The 6 Best Note-Taking Apps for Mac and iOS Users in 2023

If you’re looking to level up your note-taking, there’s an app for that. Power up your Apple device and try one of these note-taking apps.
Matthew Ritchie
November 21, 2022
12 minute read

The Cult of Mac continues to grow.

Apple, the Cupertino-based company synonymous with elegant design thinking and easy-to-use products, grew 8 percent year over year this past quarter. And according to CEO Tim Cook, it’s heading into the holiday season with its “most powerful lineup ever.” 

That’s a lot of new MacBooks, iMacs, iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches (and users to use them).

If you’re reading this, chances are you probably already have an Apple device or intend to own one soon, too. 

With countless apps in the App Store vying for your attention, choosing the right ones for your workflow and everyday needs can be exhausting.

But, whether at work or on the go, having a good note-taking app for Mac and iOS is essential to being more productive.

Why use a note-taking app?

The best Mac and iOS note-taking apps allow you to quickly jot down information—like sudden thoughts, noteworthy business insights, or things you want to remember. And, unlike a paper notebook, notes can be synced across devices, allowing you to easily capture, access, or expand upon information from anywhere.

As makers of a next-generation notes app and longtime macOS and iOS users, we’re a pretty opinionated bunch.

We’ve tested the best Mac notes apps and scoured reviews to understand what users like and dislike about what’s available. 

So, we compiled a list of the best note-taking apps for Mac and iOS users in 2023.

No single note-taking app will fit every Apple user’s needs, which is why we segmented our list and selected apps based on popular use cases and note-taking styles. (For more help choosing a note-taking app for Mac or iOS, scroll down to the bottom of the page.)

Let’s begin. 

The Best Note-Taking Apps for Mac and iOS Users

Best note-taking app for professionals – Bloks

Meet the new kid on the block.

On the surface, Bloks looks like a straightforward note-taking app. But appearances can be deceiving. 

In reality, Bloks is more than a note-taking app. It’s a personal knowledge base that syncs with Gmail, Google Calendar, and Slack, letting you easily capture notes during Zoom calls and Google Meets, quickly jot down information, and gain insights from previous correspondences, all in one place.

Unlike other Mac and iOS notes apps, it uses a unique tagging system—powered by AI—that suggests hashtags based on the content you capture, so it’s easy to form associations and keep everything—from evergreen to personal notes—organized.

The home screen shows users a timeline, making it easy to reference past events and recent notes with a quick scroll. You can join meetings directly from the top of the carousel (or the menu bar on desktop). And the app sends push notifications as a reminder ahead of time, so you don’t need to open your calendar to join a meeting.

In addition to a Slack integration that allows users to push any messages they want to reference later on directly into their notes, Bloks' Chrome extension lets users save anything they find noteworthy on the web and add them directly to their notes.

We’re biased, but users tell us it’s one of the best ways to take notes on Mac and iOS.

Price: Free until we create an app that’s worth paying for

→ Sign up to try Bloks

Best note-taking app for digital minimalists – Apple Notes

For many, Apple’s no-frills note-taking app is all they need. 

All the basic formatting options—like bold, italics, underline, strikethrough, and standard heading font sizes—are there. And Apple Notes lets you drag and drop images, audio files, and documents straight into your notes.

Organization-wise, users can create notes and store them within specific subfolders. Apple Notes users can also create hashtags to categorize their notes further.

Apple Notes comes pre-installed on your Apple device, making it one of the best free note-taking apps for Mac users and a simple solution for anyone who wants to take a note quickly without downloading another app.

Price: Free with 5GB of iCloud storage. Paid plans start at $0.99 per month for 50GB of iCloud storage.

Apple Notes is available on macOS, iOS, and Web via iCloud

Best note-taking app for college students – OneNote

Buried in the Microsoft 365 suite, this note-taking alternative operates much like a traditional notebook, making it handy for university and college kids, who probably have access to the app through their educational institution (or can purchase it at a steep discount). 

With OneNote, users can type anywhere on a page, clip articles from the web, and draw freehand using their cursor, finger, or stylus. You can add notes to digital notebooks (and further organize them by section). The app also provides tagging and sorting options, but some users say it can be hard to find things, especially if you're not being intentional with how you organize your notes.

