The 9 absolute best Android note-taking apps for 2022

best note taking apps for android

On the list of tech must-haves for modern life, a great note-taking app easily makes the cut. Lucky for us Android users, we’ve done some research to help you narrow down your (many) choices in the Google Play store. Whether you’re looking for something minimalist to simply replace your sticky notes or something more advanced, capable of handling team wikis and more, this post has something for you!

Here’s a peek at the awesome apps covered below in depth:

  1. Colornote 
  2. Google Keep
  3. Microsoft OneNote
  4. Simplenote
  5. Zoho Notebook
  6. Evernote
  7. Nimbus Note
  8. Notion
  9. Slite

Read on for the best note-taking apps for Android devices, divided by free and paid options, then sorted alphabetically.

Free note-taking apps

1. Colornote

OS: Android

With 4.9/5 stars and nearly 3.5 million reviews in the Google Play store (more impressive than big-name apps like Evernote and Microsoft OneNote), we had to see why so many people consider this one of the best Android apps for note-taking. Colornote features a user-friendly interface where you can take notes in two ways: text notes and checklists. Checklists are completely interactive — just cross items off with a quick tap. You can even set notifications to stay on top of your to-do list without the need for other productivity apps. 

It’s also convenient that everything automatically backs up to the cloud, so you never have to worry about losing any of your content. Overall, Colornote is a straightforward and simple app, designed for basic task management and to capture quick ideas. Just note it’s for our Android-exclusive note-takers — so if you’re looking for cross-platform functionality, this won’t be a good note-taking app for you.

Pros:

  • Widget feature allows you to access notes on your device’s home screen
  • Easily create interactive checklists
  • Set reminders and notifications
  • Searchable notes

Cons:

  • Only available on Android, meaning you won’t be able to access your notes on desktop

2. Google Keep

OS: Android, iPhone, iPad, Web version

If you’re looking for a free and simple way to capture light-bulb-moment ideas or create lists, then you’ll love Google Keep. Although it’s light on features, it has everything you’d expect from a personal note-taking app: checklists, voice notes, the ability to add images, and labels for easy sorting. You can also add drawings, collaborators, reminders, and even backgrounds to your notes.

Since Google Keep comes pre-installed on most Android devices, we can’t help but stack it up against Apple Notes — so, how do they compare? Both apps are lightweight and intuitive, but most notably, Keep lacks where Apple excels: formatting options. For instance, you can’t underline, italicize, or bold text, nor can you add tables, paragraph styles, or bulleted and numbered lists. Not a dealbreaker if you just want a place for your grocery list to live, but if you’re looking for more customization, check out our next favorite below.

Pros:

  • Completely free to use (no paywall)
  • Syncs across Android, iOS, and Web app
  • Easily create interactive checklists
  • Share notes to collaborate with other people
  • Add time- and location-based reminders
  • Multimedia support (voice memos, images, drawings)

Cons:

  • Limited text formatting options
  • Can’t adjust permissions to make notes view-only (like you can in Google Docs and other Google apps)

3. Microsoft OneNote

OS: Android, iPhone, iPad, MacOS, Windows, Linux, Web version

Microsoft OneNote is one of the best tools for taking, organizing, and sharing all kinds of notes — from quick memos to extensive documentation. For that reason, OneNote works really well for personal and business needs. The platform takes after your classic notebook system, where you can organize your content into different notebooks, sections, then pages (with optional subpages). There’s also multimedia support, sharing and collaboration, and syncing across multiple devices.

OneNote for Android is pretty impressive as far as mobile apps go. There’s a complete formatting toolbar, a “Sticky Notes” tab to capture info quickly, and a widget feature that lets you access recent notes on your device’s home screen. And of course — you can’t beat $0. To use OneNote, all you need is a free OneDrive account. Just note that most free OneDrive accounts come with only 5 GB of storage. Depending on the type of notes you’re storing (like if you’re saving a lot of images), that 5 GB might not last long.

