Stylus iPad Notes Drawing Sketch Wacom Bamboo tablet

Things have come to a point where you carry your iPad more often than your notepad and it is high time that the latter is completely replaced by your iPad. This transition may sound to be a bit hard, but we’re here to show you the right tools to make this a breeze. Yeah, I’m talking about the dozens of note taking apps available on the AppStore, some of them exclusively designed for your iPad.

Here are a handpicked few of the best note taking apps for the iPad to help you discover and decide which is best for you.


Evernote IconEvernote

[Price: Free]
One cannot make a note taking app list without mentioning Evernote. Evernote is one of the world leaders in taking notes across platforms, whether it be your computer, your iPad or Android Tablet, smartphone or the web; Evernote is everywhere, and best of all, it is free!

The Evernote app for your iPad allows you to create notes on the go and seamlessly share them across all of your other devices. You can quickly insert pictures, lists, tables and even audio notes directly into your page. For students and professionals who often have to deal with PDFs, it lets you highlight, mark and scribble your notes, right on top of your documents, just like you would do on a book.

Evernote is even compatible with AirPlay, so that you can wirelessly display your notes on a bigger screen over an Apple TV.

Microsoft OneNote IconMicrosoft OneNote

[Price – Free]
Made by one of Apple’s major competitors, Microsoft OneNote for iPad is a surprisingly good note taking app. This one allows you to share your notes across all of your note taking devices, that have Microsoft office installed or can access the OneNote website. Basically, it takes the idea of physical notebooks into the digital world, allowing you to create a new notebook for every class or job.

OneNote even lets you import other documents and images, including PDFs. Just upload a document from class or work right into the same notebook to keep all of your work in one place.

Noteshelf IconNoteshelf

[Price – $5.99]
In a similar way as Microsoft OneNote, Noteshelf allows you to create individual files, wherein you can upload PDFs which you can then markup and manipulate for the result your desire. It is built with ‘sketching’ in mind. Of course, you can type out your notes, but if you prefer to just scribble in something, NoteShelf is ready for that too.

If you are one of those people who loves to doodle or maybe are in a profession which requires you to sketch notes during a meeting, this app is made for you.

Penultimate IconPenultimate

[Price – Free]
Penultimate set out with one goal in mind, to take the pen and paper experience and provide the ultimate notepad experience for your iPad. If you are switching to iPad for your note taking needs from a conventional paper notepad, you may end up missing the textured look of the paper and the ease of your handwriting, but that is about all you’ll miss. Penultimate sticks pretty close to the real thing, you know, for a digital experience.

With Penultimate, you just use your finger or a stylus to take notes on a digital texture, hoping to embody that genuine notepad experience. Lets face it, that’s plain cool and is clearly evident from the millions of downloads and acquisition by Evernote.

Paper by FiftyThree IconPaper by FiftyThree

[Price – Free]
Paper by FiftyThree is similar to Penultimate, but focuses more on the artistic aspects of writing. If you like to draw a lot of diagrams or simply sketch up some ideas for class, Paper by FiftyThree is the best way to go. It offers users a wide variety of input methods that simulate the real style such as pens, paint brushes, and pencils and goes beyond just taking notes for your average class or job.

Paper by FiftyThree is even better when coupled with Pencil, a stylus designed by FiftyThree, specifically for the iPad.

Notability IconNotability

[Price – $2.99]
Notability is possibly the most complete note taking app on our list and certainly one of the most popular. It is designed to work perfectly with a stylus, to be used by anyone who loves or needs to sketch their note. Unlike other similar apps, Notability’s built-in optimizations make the end results one of the most beautiful ones to read back later on.

Notability, also packs a very well integrated audio recording system so that you can record voice memos or record parts of lectures, while you grab a bite under the table.

Notability for iPad - iTunes

SimpleNote IconSimpleNote

[Price – Free]
SimpleNote does great justice to its name by being the most minimalist app in this group. Despite all the high-end features and all sorts of flashy add-ons, to the crammed notes space, plenty of users still like to keep their notes clean. SimpleNote makes it easy to add, sort and read your notes, with a clear white background and deep black texts. The navigation pane is incredibly simple to open up and browse, so that you can get started in seconds.

SimpleNote is the puritan’s note taking app and there is nothing wrong with that!

SimpleNote iPad - iTunes

Pages IconPages

[Price – Free / $9.99]
Pages comes directly from Apple and is free with most new iPad purchases. It is a great app for taking notes, but has ended up at the bottom of this list, because it isn’t really a note taking app. Pages is intended to be a full service word processor and stems from its Mac brother. Pages allows you to produce amazing text files with titles and headers, just like you would any other major word processor, but with a lot more flexibility.

With iOS 8 Continuity, you can start typing on your iPad and continue it one your iPhone or Mac, in real time, which makes it a great option for Apple users.

There are many great note taking apps out there, many of which did not end up on our list here today. So which note taking app for iPad is your favorite? Do let us know in the comments section below.