Like Apple Notes, OneNote provides users with 5GB of free storage. And, unlike other Evernote alternatives on this list, many features aren’t hidden behind a premium tier—a bonus if you’re trying to save money. 

OneNote also offers a web-based version. But like all Microsoft products, the features are limited.

Price: Free with 5G of OneDrive storage. Microsoft 365 starts at $6.99 per month for personal usage.

OneNote is available on iOS, macOS, Windows, Android, and Web

Best note-taking app for traditionalists – Evernote

Is Evernote still good in 2023? And is it worth paying for Evernote?

It depends on who you ask. Despite its shortcoming, the once-noteworthy note-taking and task-management software was recently bought by another company. And it still has an army of supporters.

A Siri integration allows Apple users to voice dictate notes from their iOS and Mac devices directly into the app. Evernote's web clipper is also more robust than other alternatives on this list. 

Integrations with Slack, Outlook, Google Drive, Microsoft Teams, and Salesforce, among other capabilities (like collaborative note-taking, shared notes, and administrative features), are available, but only through Evernote’s Premium and Business plans.

Price: Free for basic functionality and syncing between two devices. $8.99 per month for a personal plan. $10.99 per month for a professional plan.

Evernote is available on iOS, macOS, Windows, and Android

Best note-taking app for quick reminders – Google Keep

Undoubtedly the simplest note-taking app on this list, Google Keep is widely seen as less of a traditional app for taking notes and more of a storage system—almost like a hybrid between Stickies and Apple Notes—for capturing and storing digital post-it notes.

With Google Keep, users can create simple text-based notes, add titles, or create checklists. Note-takers can organize their notes by making labels, changing colors, and even adding backgrounds to their notes. Users can also pin notes or set reminders to remember particular notes. 

Google Keep is an aesthetically pleasing notes app and great for creating reminders. But despite working well with the Google ecosystem and providing the ability to add voice memos, images, drawings, and collaborators to notes, it doesn’t provide enough additional features to make it truly stand out.

Price: Free for 15GB of storage across services and apps. Users can purchase an additional 100GB storage at $1.99/month.

Google Keep is available on iOS, Android, and Web

Best note-taking app for hardcore note-takers – Obsidian

Seemingly taking its cues from Evernote’s founders, Obsidian has the audacious goal of becoming a second brain for its users.

The app is more like a personal knowledge base, allowing users to crosslink information and form complex associations between their notes. Similar to next-gen note-taking apps like Roam Research, these connections form a web that helps users visualize how their notes correspond.

Obsidian employs markdown and stores files locally on a user’s device—beneficial if you’re wary of losing access to your notes if the service shuts down (or you want to export notes and any information you capture somewhere else). As long as you back up your Mac or iPhone, your notes will always be accessible. The app also boasts a variety of community plugins that let you add tables, create kanban boards, use a dictionary, and more.

With a cult-like following, Obsidian is adored by note-taking purists. But for people who don't want to feel like they're writing a dissertation, it’s often considered too powerful for everyday use.

Price: Free for personal use. $50 a year for commercial use. Syncing notes across devices costs $8 per month.

Obsidian is available on macOS, iOS, Windows, and Android

What to consider when choosing a notes app for Mac or iOS

Well, first and foremost, it has to work with your Apple devices (duh).

But there are four other things to keep in mind when deciding what the best note-taking app is for your day-to-day usage:

Ease of Use: It goes without saying, but the best note-taking apps make it easy to take notes—plain and simple. If it feels good to type up a note, that’s a good start. Anything else that speeds up the process—like keyboard shortcuts or voice dictation—is a bonus.

Organization: If you can’t organize your notes, it’s easy for information to get lost. Look for Mac and iOS notes apps that provide folders, digital notebooks, or tagging systems for categorizing your notes.

Search: Not everyone wants to organize their notes meticulously. Sometimes they want to find something they’ve written down quickly. That’s where search comes in. Consider choosing an intelligent note-taking app that lets you search for keywords in titles and in the body of your notes as well.

Additional Features: There are tons of note-taking apps on the market, many with similar functionality. What separates them from one another is often their additional features. Check which integrations and special features are available specific to Apple users when choosing a note-taking app. 

