Digital note-taking is a must-have skill nowadays. You already carry your Android phone everywhere, right? There is no point in carrying an extra notepad when you can install a notepad app.
But there are so many Android note-taking apps to choose from, And they’re not all the same, therefore it’s important to choose the right one if you want to be an efficient digital note-taker.
Here are the best free note-taking apps for Android, plus a few tips to help you decide which one is the best fit for your needs.
After Microsoft OneNote was 100% free in 2015, it exploded in popularity as users flocked to it. It has since established itself as one of the most useful, full-featured and powerful note-taking apps for Android devices.
There are many lesser-known features of Microsoft OneNote, such as clipping from the web, inserting multimedia files, marking and searching for notes, drawing with your finger, and more. Despite all that, it has an easy learning curve. Plus, it looks clean and modern.
Who should use this app? Microsoft OneNote is the perfect multipurpose powerhouse for collecting and organizing long-term data like recipes, story ideas, and lecture notes. It is also a great note-taking app for programmers. Not very good for one-off tasks and reminders. A smart choice for those who regularly use Microsoft Office.
These days, I consider Dropbox Paper to be the best note-taking app for Android. Microsoft OneNote still wins in terms of sheer power and features, but Dropbox Paper strikes a fine balance between usability, intuitiveness, collaboration, appearance, and performance.
Dropbox Paper is a notes app that stores every note in the cloud in your Dropbox account. Cloud storage means your notes can be accessed on any device, anywhere, as long as you have internet access. If you don’t have internet access, you can still edit while offline and changes will sync once you’re back online.
Yes, you need a free Dropbox account to use Dropbox Paper! But it’s worth it.
Other notable features include note sharing and online collaboration (so your friends and family can view and edit notes with you), folders for organization, checklists, deadlines, annotations and comments, and integration with other productivity tools like calendar and Google Docs.
Who should use this app? Pretty much anyone except power users and those who prefer to take notes via a stylus or pen. Dropbox Paper is both simple but powerful, and is perfect for most users.
TickTick is technically a to-do list app, but it has some neat features that allow it to be used like a notes app if you prefer.
That is, each item in one of your to-do lists has a “Description” field that you can use to keep records associated with that item. Combined with folders, subtasks, tags, sorting, and searching, TickTick can be a very powerful application for taking notes and managing notes.
Other useful features include a built-in calendar view, task reminders, voice input, white noise generator, productivity timer using the Pomodoro technique, and real-time collaborative editing.
Who should use this app? Anyone who needs strong to-do list capabilities in addition to the note-taking feature. TickTick can function as a two-in-one app, allowing you to keep all your digital data in one place and clear your phone of unnecessary apps.
Evernote held the throne for several years before Microsoft’s explosive popularity of OneNote, mainly because it was the first multi-purpose note-taking app to hit mobile devices.
It’s still a great option for power users, but Evernote isn’t that special anymore. Sure, it has lots of interesting features like web clipping, scan text in photos, cross-device synchronization, and powerful search support. It’s not as differentiated as it once was, especially with its pricing model.
Evernote Basic has a monthly upload limit of 60MB, a maximum note size of 25MB, a limit on the number of devices that can be installed, no collaborative features, and other limitations. For full functionality, Evernote Premium starts at $7.99/mo.
Who should use this app? Evernote fulfills many of the same needs as Microsoft OneNote, but its best features are locked behind a paywall and it’s a major deciding factor between Evernote and OneNote. If you really don’t like Microsoft OneNote but need the same level of power, then go with Evernote.
FiiNote is a multipurpose note-taking application that is similar to Microsoft OneNote and Evernote, but not very popular. It has support for typed and handwritten notes, along with a number of other advanced features.
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Calendar? Check. Multimedia attachments and audio recordings? Check. Deep organization? Unlimited canvas? Template notes? Revision history? All checks. The interface is a bit bland but very functional. Very easy to use, even on small screen smartphones.
Who should use this app? I consider FiiNote to be an inferior version of Microsoft OneNote and Evernote. If both offer too much for you, then you might be happy with this one.
Google Keep is great for quick notes and reminders. Need a shopping list? Want to keep track of assignments for a weekend project? Prefer to search for notes rather than browse through folders?
At first, Google Keep might feel weird and unlike any other note-taking app you’ve ever used, but give it a try. There’s a good reason why it does things the way it does, and once you’ve completed that initial learning curve, you’ll begin to be able to use Google Keep in productive, creative ways.
Who should use this app? Anyone who cares more about organizing daily tasks and reminders than long-term archives of in-depth notes and files. Especially useful for those who are closely related to the Google ecosystem, including Google Drive and Google Docs.
ColorNote is a lot like Google Keep: simplicity is the name of the game and its main focus is on offering the same kind of quick convenience you get from real-life sticky notes. Take a short message, color code it, and you’re done.
What I like most about ColorNote is its widget options. You can have a widget with direct note editing access, or you can have a shortcut widget that opens a specific note. Two types of notes are supported: lined notes and checklists.
Who should use this app? This app only serves one purpose. If you need a quick note that’s temporary, it’s perfect. If you need to archive records for long-term storage, skip it. ColorNote is too simple for that.
Omni Notes reminds me of the Evernote mobile app from a few years ago: simple but not minimal, clean and fun to use, complete with all the basic features you’d expect from a note-taking app but nothing more. In short, Omni Notes is solid.
Some of the more notable features: the ability to merge notes, batch editing of notes, quick access widgets, color coding, sketch-note mode for drawing, and Google Assistant integration that lets you write notes simply by saying “write a note.” [teks] ]. “
Who should use this app? It is a lightweight application designed to be fast and fast without sacrificing too much organizational capability. It’s also one of the few note-taking apps for Android that’s open-source, which could be a big draw for some users.
As the name implies, Simplenote is one of the lightest note taking apps for Android. If you’re tired of overly bloated apps with features you’ll never use, give Simplenote a try.
This means that Simplenote has no intention of being a powerhouse, all-note-in-one app. It has some organizational features, like note tags, but if you plan to store thousands of notes, look elsewhere. Quick and easy is the name of the game here.
Backup, sync, and sharing are all available if you create a free Simplenote account.
Who should use this app? Simplenote is all about speed and efficiency. This is especially good for older phones that don’t have the hardware to keep up with modern, feature-packed apps. Use it if you just want your notes app to stay out of the way.
Squid is a vector-based note-taking app for Android that avoids typing for handwriting. Using an active pen, stylus, or even your finger, you can write your notes instead of cramping your thumb on the keyboard. (But typed notes are possible if you need them.)
Squid can import PDFs, allowing you to bookmark them however you like and then save them again. You can also cast notes to a TV or projector using a Chromecast or other device that supports wireless streaming with Miracast.
Who should use this app? If you hate typing and prefer to write notes by hand, this is the right app for you. Unlimited paper sizes, vector-based doodles, and lots of flexibility. An active pen or stylus with a tablet is highly recommended.
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