Although Apple provides its own Notes app with an iPad, it’s only intended to provide simple and basic functionality. Luckily, there are other notepad applications developed specifically for use on the iPad Pro, which further creates and improves this functionality, and here are a few of the best note-taking apps for iPad devices around today.
This is not least because the iPad Pro has long been promoted as a useful business tool in itself. So third-party software can extend its use and application for a specific range of business purposes, which coincidentally can also provide value and meaning for general consumers.
A particular track that note-taking apps take is to harness the powerful multimedia features that the iPad can offer, so you don’t just have to work with text but can also add images, video, and audio. Let Colorfy show you the Best Note Taking App For Ipad in this guide.
Table of Contents
Best Note Taking App For Ipad in 2021
Noteshelf was our favorite note-taking app for the iPad before discovering Notability, and it’s still a superb option.
It has many of the features we love in Notability, including the option to annotate PDFs and multitask with the iPad’s split-screen. You can also record voice notes to go along with your handwritten notes, which is perfect for recapping a lecture or meeting later.
If you speak write multiple languages, you’ll also be pleased to know that Noteshelf can recognize handwriting in 65 different languages. This makes it a powerful tool whether you’re taking a language class or learning a language independently.
Finally, Noteshelf lets you export your notes to iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Evernote. The option to export to Evernote is noticeably missing from Notability, making Noteshelf our top pick for severe Evernote users.
Apple Watch users will also benefit from the app’s ability to record voice notes using the Noteshelf Apple Watch app.
2. GoodNotes 5
Up next, we have GoodNotes 5. This app has everything you want to take notes, including the ability to switch between typing and writing. Plus, you can choose from several built-in note layouts and templates and import your own.
Notably, GoodNotes 5 lets you adjust the pen’s sensitivity and palm recognition to match your writing style. This is perfect if you’re like me and tend to press very hard when writing.
Finally, GoodNotes 5 includes a “Presentation Mode” that lets you turn your iPad into a digital whiteboard. Using either AirPlay or an HDMI cable, you can project what you’re writing onto a larger screen while still seeing the GoodNotes interface on your iPad. This is handy whether you’re giving a class presentation or pitching a business idea.
3. Apple Notes
We couldn’t discuss iPad note-taking apps without mentioning Apple Notes. The app comes free with macOS/iOS devices, and it does a great job of letting you type or take notes by hand. The app’s drawing features are also stable, making it easy to add sketches and illustrations to your messages.
Aside from being free, the most significant advantage of Apple Notes is its deep integration with iOS. If you use iCloud and other Apple devices, you can effortlessly switch between taking notes on your iPad, iPhone, and Mac.
Plus, everything you create is automatically backed up to iCloud, and you can even generate voice notes using Siri while you’re on the go.
Developed by Evernote, Penultimate is designed to be the go-to note-taking app for Evernote users. It has all the standard note-taking features you want, including various layouts and the ability to search your handwritten notes with optical character recognition.
If you already use Evernote, then you can seamlessly add Penultimate to your workflow. Once you sign into the app with your Evernote account, all your notes will automatically sync to your choice’s Evernote notebook.
While the additional writing features of Noteshelf still make it our preferred note-taking app to use with Evernote, Penultimate remains a solid choice (especially if you’re looking for a free app).
Odds are, you’ve used (or at least have access to) Microsoft OneNote at work or school. But did you know that the OneNote iPad app allows you to take handwritten notes?
OneNote lets you write notes either on a blank page or a layout that emulates a lined paper sheet. The app’s general setup mimics a physical binder, allowing you to organize your notes by topic.
OneNote for iPad also offers a variety of multimedia features. You can type text, insert graphics, and even include voice recordings. You can also search notes for specific words and view your messages across devices. And everything you create in OneNote is automatically backed up to OneDrive.
If you’re already a severe Microsoft app user, then OneNote will integrate seamlessly into your workflow.
Price: Free (with a Microsoft Account)
When is an iOS app that is equally at home taking notes via handwriting, as it is with text? Whether you prefer to write with a stylus, type text, or draw with a finger, Whink makes the process as simple as using real paper.
Other media can be added and incorporated, including photos, diagrams with colors, and “perfect geometric shapes.” Documents can also be marked up. It supports multitasking, so notes can be taken while reading another form (we have witnessed folks walking around with two tablets to accomplish this feat when it is not supported).
When can it be added to your iPad Pro for $4.99?
Notepad+ provides a digital notepad to do pretty much anything you’d like to do that you would in an ordinary blank pad. There’s the ability to type notes, of course, and make lists, but you can also use it for sketching and adding images.
There are also additional features, not least for annotating other files, such as PDF files and files from Excel, Keynote, and Numbers. A drag-and-drop function allows images from other apps to be copied into your notes, regardless of the file format.
There is a wide range of formatting options that take Notepad+ away from standard note-taking software, with the ability to use different fonts, colors and highlighting, and support for handwriting.
Icons and smileys can also be added to notes, and you can add text next to them. A zoom feature allows you to change perspective if you need to move in closer or further away, which can be especially useful when using images.
Notepad+ is available in 12 different languages and is priced at $19.99 in the AppStore.
Also consider these note-taking apps
The iPad and iPad Pro success mean many apps are available for similar functions, and note-taking is no different. Different apps focus on different areas, such as just text, rich text editing, including images, sketching images, and even integration with other platforms. We’ll consider additional options which take the simple idea of making notes and expand on it:
Notes Plus allows you to make handwritten notes and then convert them into text files, which you can then export to other file formats, such as PDF. Alternatively, you can import PDF and .doc files. Integration options include Dropbox, Google Drive, and Evernote. Notes Plus costs $9.99 (£8).
Zoho Notebook is a powerful app for taking notes, editing text documents (such as Word or PDF files), adding images or creating sketches, spreadsheets, and even including audio recordings all in the same note file. This makes it incredibly versatile, and all saved files are synced your devices in the cloud. Even better, it’s free, and there are no ads.
OneNote may be a Microsoft production, but it’s a full-featured digital notepad for the iPad Pro and other iOS devices. Aside from the fact that it has a lot of functionality, and it’s free. It also integrates with Microsoft Office, which could be a big plus for many people.
PDF Expert isn’t anywhere near as comprehensive as the above programs for working with text. Instead, it’s focused only on working with PDF files, not least annotating, highlighting, or signing them.
It’s only a simple feature-set, but PDF Expert does it well. Although it costs $9.99 (£8), it’s frequently cited as the best app for working specifically with PDF files.