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The best note-taking apps on Android: in-depth comparison

23 mayo, 2021

They say that the best camera is the one you always carry with you, and the same applies to notepads. It is useless to have a fabulous agenda if you do not carry it with you when the ideas occur to you. One way to always have the notes at hand is on your mobile, with note-taking apps.

There are many notepad apps for Android, but they are not all the same. There are very simple ones, more suitable for quick notes, and complex ones, for when you need to write down something with greater precision or detail. Like we did with the task managers, today we put note-taking apps to the test so you can decide which one best suits your needs.

What do we ask of a note app?

The needs of what is required in an application to take notes vary from one person to another, but in our comparison we will value the more functions, the better, as well as the ease of use in general. Below you will find a comparative table which includes the following sections to compare in note-taking apps.

  • Text format. That is, the possibility of adding some formatting to the text such as bold, italics or underlined. It is not essential for a notes application, although it can be useful when notes are very long and it is difficult to highlight the most important parts.
  • Images. If the application allows you to add photos to the notes, whether they are photos taken beforehand, from the gallery, or directly with the mobile camera.
  • Voice clips. Sometimes there is no time to write and the best thing to do is to record a voice clip and attach it to a note.
  • Handwritten text / drawings. We will take into account if the application has a “pencil” tool, to make scribbles, texts or indications that are included in the notes.
  • Checkboxes. The possibility that the note includes boxes to indicate whether an item has been completed or not. While this borders on task managers, creating shopping lists and other simple lists are still common in note-taking apps.
Note
  • Reminders. Writing the note is the first step. The second is to remember what you have written when you need it. Some applications include reminders for a specific date and time or when you arrive at a certain location.
  • Categories:. Over time, notepads start to fill up with small, disconnected bits of text. In this section we assess the possibilities of organizing the notes through categories, tags or any other possible way.
  • Colors. Also a category, but simpler: the possibility of choosing the background color of a note to organize them or highlight some of them.
  • You need a user account. Whether it is necessary to log in and / or create a user account before starting to use the application or not.
  • Cloud sync. We will see here if the application saves your notes in the cloud so that you can retrieve them on another device, either on another Android mobile with the app installed or in the web version or for other platforms.
  • Collaborative synchronization. If it is possible to share a note with other people and that they can also edit it. Despite being a bit advanced, it is a highly sought-after feature for making something as simple as a shopping list.

Our candidates

In our comparison we have selected seven candidates most popular when it comes to taking notes on Android. We have the people’s favorite, Google Keep, as well as its more direct competition such as OneNote, EverNote and DropBox Paper and other note applications that have gained public recognition on Google Play over time, such as ColorNote or Adler Notes.

Google Keep

Googlekeepo

We start with what is, for many, the champion to beat: Google Keep. He has been with us for several years now, and although at first he simply sinned, over time it has been adding functions slowly but surely until reaching a point where it is difficult to find fault.

The best of all is that has managed to stay light and easy to use, adding only what is strictly necessary and without scaring the user with a multitude of buttons or screens on screens. It is not the best application to write documents on Android, but for simple notes, which is what we value in this way, it is without a doubt the best.

Google Keep: notes and lists

Google Keep: notes and lists

EverNote

Evernote

EverNote is a bit of the opposite extreme from Google Keep. It is more like an application to write documents, so it gives you more control over the final style and format of the text. Of course, nothing prevents you from using it for more mundane things like the shopping list or your favorite movies.

However, it is by making these annotations easier that EverNote’s extra “power” is not only not necessary, it gets in the way. Sincerely, not fast and intuitive enough for the constant and impromptu use expected of a notes app. It is more of an application to write more complete documents than simple notes.

Evernote

Evernote

OneNote

Onenote

OneNote sits halfway between the previous two. Although in the past it was closer to the EverNote model, with the recent integration of Windows Sticky Notes into the application, it has greatly enhanced its use as a note-taking application.

There may also be some confusion here, as today you can create two types of notes in OneNote: same as usual and Sticky Notes. Traditional notes can be quite complex and include pictures and drawings, while sticky notes only include text (with formatting, though).

Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote

Dropbox Paper

Paper

Dropbox Paper is a bit of a notes, docs, and tasks app all rolled into one. It has the advantage that you can assign tasks to specific people, which is useful in some types of notes. However, it lacks other details of greater interest in the field of taking notes, such as the possibility of adding voice clips or making handwritten drawings.

Nine alternatives to Google Keep to take notes on your Android

Technically you can use it without problems to make notes, and you will enjoy a great collaborative editing with other people, but some more mundane and basic features are missing, such as being able to choose a color for the note or being able to classify them with categories or labels.

Dropbox Paper

Dropbox Paper

ColorNote

Colornote

If you are one of those who thinks that any past tense was better, there are few note apps as classic as ColorNote. It has more than one hundred million downloads on Google Play and an average score of 4.6, despite being pretty basic and have an interface that could well be from the Android Kit Kat era ago.

Its secret is that it just works. Sometimes you don’t want to format your notes, edit them with other people, or add drawings, but a place to add text snippets and that’s it. It is something like Windows Notepad, but on Android.

ColorNote Notepad Notes

ColorNote

  • Developer: Notes
  • Download it at: Google play
  • Price: Free
  • Category: Productivity

Adler Notes

Adtler

Adler Notes is a notes application that equates most of Google Keep functions (except for handwritten drawings). The interface, showing the notes on a classic grid, it helps to always have them at hand and clearly visible.

Its use is quite intuitive, although from a performance point of view it is somewhat slower than the notes application. It is well loaded with functions, although need to polish the edges a bitFor example, when toggling between the mode with checkboxes or not, all previously written text is erased.

memo pad

Adler Notes

Notebook

Superheros

Zoho’s notes app has more or less everything you ask of an app like that. Maybe he has a few buttons left over to the application, but in exchange for this visual pollution you have a faster way to quickly create the type of notes that interest you.

The notes themselves have a visual style very similar to that of Google Keep, although with the advantage that here you can format the text with bold, italics and others. Technically it is very complete, and the only downside is that it does not have collaborative editing or that it does not work in landscape mode, which can be frustrating in some circumstances.

Notebook - Take Notes

Notebook

Note apps: what do you offer us and which one to choose?

We could tell you which of these applications seems better to us, but in the end this would be nothing more than my personal opinion based on my requirements and preferences. Not everyone needs the same note-taking app, and that is why we present this table comparing them, so that you can choose which one is closer to what you are looking for.

Google Keep

Evernote

OneNote

Dropbox Paper

ColorNote

Adler Note

Notebook

Text format

No, just lists

Yes, bold, italic, underline, lists, indented, strikethrough, subscript, superscript, highlights, and links

Yes, bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, highlights, and links

Headlines, bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, indentation, and lists

Not

Not

Yes, bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, highlight, alignment, indentation, lists and links

Attach Images

Yes, from the gallery and from the camera

Yes, from the gallery and from the camera, with automatic document border adjustment

Yes, from the gallery and with the camera, with automatic border adjustment for documents

Yes, from the gallery and the camera

Not

Yes, from the camera

Yes, from gallery and camera, with document border adjustment

Voice clips

Yes

Yes

Yes

Not

Not

Yes

Yes

Drawings

Yes

Yes

Yes

Not

Not

Not

Yes

Checkboxes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Reminders

Yes, by date and by place

Yes, by date

Not

Yes, for specific tasks, by date

Yes, by date

Yes, by date

Yes, by date

Categories:

Yes, categories and tags

Yes, with different notebooks

Yes, with different notepads

Yes, with folders

Not

Yes

Yes, with different notepads

Colors

Yes

Not

Yes

Not

Yes

Yes

Yes

You need a user account

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Not

Not

Not

Synchronization

Yes, with Google. The notes are available in the web version and Google Keep.

With Evernote. Available on the official website and apps.

Yes, with the Microsoft account. Available on the web and official apps.

Yes, with Dropbox

Yes, with own account

Yes, on Dropbox or Google Drive

Yes, with Zoho or Google Drive

Collaborative editing

Yes

Not in the free version

Not

Yes

Not

Not

Not

The best

Many functions while keeping it simple to use, reminders by location.

Very complete text format

Setting photos to “scan” documents

Tasks can be assigned to specific people, good collaborative editing

There is no room for distraction, as it has few functions.