Five apps for better note taking and organization

Incorporate a feature-rich and proper note taking app to help you better organize your thoughts and words.

When you need to jot down that quick idea, or need to record more elaborate details to a business plan or tackle an agenda, you might want to consider dropping Notepad out of your workflow to incorporate a feature-rich and proper note taking app which can help you better organize your thoughts and words. To that end, here are five apps for Windows that I believe are a nice fit for recording your musings on the fly.

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Five Apps

1. Microsoft OneNote

Once again, Microsoft has a stellar offering in this category of software. Not only are you able to organize your notes by pages, you are also able to sync everything between all of your devices connected to your Microsoft account, embed recorded audio and video, draw directly within notes you create, and more. The deep integration with Exchange Server, SharePoint, and other Microsoft Office products grants OneNote a level of integration that you won't see in other note applications.


2. Evernote

Started back in 2008, Evernote has grown in popularity within the past few years and is probably the premiere freeware (mostly) note taking app, not just for Windows PCs, but also for Macs and several mobile platforms, such as Android and iOS. Like OneNote, you are also able to sync to any computers and devices tied to your account, but you are limited to a paltry 60MB of monthly bandwidth for syncing purposes. If your note taking needs are fairly regular, you might want to consider the premium upgrade for $45 a year, which raises the bandwidth ceiling to 1GB per month.


3. KeepNote

If you are looking for something more bare-bones, KeepNote might be right for you. The product is quite lightweight and runs nicely even on slower systems. The only thing you would probably miss is the fact that KeepNote lacks any proper sync functionality. The interface is well designed and also quite responsive too. If you have Python coding experience, you can easily build upon this application as desired, since KeepNote is based on the Python language. KeepNote is licensed as open source under the GPL.


4. WikidPad

For a more power-user or developer approach to crafting notes, WikidPad looks quite interesting. This software offers an easy to use IDE-style editor which can crank out HTML based notes on the fly without having to have extensive knowledge of web design. This alternative approach can come in handy if you want to output notes in a format that can be read in all web browsers. Example pages are provided for convenience. WikidPad is licensed as open source under the GPL.


5. CintaNotes

And last, but not least, CintaNotes offers an incredibly minimalistic UI that simply tries to get out of your way when you create content. You can sync your notes using the Simplenotes platform, but not without paying a one-time $25 dollar upgrade fee for the pro release. Honestly, if the notes you decide to take are that important to keep around, paying the fee for the added peace of mind is likely worth it in the long run.