Don’t lose your ideas, take note!

best note taking app 2018

Do you have time when ideas are flowing out of your brain but forget to capture them and lose them forever? Or just never a have a notepad on hand to write it down.capture ideas app

Ideas can come to me at the strangest times, but I’ve now learned to be prepared and capture them as quick as possible.

Not everyone carries a little note pad in their pocket. Today’s technology allows us to capture ideas in writing, sounds, voice memos, pictures, screen captures and videos, at the swipe of a finger.

This is all good to capture, but then it comes to arranging and finding these notes after. You remember 3 days later to action that idea but can find where you put all the details.

Here are some of the tools I’ve used over the past years to capture and organise my ideas and projects:

note taking apps for ipadOneNote

This is by far my favourite tool to use. Free with Windows and Outlook accounts, OneNote is a powerful virtual notebook. You can have as many notebooks as you like and each notebook can be organised with sections. Each section can have as many pages as you like.

OneNote lets you capture text, pictures, audio recordings, video recordings, screen captures and many other file formats.

Captured information doesn’t have to fixed in one position, you can easily move content boxes where ever you like on the pages. This can be used like a vision board.

You can also integrate hyperlinks links between pages or external sources. I really like the fact that I can capture research ideas from the web and create links in different documents to reference best note taking app windowsfrom.

One of my favourite features is that I can type in a search words or phrases in the search box and it will search any opened notebook for this information.

You can easily share and collaborate with friends or work colleagues when you work on project together. OneNote notebooks can be sync across multiple devices and with your OneDrive cloud service. OneNote works great on desktop and but also quite well on iPad or Android Tablets.

OneNote also have drawing function which can be used to annotate over content boxes. This works ok with Windows tablets if they have a great stylus and palm rejection featured. I recently used it on an iPad Pro and was amazed with how well it worked.

The only thing that OneNote is missing is handwriting recognition by default. You can use the Microsoft handwriting keyboard but I didn’t like how it worked.

Price: Free with your OneDrive free account. You get free 15GB Cloud storage with OneDrive.

Binaural beats for Android

evernote vs onenoteEvernote 

Evernote has been the close competition in the note taking space with OneNote. I was using Evernote before I started using OneNote as it used to have superior cloud syncing and searching features.

OneNote has since caught up and does just about the same features as Evernote. There is a different feeling using Evernote. It feels more like a fixed environment and more best note taking app macstructured. Sort of like a filing cabinet instead of vision board.

I think the structured environment suits those who like neatness and like to take notes as if using a word processing program. Writers and bloggers may prefer this a research tool.

What Evernote has not really done well is handwriting recognition and free hand sketch. They do have a host of associated apps which sync with Evernote that can offer this function.

Penultimate for iPad with Evernote is a lovely sketch app which gives you a natural feeling like writing on paper. It’s like a real notebook in your iPhone or iPad. Unfortunately, they never released a version on Android.

Evernote is free for up to 60MB per month of data but there are premium plans for high data users. With premium, you do get additional features like Business Card scanner, mange notes offline, annotate on PDFs, presentation mode and concierge support.

Binaural beats for Android

goodnotes vs notabilityGoodnotes 4

If you’re trying to go paperless and miss pen to paper, Goodnotes may be the app for you. Goodnotes is the only app that I felt has really mastered true pen to paper feeling and thought about how to make hand writing recognition run so efficiently. This has the best handwriting recognition I’ve ever used.

The interface is fluid and flows well for quick note taking. Even with my average coordination and horrible handwriting skills, I could still make all the functions works so well.

You can also import pictures and documents into Goodnote and annotate them.

Goodnotes syncs with just about any of the main cloud services and all notes can be save and recalled from different devices. You can also save your notes as PDF and email straight out of the app.




google keep vs evernoteGoogle Keep

This neat and compact app can be run on any device and syncs with your Google account. A simple app for basic note taking, making task lists and capturing audio.

This a free app that everyone can use and makes it simple to collaborate with other on projects.

Sharing things like the grocery list is great as between my wife and I, we can also find out what we need at the shops without asking and getting a live up to date list.

google keep vs wunderlist

Binaural beats for Android

Whatever medium you use, we are spoiled for choice. There is no reason to lose your ideas and follow them up now.

