7 Best Note Taking Apps for iPad and Apple Pencil

These apps will help you take notes on your iPad

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Are you one of the few lucky people who have recently purchased a new iPad? Looking to spice it up? Well, you’ve come to the right place. iPad is a creative powerhouse and you wouldn’t want to waste its resources. The device conspicuously sits between an iPhone and MacBook which has tools for everyday usage but can also handle the occasional artist in you. It borrows the best of both worlds and the multi-tasking is done effortlessly. iPad’s display is huge and so is the scope of productivity.

Managing multiple things by Apple’s iPad is a cakewalk but sometimes, the ones who are using it, take a hit. We constantly need to juggle a lot of things and in the process, some amount of information is lost. Your boss had called to let you that the meeting has shifted to 12 p.m.; your mother calls you to bring home some groceries and a friend’s birthday is soon approaching, so a gift is in order. What do you do? You note it down, as simple as that.

There are so many applications that can handle your day-to-tasks and can be summoned in just one click. But the market is stuffed with swarms of applications that get confusing every time you scroll the list of App Stores’ offerings. Besides, users mostly prefer free applications while a number of outstanding apps are paid for. But fret not, the App Store has some amazing, free note-taking apps that will definitely attract your attention.

Note taking Apps for iPad

Even free apps are stuffed on the App Store. So, this article will kill that indecisiveness for the better. We have chosen a list of the best note taking apps for the iPad that will get the job done with some added benefits. So, what are you waiting for? Jump right in!

1. Evernote

You knew this was going to be our very first preference but it is probably because Evernote has set a caliber. It effortlessly does anything you at it and by that, I mean going beyond the cliched to-do list. The features are quite exceptional and a number of applications are struggling to stand shoulder-shoulder to Evernote as it has set a base for itself. Many reasons why prefer this app.

Web clipping pops up the first thing I hear Evernote. It has really set the bar high as saving a clipping from the web is a simple click away. Other features like synchronization across devices, templates for on-the-go productivity, and a super functional handwriting mode that recognizes 11 different languages – what more can you ask for? And it was recently updated with dark mode support. You will get the free version but if you want to explore more, Evernote provides Premium and Business plans that have a lot of different features. Think this is your kinda app? Download it from the link given below and note down your unique ideas.

Best Free Note-taking Apps for iPad

Main Features:

  • Variety of templates.
  • Checklists, to-dos without internet.
  • Passcode lock.
  • Third-party application integration.
  • Note sharing, discussions.
  • Dark mode.

Download Evernote

2. Notion

Aren’t you here for a traditional note-taking app? The notion is the app for you. The app works best if it’s a team project but loners can definitely showcase their productive side here. If you often create to-do lists and keep on adding more to-dos, the drag and drop feature will spoil you for good. You can easily nest pages inside each other for the pedantic organizer in you which also eliminates the need of having messy folders.

The list increases with lightweight Customer Relationship Management, support for spreadsheets, and database functionality. If you have experience with note-taking applications, Notion might make you feel that it’s an amalgamation of various note apps and built with the best of its features. Go ahead and download it from the link below; change your notion of note-taking apps.

Best Free Note-taking Apps for iPad

Main Features:

  • Easily jot-down to-do lists, documents, and notes.
  • Templates for fast work experience.
  • Support for spreadsheets and databases.
  • Calendar for project management.
  • Web clipper.

Download Notion

3. Keep by Google

Google is ubiquitous, literally! If they can make the world’s best smartphone camera (well, now second!) why not a note-taking app? The first thing you are bound to notice is the design language. The design alone has spoiled many people’s notion (pun intended) that jotting down notes can’t be pretty. And Keep isn’t an ordinary beauty without the brain’s notes application. It goes beyond the realm of simple to-dos and checklists; the more you explore, the more you get baffled by its work process.

Keep is also better at device support no matter wherever you are in the world, you can access your notes from the web, Android, iOS, Windows, Mac devices. Doing so much, it is a minimalist app with an attractive colored background for categorizing notes. You can also share your notes with anyone in real-time. So, download Google Keep and keep your notes safe.

Best Free Note-taking Apps for iPad

Main Features:

  • Quickly add lists, notes, audios, etc.
  • Categorize by color codes and labels.
  • Notes sharing.
  • Pinned notes.
  • Image to text transcribe.
  • Multiple platform support.

Download Google Keep

4. Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft is a rival firm to Apple, yet, its OneNote manages to induce some best reactions from people around the world. Nope, I’m not exaggerating! The app is simply wonderful and feature-rich. OneNote has some iPad-specific features that make it even more desirable. If you use the Apple Pencil, you know what I’m talking about. Drawing through fingers is messy and feels really stupid but OneNote’s innate pen-support knocks rival apps out of the block.

