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Eight great note-taking apps on Windows and on the web

23 mayo, 2021

One of the advantages that came to us thanks to the popularization of laptops is the possibility of using the PC to take notes and notes in classes, meetings, or other situations. The fact that the computer is no longer anchored in a fixed place, such as home or work, now allows it to also fulfill this role as a “notebook”.

Therefore, in this post we want to present you a compilation of the best web and Windows applications that exist to take notes and notes. The idea is to cover all tastes and needs, so we have tried to include as much variety as possible: applications with synchronization, without synchronization, paid, free, “freemium”, and so on.

Let’s go with the compilation after the jump.

<h2>Evernote: multiplataforma, popular y gratuito</h2>
Evernote interface screenshot

We start with one of the most famous note-taking apps out there: Evernote. The main advantage of Evernote is its wide support for multiple platforms, including Android, Windows Phone 7, iPad, among others. Thanks to this and its ability to sync with Cloud And with different devices, we can be sure that our notes will be available anywhere. In addition, its web version is very complete in terms of functions.

Evernote also stands out for its good options for organize notes. It is possible to add descriptive tags, geolocation, indicate the author, etc. Group them according to the date, the type of elements they contain, etc. In addition, with this application it is easy to share notes with third parties since, being synchronized with the web, they can have a Url unique that can be published on Facebook or Twitter.

Another factor to highlight in Evernote is its extensibility and compatibility with third-party apps. There is a gallery from where you can install plug-ins (some free and others paid) to extend the functionality of Evernote, and it also integrates with browsers, mail managers, and more, so that we can easily send information from these programs towards Evernote.

Link | Evernote

<h2>OneNote: el más completo en Windows</h2>
OneNote

We move on to the Microsoft alternative: OneNote, which is included in all editions of Office. Personally, it is the program that I prefer as it brings much more functionality than Evernote. Its main characteristic is the shape in which it allows you to take notes. Instead of writing to it like a word processor, we can click any part of the screen and a floating text box will appear in which you can write, draw, make lists, etc., and that can be moved to either side of the note.

Records audio and video, syncs with the cloud through Office Web Apps, has good drawing and writing tools for tablets, allows you to write mathematical expressions either with the Word equation editor, with a stylus, or with some Latex commands, and it has a “docked mode”, in which it is docked to the right side of the desktop, taking up less space so that we can take notes while using another program (which is useful for summarizing slides, study texts, etc). All of this makes OneNote an ideal tool for students and professionals.

In addition, many of the functions for which in Evernote we must download a plug-in, in OneNote they are integrated by default. Examples of this are the integration with scanners, the power to take screenshots and have them appear immediately in a note, or the indexing voice recordings, which allows you to search for words spoken within a recording once OneNote processes it.

In summary, OneNote far more complete (in terms of functionalities) than Evernote or any other alternative for taking notes in Windows. On the other hand, its cons are 2: it is paid and is available on fewer platforms (Windows, limited Web version, iPhone and Windows Phone). Therefore, if we use an Android phone or have an iPad, we will not be able to have our notes available on those devices, and if we have a Mac we will not be able to use the advanced functions of the Windows version.

Link | OneNote

<h2>Sticky Notes de Windows: para los que solo necesitan algo básico</h2>
Sticky notes

And now we move to the other extreme: from the power of OneNote, to the minimalism of Windows 7 Sticky Notes (also known as Sticky Notes).

For many, the first thing that comes to mind is to discard this tool immediately because it is very basic, but if we are not interested in taking many notes, and rather we want an application just to save a few key things, such as to-do lists, phone numbers, ideas that come to mind on the fly and want to remember later, then with Windows Sticky Notes we have more than enough.

It is possible to organize the different types of notes by colors, and as an interesting detail we have that the Sticky Notes are integrated with the Windows instant search (that is, when you type keywords in the Start Menu, notes will appear, along with the rest of the files).

<h2>Documentos de texto de Google Docs</h2>
Google Docs Lorem Ipsum

Here is another alternative for those who do not want to complicate life. The reality is that for those looking for a simple note app, but with more collaboration possibilities, Google Docs is a pretty good option. We just start writing, we save the note, and it will be available for us to consult from anywhere (unlike Sticky Notes). Another advantage, for those who already use Google Docs, is that they should not learn to use a new tool. It is just giving a new use to something that we currently occupy.

