The Best Note-Taking Apps (Private, Safe, and Powerful)
Note-taking apps are a bit like a digital thumbprint, only instead of the whorl on your thumb, it’s the pattern of your thinking that they identify. There are a whole range of different approaches and theories to note-taking, some of which have totally transformed the online article industry, others that have led to grand revolutions in personal development and organization for millions… but none of them are a one-size-fits-all solution.
We need to think about note-taking like an ecosystem, not a machine.
If we are going to think at our best, do our best job synthesizing the information that we encounter in the world, we need to have an effective way of grabbing that information and archiving it for later use. To do this, we need to think about note-taking like an ecosystem, not a machine. It’s not enough to say “this is the best note-taking app” because such claims are inherently false, there’s no “best” of anything! The closest we can ever get is through a systems-thinking approach: a little bit of everything is needed to create a well-functioning system of thinking, it’s just that the prevalence of one type of tool within that system will be higher or lower for you than for someone else (that’s the individual nature of the beast).
What do you use your notes for?
I’m an avid note-taker and passionate advocate for various modified forms of the Zettelkasten method of note-taking, which interlinks notes in such a way that even your old AP highschool notes can become a valuable part of how you think and solve problems far into the future.
Because I love note-taking, I’ve experimented with a wide selection of tools for note-gathering and review, and I’m excited to share some of these with you today. This is a short overview of each, comparing some of their key features and reasons why one or another might work best for you. If you have a note-taking app that you love which wasn’t mentioned on this list, let me know so I can include it in future updates!