Still trying to decide which note-taking app is right for you? Read our picks of the best simple note-taking apps. And, if you’re looking to supercharge your notes, get early access to Bloks.

Whether you’re a sales superstar, in-demand consultant, busy recruiter, or someone who simply needs to schedule a lot of meetings, one thing’s for sure—you’ve probably booked a lot of them over the past two years.

Hybrid work has forced the majority of our meetings online, and while we appreciate being able to wear sweatpants during normal work hours, the time-consuming ballet that is sharing your availability, finding a time to meet, and adding it to your calendar isn’t quite as enjoyable. 

Speaking with everyone from solopreneurs to seasoned professionals, it seems like a lot of people find meeting scheduling software either costly, impersonal, or just plain boring. And Calendly and other alternatives don’t always cut it.

We hear you. 

Everyone is different, and so is how they work. Making good first impressions is important, and you shouldn’t have to pay a premium for them or basic customizations and integrations with your meeting booking system.

Nook Calendar’s meeting proposal feature is already used by tons of high-performing teams for selecting and proposing meeting times outside of their organization. 

Now, we’re making things even easier by letting you build personal pages with shareable calendar-booking links, right in Nook Calendar. Add them to your LinkedIn profile, email signature, website, or messages when finding a time to meet.

We think it’s the best meeting scheduling software out there, and we’re excited for you to give it a try, so let’s get started.

Here’s How to Set Up a Personal Booking Page in Nook Calendar

First off, if you’re new to Nook Calendar—hello! (If you’re already a Nook user, you can skip ahead.)

You’re going to start by syncing your calendar—either from Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook—and entering your work email address.

Once you approve any necessary permissions, you’ll set up your People Bar. Search for any connections and add the people you interact with the most when scheduling meetings.

From there, you can add any additional calendars you want to see (add your personal one, if you like, to further prevent any overlaps when scheduling meetings), integrate with Zoom (so you can launch calls straight from your calendar), and choose your preferred display setting—select Match OS, Light Mode, or Dark Mode.

Launch Nook Calendar, and you’re ready to set up your online meeting scheduler.

Now, the fun begins

You’re going to start by claiming your unique URL for sharing your meeting availability page. 

Your first name appears by default, but really, it can be anything. We recommend using your full name (e.g., /john-smith).

(You can always change your URL in the future, as long as it’s still available.)

From there, you want to complete your profile. 

Your profile pic is automatically pulled in from your Microsoft or GCal account.

But you can add your name, job title, welcome message, and links to social media profiles or professional website, so guests know a bit more about you when booking a meeting. 

Then, you can start setting your weekly availability.

Nook Calendar defaults to traditional time blocks—9–12 a.m. and 1–5 p.m. These are the hours someone can book a meeting from your personal page. Adjust them based on your availability. 

Your timezone is automatically set to your local time, but you can change it if you primarily work with people in a different timezone and it’s better to visualize that when setting your availability.

Choose which calendar you want to accept meetings in—it can only be booked in one, but Nook Calendar will automatically reference your availability in other calendars you’ve synced to prevent double-bookings when someone schedules a meeting.

Now, it’s time to set up some paramaters. 

You can set up your preferred meeting duration in either 15, 30, 45-minute or one-hour increments (or a custom time).

You can also add buffer time to give yourself a break between meetings, or set a lead time of up to 24 hours, so no one can book any last-minute meetings.

And you’re all set! You can preview what the page will look like, then share it with contacts or add it to your LinkedIn profile (we suggest adding it as a secondary URL), email signature, and anywhere else you do business.

Once someone books time in your calendar, you’ll receive an email and get a notification in the Pulse.

If you ever need to make any changes, you can access your personal meeting page in the bottom of the Magic Panel and make any adjustments—either to your weekly availability or personal information.

You can also remove your availability by simply creating events in Nook Calendar and marking them as Busy to block off time and prevent any bookings.

Nook Calendar’s new personal pages for sharing meeting availability are available on Web, iOS, and Android. 
If you have any questions or thoughts, we’d love to hear them. Hit us up in our Slack Community or contact us through Support.