Taking notes is an individual process. So, it’s up to the individual to determine what features are most important to them in a notes app. While Apple Notes, the Mac’s default note-taking program, does have a few useful functions, it’s far from flawless and leaves you wanting more. Consequently, there is a demand for dedicated note-taking programs.

Finding the best notes app among the many available on the Mac App Store (or elsewhere) can be difficult.

To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of the top Mac note-taking programs.

You Should Try These Top Mac Note-Taking Apps

We recommend the best Mac note taking program based on its fundamental note-taking characteristics, which are features that everyone, regardless of their use case, absolutely must have. These features include cross-platform compatibility, note security and privacy, and ease of use.

For minimalists, the best Mac notes app is Simplenote.

One of the easiest ways to take notes on a Mac is with Simplenote. It’s portable and makes keeping track of ideas and thoughts simple and easy. Markdown is supported, so you can use it to make checklists or take notes in that format if that’s more your style.

Because it is a cross-platform notes software, you may use Simplenote on devices that aren’t made by Apple and it will instantly sync your notes across all of them. In addition, you may always use the web-based version of Simplenote.

Simplenote’s note history is a great feature. This function, as its name implies, keeps track of all the revisions made to a note and allows you to revert back to a previous version at any time. Another helpful function is the ability to invite others to view and edit your note as you work together on it. This is very helpful when you want to get feedback on an idea or brainstorm with a group.

Tags are an integral part of Simplenote’s organization and search features; they allow you to categorize your notes and make them more readily accessible in the future. There’s also a built-in search feature that makes scouring through your notes for a specific phrase or idea a breeze.

Download Simplenote for free now!

Bear: The Best Substitute for Apple Notes

Bear is, without a doubt, one of the best-looking note-taking programs for Mac. It’s only compatible with Apple products, but you may use it as a replacement for Apple Notes thanks to its powerful text editor, many customization options, and support for markdown.

If you’re a font connoisseur, you’ll be happy to know that Bear offers a broad variety of fonts to use while writing your notes. Plus, you may customize the look of the app with a variety of themes and other options. Our favorite feature of Bear is the “focus mode,” which makes your notes fill the screen and encourages undivided attention when you write. In this way, we can avoid interruptions.

An expert markup editor that works with more than 150 languages is included in Bear as well. You may effortlessly jot down code snippets in your notes without having to bother about formatting. Bear also has the ability to attach photographs to your notes, which can breathe new life into otherwise dry writing.

Bear also features automatic synchronization. This means that if you also use it on an iOS device, such as an iPhone or iPad, your notes will be synchronized between all of them. In addition to having the ability to organize your notes by hashtag, the app also allows cross-note linking so that you can easily refer to other notes.

Bear is available for free, but if you want to encrypt or lock your notes, you’ll need to upgrade to the paid version.

Download it for free (with optional in-app purchases): Bear

Notion Is the Ultimate Multi-Purpose Note-Taking App

The Notion note-taking app goes above and beyond the norm. It has all the standard note-taking tools, plus some extras that make it suitable for other purposes including journals, project management, wikis, and databases.

In Notion, everything happens on a single page. All the various Notion blocks, including as text, graphics, tables, lists, etc., reside on a page. These building components are completely draggable and can be placed wherever you like. There is nothing else like it, and it will forever alter the way you take notes on your Mac in comparison to other programs.

What sets Notion apart from other note-taking apps is the breadth of its functionality. Notion is the best option if you need a notes app for more than just taking quick notes; it also allows you to construct checklists, databases, and shared sheets for teamwork.

If we narrow our focus to Notion’s note-taking capabilities, we find that the app’s template system is particularly useful for doing the following: Integration support: to aid in the automation of processes; the ability to share and collaborate with coworkers, as well as a web clipper to store web content to your workspace.

Yet, despite its many strengths, Notion is not without its flaws. One of the most glaring, and for some, deal-breaking, is the lack of offline access to notes.

No cost (with optional in-app purchases)
Download: Apple M1 Concept | Intel Concept

Overall, the best Mac note-taking app is Microsoft’s OneNote.

Microsoft’s OneNote is a widely used digital notebook. It’s free, works on Mac and all other major desktop and mobile operating systems, so you can take and edit notes anywhere you happen to be.

You can take notes, doodle, and draw on any of your devices using OneNote, making it effectively a digital notebook. To add more context or graphics to your notes, you can also take and save pictures, photos, printed papers, or files.

Similarly, if you have an iPad or Android tablet, you can use OneNote to make digital drawings and handwritten notes, a feature not seen in many other note-taking programs. OneNote’s extensive organizing tools, such as tabs, labels, and color-coding, allow you to keep your notes in order and find what you need quickly and effortlessly. Important pages can be pinned to the top of the list, saving you time spent scrolling.

Finally, OneNote has tools for group work and sharing. This allows you to easily collaborate with others by sharing notes and soliciting their feedback and suggestions as necessary.

No cost (with optional in-app purchases)
Get OneNote for Microsoft here.

Ulysses Is the Finest Mac Writing Notes App

Ulysses is another Mac-only note-taking program made by Apple. Its primary strength is the suite of writing-specific tools it provides, which facilitates the entire writing process and ensures accuracy in terms of grammar and style. Ulysses also allows you to schedule writing periods with goals in mind, so you can avoid being sidetracked and produce more work overall.

We appreciate that Ulysses has a feature-rich interface while still being simple to use. This facilitates fluent use of the app’s features and helps you get into the flow of writing. Speaking of which, Ulysses’s concentrated writing mode cleans up the UI even more by removing other visual features, making it ideal for writing long-form content or a journal.

Ulysses also allows for direct publication to a number of content management systems (CMS), as well as support for markdown and code snippets. Because of the many available export options, transferring your notes to other programs is a breeze. Ulysses’ centralized library stores all the text and notes you collect. You may access and edit your notes from any of your Apple devices thanks to the synchronization of this library.

However, Ulysses is a premium app that costs money to use. To get the most out of it on your Mac, you’ll need to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee.

Downloading Ulysses for a Fee

Drafts is the best mac app for taking notes.

If you’re looking for a note-taking app for your Mac, go no further than Drafts. Drafts’ primary function is to record your thoughts in text form, so if an idea strikes you, it goes straight into Drafts and you may decide later what to do with it.

The user interface of the Drafts app is designed to put all of your attention on your active and completed drafts. Simply put, you can use an editor that supports markdown to write a fresh document. This rough draft could be anything from a string of words to a list of steps to be taken. Once this draft has been captured, a number of operations can be carried out on it.

You can use tags and flags to categorize and sort your manuscripts, for example. On the other hand, you can dictate text while your hands are full, view previous drafts, and save the document in a variety of formats.

Finally, Drafts offers the choice to carry out complex tasks in a wide range of areas, including editing, markdown, tools, processing, etc. In addition, you can automate processes that span many services by writing scripts that make advantage of the APIs provided by these apps and services.

No cost (with optional in-app purchases)
Get the Drafts Here!

How to Find the Best Mac Notes Program for You

While most note-taking apps can help you jot down some thoughts quickly, issues arise when you try to export your notes to another site, use markdown formatting, or simply arrange them better so that you can find what you need faster. The ability to access and write notes on any of your devices, as well as advanced text formatting, are two features typically missing from standard note-taking apps.

With any luck, you’ll be able to use this list to zero in on the best Mac note-taking program for your needs, one that ticks all the boxes for what you need from a note-taking app and more.

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