The best note-taking apps for college students

The best note-taking apps for college students


As a student taking notes is part of our daily tasks. Whether you are a pen-and-paper person or you love typing on your laptop, the next note-taking apps are worth giving a try to make your life easier. They are not only practical to take notes, they also look stylish and offer many more advantages than paper or a word document.


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My favourite 4 note-taking apps:



This App is basically what the name implies: an App that works not only as a notebook but also as a to-do-list, PDA, post-it note, notetaker, etc. The “Ever” part must stand up for everywhere / everything, given the fact that you can actually sync the app to all your devices, meaning you have access to your notes wherever you are. Evernote offers a version for every smartphone, tablet or computer operating system, making it quite appealing among students.

The features you should pay attention to in this app are:

  • First and foremost, It’s free!
  • You can attach voice recordings to a specific note.
  • You can attach any type of file to a note, such as a picture, a spreadsheet, another document, or a voice recording! Quite useful for that lecture that goes too fast for you to take notes.
  • One of the favourite features: you can scan the text from a photo using Optical Character Recognition technology!
  • You can also set reminders and create checkboxes for a to-do-list!


This app tries to simulate real life, as you can create a notebook for a specific subject and keep on adding notes to that file. Quite useful if you tend to mix notes from different classes!



In contrast to Evernote, Simplenote is, again as it names suggests, quite simple. If you are the type of person who only writes down simple sentences, or even just bullet points, then this is the app for you. Simplenote is a plain text editor with a few organizational tools. Among its features we can find:


  • It’s free!
  • Available for Windows, Android, Mac and iOS.
  • You can only type text without formatting.
  • You can’t add pictures, voice recordings or other documents.
  • You can organize notes with tags, which makes it really simple to search for them!


This app is for people that like minimalistic design and that are fond of simplicity within notes. Simplenote tries to provide an experience that is all about speed and efficiency. You open it, you write and that’s it, done. As you keep on adding notes, you organize and search for them instantly through tags and pins.  If you are a basic note-taker, this is what you’ve been looking for!



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The Bear App is described on its webpage as “a beautiful, flexible writing app for crafting notes and prose.” And it is indeed a good-looking app. Bear is ideal for everything related to writing. From quick notes to extensive essays and even books! The app can be used from a wide variety of people, from students to take notes, to writers that want a platform to bring their stories to life. The app offers a focus mode to help you concentrate, just like exceptional editing tools. Some of its outstanding features are:


  • The simple, core version is free!
  • Different themes to choose from depending on your prefered colours, fonts, etc.
  • You can convert your notes into PDF, HTML, DOCX, JPEG, etc.
  • You can use hashtags to organize notes.
  • A Focus Mode that hides possible distractions in the app when you activate it.
  • You can sync your content across devices.
  • This app is only found on iOS and Mac systems.


This beautifully designed app is recommended for students who, apart from taking notes, are also into writing. Its tools are quite helpful when it comes to extensive writing. Give it a try and lean by yourself how helpful it is to you.


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Google Keep

Of course, Google had to be part of this list. In a few words, Google Keep is a syncing notepad that connects to Google Drive.

It can be accessed through the web, in contrast to all other apps we’ve read about. You don’t need to download the app to be able to use it, so it won’t take any space from your laptop.

This app is for quick notes, memos and checklists. Some of its features are:


  • It’s free!
  • You can add photos, links, documents, voice recordings, etc.
  • Can be accessed from any web-connected device.
  • You can add the notes to your desktop!
  • Keep supports Google Apps accounts, this means you can link it to your business account.
  • The app is user-friendly and colourful.
  • You can search for a specific note on their search bar on top of the notes.


This app is useful for all note-takers on the go, not for people that tend to write extensively.

The user-friendliness from Google is present in the app, so go check it out!



To sum up, there are a wide variety of note-taking apps to use when taking notes during class. Depending on your taste and way of writing, you can find the perfect one for you. As a suggestion, you can try for one day each of these for apps and see which one you like best!


Let us know in the comments below which one you chose!

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Written by
Hi! My name is Ana. I'm a trilingual storyteller, book enthusiast and a writer-in-the-making. I'm currently a student of English Philology at the University of Vienna, but I'm originally from the tropics. I am an online media fanatic, a feminist, and a series binge-watcher.

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