc or a pdf on my PC. I would love to find a program or a note taking app that lets me do
    that. Google Notes (Gnotes) sounded the most promising for this but the
    3rd review I read someone wrote he lost ALL his apps and this being the
    3rd time I lost everything (first time on a palm second on an iphone) I
    dont need to a program that will be counter intuitive by not letting me
    manually back up in plain text (I dont need pics date stamps I dont care
    about those) my notes. I had a few movie scripts I just started on as
    well as a few months of stand up material and a bunch of improv scenes.
    Thank goodness i remembered most of them so I rewrote them on my
    standard Android note taking app. If you can export notes in Evernote or
    gmail I would love a quick walkthrough or how to guide. I am not the
    most tech savvy person but I could follow a basic set of instructions.
    Thank you all very much! It is much appreciated =]

  • Joe

    Where is Note Monger? It’s the best to me, just straightforward notes. Fast & easy

  • tom

    Why are there no Android apps which use handwriting recognition similar to iNotes. I’m trying to stay away from Apple and it’s getting difficult.

  • Martin

    Also try out Note l!st, it’s created to be a simple nice looking app for writing down notes, uses folders for organizing your notes.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cubeactive.qnotelistfree

    I Created it and will continue to improve the app, so ideas and feedback is welcome.

  • rykellim

    Hi, is there any note app that allows me to use my Samsung S Pen to actually WRITE (not text only) and scribble on it?

  • Buneme
  • Bidule

    I advise Memability. It’s a great note app offering unlimited hierarchy support. The user can create notes inside notes, organize them as if they where folders, and move them around really easily. I use it for a bit everything but mainly for handling lists of notes or my grocery list. In my “Grocery” note I use subnotes as products which I move to a “storage” note as soon as I bought them. Super convenient! Also the design is really neat and user-friendly, you can synchronize with Google Tasks, so you can keep your notes up-to-date on all your devices at all time… It’s doing effectively what it is supposed to do. My favorite app on my phone nowadays.

  • @multilingual50

    I can’t believe you missed TalkNotes Plus. It is the only notes app that attaches notes to the contact. My notes are attached to the conversation thread, plus I can do all this while talking to my customers.

  • Hari

    Here is an app I developed that secures the notes. Also allows you to communicate the notes to trusted contacts you add. Uses public key cryptography. It is stand alone and does not talk to any servers to store the notes. GMail is used to send the secured notes to your contacts.

    https://play.google.com/store/search?q=pub:Harisankar%20Krishna%20Swamy

    Best,
    Hari

  • Hari

    To encrypt notes I recently created an app called Celatum. It also
    allows you to add trusted contacts using public key cryptography.
    Encrypted notes can be sent to these contacts in a jiffy. GMail is the
    preferred channel for communication.

    AES 256 bit session keys are
    used for notes in transition which means that there is no single key to
    encrypt notes in transit. Also, public key cryptography and digital
    signatures ensure that only your contacts can see the notes.

    Celatum for android is available at
    https://play.google.com/store/search?q=pub:Harisankar%20Krishna%20Swamy

  • Xavier

    How about a hierarchy note taking app.
    TREE NOTE
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=tree.note

    • anumberone

      Treenote appears to offer the most promise here for what I’m looking for – a PIM-like app for Android tablets. I have used a ton of PIM software over the years and find most are similar in features. The ultimate PIM for Android would be like Treenote BUT also include the ability to embed spreadsheets (locally or online via Google Docs, Dropbox, etc.), how powerful import/export functions to not limit you to a platform, being able to sort the spreadsheet by columns, being able to embed images to a note AND being able to add different notes to a parts of an image (such as a land survey, architectural drawing, etc.) that I decide. So far, nothing in the market approaches this and most all Apps out there look like tools created for PCs in the early 1980s….

      • anumberone

        Sigh….still looking. Why are so many Apps so amateurish in features?

  • Edgar Liu

    How about Yodanote,WYSIWYG Editor on Android (standard HTML format,with JavaScript)

    Card-style browsing and eding,Real RichText format,customizable Note Background

    Video Online
    http://youtu.be/FsdwTZkB-x8