Best note-taking apps for iPad and Apple Pencil

Best note-taking apps for iPad and Apple Pencil
Whether you're a student who's got the 2019 budget iPad 7 with an Apple Pencil for taking notes in class, or a business owner who can afford the newest iPad Pro, interested in jotting down work-related or personal notes, you may find yourself torn between all the good options for notes apps available.

We'll take a look at some of the most fully-featured notes apps for iPad, and see which is the one to best fit your needs. The apps on this list work great on all iPads with Apple Pencil support.

Best ipad notes apps on this list:

  1. Microsoft OneNote
  2. Notability
  3. GoodNotes 5


Microsoft OneNote

Price: Free | Download

Not only is Microsoft's OneNote completely free, but it covers all the basics most people need from a notes app, with the added bonus of cloud syncing between your devices through OneDrive.

OneNote also supports collaborative work, by allowing for shared notepads. To-do lists such as daily errands, memos and anything else you may need to write can be well organized in pages, sections and notebooks.

The available pen colors and pen settings can help add variety to your notes, while a "Convert to Shapes" mode automatically converts hand drawn shapes such as circles into perfectly regular ones. Support for images and image manipulation, an important feature to many, is also here, and works great.

Notability


Price: $8.99| Download

Notability enjoys great popularity and for good reason, as it's arguably the most feature-packed notes app for iPad.

It supports a large variety of multimedia, not just static images, but GIFs, web pages, scanned textbooks and even audio, and allows for looking up handwritten text, written with precision thanks to the app's fine-tuned digital ink. It's also cloud-syncing your notes via iCloud, all that easily making it the best iPad app for students.

Conveniently, Notablity was also made with multi-tasking in mind, allowing for working with two notes side-by-side, in addition to it having a dedicated Note Switcher for quickly moving between notes, on top of supporting Drag & Drop.

GoodNotes 5


Price: $7.99| Download

GoodNotes 5 is a combination of digital notepad and PDF markup tool, as noted by the App Store editors. It delivers a precise and natural writing experience thanks to its signature vector ink engine.

As the previous apps on this list, it too supports pen colors, thickness and style, as well as easily switching to a highlighter or eraser. Like Notability, GoodNotes 5 too can read your handwriting and allow for searching through it when needed, as well as converting it to text for easy sharing into other apps or even web pages.

This app also supports for two pages to be open side-by-side, and for quick switching between documents using tabs. A tool for easily drawing perfect shapes such as circles and lines is available. As mentioned earlier, GoodNotes supports importing, searching and navigation through PDF files, but it also works with PowerPoint, Word, image files and more.


Honorable mentions
go to the popular and free Evernote app, which is better suited for iPad keyboard users, and the free Notes app that comes with iPad and iPhone. The latter is vastly less advanced than previously mentioned apps, but could easily be good enough for many.

For those looking into more complex apps, I would recommend first trying the free OneNote before buying anything else.

Related phones

iPad Pro 11-inch (2020)
  • Display 11.0 inches
    2388 x 1668 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Dual camera)
    7 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A12Z Bionic, 6GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • OS iPadOS 13.x
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2020)
  • Display 12.9 inches
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  • Camera 12 MP (Dual camera)
    7 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A12Z Bionic, 6GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 9720 mAh
  • OS iPadOS 13.x
iPad 10.2-inch
  • Display 10.2 inches
    2160 x 1620 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    1.2 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A10 Fusion, 3GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB,
  • Battery 8827 mAh
  • OS iPadOS 13.x

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