Quickly taking notes is one of basic things you need whether you are a student, doing business or a working professional. If you are looking for the best note taking apps for Windows 11 to improve your note-taking skills, look no further, we have penned down 5 best note taking apps for you to choose from. Also, learn how to create notes within Microsoft Outlook app.
5 Best Note Taking Apps for Windows 11
Remember, you need to consider the usability, specific features and cost when selecting an app. Though free apps like Notepad are super easy, you cannot share and synchronize the notes with mobile devices. On other hand, apps like OneNote are good for collaboration but more complex than Notepad. So, check out the list and choose the one you like or you can go for multiple apps if that fulfill your needs.
Notepad is the most basic built-in note taking app available in Windows 11 operating system. Microsoft also updated the app’s interface to make it modern and appealing for taking notes. It has a very simplified interface where you can write and edit plain text.
Using Notepad App
- You can simply type “Notepad” in Windows search bar to find and open it. If required, right-click on the app and select “Pin to taskbar” to add the app icon in your taskbar.
- The latest Notepad app will look like below and allows to create multiple tabs.
- Click on the + sign on the title bar to open a new tab.
There are some other customization options available in Notepad which include theme (light or dark theme), font style, and its size. To access these options, click on the settings icon at the top right corner of the Notepad window.
2. Sticky Notes
Post-it is a physical sticky paper notes popular for taking notes during a meeting or in a brainstorming session.
If you want to use Post-it like notes in a digital form, then Windows 11 has a built-in Sticky Notes app for that purpose. You can use this app to take a quick note, insert a picture and manage multiple notes visually on your desktop. It is also possible to draw on the note with pen on touch-compatible devices. Though this app comes with most Windows 11 installations, you can also download and install it free from Microsoft Store if it is not available in your PC by default.
When first time opening the app, you will be prompted to sign in with Microsoft account. This helps to backup all your sticky notes and synchronize across devices.
Using Sticky Notes App
The app will show two parts – one is the list of items and another is the individual sticky note. You can close the list or note or keep both of them on the screen if you want.
You can drag and drop the note anywhere on the screen as per your convenience and click the + icon showing on top left corner to create a new note. Use the icons in the bottom to format your text, insert a bullet list and image in your note. Click on the three horizontal dots (Options) in the note and select different background color if you need. For deleting a note, simply select “Delete note” option from the menu.
When you have created large number of notes, click the “Notes list” option to see all of them in a list. Use the search box to find and open the note that you need.
Sticky Notes app will default use Windows theme. For changing to dark or light theme, click on the gear settings icon at the top-right corner of the list section. Here, you can choose light, dark or use Windows mode for the app.
You may find two apps in your system with similar name – OneNote for Windows 10 and OneNote. The first one is free while the second one needs Microsoft 365 subscription to use premium features. We recommend using the OneNote with Microsoft 365 subscription. The app allows users to take digital or handwritten notes, annotate, draw, assign tags and type mathematical equations. All your notes will be saved automatically and available across devices. The big advantage of OneNote is that you can share the notes with others using mobile and Mac for easy collaboration.
Using OneNote App in Windows 11
When you open OneNote app for the first time, you will be prompted to login with Microsoft account. After logging in, go to “File > New” menu and select the location where you want to save your note. Type your Notebook name and then click on “Create Notebook” button.
Use the “New Section” and “Add Page” options showing on the left side panel to add sections and pages to your notebook.
You can insert pictures, files, spreadsheets, equations, symbols and other links using the options available under “Insert” tab. Note that, you can click on the small down arrow showing at the end of ribbon to change the ribbon’s appearance with classic icons or to show with simplified menu items.
For quickly drawing or inserting shapes on your note, go to “Draw” tab and make use of the available drawing tools.
OneNote will automatically save your content which you can share with others by clicking on the “Share” button. It is possible to share the entire notebook or only a specific page from the note.
4. Google Keep
Though using all the above apps are easy, they are all from Microsoft thus do not offer integration with Google apps. If you want to share or integrate your notes with Google services, then Keep is the best option for you. Google Keep is a free web-based note taking app integrates well with other Google apps including Gmail and Google Docs. You can also sync all your notes with other devices including iOS and Android.
Using Google Keep
Open Google Chrome browser and click on “Google apps” icon showing on the top right corner. This will show a huge list of Google apps, scroll down in the list to find “Keep” and open the app.
To create a new note, click on “Take a note” and start typing your note’s content. You will see a list of icons showing below the note space:
- Bell icon – to set a reminder for your note.
- Collaborator icon – to share your notes with other Google users.
- Palette icon – pick a color to change the background of your note.
- Image icon – use this to insert an image in your note.
- Under More button – you can find additional options for deleting the note, adding drawing or showing tick boxes.
This is an excellent cloud-based app offers a single space to organize everything from jotting down your notes to managing projects. Notion allows adding various types of content and integration with other apps to create a seamless workflow.
Using Notion to Create Notes
Go to Notion site and signup for a free account. The first thing to do is to select for what purpose you want to use Notion. Choose team, personal or school and click on “Continue” button.
The left side menu items will show list of templates, select one of them to start taking your notes. You can use “Quick Note” option to jot down notes quickly which you can refer later in other documents. There are various categories of content blocks available that includes – Basic blocks, Notion AI, Media, Database, AI blocks, Advanced blocks, Inline, Embeds, and Synced Databases. You can find the block from the list and insert in your note.
Here is what you can do with other templates available in the sidebar:
- Using the “Personal Home” option, you can create and organize household things in one place.
- “Task list” helps you to organize all the tasks in the “To do”, “Doing” and “Done” category.
- Using the “Journal” template you can document important events and happenings in your life.
- “Reading List” includes books, articles, videos, podcasts, and other media types which you can view based on Type property.
The most significant feature of Notion is the creation of a teamspace where your team can organize pages, documents, and other things. Click on the “Create a teamspace” option and explore the available options.
As you can see, Notion is a complicated app offering large number of options outside the scope of notes creation. However, you can try this app when you have a team or wanted to keep everything in a single place.
The above listed apps are the top 5 note taking apps for Windows 11. We hope this article helped you to get an overall idea of the listed apps and you can select one from them easily. As mentioned, the selection is based on usage and go for Notepad or Sticky Notes if you are looking for typing simple plain text notes. And if you are looking for taking notes that requires integration and collaboration then consider using OneNote or Google Keep. Notion is a complete project or document management app which you can use for multiple purposes including creation of notes.