Your Comprehensive Guide to Note-Taking: Visual & Digital Note-Taking Apps with Project Management Capabilities

There is countless of note-taking app in the world, and it difficult to choose one. In this article, we compare the option apps, read more and find the one best for you!

Having a great note-taking app at your disposal can do wonders for your productivity, creativity, and all-around workflow. It allows you to easily take, organize, and share notes with your whole team–all while saving paper along the way!

Note-taking apps are so helpful, in fact, that the variety of apps available is constantly growing. Many note-taking apps have been around for years, and more are cropping up as we speak. While an abundance of options is great, it can also make it difficult to choose one.

Wondering which note-taking app is the best for you? We’re here to help you come to an informed decision by comparing some of the most popular options out there. Below, we’ll look at a few pairs of similar note-taking apps and compare their pros and cons. You’ll find comparisons of:

NoteLedge vs. Milanote

Next, we’ll dive into the similarities and differences of two more note-taking apps: NoteLedge and Milanote.

Compared to the other note-taking apps we’ve looked at so far, these apps set themselves apart with their visual nature and the fact that they’re geared primarily towards creatives.

Both of these apps work as spaces in which users can bring together moodboards, collages, and more with multimedia pieces. They’re perfect for gathering inspiration and planning creative projects, just like notebooks, sketchbooks, and whiteboards. 

But in what ways are they different, and in the end, which is the superior app? We’ll cover it all below.

What is NoteLedge?

NoteLedge is a note-taking and productivity app geared towards designers and creatives. It’s a digital notebook in which users are able to capture inspiration, create art, and organize it all in one workspace. Unlike the other note-taking apps we’ve covered so far, NoteLedge is focused mostly on visuals. Users can easily clip ideas and images from Pinterest, YouTube, Vimeo, web pages, and even their own surroundings. Additionally, NoteLedge provides a variety of creative tools like custom brushes, color palettes, and rulers for users to sketch out ideas and streamline their creative process.

Pricing

NoteLedge has a free Basic plan, along with Pro and Creativity 365 plans that can be billed annually, quarterly, or monthly. Prices are as follows:

NoteLedge Pro: $4.99/month, $10.99 quarterly, $29.99 annually

Creativity 365: $9.99/month, $19.99 quarterly, $59.99 annually

NoteLedge Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Cater to a wide range of users, from students to designers
  • A variety of creative tools
  • Easily capture pictures, text, and videos on any web pages
  • Support multiple platforms (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows)
  • Good customer support

Cons: 

  • Cannot cater to all business requirements
  • Better for personal use than collaboration

NoteLedge’s Key Features

NoteLedge isn’t your average note-taking app; it’s a digital notebook meant to be filled with images and designs. NoteLedge provides users with tons of features and multimedia tools that are perfect for designers and creatives who want to capture and document as much inspiration as possible.

With the web clipper, you can grab inspiration from any webpage and put it directly into your digital notebook for safekeeping and inspiration. Pull photos and clips from Pinterest, Google Image, Behance, YouTube, and more.

You can consolidate all of your pieces of art and inspiration with NoteLedge’s moodboards, which give you the ability to watch your visions come together. These workspaces are highly flexible and customizable, so you have full creative license to arrange your projects exactly how you want and bring your ideas to life.

When inspiration strikes, you can flex your own creativity by creating sketches and collages with NoteLedge’s variety of brushes. You’ll also be able to play around with photos and stickers and complete it all with doodles and annotations. If note-taking is a big priority for you, the sensitive writing feature will also come in handy.

And when your work is complete, you can easily export it all to PDF documents–multimedia pieces like audio and video included. NoteLedge even allows you to present your work to teammates with slideshows.

What is Milanote?

Source: Milanote

Milanote is another visual-based organization tool built with creatives like designers, writers, and marketers in mind. It’s known as an online whiteboard; users can easily place notes, images, and other forms of media on scrapbook-like boards that can be formatted and arranged in any way you see fit. Drawing tools also allow you to annotate and draw on your boards for full flexibility. Additionally, Milanote allows you to easily organize each of your projects with a nested hierarchy.

