Best App For Mac To Text – Top 5 Annotation Apps for Mac in 2022 One of these Evernote alternatives for Mac will fit your workflow perfectly.
There are many great note-taking apps, but not all of them work well on Mac. Productivity apps that don’t fit your workflow can trip you up, so it’s important to find a true Mac note-taking app.
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Mismatched keyboard shortcuts, instructions, and user interfaces can be distracting and the last thing you want to think about when it’s time to take notes.
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I’ve been writing about macOS for over a decade and love finding the best Mac apps. I have come up with 20 note apps for Mac and after extensive testing this article covers the best of the best.
All of our best practices summaries are written by people who have spent most of their careers using, testing, and writing software. We spend tens of hours researching and testing each application and evaluate it against the criteria set for its intended use and category. We never pay for links from any app or any site to embed in our articles – we value the trust of our readers in providing honest reviews of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full rundown of how we chose the apps to feature on the blog.
You can take notes on this using any app or a piece of paper. But for the purposes of this article, we’ve only covered apps designed with the note in mind. This usually means a main window that you can use to browse all your notes, divided into notebooks and usually organized by date.
But this is the lowest. What makes the Mac Notes app really great? The best Mac note-taking apps, in our opinion:
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All of the note-taking apps below for Mac meet all of these criteria and many of them excel. One of them is for you.
There is a saying in photography: The camera you have is the best camera. If you have a Mac, you have Apple Notes, making it the best note-taking app for many people. I’m not saying this to stop Apple Notes – it’s a very effective tool. But the fact that you don’t have to install it, pay for it, or create a new account to get started is reason enough for most Mac users to try Apple Notes first.
The app loads instantly, and creating a new note couldn’t be faster. You can drag images into your notes and they’ll appear instantly, and there’s even support for embedding audio files. If you want, you can add any document to the note and everything happens very quickly. It’s a native Mac app, so you don’t have to wait for installations before things pop up.
Notes are organized in notebooks and arranged by date. There is also support for tagging; simply add a #hashtag to the text of a note; The tag appears in the sidebar – and the quick search feature finds every note. The main disadvantage here is the limited export option. You can export any note to PDF… and that’s it. There is no official way to export an entire notebook.
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However, if you’re looking for a notes app for Apple’s operating systems, try Apple Notes first. It might be perfect for you, or you might find out which missing features are most important. Either way, it’s a win.
Apple Notes Price: Free with 5GB of iCloud storage. Paid plans start at $0.99/month for 50GB of iCloud storage.
OneNote first came out in 2003 and is the oldest app on this list. Notes are organized into multiple notebooks divided into sections. It’s a design that many other apps will continue to copy, but in many ways, OneNote still does it best – while offering more generous free options than you’ll find anywhere else.
OneNote is particularly easy to recommend to Microsoft Office users who are familiar with its user interface, but it works for everyone. The main metaphor is a paper notebook. Most of the apps on this list work like text editors, but OneNote is like a piece of paper: you can click anywhere to start typing exactly at that point. There is also support for drawing, but it may be easier to use on a tablet than a Mac, and images and documents can be inserted inline or as attachments.
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And the search is very comprehensive, giving you a way to find notes in each of your notebooks. There’s even optical character recognition (OCR), meaning if you add an image or PDF, your search will apply to the content of those files. No other app on this list offers this. You can also clip articles and recipes from the web using OneNote Clipper for your browser.
Outside of the Apple ecosystem, OneNote syncs with any device you can think of. So it’s a good option whether you’re using Windows or Android. You can also make OneNote even more powerful by using OneNote’s OneNote integration, which connects OneNote with thousands of other apps. For example, you can automatically create new notes for all Google Calendar events so you’re ready to go when the meeting starts, or you can automatically transfer notes from other apps.
If Apple Notes doesn’t give you the freedom you want, try OneNote. You may find the interface a bit cumbersome, but the flexibility is worth the compromise.
Microsoft OneNote Price: Free with 5G OneDrive storage. Microsoft 365 starts at $9.99/month and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outline and 6TB of OneDrive storage.
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OneNote’s closest competitor for a long time has been Evernote. A recent update means that the Mac app is actually a web version of Evernote on Windows. That’s why we’re not including Evernote on this particular list, although we still think it’s one of the best note-taking apps out there.
Notebook apps store their files in a proprietary format (Apple Notes, OneNote) or generally require you to learn Markdown (other apps on this list). The notebook is different. The app stores each note on your computer as an HTML file, but you don’t need to know what it means to use it. Flexibility and simplicity in one beautiful package.
In many ways, the notebook reminds me of what Evernote was like before the original Mac versions were released. There are three panes: one for your notebook, another for notebook documents, and the third for the current note. You can double-click any note to open it in its own window, allowing you to work on multiple notes at once, or keep a small side window while researching online. The interface is truly Mac-like with all the nice touches you’d expect.
But the real strength here is flexibility. You can easily import Evernote notebooks or folders full of plain text, HTML, and Markdown files. You can export any note to a Word, PDF or plain text file. By default, the Notes folder contains simple HTML files that you can browse directly using your Finder. If you’re syncing with other Apple devices, iCloud is the easiest syncing option. However, if you use another cloud service to sync instead, you can store your notebooks in a folder for that service; this is ideal if you plan to sync with a Windows client.
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The laptop works the way you want it to work without sacrificing ease of use. If you haven’t found a Notes app that works for you, I suggest you try the 14-day free trial.
Obsidian is the first app I’ve seen that mentions John Locke in the help documentation. Even that shows how ambitious the app is: It wants to change the way you think. I mean, this is my madness.
Obsidian notes are literally text documents formatted using Markdown. This means you can keep all your notes if you stop using Obsidian. But don’t let the simplicity of the file format fool you—Obsidian aims to be the database of your life.
The app offers all kinds of structure, giving you a sidebar full of folders that you can use to organize as well as highlight internal hyperlinks. The idea is that you will often create new notes and then link them to other documents. It creates a web of information that you can easily browse, and there’s also a quick keyboard shortcut to search notes by name or content. It’s almost like a personal wiki but better.
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It sounds strange, but start using it and the concept quickly makes a lot of sense. You can do it the way you want. Everything about the interface is customizable and you can open multiple notes in one window. But the real power comes from community plugins that let you add features like calendars.
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