Scribble a math problem, or just write a philosophical quote next to it, the field is your arena and you are open to exploring. The wide variety of available pens and colors stuns me. What’s more, the ‘Convert to Shapes’ feature converts your hastily-drawn circle into an actual circle. And the first 5GB is free. Though a lot of to-dos and math problems won’t soon cross the mark. Are you sold yet? Download Microsoft OneNote if you believe it is the one and only app for you!

Best Free Note-taking Apps for iPad

Main Features:

  • Categorizing.
  • Convert to shape.
  • Notebook sharing.
  • Voice notes.
  • Web clipper.

Download Microsoft OneNote

5. Notes (Apple)

The prodigy, finally! Well, Apple Notes had to make a cut in this list. No, not because of nepotism (wink, Kangana) But one of the reasons is that the app feels effortless, no matter what your mind wants you to type away. You can type a simple note and the next hour, a long and intricate novella – both will be handled charmingly well. The other reason is interconnectivity. Apple users enjoy the ecosystem and this app is naturally integrated into the iCloud. So if you jot down any note or whip out your Apple pencil and draw something, you can access the same note from any device that is connected to the same iCloud account. Don’t have an Apple pencil? Its other features are solid and you will get used to it.

Small things like a design that mimics an actual paper, formatting system or the styling options – they are there and you just need to explore it in order to fully comprehend Notes’ use cases. Download the app from the App Store or the link given below and jot down those thoughts in an organized form.

7 Best Free Note-taking Apps for iPad

Main Features:

  • Easy note-taking.
  • Categorizing.
  • Sync through iCloud.
  • Formatting and styling options.

Download Notes

6. Simplenote

The might make you think the app is quite simple, and it is but only when it comes to the process of note-taking. Simplenote isn’t a slouch if you talk about its features. It is a clean note-taking app that does everything but with a much simpler UI. For you Apple Notes veterans out there, Simplenote might invoke a similar feeling but it is designed to be a much faster and more efficient note-taking app. Though, this speed comes from the lack of multimedia support, which in a way, is also one of the pros as to why jotting down notes is quick and easy on this one.

The app also lacks creating checklists or to-do lists as well as setting reminders. But it makes up with its massive cross-platform support which is a huge deal nowadays. Download Simplenote from the link given below and make your note-taking time a bit simple.

7 Best Free Note-taking Apps for iPad

Main Features:

  • Sorting notes according to tags.
  • Quick search.
  • Dark mode.
  • Easy synchronization.
  • Automatic backup.

Download Simplenote

7. Zoho Notebook

Jotting down notes on Zoho Notebook is a treat. The cards that let you quickly type notes, checklists for your new office-day must-haves, and the ability to add videos, documents, audios or even sketches feel snappy and intuitive. It gets the last mention in our list for the sole reason that it doesn’t boast some task management features that others on this list do without a hiccup. Zoho Notebook doesn’t disappoint and gets the job done without all the bells and whistles.

If a must-have on your app list is a gorgeous design and clutter-free interface, you should download it right away as it’s eye candy. The covers are handcrafted, for one, and the feeling it invokes while being productive is inexplicable. A lot of the applications on this list include web-clipping functionality, but Simplenote handles it quite differently. You can sort out those clippings via the smart card feature, which isn’t as fancy as it sounds. So, download Zoho Notebook and enjoy typing away your thoughts.

7 Best Free Note-taking Apps for iPad

Main Features:

  • Drag & drop interface.
  • Passcodes and touch IDs for secure notes.
  • Organize notes by color code and tags.
  • Audio & Photocard.
  • Web clipping.
  • Attach Word docs, PDFs within notes.

Download Zoho Notebook


It broke my heart to include just 7 applications out of the millions of free ones out there. The above-outlined note-taking apps are by far superior and you will get to explore a lot of new features. So, we advise you to try every app on the list and decide the best for yourself. As mentioned above, these applications are totally free so go all out and download them all to settle for one.

I am a very pedantic person so I personally use three note-taking applications for different purposes. Google’s Keep for blogging material, OneNote for keeping track of my English language and vocabulary, and Samsung Notes for the day-to-day stuff. Our devices are not short of storage so why just keep them empty? The notes that you save in devices don’t consume a lot of your ROM, except for cloud-based apps like Evernote and OneNote.

Try out the applications and see as to which lives up to your preference. Tell us your opinions regarding the note-taking apps you are currently using, your experience of using them. You can also suggest to us and our benevolent reader some other note-taking apps worth trying.


I am an ambivert, an avid reader, a movie buff, a tea connoisseur, and a staunch fan of Priyanka Chopra Jonas. I like to give my insights through words, which come naturally to me. They also help me to express the myriads of emotions I go through. When not working, I'm either watching the latest tech videos or flipping through pages.