Pricing

Milanote offers a free version, a pay per person plan for $12.50/month or $9.99/month billed annually, and a team plan starting at $49/month.

Milanote Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Project planning
  • Easily import images
  • User-friendly
  • Real-time collaboration

Cons:

  • No offline mode
  • Steep pricing
  • No tree-structures for notes

Milanote’s Key Features

Milanote is full of features that help users with both their creative processes and their all-around productivity.

On the creative end, Milanote is great for mood boarding, brainstorming, storyboarding, and even outlining pieces of writing. This is thanks to their fully customizable layouts and a wide array of templates.

Users can create mood boards on a Milanote template (or a layout of their own making, if they choose) by uploading their own images or even choosing from some of the 500,000+ available on the app. Milanote also allows you to grab images directly from web pages by dragging and pasting them directly to your boards.

From there, other media like videos, fonts, and files can be uploaded for a fresh, multimedia approach. And since Milanote makes collaboration easy, moodboards can be shared for feedback.

Similar processes with specific templates make creating storyboards, brainstorming, and mind-mapping simple.

While Milanote’s features are great for creatives working on their own, it’s also an ideal tool for productivity, collaboration, and project management.

Milanote boards give note-taking a creative spin, too: while most note-taking apps keep notes individualized, Milanote allows you to place multiple notes, to-do lists, and images side by side on boards, making task completion, productivity, and product management seamless. 

Overall, Milanote’s blank-canvas approach offers endless possibilities to visually-minded creatives.

How are NoteLedge and Milanote Similar? 

It’s clear that NoteLedge and Milanote are similar apps. They both bring a new approach to the classic note-taking and productivity app; they’re highly visual-based, multi-media focused, and geared towards creatives.

These virtual notebooks allow users to unlock their full creative potential by taking notes, brainstorming, pulling inspiration from other sources, and putting it all together seamlessly. The fully customizable blank canvas of each of these apps is great for creative-minded people who want space to explore their ideas creatively, while available templates help those who are looking for a little guidance.

Both of these apps are great for moodboarding and brainstorming. On both NoteLedge and Milanote, users are able to take inspiration from the internet and bring images, notes, audio, and more into their own creative space. 

These apps also both include an array of creative tools like paintbrushes and pens that are great for sketching, annotating, and taking notes in one’s own handwriting. 

Both NoteLedge and Milanote offer similar free and paid plans, starting with a basic plan that comes at no cost with the ability to upgrade.

Luckily for everyone, both of these apps are also available on all devices, including Android, iOS, Mac, and PC.

How are NoteLedge and Milanote Different from One Another? 

While NoteLedge and Milanote are both visual-based note-taking apps geared towards creatives, there are some differences between the two that are helpful to keep in mind when deciding which of these apps is right for you.

NoteLedge may be better for free-form sketching, customizable moodboards, and collages, while Milanote offers a wide range of structured templates for those looking to manage specific projects like storyboards, creative writing outlines, and more. 

It may be helpful to think of NoteLedge as a virtual sketchbook to gather information and Milanote as a virtual whiteboard to keep you on track in your projects.

Which One is Better?

Wondering which of these apps to choose? The best option for you will come down to your needs and preferences.

For individual artists, designers, and other creatives who want all the freedom of a sketchbook with all the benefits of a digital app, NoteLedge is likely the winner. Features like the web clipper, sensitive handwriting tools, and the ability to bring in a range of media allow for a full creative experience that’s perfect for collaging and moodboarding your next project.

However, if you’re more concerned with overall productivity, workflow, and collaboration, Milanote might be the best way to go–especially for those working in teams. Milanote’s customizable templates offer an impressive array of possibilities for both creatives and professional teams; it’s a great app for those who find themselves in both categories. 

Our final word of advice is that if the price is a huge factor for you, NoteLedge will be the winning app. No matter what plan you choose or how often you’re billed, NoteLedge will save you money over Milanote. And with such similar features among the two apps, those looking to stay frugal will likely find that missing out on some of Milanote’s slightly different features is a worthy trade-off for those savings.

