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Notes For Mac


How to sync notes to iCloud in macOS Catalina Launch System Preferences from the Dock or by clicking the Apple menu button on the top left of your screen and clicking. Click Apple Account. Sign in to your iCloud account if you need to. Click the checkbox next to Notes if it's. Write and sketch with your finger or a stylus on digital paper & imported documents. You can add images, typed text and perfect shapes to the page and reorder and resize them as you wish. GoodNotes lets you escape the limits of real paper. The Stickies app for macOS gives you Sticky Notes for your desktop, turning your Mac into a virtual bulletin board and letting you jot down short bits of text to remember later. The notes are desktop specific, so you can organize them however you want, and they’ll retain their layout and contents even after closing the app. Keyboard shortcuts in Notes on Mac. Here are shortcuts you can use, in addition to those that appear in Notes menus. Open Notes for me. Create a new note. Duplicate a note. Create a new folder. Show or hide folders.

The first reliable note-taking application for Mac is Apple Notes. Since Apple Notes is a part of Apple’s productivity suite it comes pre-installed on every modern-day mac computer. You can attach all sorts of media files like photos, videos, documents scanned from your iPhone, hand-drawn sketches, audio recordings, and much more to your notes.

While Apple Notes checks off most of the boxes, it may not fit into everyone’s needs. This is where the best Notes app alternatives for Mac come into play. Aside from making the task of note-taking pretty straightforward, these third-party apps also double up as a super handy annotation and writing tool. Besides, they allow creating projects in many formats like text, audio, video, and whatnot. Though the App Store has several good options, only a few have walked into our list of the top note-taking apps for Mac. We’ve chosen them based on their effectiveness and how well they work. Dive right in along with me to take a close look at them!

1. Evernote

Despite the cut-throat competition, “Evernote” remains one of the most appreciable note-taking apps both for macOS and iOS. The highlight of this app is the wide range of tools that provide more flexibility.

The option to make notes in several formats like video, audio, web clippings, sketch ensure you are able to give your thoughts the right shape. With easy-to-format word processor at your disposal, you can write your thoughts elegantly.


You can create an agenda to be discussed in a meeting, write a quick memo and transfer your Evernote notes to Apple notes.

Often forget to do some important tasks? Make a checklist of all the things you have to do. Besides, you will also create presentations to express your thoughts with the desired impact.

Price: Free

2. Microsoft OneNote

“OneNote” is a complete package. The app lets you capture your ideas in a variety of formats and offer you the needed freedom to keep everything in the perfect sync.

You can tag your notes to find them quickly. Make a list of to-dos and keep track of them so that you are able to do your tasks in time.

The collaboration features works immaculately, allowing you to work with your colleagues. For more security, you will also add an extra shield to your projects to keep them private.

Better still, OneNote for Mac is compatible with a ton of international languages including French, German, Greek, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Spanish and more. So, a language should never become a roadblock to your note-taking.

Price: Free

3. Notebook

Zoho Corporation is well-known for producing powerful apps. And Notebook does have all the qualities to be highly efficient.

While there is a lot to like in this app, I find “Smart Cards” very adorable. What it basically does is automatically format the contents into specific cards like the recipe, video, and link.

The app provides several predefined note covers to let you design your stories elegantly. If you don’t like the readymade options, you can create a custom cover. Moreover, there is also an option to make public notes using shareable links so that anyone can view them.

With the dark-themed night mode, you will enjoy working till late at night. Plus, the reminders won’t let any of your tasks go out of your notice.

Price: Free

4. Bear

Should you want to have a top-notch writing-cum note-taking app for your Mac, give a close look to Bear. I’ve used this app for long and always found pretty neat.

The best thing about it is the simple interface coupled with the easy-to-use tools. Therefore, you can write amazing stories and give your wildest thoughts the ideal shape.

Bear has a good library of more than a dozen themes that make it a lot easier to design stories. Features like tagging, archiving and adding tasks to notes enable to take control of your stuff. Furthermore, you can export your projects in multiple formats such as HTML, PDF, DOCX, MD, JPG, and EPUB.

Lastly, after a free trial of one week, you will have to upgrade to Bear premium’s $1.49 monthly or $14.99 annually plan.

Price: Free

5. Agenda

If you want to streamline all of your projects and get them ready before the deadline, pick out “Agenda.” One of the notable features of this app is the advanced text editor.

Depending on the specific theme, you can give a befitting look to your notes. It allows you to convert your text into multiple formats like Markdown and HTML. Segregate your files into different categories so that will access them instantly.

The app lets you connect your sticky notes to the events in your personal calendar. As a result, you can plan your meeting perfectly.

Better still, you don’t have to pay any bucks to use all the features of Agenda.

