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Last Updated on February 3, 2021

10 Best Note-Taking Apps to Keep Your Life Organized

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10 Best Note-Taking Apps to Keep Your Life Organized

Note-taking apps have become especially popular because of their ability to make us more efficient. However, like pretty much every other mobile tool we have, there’s a myriad of these apps available now, and you need to make a choice.

Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered! For your consideration, here are the 10 best note-taking apps on the market:

1. Evernote

Evernote screenshot

    Evernote has continued to be the leader as far as note-taking apps are concerned. The cross-platform app makes it easy to take notes and clip articles from the Internet, with a collection of features and add-ons that make the entire noting process as seamless as possible.

    The biggest benefit of Evernote, of course, is the fact that it supports pretty much any file format — PowerPoint, PDF, and many more. What’s more, if you add a Google Docs link, the app even creates a Google Drive file and changes the URL to the doc’s name.

    You also get a scanner on the app, which helps to scan documents and serves as a great alternative to photocopying. The app even makes it possible to save web articles stuck behind a paywall for later use.

    However, there are also some cons: Evernote doesn’t provide enough space for organization, and since it doesn’t support Markdown, it could slow your writing down. You could also end up paying a pretty penny to enjoy service to the app.

    Available on iOS | Android

    2. OneNote

    OneNote app screenshot

      OneNote is a free, cross-platform note-taking app from Microsoft, and it is among the forerunners in note-taking apps, giving Evernote some competition.

      OneNote is completely free, so that’s one less thing to worry about. Since it’s capable of all Evernote can do, without the accompanying cost, that’s certainly a big plus. Also, it provides more formatting options and a greater editing spectrum than Evernote.

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      Sadly, the same issues that befall Evernote are present here as well; organization is subpar, and the interface isn’t great. Even with all the premium features it has available, these issues could sour the experience.

      Available on iOS | Android

      Read more about the difference between Evernote and OneNote here: Evernote vs OneNote: Which Improves Your Productivity Better?

      3. Apple Notes

      Apple Notes screenshot

        If you don’t have a device running on a software designed by Apple Inc., then there’s no need to stick around for this number on the list. If you do use an Apple device, however, you’ll probably be able to attest to the awesome formatting and organization features that this note-taking app provides.

        Apple Notes is entirely free, and it makes it possible to edit cross-platform via a web browser, so PC users can still take advantage of it. You also get nested lists of hierarchical folders, and accessibility across all your Apple products.

        Sadly, the lack of a hybrid Markdown is a con here — that and the app’s unavailability on other platforms.

        Available on iOS

        4. Bear

        Bear note-taking app

          Bear provides an excellent user experience, as well as the required support for Markdown — which, in a sense, puts it up there with our overall best note-taking apps like Evernote and OneNote. The interface is also intuitive, and the organization system makes for a great experience overall.

          Of course, the hybrid Markdown editor has to be perhaps the biggest benefit of this. Bear formats all text as you type, meaning you don’t need to wait to see what your Markdowns will look like after writing. You also get a nifty archive feature here, which takes a note out of organization and search without deleting it.

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          Sadly, not everyone is able to make use of the app yet, as it’s still just available on macOS and iOS operating systems

          Available on iOS

          5. Standard Notes

          Standard notes app screenshot

            Standard Notes is perhaps the most security-focused note-taking app on the market. If security is your main concern, this app might be right for you. Everything you write is encrypted and for your viewing alone. The text editor is simple and plain, so you don’t get anything outlandish, and the search is also rather powerful, so you get what you’re looking for faster.

            Sadly, the app is unable to host or insert images and pictures, and you won’t be able to drag and drop notes between tags and folders, making it one of the more basic options overall.

            Available on iOS | Android

            6. Notion

            Notion note-taking app

              The note-taking experience you get on Notion is powerful and technical, unlike what you get anywhere else.

              Notion is great because you get a flexible template engine that provides for easily-duplicated pages. Notes here are also databases, meaning that you get greater updating and editing capabilities. The hierarchical organization is awesome, and you also get a hybrid Markdown editor.