Notability vs. Goodnotes

While Notability and GoodNotes are very similar in lots of ways in their fundamental features like the ability to take, share, and organize handwritten notes–there are many small differences between these apps that could make or break the experiences of users based on preference. 

Both apps offer a variety of note-taking tools that prove helpful for students, teachers, and creatives; but differences in interface, organization and workflow, features, and pricing set these apps apart from each other in many subtle ways. 

Below, we’ll take an in-depth look at the similarities Notability and GoodNotes share. We’ll also dive into the unique features and fallbacks of each that are worth noting as you figure out which app is best for you.

What is Notability?

Source: iPhone in Canada

Notability is a note-taking app for Apple products that was created by Ginger Labs, Inc. In addition to standard note-taking features (either typed or handwritten), Notability also allows users to annotate PDFs, mark up photos, record audio to sync with and replay from notes, create drawings, and share and download notes from the Notability Gallery.

Pricing

Notability provides a free version that allows you to use 3 basic tools, access basic paper templates, and make limited edits.

For $14.99/year (currently discounted at $11.99) you can unlock features like unlimited edits, additional tools, iCloud sync, handwriting recognition, and more.

Notability’s Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Unique audio recording and math conversion features
  • Link sharing
  • Split-screen feature for comparing notes
  • iCloud Sync
  • Password protected notes
  • Notability Gallery to share notes with user community

Cons:

  • Handwriting to text and other features only available in paid version
  • Not available for Android or PC
  • Smaller variety of note-taking tools

At the end of the day, Notability is a good option for anyone who wants all the benefits of handwritten notes with all the ease and integration technology has to offer.

What is GoodNotes?

Source: GoodNotes

Like Notability, GoodNotes is a note-taking app that also allows users to make handwritten annotations on documents, easily share notes, and access the app from their Mac or iOS devices. GoodNotes also offers unique features like the ability to search your own handwriting, a built-in flashcard template for students, and the ability to transform hand-drawn shapes into geometrical ones.

Pricing

GoodNotes requires a one-time payment of $7.99 in the app store.

GoodNotes’ Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Highly customizable (folder covers, paper templates, and more)
  • Horizontal and vertical scrolling
  • Visually pleasing and easy to navigate
  • Document tabs and nested folders
  • iCloud Sync
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • No free version
  • Link sharing only available between app users
  • No audio recording
  • Not available for Android or PC

Overall, GoodNotes is extremely user-friendly, and the customization features allow users to get even more comfortable with the app by making notes on their own. Plus, document tabs, nested folders, and global search functionality make for ultimate organization.

How are GoodNotes and Notability similar? 

GoodNotes and Notability are very similar apps, which is part of the reason it may be so difficult to choose between the two. 

Both have the essential features of a great note-taking app: Stylus support; handwriting to text functions; PDF annotation; the ability to import documents and images; iCloud Sync; auto-backup to Google Drive, OneDrive, and DropBox; sharing and collaboration; and more, including the ability to customize and personalize your paper styles. 

GoodNotes and Notability both offer user-friendly, easy-to-navigate interfaces; and while their approaches to organization differ slightly, you’ll still be able to easily group your notes in folders and always find what you’re looking for with global search functionality, no matter which app you’re using.

Both of these apps also offer the ability to add a personal flair with multiple templates and paper styles. 

It’s also important to note that both GoodNotes and Notability are only compatible with Mac, iPhones, and iPads; if you’re an Android or PC user, unfortunately, neither of these note-taking apps will be what you’re looking for. 

Both apps will be helpful to Apple users who care about the organization, want a way to access all their notes in one handy place, and value the flexibility of handwritten notes alongside the functionality of technology.

How are GoodNotes and Notability Different from One Another?

While GoodNotes and Notability share many similarities in function and target the same audience, differences in interface, pricing, and features set these apps apart from each other.

GoodNotes offers extra levels of customization and organization with folder covers, document tabs, and nested folders, while Notability supports audio recording, math conversion, and password-protected notes.

Notability’s audio recording feature is the biggest factor that sets these two apart: users are even able to sync recordings to their notes, meaning you can look over your lecture notes while listening to the recordings of the lecture seamlessly.

