Compare the Effectiveness and Functionality of
the Leading Mac Note Taking Apps, Without Spending a Dime, and Without Talking to a Salesperson

There are dozens of apps that claim to help Mac users take and organize their notes. Here, we compare the effectiveness of the most-popular Mac software for note taking, and see exactly how the different apps stack up.

Is There Such a Thing as “The Best” App for Taking Notes?

Of course, the best Mac software for note taking partly depends on the user. A student will have different needs than a professional. Students’ and professionals’ needs will vary based on their areas of expertise, interests, and the ways they use technology. But it’s not entirely relative – there are always some fundamental features that are required for effective note taking. We help you find the app with the features you want and avoid wasting money on apps you won’t use.

It’s Not All Relative: Pick the Best Mac Notes App for Your Needs BEFORE You Waste Your Time and Money

While everyone’s needs are different, there is usually a “right” and a “wrong” fit for each user. Here you can compare 15 Mac note taking apps in 33 feature categories, and choose the app that will work best for you.

Caboodle Note Taking App Circus Ponies NoteBook CourseNotes DEVONnote Evernote Mac App Justnotes MacJournal Notational Velocity App OmniOutliner Pro Pear Note Scrivener SOHO Notes App Together WriteRoom Mac Yojimbo
Store Notes as a Simple List x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
Rich Text Notes x x x x x x x x x x x x
Voice Recording x x
Encrypted Notes x x x x x
Attachments x x x x x x x x x x x
Annotate PDF x
Tag Notes with Keywords
Diagramming x
Sketching x x
Handwriting Recognition x
Supports Built-in Camera x x x x
Outlining x x x
User Interface s adv s s s s s s s s adv s s s s
Clipping x x x x x x
PDF Print Clipping x x x x
Supports Tabular Data x x x x
Spreadsheet-like Tables x x
Link Contacts to Notes x x
Task Management x x x x x
Sync Tasks to Calendar x x x
Quick Entry Via Hotkey x x x x
Sticky Notes x
Note Storage db md db db db md db md md md md db db md db
Free Access to Notes x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
Simple Text Search x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
Advanced Search x
Search Text in Images x
Full-screen Editing x x x
Direct Export to Blog x
Export Notes as a Website x x x x x
Export Notes to ePub x x
Sync with iPhone x x x x x
Sync with iPad App x x x x x
Free Trial Yes 30d 150h Yes 15d 14d 30d 15d 30d
Price (US) $19.99 $49.95 $7.99 $24.95 $4.99/m $9.99 $39.95 Free $69.99 $39.99 $45.00 $39.99 $39.95 $9.99 $38.99


  • = Most Effective,
    = Moderately Effective,
    = Least Effective
  • User Interface: s=Simplistic, adv=Advanced
  • Note Storage: md=Multi-document, db=Database
  • Free Access to Notes: Evernote denies access to your notes unless you have an Internet connection
  • Free Trial: h=hours, d=days
  • Price: /m=per month