              Sadly, Notion’s issues come with the account structure. You get 1,000 free blocks off the free plan account, but you’ll use them up quickly. So, if you don’t upgrade, you’re not getting much here.

              Available on iOS | Android

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              7. Google Keep

              Google Keep screenshot

                 

                Google Keep is a basic, cross-platform note taker that works seamlessly with other tools from the company. It’s free, available on every platform, and people who appreciate simplicity in the note-taking app interface and experience will love it.

                Sadly, hierarchical organization is missing here. You only get one tag level, and for some, this is a bit of a turn off.

                Available on iOS | Android

                8. Slite

                Slite app screenshot

                  In terms of Markdown editing, nothing beats Slite. You also get a sleek table of contents view that allows you to easily zoom and jump to a specific heading in the doc. It’s also free for students, with up to 50 shared notes a month and unlimited private pages.

                  However, the hierarchy here is nested, so while you can nest collections infinitely, you can only sort by recency. The app is also slower than a lot of others, and while the editing is great, UI here is terribly sluggish.

                  Available on iOS | Android

                  9. Ulysses

                  Ulysses note-taking app

                    For people looking to take notes and write long essays, Ulysses is the top choice. Its organization is one of the best on the market, thanks to its multi-level hierarchical organization. The app is your companion throughout your writing process — from research to content development.

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                    However, perhaps the biggest selling point this app has is the ability to publish directly to WordPress. Once you’re done with writing and editing, you can format your document and upload it to WP straight from Ulysses.

                    Sadly, this note-taking app comes at the steep cost of $5 per month, and, just like Bear, only those with iOS and macOS can make use of it.

                    Available on iOS

                    10. Typora

                    Typora note-taking app

                      Typora provides a customizable experience, and it works on all major operating systems. The app is free, and it comes with the desired hybrid Markdown editor. You also get Focus Mode, which dims text you’re not working on for better concentration. Typora also provides a lot of themes, as well as the table of contents mode.

                      However, the Typora app doesn’t store notes, and it doesn’t have a mobile app itself, which is a drawback.

                      Available from Typora 

                      The Bottom Line

                      There are countless note-taking apps available to users. The trick is to find the one that’s right for you. This list can help you do just that.

                      Whether you’re looking for the best organization features, the most customizable experiences, or the best bang for your buck, you’ll find a note-taking app that fits your needs. Finding the best note-taking app for you is sure to help you stay organized in your personal or professional life!

                      More Productivity Tools You’ll Love

                      Featured photo credit: Adolfo Félix via unsplash.com

                      More by this author

                      Tanvir Zafar

                      The founder of ISU Technologies, passionate in writing about productivity, creativity, entrepreneurship, work and technology.

                      How to Be Innovative and Creative at Work 15 Best Organization Apps to Boost Your Productivity in 2021 7 Best Goal Tracking Apps to Help You Reach Your Goals 10 Best Note-Taking Apps to Keep Your Life Organized 10 Best Task List Apps to Boost Productivity in 2020

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                      Last Updated on August 11, 2021

                      23 Killer Sites for Free Online Education Anyone Can Use

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                      23 Killer Sites for Free Online Education Anyone Can Use

                      Whether you’re five or ninety five, the internet has a lot to offer. Particularly when the topic is education, the resources on the internet are endless. Best of all, many high quality sites are completely free. From history to coding, excellent, free online education awaits on the following 23 sites.

                      1. Coursera

                      Coursera is a website that partners with universities and organizations around the world. This brings a wide variety of topics and perspectives to one searchable database.

                      Coursera is a powerful tool for free online education and includes courses from many top universities, museums and trusts. This gives the site an extremely wide range of in-depth courses.

                      Coursera is extremely useful if you’re looking to study many different topics, or want courses from different schools and groups. However, the free courses are now quite limited, so you’ll have to

                      2. Khan Academy

                      Partnering with many post secondary schools, Khan Academy offers a useable, well-organized interface. Also curating many courses from around the web, Khan Academy offers impressive depth on many different subjects.