How do you capture your ideas?   Do you action them?   When and where do you ideas come to you?   Let me know in the comments.

26 Comments on Don’t lose your ideas, take note!

  1. Wow, I’m so glad I stumbled across this post. I had never heard about the tools that can keep notes on the go. I am only familiar with the notes section of my iphone and never am able to find older notes. Now that you’re shared this valuable information, I’ll be checking them out for sure. I too get ideas at the oddest times, and least when I’m likely to have a pen and paper with me. We have the technology available, so why not use our phones or ipads for ideas. This will be so convenient for me. Thanks for creating a helpful post.

  2. Fantastic post! Thank you, this is exactly what I have been looking for. I have been trying to find something to help me organise my daily todo lists and to be able to take notes for both business and personal tasks on my iPad and your review and video helps so much. Thanks again, and love your site by the way!!

  3. Hi Vince, your post has prompted me to do some further investigation. I can’t help it, I’m still stuck in the 90s when it comes to this stuff, and I still walk around with a notebook and a pen. There is something I like about making a note or perhaps a diagram when I think of something and I’m out. But, as you say, we are spoiled for choice now, and the solutions you talk about have some excellent features that are so handy across a number of contexts, whether it be work or personal.

    OneNote sounds like it might be a winner and you’ve convinced me that really, there is no excuse! Thanks

    • Hi Melissa, Pen and pad still has its place in the world. For some meetings, I still find pen and pad essential for speed and not worrying about flat batteries or apps to open up when I need to get something urgent down. So both have their place.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Hi thanks for sharing, these products sure beat the ‘notes’ app on my iphone! I’m going to download onenote today. Cheers, Karen 🙂

  5. This is a very useful list. Thank you Vince!

    Personally, I’m using Evernote but I guess I’m not utilizing it to the max. I’ve just learnt some new things from the Evernote tutorial you attached. It’s really helpful so thank you.

    I’ve not heard of Google keep and Goodnote 4 but I’ll check them out 🙂

  6. I have to let you know that you have been saved to my favorites. This is something I haven’t used much but now I will. I am going to look closer at all of these as I love the idea of going paperless.

    I do like real books, but every set of engineering plans I have and design standards have all been scanned in and made PDF’s of our I obtained a digital copy. This whole note thing is exactly what I need. Thanks.

    • Thanks for your comment Rick. For my job, I also look at a lot of engineering and floor plans. I found A1 to A3 copies when everyone is huddled around a table is good, but annotating on a device is great for making markups I can share by email.

      All the best going paperless and thanks for adding this site to your favorites.

  7. Whenever a new idea pops in my head to help improve my buisness, I try to find a piece of paper to quickly jot it down. However, in some unfortunate cases I lose that piece of paper and my idea with it!

    Luckily by using one these programs I should be able to keep them safe and sound!


  8. Hi Vince!

    I wish I’d known about these apps way before today! I lose a lot of ideas because I did not know these apps existed! Thank you!

  9. Thanks, Vince, for this post. I’ve heard of these, but as of yet haven’t tried any. Your review has got me thinking I need one though. Other than the Google one, do the others have phone apps as well?
    Thanks so much,

  10. I am going to try Good Notes because I still prefer the writing to the typing. I guess it is because I am an “Old Bird” and it’s hard to break a 60 year old habit. I have One Note but I have never used it. It just didn’t feel right for me. Great article and well thought out. I am going to give it a try and by the way, I carry a pen and pad every where I go. Lol.

  11. Hello Vince, I must confess I have heard about this great tools, specially “One Note” and “Evernote but; never bother to read or learn about them; and now that I came across your post I should say want to take advantage of these valuable information.Specially now that I am here at WA and want to do these for a full time.
    Your post is well outline and the imagery and graphics are awesome and wish I can do as well as you when it comes to posting and writing in such dominating and attractive way.Once again thanks for sharing and providing us with this wonderful tools and info. Xavier.T

    • All that you wish to become is only a limit of yourself. A couple of years ago I was in a similar place but my mindset was in a mode to learn. As I did, I grew and so will you.
      I appreciate your feedback Xavier and you in the a good place to learn. How long have you been blogging for?

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