Price: Free

6. Notability

For annotation and crafting rich notes, “Notability” is one of the better options. With a wide range of fonts, sizes, custom colors at your disposal, you can design your stories with complete peace of mind.

You will be able to import PDFs, DOCs, PPTs, images, GIFs to your projects and fine-tune them with more flexibility. Easily convert your stories into PDF to share them with your friends and colleagues.

Make the most of the super handy tools to annotate photos elegantly. Thanks to the automatic iCloud syncing, your tasks automatically sync across your devices.

Additionally, Notability works with multiple cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and OneDrive.

Price: $9.99

7. Simplenote

There are very few note apps for Mac that look as familiar as Simplenote. Its user interface is pretty clean, and you hardly have to spend any time to master the tools.

One of my favorite feature of this app is focus mode. Times when you want to write with maximum concentration, this feature comes into play really well.

You can use pins and tags to organize your notes. And with Markdown, you will ideally format your projects. To ensure your eyes don’t burn while working in the night, the app comes with the dark mode.

Price: Free

8. GoodNotes

I have picked out GoodNotes for a couple of main reasons. First, it makes annotating docs really fun. And if you are fond of giving your docs a creative look, this one can be your thing.

You can highlight or strikeout the text in your PDF documents. Easily move, scale and ideally customize the object color. There is also an option to add the bookmarks to your docs.

Courtesy the fast iCloud sync, you will find your notes on all of your devices. You can share your notes with others and also print them. The compatibility with a number of languages like English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese and more make it an evergreen tool.

Price: $7.99

9. Quip

Notes For Mac

“Quip” is a lot more than just a simple note app for macOS. To be more precise, this is what you should use to collaborate with your teammates. Thanks to the chat and messaging integration, it helps you work with your colleagues in a fun way.


Notes Application For Mac

You can use the app to note down your thoughts faster, create to-do lists, and edit your docs. It also lets you make comprehensive spreadsheets.

Another notable feature of this app is that it allows you to import your address book from several services like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Microsoft Outlook, Google, and iCloud.


You will create insightful charts by using the data from spreadsheets and Salesforce records. The smart slides would not just make your presentation more impressive but also save your time.

Price: Free

10. BoostNote

If you are a developer, “BoostNote” should be your preferred option. The reason why I say it because the app has the support for code syntax highlighting in over a hundred languages such as Javascript, Python, HTML, CSS and more.

This open source markdown editor offers several tools that allow devs to take notes faster. The formatting features have semi-live previews so that you can quickly check your writing.

Besides, the text is automatically formatted as you type, which speeds up your task and also saves plenty of time. That’s not all, BoostNote works offline as well so that you can work anytime and anywhere.

Price: Free

11. Unclutter

“Unclutter” is really smart! It’s designed to be a multitasker and lets you organize your clipboard data, files, and notes. If you aren’t able to take control of them, give it a chance to sort out the mess.

You can keep an eye on your clipboard history and manage it with ease. Store all of your files at once place and access them quickly. And yes, make sticky notes to never forget to do essential things.

The easy editing tools allow you to make changes conveniently. Due mainly to the quick search feature, you will instantly find a list. Besides, the app can be set up with Dropbox to sync data across the devices.

Price: $13.99

That’s pretty much it! So, this sums up our roundup of the top note apps for Mac.

What’s your favorite?


Now that you have known our favorite note apps, tell us about the ones that can walk into your personal roundup. We’d really appreciate your collection and the valuable feedback.

Take a glance at the following posts as well:

The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.

  • https://www.igeeksblog.com/author/dhvanesh/
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  • https://www.igeeksblog.com/author/dhvanesh/
  • https://www.igeeksblog.com/author/dhvanesh/

You’ll find plenty of note-taking apps for every taste and task on a Mac. Lots of the good ones offer an extended feature set – up to the point of allowing you to write a novel in a single note. But many of us simply don’t expect such omnipotence from a notepad – just to jot down an instant short note often is quite enough.

The good old Evernote with its plethora of features has become too complex for an average user. Those who prefer to simply drop quick notes on the fly have other nice apps they can opt for. The only question: which exact one to choose?

So, if you wish to upgrade your note-taking experience, here is your top-5 list of the selected most beloved apps in terms of simple and quick note making.


Unclutter’s Notes must be the fastest way to jot down a note on a Mac. One mouse gesture and you’re already typing your idea, to-do task, a phone number, or anything else.

Unclutter has no sophisticated features like media files support, handwriting, notebooks, etc. At the same time, it’s incredibly simple and convenient – which is ideal for plain quick note-taking. Truly minimalistic approach.

Interestingly, you may drag the Notes panel out of the Unclutter window and place it anywhere on the Desktop (it’ll stick atop other windows). Voilà – now you have it as a Post-it note.

Other app’s abilities include quick full-text search, all screens availability, auto-sync across all your Macs.