                      Among the more well-known educational sites, Khan Academy is also incredibly user-friendly, which may make it easier to keep learning goals. If you’re looking for a free online education, you can’t go wrong with Khan Academy.

                      3. Open Culture Online Courses

                      If you are struggling to find exactly the material you are looking for, try Open Culture’s listing of free online education courses. The page highlights 1000 lectures, videos, and podcasts from universities around the world.

                      The site features a lot of material found only on universities’ private sites, all in easy-to-browse categories. This means you can find hundreds of university courses without having to visit and search each university’s site.

                      Open Culture’s list features courses from England, Australia, Wales, and many state universities around the United States. It’s a very helpful resource for finding many courses in one area of study.

                      4. Udemy 

                      Udemy’s free courses are similar in concept to Coursera’s but additionally allows users to build custom courses from lessons.

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                      Working with many top professors and schools, the site mixes the customizable platform of other sites with a heavy emphasis on top-quality content. This is another site, however, that mixes free and paid content.

                      5. Lifehack Fast Track Class

                      Lifehack believes in skills that multiply your time, energy, and overall quality of life.

                      In this rapidly changing world, traditional education skills just don’t cut it anymore. You can’t afford to take years learning a skill you’ll never really practice. Besides offering some paid courses that will help you become a better self, it offers a list of free courses which aim to train some of the Core Life Multipliers including:

                      These are cross-functional skills that work across many aspects of life.

                      6. Academic Earth

                      Another site with courses from many different schools is Academic Earth. Much like the three sites above, Academic Earth brings together top notch courses from many different sources and focuses on offering a wide variety of subjects.

                      Academic Earth lists courses by subject and school, so it might be easier to find what you’re looking for.

                      7. edX

                      Another great option for free online education is edX. Also bringing together courses from many different schools, the site has impressive, quality information for everyone. edX covers a great range of topics from universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Berkeley, meaning a high-quality, free online education is entirely possible here.

                      8. Alison

                      Unlike the previous sites on this list, Alison is a free education site offering certification in some areas. Alison offers courses mainly in business, technology, and health, but also includes language learning courses.

                      It’s a great option if users need a professional certificate for their learning, as Alison also offers school curriculum courses.

                      9. iTunesU Free Courses

                      A very convenient place for free online education is iTunesU, because it integrates seamlessly with your iPod or any app-ready Apple mobile device. On an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, users download the iTunesU app.

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                      Desktop users can access iTunesU on the upper right hand corner of the iTunes Store. iTunesU is also convenient because the store is categorized much like iTunes.

                      Users can search learning materials in many different ways, including by genre and topic. However, courses are often a mix of free podcasts or videos and paid content.

                      iTunesU does include courses on a variety of topics, but it does not integrate with Android, Google or Windows mobile devices.

                      10. Stanford Online

                      Your hub for all the online offerings from Stanford University, Stanford Online offers self-paced and session-based courses. While Coursera features some courses from Stanford, many classes are only available via other hosts. Some courses require iTunes, but most are completed in your web browser.

                      Stanford Online is a great site for high-quality courses, though the topics are somewhat limited compared to sites partnered with more than one school. If you’re looking for free courses, make sure to mark the “free” option on the left-hand side.

                      11. Open Yale Courses

                      Open Yale Courses echoes Stanford Online, in that it offers only courses from Yale. While the site is similarly limited to topics taught at the school, Open Yale Courses offers a lot of videos of actual campus lectures. The availability of videos makes the site a great option if you’re looking for quality courses but learn better by watching than by reading.

                      12. UC Berkeley Class Central

                      Much like the other schools on this list, UC Berkeley has a variety of free online education options. The school has slightly fewer courses than the schools above, but it includes some supplementary lectures, webcasts, and RSS Feeds, making it easy to keep up with the topics you choose.