Of course, the serious limitations of this option are 2. First, GDocs does not allow searching inside documents (Something serious, if we consider that even Windows Sticky Notes have a search inside the notes). Therefore, it will cost us more to find specific sentences that we have written, unless we are very organized. Second, we will not be able to access the notes when we are offline, at least until Google implements the offline for GDocs using HTML5.

Link | Google Docs

Upgrade: In the comments they rightly point out that Google’s official note-taking tool is not Google Docs, but rather Google Notebook. It is a somewhat forgotten web service, but I just tested it and the truth is that it is quite good for writing and organizing notes. Being a specialized tool, it offers much better organization options than those of Google Docs: it allows you to tag the notes, add comments to them, group them into sections, and it even has search inside the notes, which is exactly what I criticized Google. Docs.

Google Notebook

It also lets us export them in HTML, or directly to Google Docs. The only problem that I keep seeing is that it makes it impossible for us to access the notes when we do not have connectivity.

Link | Google Notebook

<h2>Simplenote + ResophNotes: otra opción simple, pero con más opciones de organización</h2>
Simplenote

If we want something simple, and at the same time we are willing to use a tool that does not come pre-installed in Windows (such as Sticky Notes), nor do we currently use it for other purposes (such as Google Docs), it is recommended to opt for the double Simplenote + ResophNotes.

Simplenote is a webapp, with a Mac-style interface, which has the basic options for take, organize and share notes. It has search within the notes, allows you to tag them, or share / publish the notes with a Url only. Also, it appears that Simplenote has a API very good, so there are dozens of applications on all platforms that are integrated with it, and they help us to access the notes saved here.

One of those applications is ResophNotes. It works in Windows and has exactly the same functions as Simplenote on the web, with the advantage that it is possible to access the notes while offline. This is the option that I recommend to those who are not looking for anything complex when it comes to taking notes, since it mixes the best of the other 2 alternatives I mentioned before: the simplicity and integration with Sticky Notes search, plus synchronization with the cloud and the Google Docs sharing facility.

In Genbeta | ResophNotes, take simple notes and sync them to the cloud
Links | Simplenote | ResophNotes

<h2>Gumnotes: un híbrido entre notas y recordatorios</h2>
Gumnotes

Despite all the differences, up to now all the applications that I have discussed have a relatively similar approach: being there for when we want to write something down, or consult what we wrote before.

Gumnotes it goes a bit out of that scheme. It allows us to write notes and attach them to web pages, documents, emails, etc. When we visit that file or web page again, the note that we wrote and attached before will appear as a pop-up, so that we keep in mind what we pointed out before.

To add an attached note, we just right click on the Gumnotes icon (while we are viewing an email or document) and select the option “New note with Gum-Effect”. What we write will be linked to the title of that window, so that it will appear when we open the same file again.

The idea behind this is to emulate the usefulness of post-its in real life, which we can paste on top of a letter or document to make sure that when we take that paper again we cannot ignore the note that we have added. A very interesting concept, without a doubt.

Link | Gumnotes

<h2>Springpad: una web app potente para tomar notas con estilo</h2>
Springpad

With Springpad we return to the group of the most complete applications, such as Evernote or OneNote.
Springpad has an interface based on panels, in which the different types of notes that we have saved are shown: text notes, check lists, important notes, etc. It has a product finder so that we can attach things like movies, restaurants, or other items to the notes.

In addition, Springpad is very strong in the section of collaboration. It is very easy to share a note with other people, and also each note leaves space to attach other elements, such as files or comments, and thus let it become a kind of discussion forum. It even comes with a panel called “board” where you can drag and drop post-it notes, or other elements, as if it were a panel on the wall. Its note search is excellent too, including both instant search and more advanced filtering options.

It does not have an application for Windows, but it is hardly necessary because It has offline mode through its web app for Chrome. Personally I think that, despite being very complete, it is not so much used for things like taking notes in class or in a meeting, but for planning things with other people or brainstorming. The collaborative is its strength.

In Genbeta | Springpad is renewed, and we face it against Evernote
Link | Springpad

<h2>RedNotebook: un diario de vida digital</h2>
RedNotebook

We close this collection with RedNotebook, another application that goes a little out of …