There are many different occasions when note taking is important. Obviously the first thing that comes to mind is for students to have a well organized note taking system. Students are not the only ones that need to jot things down in order to stay productive and organized. Many occupations also benefit from note taking. In both the business world and in academics it can be beneficial and even necessary to share notes with others. This is when an online note taking application can be useful. Team work is strengthened when ideas can easily be distributed and put into the right hands timely. The following ten online note taking applications are the ones most people turn to. While you may favor one over the others it can be a good thing to be at least familiar with most of them because you never know what your next team will favor using. Even if you don’t take notes for collaboration purposes, being able to easily organize your ideas and plans can make all the difference to your success.
Global Alexa Rating: 37
While OneNote has been around for quite a while and has been a part of the Microsoft Office suite of products it is now gaining popularity because of the addition of an online interface. If you do not already have Microsoft Office then this is not going to be an inexpensive option. If you do have it and use the other software programs then you owe it to yourself to get acquainted with this one because they all work together very well. Think of OneNote as a way to assemble your Excel spreadsheet, documents and images all in one place. With Office.com you can then have access to it all from anywhere.
Global Alexa Rating: 873
Evernote has long been used by people that love to keep all the things they want to remember in one organized place that is easy to use and easy to find something quickly. It can be used to organize anything from schedules to recipes and then access from any computer or mobile device. The premium version ($5/month or $45/year) also gives users access to their notes when offline which is great for those that travel. The premium version also allows more monthly upload capacity and a larger note size, allows friends and colleagues to edit notes you share with them and has an even smarter search capability. Business owners that want to put entire teams on Evernote can look into the Evernote Business program. Evernote has other products as well that handle specific types of needs – Web Clipper to save web pages forever, Food to document all your favorites, Hello to help you remember the people you meet and Peek to help students study smarter. A nice companion application is Penultimate in which users can handwrite and draw notes that easily sync into Evernote.
Global Alexa Rating: 995
Zoho has a full suite of online applications to cover most every aspect of business productivity and collaboration. Notebook is one of their productivity applications that is designed to aggregate and collaborate information easily. It is easy to sign up or you can log in using your Google account, Yahoo! account or even Facebook. The initial page sets you up ready to start your first “book” and you can easily add anything you want to it including images, audio, video, HTML, URL, RSS, files, lists and more. Have multiple pages and multiple books – whatever helps you organize your note taking or other project. The forums make it easy to get assistance from your peers if you get stuck on how to do something or you just may find the answer already addressed.
Global Alexa Rating: 11,047
Springpad is available for iPhone, iPad, Android and Web. The advantage of Springpad for keeping organized is that it not only records what you want it to, it also uses that information to further help you along. For example, if you save a restaurant you enjoyed or want to visit the application gives you a map and reviews. It is beyond just taking notes – in fact it is more like having your very own personal assistant. The intuitive program is ready to offer you personalized recommendations on anything such as books, movies and recipes. A great tool for work and also for personal things. You can take notes, compile a checklist, organize groups of things like your movie collection or favorite recipes and set up and manage projects. You can choose to share what you want while keeping other things for just your use.
Global Alexa Rating: 48,240
Although Penzu is designed first and foremost as an online diary and personal journal it can easily be used for any type of note-taking. While it doesn’t have all the collaboration advantages of other note taking applications there are a few things about it that can make it optimal for some users. First of all users are granted unlimited space in which to post to their heart’s content. Secondly, Penzu knows that a person’s journal is very private and they have focused on extreme privacy and security. Their Pro version even includes 256-bit AES encryption. This is not to say that you can’t share if you want to as individual entries can be shared via email or you can create a public link and share your journal with the world – the choice is up to you. The free version is pretty good but the Pro version is so full of unique features that it is well worth the small $19.99/year fee – and you can save further by getting more than one year at a time. It is free to sign up and you can even try it out with no sign-up required to play with it a bit to see what you think.
Global Alexa Rating: 105,594
Listhings is an online sticky note – it is that simple. Use it to bookmark sites on the go or write down that quick little memory jog note. While this program will not eliminate the need for a full note-taking application, it is simple to use and we all know just how handy those little yellow stick notepads can be. Add to that the ability to save your notes to the server and access them anywhere, or even share with other users, and you still have a pretty decent tool for keeping track of things. Sometimes keeping it simple is simply the best way to go. With over 60,000 users so far it would seem that there is demand for an easy to use note taking application that doesn’t have too many bells and whistles.
Global Alexa Rating: 138,540
Memonic is one of those tools that just about anyone can take advantage of as it is available for browsers, iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows and even Mac OS X! As for browsers it can be used in IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Safari for iPad and Opera. And you can easily sync all your notes to whatever device you have. One great thing they have done is keep the same look and feel for each platform so there is no need to have to learn a different way to use the tools across the various devices. Memonic lets you clip web content, save webpages to read later, write notes, take and add screenshots and even forward emails and their attachments to your collection. It is super easy to organize your collection too and even edit notes and web clippings. Easily share any content you wish via email or a social network.
Global Alexa Rating: 151,095
Currently Simplenote is available only for iPhone and iPad although they claim on their website that it is coming soon for Android, Mac and Kindle. The main page says it is web accessible also but users cannot get access to it unless they already have an account. The application is simple to use with notes being backed up as you change them. It is easy to search notes and share them with others. The basic app is free to use and they offer a premium plan for $19.99/year to get unlimited usage, backup protection and an ad-free experience. Don’t expect a lot of bells and whistles as this application sticks to its name – Simple. Adequate for short notes, lists and quick journal entries. If you need much more than that then this probably won’t be your favorite application.
Global Alexa Rating: 369,080
Currently available as an app for iPhone, iPad and Android it is hoped that eventually a web-based version will also be available. User comments indicate that this app is great for getting organized and taking notes. A relatively new app – began in April 2012 so it hasn’t gotten a huge following as of yet. A unique feature of this app is that users can use hashtags allowing them to organize and share notes as they are typed. The fact that it is a totally free app is icing on the cake and gives you the chance to try it. The simplicity of the app will likely make many users quite content.
Global Alexa Rating: 396,348
UberNote offers two plans for users to choose from – Basic which is free and Premium which is $8/month or $80/year. Both plans have unlimited note storage and most of the features. The advantage of the premium plan is unlimited note revisions, SSL security encryption, no advertisements, larger attachments allowed and the ability to use folders to organize notes more efficiently. Because UberNote is an Internet application it can be accessed from just about any computer. With unlimited storage you can have as many notes and tags in your account as you like – even with the free plan. Members receive a personal UberMail email address that can be used by the member or someone they share it with to have notes sent right to the account. There is also a Firefox toolbar that can be used with the program.
Clearly there are plenty of options for the person that wants to use an application or online program for note-taking, note-sharing and organizing their life. Even those people that steadfastly hang onto the old trusted pen and paper can appreciate the ease of use of many of these options. If more people used these instead of that paper we might just save a few trees besides – although it will be difficult to use the excuse that your dog ate your notes from now on.