                      13. MIT OpenCourseWare

                      Similarly, MIT offers a variety of free courses. The school has a comparable number of courses to the schools above, and it includes very in-depth course materials on the subjects available. MIT also offers free RSS feeds, a convenient way to continue learning.

                      14. Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative

                      Carnegie Mellon’s free online education site is comparable with the other school’s on this list. However, Open Learning Initiative also covers a smaller range of topics, but for the topics that are covered, impressive, in-depth material is available.

                      15. Codecademy

                      Codecademy is a website dedicated specifically to teaching coding. Where other coding sites follow an example/practice session workflow, Codecademy includes a live practice window. This means you can practice coding while still viewing the lesson material.

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                      The courses at Codecademy are well-written and easy to follow, and the website is organized very nicely. Codecademy features a centralized dashboard where you can monitor your progress, and it organizes lessons into complete modules. This lets you learn an entire language without needing to pick the next course manually.

                      16. Code

                      Code is another website focused on coding and app writing. A site with high-quality courses, Code also features learning options for kids.

                      In addition to kid-friendly courses, Code offers free online education classes on a wide variety of technology topics. These classes include app writing, robotics, and Javascript.

                      Most of the courses are also geared in a such a way that they can be useful in a classroom setting. This makes Code a great resource for harder to find coding topics, as well as various learning settings.

                      17. University of Oxford Podcasts

                      The University of Oxford features many different podcasts. Most are public lecture series or lectures from visiting professors, with several different recordings available.

                      The advantage to this particular site is that podcasts are organized into series, making it easy to subscribe to multiple lectures on one topic. This is another great site for thoroughly in-depth lectures.

                      18. BBC Podcasts

                      For the more casual learner, the BBC offers a wide variety of podcasts on many different topics. Most podcasts are updated weekly and focus on everything from finance, to sports, to current events.

                      Through the World Service line of podcasts, there are also many in different languages. The focus of these podcasts are less in-depth and theory based, which may be more accessible to the average person.

                      19. TED-Ed

                      Another great destination for more general learning and free online education is TED-Ed. From the same people that brought you the all-encompassing, motivational web series comes a site chocked full of educational videos. Most include impressive animation, and all are ten minutes long or less.

                      Not only is TED-Ed an excellent site for the curious, but it also includes supplemental materials and quizzes on the videos. This makes the site extremely useful in formal education settings, as well as in entertaining ways to brush up on new discoveries and topics.

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                      20. LessonPaths

                      LessonPaths is another great tool for those looking for a more usable and convenient way to access learning material. On this site, users create link playlists of their favorite learning materials from other sites. Users then rank these collections, making it easy to find many different high-quality, accessible sources on a given topic.

                      21. Memrise

                      Another impressive free online education site offering ease of use and convenience is Memrise. Available both on desktop and as an app, Memrise is a particularly powerful tool if you are studying a language. The site encompasses many other topics as well, though some of the course material is user generated content.

                      Part of what makes Memrise special is their integration of games into the learning materials, mixing learning with entertainment.

                      22. National Geographic Kids

                      The kids site for National Geographic is another site that makes free online education applicable for younger users. For those looking for kid-friendly education, a large variety of games, puzzles, videos and photos keep kids interested on this site.

                      National Geographic Kids doesn’t organize learning into courses, making materials available by topic and medium instead. This makes National Geographic Kids a good option for those looking for a more casual learning environment.

                      23. Fun Brain

                      Fun Brain is another great option for kids looking for free online education, as it focuses on games and fun puzzles. Particularly focused on math and reading, Fun Brain’s game-based approach can be valuable if the child in question struggles to pay attention.

                      Fun Brain offers rewards and challenges as well, and it is another site aimed at a casual learning experience for kids K-8.

                      The Bottom Line

                      With so many amazing free online education resources, everyone has the ability to boost their skills and knowledge. Whether you’re interested in picking up some interesting trivia for your next party, improve your resume with some coding or business skills, or become a more well-rounded person, these resources are perfect for you.

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                      Featured photo credit: Dai KE via unsplash.com

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