Pros:

  • Share and collaborate on your notes in real-time
  • Multimedia support (audio notes, images, drawings)
  • Widget feature allows you to access recent notes on your device’s home screen
  • Text formatting (bold, italicize, underline, highlight, increase/decrease indentation)
  • Scan documents into OneNote
  • Syncs across devices
  • Searchable notes
  • Works well in conjunction with other Microsoft Office tools (i.e. insert entire Excel spreadsheets into your notebooks)

Cons:

  • Some users might not be fans of OneNote’s “note containers,” which are essentially drag-and-drop content blocks
  • If 5 GB isn’t enough storage for your needs, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid account

4. Simplenote

OS: Android, iPhone, iPad, MacOS, Windows, Linux, Web version

Like Google Keep, Simplenote is a great choice if you’re looking for something simple and straightforward. No frills whatsoever — just an easy-to-use note-taking platform backed by some impressive features (like markdown support, the ability to create shareable links for your notes, and tags for easy searching).

Simplenote’s minimalist interface and features make it an easy platform to maximize right away — no learning curve involved.

Pros:

  • Markdown support
  • Searchable notes (including keyword tags)
  • Cross-platform compatibility and real-time syncing
  • Collaboration features

Cons:

  • No images
  • No drawing or sketching
  • Limited text formatting options

5. Zoho Notebook

OS: Android, iPhone, iPad, MacOS, Windows, Linux, Web version

Not as minimalist as Google Keep, yet not as robust as Notion (below), Zoho Notebook is a great option for people who are looking for something in-between. It has all of the features necessary to bring your notes to life, from rich text formatting and stylus support (if you like writing your notes by hand or sketching) to hyperlinks and code.

What makes Zoho Notebook stand out among the other apps on this list is its “Smart Cards” feature, which automatically formats and structures your notes so that they’re never messy and always easy to read. We also like how Notebook leverages touch screen gestures for a unique user experience (take a look at what we mean here).

Pros:

  • Complete text formatting bar (bold, italicize, underline, highlight, increase/decrease indentation, strikethrough)
  • Multimedia support (audio notes, checklists, images, handwritten notes, sketches)
  • Collaboration features
  • Widget feature (an Android exclusive)
  • No ads!

Cons:

  • Some users report that the web clipper and scanner functionality could use improvement

Paid note-taking apps

Note: All apps listed in this section offer free versions. Our reason for listing them here is because the paywall stands in the way of a lot of the features that make these apps standout choices.

6. Evernote

OS: Android, iPhone, iPad, MacOS, Windows, Web version

Evernote is arguably the most widely known note-taking app out there, and for good reason! It’s packed with features that adapt to personal and business needs, making it one of the more versatile note-taking platforms on this list. From checklists and meeting notes to mixed media and web clippings, the Evernote platform works for all of it. And with cross-platform support, you can sync your notes across all of your devices.

Although we’re listing Evernote as one of our favorite paid note-taking apps, Evernote does offer a free version. Upgrading to one of Evernote’s paid plans (more details below) gets you more integrations and lightweight project management capabilities. You also can’t annotate images and PDFs in Evernote Free or sync across unlimited devices.

Pros:

  • Set reminders and due dates
  • Searchable notes (including keyword tags and character recognition)
  • Templates
  • Web clipper
  • Integrates with Google Calendar, Gmail, Google Drive, Slack, and Microsoft Teams

Cons:

  • Free version doesn’t offer as many features as other apps

Pricing:

Evernote offers four plans: Free, Personal, Professional, and Teams. Personal costs $5.83/month (billed annually), Professional costs $8.33/month (billed annually), and Teams costs $15.99/user/month.