There’s also the issue of price: Notability is on a paid subscription while GoodNotes is a one-time payment. However, Notability has a free version and GoodNotes does not.

Still not sure which is the right choice for you? We’ll dive deeper into the differences between these note-taking apps and give you our verdict on which one is best below.

Which One is Better?

As far as the note-taking itself goes, both of these apps offer all the features you need to annotate and doodle your heart away: a pen, an eraser, a highlighter, a lasso tool, and a shape tool. However, GoodNotes offers more pen options and a wider stroke width range. 

So, while Notability will certainly get the job done, GoodNotes may be a better option for those who want a full range of tools. And while both give you the ability to convert your handwriting to text, keep in mind that this is a paid feature on Notability, as is the case with most of the app’s best features. 

That brings us to the point of pricing. While Notability offers a free version and GoodNotes will cost you a one-time payment of $7.99 in the app store, make no mistake: Notability will cost you more in the long run. To get the best use of this app, you’ll need to subscribe for $14.99/year, making GoodNotes the winning app when it comes to value. 

Notability does, however, win in the case of collaboration and note-sharing. That’s because while GoodNotes offers link sharing, only other GoodNotes users are able to view notes. Meanwhile, Notability will allow you to share notes even with those who don’t have the app.

Okay, time for the big question: Which app is better? We recommend GoodNotes for most people, but it really comes down to what you’re looking for.

If you value top-notch organization and customization, go with GoodNotes. Document tabs and folder nesting allow for the sharpest organization, and this app allows you to truly make your notes your own with its unique features. That’s why it’s our top choice. 

However, Notability can still be a great choice for certain individuals. If you want to keep it as practical and simple as possible or plan on sharing notes frequently, or if the ability to record audio is a big selling point for you, then Notability is the better app for you.

Notion Vs. Evernote

What is Notion?

Notion is a note-taking and project management software that provides an all-in-one space for taking notes, keeping track of tasks, working alongside team members, and managing projects. It’s great for both personal use and collaboration within a team or office. All of your teams, products, and documents are connected within one seamless workspace–and it’s all highly customizable so that you can create a workflow that best suits your needs.

Pricing

Notion is free for personal use, with the ability to upgrade to unlimited file uploads and guests for $4/month billed annually or $5/month billed monthly; the team version with a collaborative workspace is $8 per user per month billed annually or $10/user billed monthly.

Notion’s Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • All-in-one workspace makes collaboration easy
  • User-friendly
  • Combines note-taking with project management
  • Accessible on all devices
  • Customizable workflow and organization

Cons:

  • Difficult to get the hang of
  • Glitches in mobile app
  • Lack of pre-set organization (it’s all up to the user)

Notion’s Key Features 

Notion offers a range of features that not only make note-taking a breeze, but can also be used for additional purposes like team collaboration, project and task management, and all-around productivity.

One of the main things to note about Notion is its fully flexible and customizable Board templates. Boards are Notion’s way of managing projects and tasks and grouping databases. Notion’s templates are pre-made Boards.

There are options to keep track of meeting notes, organize documents, display to-do lists, and even create content calendars. What’s more, each template can be customized so that it works best for you.

And if you ever get lost in the abundance of Boards on your Notion workspace, Notion makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for with top-notch search and filter features. 

Real-time collaboration and team workspaces are other major features that are especially helpful for project management. With team workspaces, everyone will be able to access and make edits to Boards and documents in real-time, so you stay on the same page and handle work with ease. 

Notion also has the ability to integrate seamlessly with over 200 other apps, like Slack, Gmail, Trello, SendinBlue, MailChimp, and more to maximize your productivity.

Even better, this note-taking app doesn’t hold bias when it comes to operating systems: it’s compatible with Macs, PCs, iPhones, and Androids, so you’ll be able to reap the benefits no matter what sort of device you have. 

What is Evernote?

Source: Evernote

Like Notion, Evernote is a productivity app accessible from your computer, smartphone, and other devices that also allows users to take and organize notes and handle task management with ease. While Evernote is ultimately a note-taking app, it’s also great for archiving and keeping track of important documents like receipts and tickets.

