Of all the apps on your smartphone or computer, there is a strong likelihood that your note-taking app of choice is one of the most used. For so many, having a note-taking app available whenever, wherever is indispensable. That’s why you need a cross-platform option, but which one do you choose? Let’s take at look at the best cross-platform note-taking apps below.
If you have ever looked up note-taking apps before, there is a strong chance you have already come across Evernote. Support for text, audio and video notes help make Evernote one of the most robust options. That it works across almost any platform you can think of including apps for Mac, Windows, Android and iOS makes it a fantastic choice for everyone. Linux users even have an option with a number of open-source choices that are even advertised by Evernote as supported.
Throw in a web-clipper for good measure and you can save entire webpages to your notebooks for offline access. Subscribe to one of the premium plans and you can integrate Evernote into Google Drive, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Slack and more. Perhaps the only downside to Evernote is that it is almost too feature-rich making it the best choice for those who want everything but the kitchen sink.
2. Microsoft OneNote
Another unsurprising name on this list is Microsoft’s OneNote. Often regarded as Evernote’s biggest rival, or vice-versa, OneNote is available across Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and the Web. The feature list is lengthy, with almost everything you could want in a note-taking app. There is a variety of text-formatting options as well as a drawing tool. This drawing tool is one of the reasons OneNote is tremendously popular with college students who can draw charts or visuals while in lectures.
Security-conscious users have reason to look to OneNote as they are confident that it keeps their data as secure as the rest of Microsoft’s network. Another feather in OneNote’s cap is its price. Unlike most note-taking apps that require a subscription or one-time cost to sync devices or back up notes, OneNote is 100% free.
A one-time favorite that doesn’t get nearly the credit it deserves, Simplenote is beautifully named. Focusing on a minimal interface, Simplenote’s primary selling point is that its interface is clear and lacks extra buttons, features, options, etc. What it lacks in advanced features it more than makes up for in its cross-platform support. One of the lone note-taking clients to provide direct Linux support, it also includes iOS, Android, Mac, Windows and an online interface.
When the question does turn to features, Simplenote focuses on the basics like tagging and search to help users find historical entries. Notes can be exported into a variety of document types. Syncing is completely free and with such strong parent support in WordPress founder, Automattic, that there is plenty of reason to believe Simplenote will be around for years to come.
Notion is less a note-taking app as it is a note-taking experience. Unlike most apps on this list, Notion is an all-in-one workspace where notes are just one piece of the pie. Notion can do everything from a checklist to supporting more than 30 different media type uploads and Notion templates. Where Notion separates itself is the addition of a Kanban board for organization and collaborative work, a calendar, spreadsheets, databases and more.
Notion is really trying to be a one-size-fits-all experience. Judging from user feedback, it works extremely well. Even with all of its features, Notion still manages to keep a clutter-free interface that allows you to focus on the work. Drag-and-drop allows you to easily outline ideas and then rearrange them in any order. All of this plus so much more is available across Mac, Windows, Android, iOS and the web.
5. Standard Notes
Another option that often works in Evernote and OneNote shadows, Standard Notes is a smart option for anyone valuing privacy. Featuring end-to-end encryption. The open-source nature of Standard Notes has made it hugely popular in note-taking circles. With markdown support, Standard Notes is powerful while maintaining a simplified interface that focuses on writing. The app also prides itself on taking up less user resources (think RAM) than its competitors.
Extensions, which require a subscription, can help increase the level of usability. Options like infinite undo, themes, two-factor authentication are all available for a small cost. Fortunately, reliable syncing and support for every platform including Linux is completely free. If you want to give yourself even more peace of mind, download daily backups. You can then save your work to Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive for a little extra security.
Note-taking apps are often regarded as a dime a dozen. However, finding a reliable app that is truly cross-platform isn’t easy. Too often these days developers are only focused on Windows or Mac or Android or iOS. That is bad news for someone who uses an Android device and a Windows computer. The good news is that there are still some excellent options. What’s your favorite cross-platform note-taking app?
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