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Best Note-Taking Apps for the iPad

Pencils down. And pens. As more and more business users adopt tablets and schools hand out iPads to students--all 655,000 kids in the Los Angeles Unified School District are getting one--finding the best app to jot down notes is becoming paramount. Not only should a note-taking app be able to jot down your writing, but it should also offer a variety of pen styles, writing modes, and the ability to share those notes with others. The best options can even record audio, in case you doze off during your teacher’s lecture. We tested four top note-taking apps to find out which is the best choice.


Evernote has long been an organizational staple for phone and tablet users, enabling them to take and personalize notes with photos, audio and tags, and sync them across devices. Whether you're taking notes on a lecture and simultaneously recording audio or just making a grocery list, Evernote syncs with all your devices, as well as with Skitch, so you never miss a beat. It's our Editor's Choice.

More: Evernote Review


At $1.99, Notability offers a lot of features you'll find in more expensive note-taking apps, as well as some you won't. Its handwriting and audio-recording features worked well, and we also liked the way we were able to organize our notes and sync them with the cloud. Evernote offers many of these features for free, but for the extras it provides, Notability is worth the money.

More: Notability Review



Like other iPad note-taking apps, Noteshelf lets you jot down memos using a variety of pen and paper styles. But it doesn't stop there. This app also piles on a slew of extras, such as optional passcodes, palm rejection and emoticons.

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Notes Plus

Notes Plus

At $7.99, Notes Plus is pricey, but it's one of the most comprehensive note-taking apps, offering a built-in browser, shape detection and even a left-handed mode. We also appreciate the handwriting recognition add-on, but it should be free instead of being another $1.99.

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