On top of that, Notes is only one of three tools in Unclutter. The other two are Clipboard and Files – what makes Unclutter a great complex (still, simple in use) productivity app.

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Verdict: Being very fast and simple, Unclutter gives you as much as you need to simply churn out notes. Plus, its neat macOS-integrated interface to sweeten your experience. And even lack of more-than-basic features won’t be an issue if you’re actually looking for instant effortless note-taking.


This one may not be quite so popular and often-used – but it definitely doesn’t make it less worth our attention. Ghostnote specializes in Post-it notes and todos on Mac. But it’s far from a typical notes making app because of its unique approach – being context based.

At first, Ghostnote may appear to be somehow complicated, but after a look at their website or 2-minute explanatory video, it should all become clear.

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With this powerful tool, you can annotate virtually everything on your Mac: files, folders, apps, URLs and the list goes on. Thus, Ghostnote should be a great choice for those who need to make lots of comments and remarks during their workflow (coders, editors, etc).

Moreover, the app has its own browser to view and manage your notes from one place; there you can also write classic notes and todos.

This desktop notepad has quite a bunch of things to amaze you with. And its fresh major upgrade only adds points to this app as a member of our top-list.

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Verdict: Ghostnote is quite different from most of Mac notebook apps in terms of how it works. Its main idea is in contextual notes and todos with which you can annotate all kinds of stuff on a Mac. It will take some time to grasp how all of it works, but once you get it, you’ll have a powerful notepad at your disposal.


As its name implies, Simplenote is for making simple notes. Pretty straight-forward. At the same time, the app provides you with all the essentials you’d want from a decent Mac notepad.

Note Taking Apps For Mac

Some cool features you get in Simplenote include tags (which are like folders), collaboration (adding an email of someone to work on a note with) and markdown formatting. These allow easy note finding, sharing and visual enhancing.

Another nice thing to have is the app’s history tracking. Thanks to it, you can easily “go back in time” to the preferred version of your latest notes.

Its interface quite resembles the one you have in your native Notes app. Although, it looks refined and simplified at the same time. It’s like if you take Apple Notes, remove all extra, add some nice-to-have features (e.g. tags, markdown) with a pinch of elegance – done.

What’s more, Simplenote is available on literally every today’s platform. Thus, your notes are automatically synced across all your devices.

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Notes For Macbook Air

Verdict: Simplenote is unobtrusive and intuitively clear. Tags, collaboration, markdown, history – all to keep your note-taking process smooth, comfy and simple. This memo app is an ideal solution for ordinary users who don’t want to spend a penny and still get a nice basic notepad for any kind of device.

Google Keep

Sticky notes from uncle Google. Keep’s minimalistic colorful design cheers you up right from the first look at it. It is basically a wall of stickies – like the one you might have somewhere in your apartment.

You can actually do quite a lot of stuff in Google Keep. That includes everything from checklists and reminders to drawing and adding pictures. Labels, collaboration, keyboard shortcuts – goes without saying.

Keep also has some advanced features (you might never use though 😁): Google services integration, voice input, OCR scanner (recognition of image text). Still, for some users those would be a competitive edge when choosing a notepad.

In order to get this talented app, you just have to download a free Chrome extension or you can use it in a regular Chrome tab.

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Verdict: Google Keep may not be the fastest-accessed or best macOS integrated sticky notes app but it’s certainly worth taking look at. In addition, some of its pro features may really surprise you. The fact remains: Google tends to make a lot of useful free stuff – and Keep is no exception.

Apple Notes

Actually, your system Notes app is not that bad as well. It has some basic formatting, checklists, folders, coworking with others… well, even locking notes with a password is possible. Besides, you can add various attachments to your notes.

Apple Notes syncs across your other Apple devices. And obviously, no need to download it as it’s already there, by default. 😊

Right, you won’t see any eye-charming designs or extraordinary solutions – it is dead simple and it just works. So, do not completely reject this option right away. That’s all we’re saying.

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Verdict: If you don’t need your notebook app to be right at hand, look beautiful and have any extra features, stay with Apple’s Notes.

…But why would you search for the best notes apps for Mac after all?

To sum up

We hope our top-5 picks will help you in that uneasy struggle to find your best way to take notes on Mac. We have deliberately omitted notebook apps like Evernote or Bear. The reason is our focus on choosing the best apps for taking notes fast and with minimal effort.

Trying to sum up this article in a few words, we would get the following:

Unclutter – a neat and handy triple productivity tool with instant note-taking.

Ghostnote as the best app for contextual notes.

Simplenote is obviously for simplicity lovers.

Google Keep must be a top choice as a sticky notes app.

And if you are satisfied with plain basic note-taking and don’t want to look any further, you should probably stick with your native Apple Notes.