Smartphones are a great way to take notes. They’re always in your pocket, can be brought up in a flash, and store notes indefinitely. Of course, you don’t want just any note taking apps – you deserve only the best Android has to offer, like these six options.
Also Helpful: need an app to take notes on your iPhone? Check out these top iOS note taking apps.
1. Best Overall: Evernote
Price: Free / starting at $10.83 per month
Evernote is one of the most famous note taking apps and has been around for years. It’s a cloud-based application by default and works very well cross-platform. It also comes with a great selection of features, and a variety of integrations.
With Evernote, you can create notes, task lists, sketches, or audio files. You can also upload images or attachments to the cloud, save web clips, or share your notes with other users to coordinate ideas. Evernote lets you organize your data into notebooks or use tags to make finding notes with related content easier. You can even integrate it with Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar (coming soon) to keep up with deadlines and reminders.
A big highlight here is that the notes feature lets you include formatting just like within a word processor. You can also use the numerous built-in templates to create a starting point for your note. It’s fairly straightforward to use, especially if you’re familiar with apps like Google Docs. Best of all, you can use Evernote keyboard shortcuts when you access the app from a computer.
- Notes can be formatted without using Markdown
- Great search feature
- Customizable home screen with multiple widget options
- Available for multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac
- Not all features are available for free
- No real-time collaboration
- No offline storage
- No scanning capabilities
2. Best for Google Users: Keep Notes
Google Keep is the perfect, completely-free Android note taking app for anyone okay with the basics. You don’t have the same formatting options as you do with Evernote and a few other Android note taking apps. At the same time, though, you can make notes, checklists, and even include images in a note.
However, this app is an especially brilliant choice if you own a Google Assistant device like the Nest Mini or Nest Hub. If you set a note to become a reminder, your phone will automatically inform the Google Assistant. When the reminder’s time comes, Google Assistant will notify you alongside your phone. You can also see any notes on your Google Nest Hub, which is an excellent feature if you store recipes or similar items in Google Keep.
Unfortunately, Keep is tied to Google, meaning it won’t play nicely with rival products. However, if you enjoy Google products (and owning an Android is a good first step), this shouldn’t be a problem. You can even access your notes from your computer and use Google Keep keyboard shortcuts to make edits.
- Ability to type notes or draw them
- Notes sync to Google account
- Can add images or checklists
- Offline access available
- Available on multiple platforms through Google account
- Limited formatting options
- Not compatible with other apps outside Google family
Tip: compare Google Keep, Evernote, and Bear to decide which app will best meet your needs.
3. Best for Microsoft Users: Microsoft OneNote
Price: Free / starting at $6.99 per month (Microsoft 365 subscription)
For those who prefer Microsoft products, Microsoft OneNote is a great note taking app that works with Android and other operating systems. It easily connects with Word, Excel, Outlook, and other Microsoft programs, and you can share your notes with others anytime.
Unlike other Android note taking apps, OneNote organizes everything for you into “notebooks.” You can even break down the organization more by creating separate sections in each notebook, then adding notes to that section. You can also move notes into different sections or different notebooks at any time and use OneNote templates for easy formatting.
OneNote is also very feature rich. You can add images, record audio files, and format the text within each note. The search feature within the app also makes it easy to locate notes based on keywords you can recall. You can even save individual notes as PDF files so you can email or print them.
- Notes can be formatted
- Great search feature
- Supports speech-to-text dictation
- Supports offline editing
- Not easy to transfer outside of Microsoft
- No scanning feature
- Requires Microsoft 365 subscription to access full feature set
4. Best for Mixed Media Notes: FiiNote
Price: Free / starting at $0.5 per month
If you want an Android note taking app that lets you quickly jump between forms of media, try FiiNote. It’s designed to seamlessly make the transition between the same note’s many media formats (text, handwriting, doodle, images, video, audio). You can also adjust the text size, highlight important parts of your note, scan barcodes, and more.
Although FiiNote markets itself based on the variety of media options, one of FiiNote’s other biggest selling points is its variety of free template options. Unlike most other note taking apps, FiiNote lets you choose between notebook paper, to-do lists, daily planners, and more. You can even upload your own background to serve as a template if you want.
Because of the variety of media options and complexities within the app, FiiNote is not a great application for basic note taking. If you need a quick app for your shopping list, you’ll find that FiiNote has more features than you need. However, this complex note taking app does the job for people who want to take equally-complex notes.
- Available across all OS and can share notes between devices
- Includes a barcode scanner
- Can sort notes based on several criteria
- Includes search feature
- Can sort notes into notebooks
- Not the most straightforward app to navigate
- Notes not transferrable to other applications
- No dark mode available
- Free version includes ads
Good to know: not all note taking apps support Markdown, so you’ll need to download a Markdown editor for Android or iOS.
5. Best for Organization: Bundled Notes
Price: Free / starting at $1.93 per month
Bundled Notes is a note taking app for Android that supports various organization options for your thoughts and sorting notes. The app prioritizes organization by asking you to create bundles to sort your notes into. Within the bundles, you can add tags, stylize them into kanban-style boards, pin specific notes, and add other forms of media like images or videos.
This note taking app also offers a variety of features within the note taking function. For example, you can use Markdown to format your notes or select options from the formatting bar at the bottom of the screen. You can also format links, create checklists, and more.
Bundled Notes is a great choice for anyone who likes well-organized notes they can recall based on topic. The number of ways you can organize and display bundles of notes far surpasses anything else on this list. Unfortunately, the free version places limits on the number of bundles and notes you can create.
- Allows tags and multiple view options for bundles
- Can add reminders and notifications to notes
- No option to draw or handwrite
- No options to share notes with others
- Doesn’t support cross-platform transfers
6. Best for Security: Standard Notes
Most of the time people use note taking apps to keep grocery lists or write reminders for later. However, not all notes are that simple. If you are storing sensitive information in an app on your phone, then you’ll want to check out Standard Notes.
Unlike virtually any other note taking app for Android, Standard Notes provides multiple security options for users. These measures include end-to-end encryption, two-factor authentication, and password protection on individual notes.
Unfortunately, the app’s features are quite limited in the free version. If you’re willing to pay for a subscription, however, you can write notes in rich text, Markdown, checklists, code, or even spreadsheets. You can also view revision history on notes, lock notes down so they can’t be edited, and access notes across multiple devices.
- Sort notes with tags and folders
- Access notes across multiple devices and operating systems
- Any note formats beyond plain text require paid subscription
- Some reviews say there can be glitches at times
FYI: are you missing any of these essential Android apps on your phone? Check our list.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Android come with a built-in note taking app?
Although Android doesn’t have an equivalent to the Notes app on iOS, most Android phones have Google Keep installed.
Can I use a stylus with a note taking app?
You can use a stylus with any Android note taking app. However, you’ll get the most use out of it with an app that supports handwriting, like Evernote, OneNote, or FiiNote.
Can I use Android note taking apps without internet access?
Not all note taking apps store information directly on your device. If an app only stores data on the cloud, you likely won’t be able to access your notes without internet access.
Image credit:. All screenshots by Megan Glosson.
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