Best Note Taking Apps: Try These 7 Picks for Small Business Users


note taking apps


You don’t always have a Post-IT note handy, but the chances are you’ve always got your smartphone by your side or laptop close by. Being able to jot down notes, flag important emails, record audio, create checklists and even collaborate lowers the stress level with a note taking app. Here’s a guide to the top choices for small business users.

Benefits of Note-Taking Apps for Small Businesses

Note-taking apps provide small businesses with a range of benefits that can significantly enhance productivity, organization, and collaboration. These tools offer an efficient way to record, manage, and share information, which is crucial in today’s fast-paced business environment. By utilizing note-taking apps, small businesses can streamline their processes and ensure that important details are not overlooked.

Benefits for small business users include:

  • Enhanced Organization: Keep all notes, ideas, and documents in one easily accessible place.
  • Improved Collaboration: Share notes and documents with team members, allowing for real-time collaboration and communication.
  • Increased Productivity: Quickly capture ideas and thoughts, leading to a more efficient workflow.
  • Accessible Anywhere: Most apps offer cloud-based storage, making notes accessible from any device, anywhere.
  • Integration with Other Tools: Many apps integrate with other business tools, creating a seamless workflow.
  • Version Control and History: Track changes and revert to previous versions of documents, ensuring data integrity.
  • Security and Privacy: Secure storage of sensitive information with options for setting access permissions.
  • Customization and Scalability: Tailor the app to fit specific business needs and scale as the business grows.
  • Cost-Effective: Many apps offer free basic plans, which are budget-friendly for small businesses.
  • Reminders and Alerts: Set reminders for tasks and deadlines, keeping projects on track.

These advantages make note-taking apps a valuable asset for small businesses, helping to optimize their operations and foster a more collaborative and organized workplace.

note taking apps

Criteria for Choosing the Best Note-Taking Apps

To provide the most value for small business users, we evaluated note-taking apps using the following criteria. The importance of each factor is rated on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the most important.

  1. User Interface and Ease of Use (Rating: 9/10)
    • Intuitive and clean design
    • Ease of creating, editing, and organizing notes
    • Minimal learning curve for new users
  2. Features and Functionality (Rating: 8/10)
    • Advanced features like voice-to-text, image insertion, and handwriting recognition
    • Task management and reminder integration
    • Collaboration tools for team use
  3. Cross-Platform Compatibility (Rating: 9/10)
    • Synchronization across various devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops)
    • Compatibility with major operating systems (iOS, Android, Windows)
    • Web access availability
  4. Data Security and Privacy (Rating: 10/10)
    • Encryption and secure data storage
    • Clear privacy policies and data handling procedures
    • Regular security updates
  5. Customization and Flexibility (Rating: 7/10)
    • Ability to personalize settings and themes
    • Custom templates and tagging systems for organization
    • Flexible formatting options
  6. Integration with Other Tools (Rating: 8/10)
    • Seamless integration with productivity tools (calendars, email, project management software)
    • Ability to export notes to different formats
    • Plugin or add-on support for enhanced functionality
  7. Pricing and Value for Money (Rating: 6/10)
    • Free version availability and scope
    • Reasonable pricing for premium features
    • Good balance between cost and features for small businesses
  8. Customer Support and Resources (Rating: 5/10)
    • Availability of support channels (email, chat, phone)
    • Access to tutorials, guides, and user communities
    • Regular updates and feature enhancements

These criteria are carefully chosen to ensure small business owners and entrepreneurs get the most out of their note-taking apps, balancing functionality, usability, and cost.

note taking apps

Best Note Taking App for Small Business

Evernote

This is an industry leader for a reason. Evernote provides 60 MB of free storage per month. One of the only downsides is the fact there’s a maximum file upload of 50 MB. Still when you’re looking for the best note taking app, innovation is a deciding factor. The new Spaces feature in Evernote Business lets team members have combined access on all current campaign ideas.

You can get this app for free or choose the Plus plan for $46.99 yearly. The Premium version will set you back $89.99 annually. There’s a Business plan for $12 per employee on a monthly basis. Download the free trial here.

OneNote

Simplicity is always best when it comes to notetaking apps. In fact, industry insiders say this is the only one that challenges Evernote’s supremacy in the field. There’s 1TB of online storage included here and your small business gets access to Office applications. If you’re a small business that already uses Office, the interface is going to be familiar.