7. Nimbus Note

OS: Android, iPhone, iPad, MacOS, Windows, Web version

Nimbus is all about giving you the ability to create “super documents” and “super notes.” On top of basic text notes, you can zhuzh up your short-form and long-form documents with audio, video, checklists, tasks, databases, spreadsheets, and tables. A built-in web clipper lets you save entire web pages, snippets of web pages, PDFs, web images, emails, and attachments — and add annotations if you like.

With Nimbus Note for Android, you get a complete text formatting bar, the web clipper, scanner functionality (using your device’s camera), markdown support, widgets, and more. All in all, Nimbus Note is a feature-packed platform with a powerful Android app to match.

Pros:

  • Try out Business plan free for 14 days
  • Multimedia support (audio notes, images, drawings)
  • Built-in web clipper
  • Searchable platform

Cons

  • Drawing and sketching functionality isn’t as developed as other note-taking apps

Pricing:

Nimbus Note offers three plans: Free, Pro, and Business. Pro costs $4/month. Business costs $6/user/month (billed annually).

8. Notion

OS: Android, iPhone, iPad, MacOS, Windows, Web version

So much more than a notes app, Notion is an all-in-one workspace that’s completely customizable for your needs. It’s powerful enough to function as a project management tool, with features that let you organize and manage workflows, collaborate in real-time, and create a knowledge base that acts as a single source of truth for your team. On the other side of the spectrum, Notion also works beautifully as an app to simply jot down your ideas.

Notion works similarly to OneNote, in that each piece of content is enclosed within a drag-and-drop block. One feature we find impressive is that the Android app is capable of handling all kinds of content blocks, from text to checklists to TeX and code. There’s also a built-in web clipper, markdown support, Kanban boards, spreadsheets, and databases. Notion has managed to create an mobile device app that’s truly a powerhouse in functionality. Not to mention that Notion works on iOS, MacOS, and Windows.

Pros:

  • Try out premium plans for free
  • Super flexible platform (you can even build web pages)
  • Huge selection of templates
  • Web clipper is available for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox

Cons:

  • Takes time to become comfortable using the platform because of all of its features

Pricing:

Notion offers four plans: Personal, Personal Pro, Team, and Enterprise. Personal is free, Personal Pro costs $4/month (billed annually), and Team costs $8/month (billed annually). Contact sales for Enterprise pricing.

9. Slite

OS: Android, iPhone, iPad, MacOS, Windows, Web version

Like Notion, Slite offers so much more than note-taking and is useful for creating a company knowledge base complete with documents, wikis, videos, spreadsheets, and more. The text editor is straightforward and intuitive, making it easy for entire teams to adopt without having to pore over every tutorial — you can even try it out live here!

If the idea of a knowledge base platform entices you and you’re having a hard time picking between Slite and Notion, consider how comprehensive of a tool you are looking for. Put another way: How many different tools and platforms are you looking to replace? Notion is more comprehensive and is meant to replace many different tools, while Slite is less comprehensive but integrates and works nicely with your existing tools. Of course, sometimes the best way to arrive at a decision is to give both apps a test run!

Pros:

  • Full text formatting bar (on desktop and mobile)
  • Searchable platform
  • Packed with collaboration features (invite external members to work with you, too)
  • Huge selection of templates
  • Integrates with hundreds of tools
  • Markdown support

Cons:

  • Slite’s Android app is still in beta mode, so you may run into bugs

Pricing:

Slite offers four plans: Free, Standard, Premium, and Enterprise. Standard costs $6.67/user/month (billed annually, Premium costs $12.50/user/month (billed annually). Contact sales for Enterprise pricing.

Bottom line

Need help deciding? Here’s a quick recap of the apps we covered and what they’re best used for:

  • Colornote, Google Keep, and SimpleNote are ideal for capturing quick notes and creating simple lists.
  • Notion and Slite are awesome choices for teams who need collaboration features, knowledge sharing, and customization.
  • Microsoft OneNote, Zoho Notebook, and Evernote are great in-between platforms, with the ability to adapt nicely to personal and professional settings.
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