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5 Best Note Taking App for iPad

The iPad is a wonderful companion for tasks that a phone just isn’t cut out for. Note-taking is one example. Sure, you can take notes on an iPad with the built-in Notes app. But there are lots of third-party apps that are far superior in a number of ways.

Whether you’re preparing for an exam or you’re gathering work details, or you’re simply wanting more than what Apple Notes can provide, check out this list to find the best note-taking apps for iPad.

Best Note Taking App for iPad

Google Keep

Google keep Ipad Homescreen

Best for: Google users

Cost: Free

Features & limitations: If you’re an Apple fan who still has feelings for Google, then Keep is a great option. You can pin notes for quick access and even schedule reminders for your notes at a certain time or location. It’s great for all kinds of note-taking needs because your notes can include photos, audio recordings, and checkboxes. Have an Apple Pencil? Google Keep lets you make handwritten notes, too. It’s really great all around, including if you’re a visual person who likes to color-code your notes. My only gripe is that I’m forced to log in to my Google account; it won’t sync with iCloud like Apple Notes.


Notability Ipad Home

Best for: Homework

Cost: Free, $15 /year

Features & limitations: This is the best iPad note-taking app if you struggle to keep track of all your school notes. Not only can you favorite the notes that pertain to your upcoming exams and even share them with others, there’s a ton of stuff you can add to these notes. Draw with the marker or pen; highlight text from an image; perform math calculations; record lectures as you take notes; use an on-screen ruler; and lots more. You’ll need to subscribe to Notability Plus if you want to make handwritten notes and get other features like auto-backup, audio transcription, iCloud sync, and unlimited edits.

Otter Ipad App home


Best for: Meetings or AI lovers

Cost: Free, $17 /month

Features & limitations: Otter is an AI-powered meeting assistant that works with Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and more. It’s one of the best iPad note-taking apps for the job because it automatically records audio and transcribes it in real-time during meetings, and can even capture slides and generate summaries. It also works for interviews, lectures, podcasts, etc., and is effortless to use because it works with Siri Shortcuts and AirPods. My only issue is that some of the best features aren’t free; additional playback speeds, more than 300 minutes of captured audio, and the ability to skip silence will cost you.

Standard Notes

Standard Notes Ipad app home

Best for: Privacy

Cost: Free, $90 /year

Features & limitations: Standard Notes is an end-to-end encrypted notes app that ensures your notes remain exclusively accessible to you. The app excels in simplicity; there’s basically nothing to it! Another reason I like it is because it also works on the web, and so it supports backing up your notes. It’s private, so you can feel free to use it for personal notes, tasks, passwords, and more. Offline access means it works all the time, and it protects your notes behind a passcode, Touch ID, and Face ID. This notes app supports unlimited devices and notes and includes a tagging system for organization. With a commitment to user privacy, Standard Notes stands out as a reliable and user-friendly solution for note-taking and organization. You’ll need to subscribe to one of the yearly plans for extras like long revision history and folder organization.


Craft ipad app home

Best for: Long-form, mixed content

Cost: Free, $5 /month

Features & limitations: Craft calls itself the “future of documents.” And it does feel pretty cutting-edge. This note-taking app is incredibly smooth. With drag and drop and swipe motions, you can quickly transform your notes into full documents with images, videos, and more. Check out these examples on Craft’s website; they’re beautiful! There’s even an AI creator tool built-in that can generate documents based on simple prompts. 1 GB of storage is offered for free users, and you’re able to build your documents in a single space. To lift those restrictions and to share notes with link expiration and password-protection, requires the Pro account.

How to Choose the Best Note-Taking App for iPad

When selecting the best note-taking app for your iPad, several key factors should be considered to ensure you find the right fit for your needs.

First, think about the user interface and how easy it is to navigate. A simple and intuitive interface can make your note-taking experience smoother, allowing you to focus on your thoughts rather than struggling with the app’s features.

Another crucial aspect to consider is synchronization across devices. Opt for an app that seamlessly syncs your notes between your iPad and other devices like your iPhone or computer. This ensures you can access your notes whenever and wherever you want. Note apps that include web access are even more convenient.

Also take note of the app’s organization features. A good note-taking app should allow you to categorize, tag, or create notebooks to keep your notes well-organized. This helps in quickly locating specific information when you need it.

Consider the app’s compatibility with different file types and multimedia. Some note-taking apps support not only text but also images, audio, and sketches. This versatility can be beneficial for a variety of tasks, from creating visual notes to recording lectures.

You also want to keep an eye on the app’s collaboration features if you often work with others. Some note-taking apps allow for easy sharing and collaboration on documents, making them ideal for family shopping lists, group projects, or other shared task lists.

By focusing on these aspects, you can make a well-informed decision to choose the best note-taking app for your iPad. A great app can make all the difference in your productivity.

Frequently Asked Questions

What iPad is the best for note taking?

The iPad Pro is Apple’s top-of-the-line iPad, and it’s the best choice for note-taking if you want all the best performance and features that come with an iPad. It has a beautiful display, the powerful M1 chip, and support for the second-gen Apple Pencil. However, it’s also the most expensive iPad, starting at $799 for the 11-inch model. For a more affordable option, you can’t go wrong with the 9th generation iPad 10.2-inch.

Do I need an Apple Pencil to take notes on the iPad?

No, it isn’t necessary. While an Apple Pencil can provide a more precise and natural writing experience, it’s not your only option. The tablet supports touch input, so you can use the on-screen keyboard, your fingers, or compatible styluses to input text or drawings.

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