Comparing Best Minimal Cross-Platform Note Taking Apps

Comparing Best Minimal Cross-Platform Note Taking Apps

Comparing Best Minimal Cross-Platform Note Taking Apps

There are note taking apps, and then there are note taking apps. You’re probably familiar with note taking giants like Evernote and OneNote. These are the apps where you log life details, archive web content, create and share notebooks, and collaborate with teammates. They’re designed for power users. But they’re not for everyone, not even power users all the time.

I use a system that combines Evernote with a minimal note-taking app, and they work together seamlessly. Evernote is for the big picture, long-term planning, and the like. The minimal app is for quickly jotting down and managing things that will be addressed in a few days, such as researching for an article or a book.

If you’re looking for a minimalistic note-taking app, read on to find the best one for you.

1. Google Keep

Google Keep, an Android note taking app, quickly gained popularity among Android users. It offers checklists, simple note taking, and reminders. The notes are organized in a sticky note UI and can be color coded. With a color coding system, navigation within Keep is efficient.

Additionally, Keep provides an Android homescreen widget for easy access to audio notes and picture saving, including OCR support. This feature is especially useful for keeping checklists or tasks at hand on your homescreen.

Comparing Best Minimal Cross-Platform Note Taking Apps

Google Keep lacks an iOS client but does have a Chrome app and is accessible through the web. The Chrome app provides a separate window for Keep. If you only use Android, Keep works well for you.

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2. Fetchnotes

Comparing Best Minimal Cross-Platform Note Taking Apps

Fetchnotes is a minimal note-taking app with extensive functionality. While it is minimal in style, it offers powerful features for managing and collaborating on notes. Give it a try!

Comparing Best Minimal Cross-Platform Note Taking Apps

For example, you can use hashtags on notes and they’ll be searchable. Other apps have a separate interface for tags, but Fetchnote simplifies tagging. Sharing is also streamlined. Just enter an email address or name from your address book followed by the “@” symbol, and the note will be shared. No need for the recipient to install the app. Collaboration is also effortless with Fetchnotes, thanks to notifications for edits on shared notes.

3. Apple Notes App

The Notes app is already installed by millions of people. And it’s reliable and readily available. It may lack power user features found in other apps, but it syncs easily between iPhone, iPad, and Mac if you only use Apple devices.

Comparing Best Minimal Cross-Platform Note Taking Apps

If the app isn’t powerful enough for you, it might be for someone you know. I recommend this app to new users, the ones I don’t want to receive troubleshoot messages from. It simply works.

4. Simplenote

Comparing Best Minimal Cross-Platform Note Taking Apps

Simplenote is my preferred note-taking app. I’ve tried several other apps, but ultimately chose Simplenote. I switched from Keep when I got an iPhone. Simplenote was already a good service, but it became even better after a complete feature and UI overhaul last year. This happened after Automattic, the company behind WordPress, acquired Simplenote. What impressed me about this update was not any new headline features or a fancy interface. Instead, it was what the app removed.

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Simplenote is a truly simple app that I love. It doesn’t have formatting options, heavy features, reminders, or even support for checklists. I have to create checklists manually. However, it does support tags. Simplenote looks beautiful on the Mac, iPhone, Android, and the web. It doesn’t have a Windows client, but I’ve created a shortcut in Chrome for the Simplenote web app that opens in a separate window and behaves like its own app.

Simplenote is fast and reliable, especially when searching. It has never disappointed me in the months I’ve been using it.

Winner: Simplenote

Comparing Best Minimal Cross-Platform Note Taking Apps

If you’re looking for a minimal, beautiful, cross-platform, and free note-taking app, Simplenote is it.

Alternatives

If you’re taking notes on Android, consider using Keep. If Simplenote is too simple, try Fetchnotes. It’s cross-platform, free, minimal, and feature-rich.

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