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Must-Have Note-Taking Apps for Students in 2020

Have you ever daydreamt during a class or a lecture? Or given up taking notes because your teacher was moving too fast while explaining that history lesson? Worry not, it happens to most of us and one solution to keep up is to make clear and comprehensive notes!

The craft of note-taking has been around since the stone ages and students today couldn’t be more familiar with it. Nowadays, students use their laptops or smartphones for almost everything – from doing homework, taking online classes, and keeping in touch with classmates. The way students use technology is constantly evolving and a big part of the digital evolution is note-taking apps for students.

Animated characters taking notes

Today, note-taking apps have changed the hand cramps and blue ink stains, to the sound of click-clack-click-clack on keypads of modern-day devices!

Thanks to note-taking apps, it’s never been easier to get rid of a pen and paper!

Note-taking apps help students to focus on studying smart, rather than studying hard! Students can refrain from relying only on their mediocre memory, easily jot down important notes, ideas, and information in an efficient way, and make their college/school life more productive!

However, there is a wide array of note-taking apps in the market for students to use – so, which one should you choose? Luckily, we have curated a list of the best note-taking apps that are a blessing for every student!

Let’s dig in!

Our Recommended Top 5 Note-Taking Apps for Students:

There’s a whole new world of apps and tools out there that makes the process of note-taking fun and dynamic. Let’s go through each of these and decide which free note-taking app is the best for you:

1. Bit.ai

Bit.ai: Note taking app for students

Bit is a modern-day note-taking and cloud-based document collaboration app. It is a perfect app for both students and teachers for creating notes and documents.

The awesomeness of Bit’s note-taking starts around “workspaces.” Bit allows students to create smart workspaces, which can be generated around differents projects, subjects, departments, and topics to keep their documents, data, and information organized.

Students from every stream make notes that involve PDFs, math equations, or other visual attributes, luckily Bit notes are interactive and work like magic with there visual attributes. This means whether you are creating class notes, research papers, calendars, lesson plans, etc., you can easily add visual links, visual bookmarks, tables, training videos, presentations, etc. directly into a Bit document within seconds.

You and your classmates can also create notes and collaboratively work on them in real-time, chat inside of documents, track documents, leave in-line comments to provide feedback, and get everyone on the same page no matter where they are in the world!

Pros:

  • Take rich notes by adding audio, pictures, videos, code blocks, maths equations, etc.
  • Workspaces to keep everything organized
  • Content management capabilities
  • Robust editor
  • Safe and secure documents with password protection
  • Document tracking 

Cons:

  • No handwriting support

Read more: Online Education Tools For Modern Teachers

2. Evernote

Evernote: Note taking app for students

Evernote is a great note-taking app for students that has the capacity to capture a wide range of digital information and process hand-written notes or articles online.

Evernote equips students to take notes in various formats like pictures, text, audio, annotated web page clippings, video recordings, etc. Considering the speed of note-taking by the students, Evernote is also known as the finest note-taking app with stylus compatibility.

All the notes can be organized and categorized into virtual notebooks and can be easily managed with shortcuts and tags. Students can even write notes on their notepads and then scan the handwriting notes to digitize them seamlessly, saving them time and effort! 

Pros:

  • Great web clipper functionality
  • Simple note formatting
  • Flexible manipulation of images
  • Allows users to extract text from images

Cons:

  • Lacks search capabilities
  • Poor text formatting 

3. Simplenote

Simplenote: Note taking app for students

Not every student wants to make complicated or lengthy notes. Some just like to write down a few sentences. For those students, Simplenote is the best fit. It is a free application for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac.

Simplenote has a plain and easy-to-use text editor with small organizational tools. You can type text with minimal formatting and organize notes or documents with tags. This application has a limit on the use of images, video, and audio yet has robust and fast search functionality.

If you’re taking classes or lectures where you’ll be taking simple text notes, Simplenote is all you need. Simplenote has collaboration and sharing features and it’s totally free, which makes it very useful. 

Pros:

  • Simple and clean user interface (UI)
  • Markdown support that allows students to write and publish notes
  • Instant tags search
  • Users are allowed to export data

Cons:

  • No reminder setting
  • Poor save-to-disk feature
  • No social media integration

Read more: Best Apps for Teachers To Engage Students

4. OneNote

OneNote: Note taking app for students

OneNote is a free note-taking service offered by Microsoft. This app uses notebooks and sections hierarchy to take notes. Every section has notebooks, and in each notebook, you’ll find pages for taking notes.

OneNote is perfect for students, given how it allows students to enjoy multiple features like organization, collaboration, and sharing notes with others in no time.

It has multiple tools that include locking notes with a password, adding sticky notes for reminders, and auto-sync across devices. OneNote is best suited for students who are looking to take notes for their personal use only.

Pros:

  • Convert handwritten notes into text
  • Access from anywhere
  • Provides digital highlighter
  • Upload files in all formats like PDFs, markdown, text, etc
  • Arrange lessons and share assignments from the central library

Cons:

  • Lack of feature of reminders
  • Complex for new users

 5. Zoho Notebook

Zoho Notebook: Note taking app for students

Zoho Notebook is a powerful note-taking app for students. The notebook allows students to organize notes as Notecards and provides a wide range of features such as reminders, checklists to sync all your notes. It is not only free, but it is ad-free too!

Students can add sketches, audio recordings, images of lectures, PDFs, spreadsheets- basically, any media content you want, and Notebook will organize it in a clean dashboard.

Zoho Notebook’s mobile app has a built-in sketch feature that you can use to jot down diagrams or notes with your stylus or finger. You can even revert back to a previous version of your notes through version control.

Pros:

  • Add audio notes
  • Completely free and ad-free
  • Cloud syncing
  • Beautiful interface
  • Easy-to-use

Cons:

  • Lacks features like tag search
  • Weak community support
  • No text formatting

Over to You Now!

Undoubtedly, having the right note-taking app is a lifesaver for every student. Your favorite app may depend on your choice and use case. You might need to jot down some lesson summaries, make a daily to-do list of the upcoming topics, or work on a team project with your classmates, there is always a note-taking app in handy for you! It boils down to your personal preferences and study needs. We hope you find what you are looking for!

Is there any favorite note-taking app you use while taking a class or a lecture, that did not make the list? We would love to hear about it in the comments section below or tweet us @elink_io!

Further reads:

Top 6 Technical Writing Tools For Better Documentation

The Best Curation Tool for Educators and Students

Top 9 Knowledge Management Tools

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