Pricing

Evernote has a free version, an upgraded Personal plan for $7.99/month, a professional plan for $9.99/month, and a team plan that’s $14.99 per user/month.

Evernote’s Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Audio notes
  • Sync notes across devices
  • Helpful organizational hierarchy
  • Web clipper
  • Real-time collaboration

Cons:

  • Pricier than Notion
  • Limited free plan
  • Less customizable

Evernote’s Key Features

Evernote has an abundance of helpful features that make note-taking and overall productivity easier to stay on top of. It helps you stay at the height of productivity with tasks, which you can think of as a notes/to-do lists hybrid that allows you to keep track of everything you need to do. 

Evernote’s templates can be found on their website, with helpful arrangements for work, school, and life that cover everything from basic to-do lists to specialized topics under categories like Home and Gardening.

Evernote also offers the unique ability to record audio notes. Whether you’re recording a lecture, a team meeting, or something else, this is a helpful feature that Notion doesn’t offer. 

The handy web clipper tool is another major plus for Evernote; with the web clipper, users are able to save articles, web pages, and screen captures straight to the app, so they’re all available in one place.

Users can also integrate Evernote with all of their favorite apps, like Google Drive, Gmail, Slack and more, so that all of your calendars, emails, and files are available in one simple place. 

One of Evernote’s most helpful features is its ability to scan and save documents; the app allows you to easily scan important documents like IDs and insurance files so that they’re always available at your fingertips. It’s quite an insurance startup ideas that make the job a lot easier.

If you’re using Evernote in a professional setting, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of the app’s workspaces and real-time collaboration with your entire team. Evernote’s Spaces provide a central place for team members to collaborate, share ideas and information, and stay on a task together. 

Luckily, Evernote also makes it easy to search through all of your documents and notes–including your handwritten ones–with their easily filtered search tool.

And, just like Notion, this app is available for all devices, Apple, Android, and Windows alike.

How are Notion and Evernote Different from One Another?

As you can see, Notion and Evernote are two similar apps that have the same goal in mind: they’re both great for both personal productivity and workspace collaboration. However, the differences in features make a big difference in the way they carry this goal out.

Let’s look at the similarities: both Notion and Evernote allow users to consolidate a range of helpful task management tools, notes, and documents into one, easily searchable, highly customizable, and well-organized platform. They’re note-taking apps blown up on a bigger scale and built to encompass all areas of productivity.

But while both apps provide basic note-taking and organization features, creating notes on Evernote is a more straightforward process, while Notion’s abundance of templates allow for more specialization. 

The same can be said for each app’s organizational methods: Evermore’s is simplified and defined, while on Notion, users have full control over how their workspace is organized. Which method is better? That comes down to a matter of preference. 

Other features differ as well. Evernote, for example, allows for audio recording, PDF annotation, and offline notes; however, Notion’s team workspace abilities are more robust and make it easier to collaborate on shared documents. 

Below, we’ll share our verdict on which is the better note-taking and task management app.

Which One is Better?

In the case of Notion vs. Evernote, the better app comes down to what you’re looking to get out of it.

If you prioritize user-friendliness and ultimately want a great note-taking app, Evernote will suit your needs. It’s simpler to navigate and more straightforward.

However, if you’re looking for the best all-encompassing workspace to cover every area of productivity, especially in the case of offices and teams, Notion is the better option. Notion’s document sharing, syncing, and collaboration features blow Evernote’s out of the water. 

Notion is also better for those who prefer complete customization: on this app, you have absolute control over your workflows, along with the organization and formatting of your documents and notes. 

But while some users will love this feature, others will prefer the straightforward, easy-to-grasp organization of Evermore.

So, ask yourself if you prefer customization or simplicity, and your answer likely lies there.

To Sum Up

At the end of the day, these note-taking apps are all great options. There’s no end-all-be-all answer to which is the best; the perfect app for you will come down to your own unique needs and preferences, but with each offering so many helpful features, there’s no way to go wrong!

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