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10 Best Note Taking App for iPad (Free & Paid Apps) in 2021

Now the time has come to say goodbye to pen and paper when taking notes. The note-taking apps are invading society. Students, businessmen, lecturers, and many other professionals tend to take notes on their mobiles. It is easy, fast, and robust. Lots of note-taking apps have developed in the recent past.
These apps allow users to work with texts, videos, audio, and images. A reliable note-taking app on your iPad will make your life easier. You can take notes at work or school very quickly. The apps allow you to take handwritten notes and sketches with ease. All these apps support Apple Pencil. But the Pencil version depends on the iPad model. Notes can be taken using the iPad keyboard in some apps. So try to choose the best note taking app for ipad that fits your needs.


Let’s focus on the best note-taking apps for the iPad. The list contains details about the top ten note-taking apps.

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1) Apple Notes

Apple Notes is the best free app available to take notes on the iPad. If you need to have a few basic notes and a few checklists, then the Apple Notes app remains the ideal choice.
When you tap the glass of your locked iPad with an Apple pencil, the Apple note app automatically opens a blank page. Apple Notes enables the user to create voice notes using Siri while engaging in another task.

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It is super easy to put sketches and illustrations to the notes prepared from this app.
Apple Notes app is free to install on IOS and macOS devices. It has automatically backed up to the iCloud.

Website IOS

2) Notability

Notability is one of the best popular iPad note-taking apps. Notability offers handwriting tools, annotating PDF, drawing, highlighting, making shapes, adding audio notes, moving objects around the page, and many more. It has a continuous sheet layout. There are 15 background colors to choose from. You can doodle and quickly sketch out illustrations in Notability. It allows resizing and moving objects.

Notability has multi-note support. So the user can work in two notes side by side. It has a search function that can scan handwritten notes and text at the same time. It has a drag and drops support for texts, web pages, documents, GIFs, and photos.

Sharing the digital notebooks with third party syncing services are facilitated by Notability. You can share notebooks with Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive. It is also easy to print the notes. Notability is an excellent note-taking app for students. This app has a 4.8 rating out of 5 in Apple App Store.

Website IOS

3) Goodnotes

Goodnotes will offer many features that help ease note making on iPad. It enables sketching and handwriting using the Apple Pencil. You can switch between typing and writing while using GoodNotes. There are a large number of digital paper sizes. You can choose the best one that fulfills your needs. Design, lined, music notation, lined, and more types are available in this app. You can upload your custom templates too. Essentials, Writing papers, and Planner are the available categories of paper.

You can choose one of them to complete your notes. GoodNotes offer different cover styles for digital notebooks. You can write or draw using the Apple Pencil or a third-party stylus option. GoodNotes is comprised of powerful search tools like OCR technology, handwriting recognition, and more. It also supports actual handwriting. You can adjust the sensitivity and palm recognition of the pen to match your writing style.

GoodNotes has a ‘Presentation Mode.’ The user can turn the iPad into a digital whiteboard. It enables projecting the mote into a large screen using AirPlay or HDMI cable. This facility is useful when doing a class presentation or a business conference.
GoodNotes is ideal for power users in taking notes. It has 4.8 ratings out of 5 and also has 99.4k reviews.

Website IOS


4) Microsoft Onenote

If you have a Microsoft account, then OneNote is free to download onto the iPhone. It is a robust note-taking app that supports complete cross platforming. This app offers a document management system. So it is easy to arrange the notes according to your wish. Microsoft OneNote offers a very versatile sharing tool. You can exports notebooks and notes to a PDF. You can invite your friends to review your notes and give their comments. Microsoft OneNote has 4.7 ratings out of 5. It has 433.6k reviews too.

Website IOS

5) Nebo

Nebo makes it easy to handwrite and type iPhone users when making notes. This app can easily structure notes by adding titles, bullets, and paragraphs. This app supports rich content that includes formulas, diagrams, and flow charts. Those rich content can be converted into documents. It has handwriting recognition technology. You can easily convert handwritten notes into texts. This app has shortcuts for underlining, strikethrough, scribble, etc. So it is very easy to organize the note.

A variety of formats like PDF, Word, and HTML can export after completing the document.
Nebo has a unique feature to write and solve smart math equations. But it becomes difficult to translate because some of the characters used in the equations are unique. Nebo app has a 4.5 rating out of 5 in Apple App Store. It one of the best note-taking app for iPad for free.

