Mastering Note-Taking: The Best Note-Taking Apps for High School

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As you juggle between classes, assignments, and extracurricular activities, effective note-taking becomes your secret weapon for academic success. Gone are the days of carrying bulky notebooks and countless pens – enter the world of note-taking apps! With a plethora of options available, how do you choose the best one for you? In this blog post, we’ll compare some popular note-taking apps to help you find the perfect digital companion for your note-taking needs.

The apps


Evernote is a veteran in the note-taking game, and for a good reason. This app offers a wide range of features, including the ability to create text notes, checklists, and multimedia-rich notes with images and audio recordings. Its organisational capabilities are top-notch, allowing you to tag and categorise notes for easy retrieval. The ability to sync notes across devices is a game-changer for students who are always on the go. Evernote is a great choice for students who need a versatile and robust note-taking app.

Evernote on desktop and mobile


Microsoft’s OneNote is another heavyweight contender in the note-taking arena. Its user-friendly interface and integration with Microsoft Office make it a popular choice among students using Windows devices. OneNote organises notes in notebooks, sections, and pages, mimicking the structure of traditional notebooks. The app supports various media types, and its collaboration features are excellent for group projects. If you’re already invested in the Microsoft ecosystem, OneNote seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft apps like Word and PowerPoint.

OneNote app on a laptop, tablet and mobile phones.


Notion is a newer player in the note-taking game, but it has quickly gained a dedicated following. This all-in-one workspace allows you to create notes, to-do lists, databases, and even project management boards. Notion’s versatility is its standout feature, making it a favourite among students who want to keep all their study materials in one place. However, with its expansive feature set, it might take a little time to get used to, but the learning curve is well worth it!

Notion app showing class notes

Google Keep

Google Keep, a part of Google’s suite of productivity tools, is perfect for students who prefer simplicity and integration with their Google account. This app is straightforward, allowing you to create text-based notes, checklists, and even audio notes. Its colour-coding feature helps keep things visually organised. The best part? Google Keep syncs seamlessly with other Google apps like Google Drive and Google Docs, making it easy to access and use your notes across various platforms.


Bear is a note-taking app for macOS and iOS users who value aesthetics and simplicity. Its clean and elegant design makes note-taking a delight. Bear’s organisational system uses tags to categorise notes, making it easy to find what you need. The app supports markdown, which is great for formatting text without the need for complex menus. Bear also offers a focus mode that lets you concentrate on one note at a time, perfect for staying on track during study sessions.

Screenshot of the Bear note-taking app


As the name suggests, Simplenote is all about minimalism and straightforward note-taking. It’s a no-frills app that offers a distraction-free environment for taking text-based notes. While it lacks some of the multimedia features of other apps, its simplicity is its charm. Simplenote is an excellent option for students who want a basic note-taking app without any unnecessary bells and whistles.


If you prefer taking handwritten notes, Notability is the app for you. Available for iOS and macOS, Notability offers a realistic handwriting experience with support for the Apple Pencil. You can annotate PDFs, add images, and record audio alongside your handwritten notes. The app’s versatility makes it ideal for students who enjoy combining traditional note-taking with digital features.

How do I choose?

Before you make a decision, here are some factors to consider:

1. Platform Compatibility: Ensure that the note-taking app is compatible with all of your devices and operating systems. It’s essential to have seamless access to your notes across your devices.

2. Syncing and Cloud Storage: Look for apps that offer automatic syncing and cloud storage. This feature ensures that your notes are backed up and accessible even if you switch devices.

3. Multimedia Support: Consider whether you need to include images, audio recordings, or other multimedia elements in your notes. Choose an app that supports the media types you intend to use.

4. Organisational Capabilities: Evaluate the app’s organisational features, such as tagging, categorisation, or folder systems. These tools help you keep your notes structured and easy to navigate or search.

5. Collaboration Features: If you often work on group projects, consider apps that offer collaboration features, allowing you to share and edit notes with others.

6. User Interface: The app’s user interface should be intuitive and easy to navigate. A cluttered or confusing interface may hinder your note-taking experience.

7. Free vs. Premium Versions: While many note-taking apps offer free versions, some advanced features may be available only with a premium subscription. Consider your budget and the features you genuinely need.

In the end, the best note-taking app for you is the one that aligns with your personal preferences, study habits, and academic needs. Experiment with a few options and see which one feels like the perfect digital companion for your high school journey. Happy note-taking!

Written by

  • Mayu is a doctor, researcher, and founder of Intuition Academics. His passion for education has culminated in years of teaching high school and medical students. In his spare time you'll find him perched on a mountain with a camera in one hand, and a tripod in the other.

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