On the other side of the coin, some of the features require you use their OneDrive cloud. You can get OneNote on Windows, Mac and the Web as well as mobile devices.

You’ll need a Microsoft account to get started.

note taking apps

Simplenote

Available for iOS, Windows, Linux, Android, Mac and on the Web, Simplenote allows you to see versions of previous notes. There is an easy-to-use slider that lets you see notes from before. The feature is great for clarifying points that were made and need to be revisited.

The instant search feature allows you to find ideas you thought you might never see again. These lists are updated instantly. Creating your free account is quick and easy.

Dropbox Paper

If your small business team works online, chances are you already have a Dropbox account. That makes it easier to check out Dropbox Paper. This app allows people to chat in real time while they’re editing a document. Keep an eye on everything your team is doing with this simple app.

It’s available on iPhone, iPad, Android and the web.

Google Keep

This app is designed for photos, lists and short notes. It’s good for reminders and quick thoughts but not so good for the big points from a big meeting. It is available on Android, the web and iOS. And the app is simple, effective and free. Download the it here.

note taking apps

Ulysses

Although this one is built specifically for writers, it’s useful for small business people who do their own marketing. Ulysses builds on the features you’d expect to get from a traditional word processor. It’s simple. The library places everything you write in one spot. There’s no need for Save dialogs or the kind of Finder searches that can waste your time and interrupt your train of thought.

The markdown text editor makes it great for writing on iOS and macOS and the flexibility and features are good for putting together work bulletins or a newsletter.

You get a 14 day free trial. After that, you’ll need a subscription at $4.99 monthly or $39.99 yearly.

Quip

Quip joined with Salesforce in 2016. The app is available on iOS, Android, macOS, Windows and on the web and has some great note taking features built right in.  Small businesses can get documents, spreadsheets, tasks, lists and @mentions in one space. The Live Apps for Quip include polls, calendars and process bars.

If you’re looking for a pedigree here, co-founder Bret Taylor is responsible for Google Maps and even Facebook’s “like” button. The other founder, Kevin Gibbs, brought the Google App Engine to market.

Pricing starts at $30 per month for a team of five.

Feature / AppEvernoteOneNoteSimplenoteDropbox PaperGoogle KeepUlyssesQuip
PlatformsWindows, Mac, iOS, Android, WebWindows, Mac, Web, iOS, AndroidiOS, Windows, Linux, Android, Mac, WebiPhone, iPad, Android, WebAndroid, iOS, WebiOS, macOSiOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Web
Free Storage60 MB/month1 TBUnlimited (text only)----
File Upload Limit50 MB------
Pricing PlansFree, Plus ($46.99/year), Premium ($89.99/year), Business ($12/employee/month)Free with Microsoft accountFreeFree with Dropbox accountFree$4.99/month, $39.99/year$30/month for a team of 5
Unique FeaturesSpaces feature for team collaborationIntegration with Office applicationsVersion history sliderReal-time chat and document editingQuick notes and remindersMarkdown text editorIntegration with Salesforce, Live Apps
Target UsersGeneral, with business-oriented featuresBusinesses using Office suiteUsers needing simple note-taking with version historyTeams using Dropbox for collaborationQuick note-takers, not ideal for extensive notesWriters, small business marketersSmall businesses needing integrated document management
Free TrialAvailable----14 days-

Photo via Shutterstock

3 Comments ▼

Rob Starr Rob Starr is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. He is a graduate of Ryerson University in Toronto with a Bachelor of Journalism degree. His print credentials include employment with various Toronto area newspapers and three works of fiction: The Apple Lady (2004), Creekwater (2006) and Sophistry By Degrees (2008) published by Stonegarden Press In California.

3 Reactions
  1. I’m a OneNote user and I like it. Syncs across all my devices. Keeps my files ready whenever I need them.

  2. Evernote is good. But it takes too much space for a note taking app. Other apps are better when it comes to space.

  3. Rob,

    I have been using Evernote pretty much in the past. I had a special Moleskine notebook with smart stickers and other features, developed for Evernote. I will probably use it more again in the future, when my friend is launching his e-commerce project with t-shirts.

    I have recently started to use Dropbox Paper for two podcasts. We are using it for show notes for the episodes. We used Trello for this in the past.

    I am subscriber to Ulysses. I use it for my book writing. I think it will replace Evernote and some other apps in the future.

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