Website Android IOS

6) Notepad+ Pro

Notepad+ Pro is one of the best apps to take notes. It gives a traditional pen and paper feel when making notes on iPad Pro and iPad. This app offers several ink pens, color tools, and highlighters. So you can copy paper notes very easily. You can draw, annotate PDFs, make sketches, create memos and lists using Notepad+ Pro. It supports both Apple Pencil and keyboard inputs. But it is mainly designed to use with the Apple pencil. The app provides eight template galleries: Basics, Games, Lifestyle, Education, Business, Sports, Music, and Photo Frame. So you can select the template suits your work.

You can organize notes on a virtual board. Notepad+ Pro enables protecting sensitive notes with a password. The autosave feature helps to pick up the place where the user left writing. It is easy to reorganize notes using drag and drop gestures. Sorting of notes is also available with date created or modified. Notepad+ Pro has a blur tool. So the user can hide sensitive data in a file just with one click before sharing files with others. A page or the whole notebook can be shared with other people.
Notepad+ Pro is one of the most expensive notes taking applications. This app has 4.6 ratings out of 5.

Website IOS

7) Noteshelf

Noteshelf is one of the best note-taking apps for the iPad. You can add your handwriting, recorded audio, and PDF annotation to the notes. A smooth and fluid writing experience similar to writing on a notepad can be gained by using Noteshelf. There are four types of pens available here. A ball pen, fountain pen, sharp pen, or pencil can choose from concerning your need.

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Noteshelf comes with several types of papers. The ‘Basic’ paper comes in a blank, ruled, squared, legal, and dot paper. A4 and letter sizes in a blank ruled, and squared comes for the ‘Standard’ category. The ‘Mobile’ sized templates have blank and, ruled, and squared papers. Meetings layout, task lists, daily, weekly, and monthly planners are available for the ‘Productivity’ category. A ‘Noteshelf Club’ is available in this note-taking app. The users can get many other cover and paper styles from it.

Noteshelf provides handwriting recognition in 65 languages. It has an auto-back feature, which helps to safeguard your notes. This app supports the Apple watch too. So you don’t need to have the iPhone or Ipad to make notes. This app has various bugs and missing features, just like the other note-taking apps. Noteshelf has a 4.2 rating out of 5 along with 1.1k reviews.

Website Android IOS


8) Evernote

This app is one of the best note-taking apps available for the iPhone. This is also a very old app that was launched in 200 and came to use in 2008. Many advance note-taking apps have developed features by taking experience from this app. Web pages, text notes, recorded messages, and images can be added to the notes prepared in Evernote. This app allows integrating with Slack, Google Drive, and Salesforce.

Evernote is also one of the best note-taking apps for iPad pro. This app has a free version. It can sync only two devices, and uploads are limited to 60MB per month. The Premium tier allows us to sync all devices and give 10 GB uploads per month. The premium version comes with additional features like offline access to notes and live chat support. There is a business plan for this app too. It comes with increased limits and many other features.

Website Android IOS

9) Penultimate

Penultimate is another famous note-taking app. It was developed and launched by Evernote. This app has many features that you seek from a note-taking app. Users can use finger or stylus to take notes, share ideas, and make sketches. It allows sharing handwritten notes and drawings as public links or as PDFs with colleagues.

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You can use Penultimate alone or alone with Evernote. When using Evernote alone, notes are only available locally on the iPad. They can’t access across devices. Evernote and Penultimate together offer many benefits. All the notes in Penultimate are accessible and searchable everywhere in Evernote installed.


10) Whink

Whink is a simple note-taking app. This app comes with many features such as photo and PDF annotation, audio recording ability, and shape tools. The available handwriting tools offer an experience like writing with a pen and paper.

Whink is very helpful o students. You can arrange and quickly access the notes. According to the categories such as PDF documents, meeting notebooks, lecture slides, and more, documents can sort according to the categories. This app allows taking notes on the iPad while watching a video, reading a document, etc. You can easily share notes in Whink with others. Whink allows syncing with iCloud and other services. This app has a 4.2 rating out of 5 in Apple App Store.

Website IOS

What is the best note-taking app for iPad for college students for free?

My recommendation for a free note-taking app for iPad is Microsoft OneNote. College students can easily use this app to take notes. Students can write anywhere on the page, create lists, highlight important text in Microsoft OneNote. The simple drag and drop feature enables adding file attachments, media, photos, and audio to notes.

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Microsoft OneNote app is ideal for both creative note-takers and students who prefer an organized approach to notes. It has a search function that allows finding the notes quickly.


The above mentioned ten apps are ideal for note-taking for iPad. Some apps are free to install, while others cost some amount. Even free apps have paid versions that offer developed features and additional facilities.

The tools provided by these apps make it easy to take notes. Some tools help to highlight paragraphs, add audios, and add videos. These features are very helpful for users. You should select the best app that suits your work. Sometimes the free version of some note-taking app will help to complete your work. So it is better to research before selecting a note-taking app for iPad.

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