iPhone and the iPad have made note-taking more flexible and powerful. Although it’s not exactly as easy and clutter-free as jotting down stuff with a pencil and paper, it’s much more powerful.
There are tons of note-taking apps out there on the App Store. In fact, it’s super-saturated. But there are free apps for taking notes that are really amazing with clear interfaces, great features and a smart way of functioning.
This is a list of such apps that make note-taking on the iPhone/iPad quick and easy.
Capture Notes was recently featured on “New & Noteworthy” on the app store. The notes app takes a unique approach to how you add notes. The objective is to make that fast and easy. Consequently, the interface is cool and you have the “capture wheel” to add notes in a variety of ways. Capture Notes is more or less similar to how Evernote works but in many ways, the simplicity of the interface and the arrangement makes it much more usable than the cluttered Evernote app.
If one thing makes Springpad stand out, it’s the minimalism. The minimal interface of Springpad makes it one of the best note-taking apps. Springpad also doubles up as a todo-list, a reminder and a bookmark manager for everything that you want to note. And it’s in the cloud.
PaperPort Notes is only for the iPad and naturally, it’s a much more powerful app as a note-taking service. There are several features that make PaperPort actually much more than a normal note-taking app. You can import/attach documents, annotate them and share them. The primary focus is on audio notes so the app is developed to make it really easy to capture audio notes and attach them to particular parts of a document. There’s an excellent level of cloud/storage support.
The simplest of all, (discount Squarespace Note as of now), Simplenote is as simple as a note-taking app can get without crossing the limit of minimalism. You can tag notes for simpler categorization/classification. It’s really just a simple way to jot down what you need to buy at the grocer’s but it’s really cool.
When I was talking about “crossing the limit of minimalism” in the last paragraph, I had Squarespace Note in my mind. I’ve used Squarespace Note and when I want something totally minimal, this is the note-taking app I turn to. Squarespace Note doesn’t require any Squarespace account to work. Also, the whole app looks pretty empty so unless you are a fan of gesture-based controls and usability, this app might not be for you. But believe me when I say this is an app for cool people who use stuff like Clear and other heavily gesture-based apps.
PlainText 2- Dropbox Text Editor
There are three things the app does extremely well: folders to keep things organized, a clutter-free interface to make note-taking really awesome and Dropbox-sync to make everything as secure and safe as possible. PlainText 2 is a light-weight app built for the guy/gal who isn’t looking for egregious features. A simple interface that mimics plain paper and a simple sync in the background that keeps everything secure: that’s what PlainText 2 is about.