Brilliant ideas can come from anywhere. And it’s always a great idea to be ready to take notes to jot down those ideas when they happen. Since carrying around a notebook and pen aren’t quite the tools of efficiency that they once were, notetaking solutions in digital form are the best notetaking tools of today. So if your church staff and volunteers need ideas for better notetaking apps, this is the ultimate list of the best.
There’s a handy app for everything these days, from real-time stargazing maps to health and wellness trackers. For anyone within your church group who needs to take notes or wants a convenient way to jot down ideas and questions, these are the top apps you’ll want to download. Based on some of the latest buzz, these are a few notetaking apps worth exploring first in your quest for the best tools for church staff and volunteers.
Table of contents
1. Microsoft 365
Some suggest Microsoft 365 is the absolute best mobile office platform and notetaking app of them all. It is a cloud-based app making it a seamless solution for both iOS and Android devices. And notetaking isn’t really notetaking if you don’t have the full suite of Microsoft Office at your fingertips. If your church members are more comfortable with Word, using the Microsoft 365 app will allow them to take notes on their mobile device and sync with their PCs, too.
Simplenote’s main selling point is its easy-to-use user interface, which makes it simple to track notes. It’s available on Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, and Linux, and data sync occurs automatically. A web app is also available if a church staff cannot download the app. Tags and search capabilities ensure that users may discover what they’re searching for, as well as notes that can be sent or published to those working in the same team or on a project. Simplenote backs up previous versions of documents, ensuring that it is always possible to return to an earlier one, which is equally convenient. Simplenote has only basic features, but it’s an excellent choice for simple notetaking. Also, and most importantly, it’s completely free.
3. Standard Notes
Standard Notes might be one of the most security-focused notetaking apps. Everything you dictate within the app is entirely encrypted, so only the owner can access it. It’s compatible with Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, and Browser. Notetakers can create custom searches to retrieve past content, too, for easy referencing. Church members and volunteers will appreciate the free version, even if it is a plain text editor platform.
In some circles, especially those within the iOS space will tell you that Ulysses is unmatched for notetaking capability. There are plenty of great document sync features, perfect for sharing notes between devices. And it’s been around for a while, so the opinions are rooted in actual experience over a significant amount of time. Notes are stored in the app’s “Markdown” style, which allows a creative flair of colorful headings and potential for embedding images, great for church members sharing creative creations. Ulysses uses iCloud, as well, form syncing text, even into pdf form.
5. Dropbox Paper
If your church teams do more than just take notes with their devices, you might want to consider Dropbox Paper. This app offers more of a collaborative workspace, intended to allow users to share ideas, videos, and content easily. And this more comprehensive range of features It’s been around since 2016, so it’s definitely earned its place among the best-of lists. It’s compatible across the cloud platform’s mobiles suite for Windows, Android, and iOS. Some of the latest updates allow users to create folders and organize notes with archiving capability. If your church already uses Dropbox for sending documents, this app is a great mobile notetaking addition to the platform for all users.
One of the newest notetaking apps to come onto the stage is Bear. And it’s a more elegant suite of features, including an Advanced Markup Editor, Cross-Link Notes, and syncing across various iCloud and Apple devices. It is an iOS-only app but great for collaboration in a dashboard-like environment with easy-to-use menus. Use subfolders and hashtags or add images with ease. It’s also an excellent app for tracking workflows, especially helpful for church volunteers with lists to manage. Enjoy Tag autocomplete, annotations for pdf files, app lock, and encryption, as well. Even more appealing, most of these features are free to use.
7. Google Keep
If your teams need a notetaking app designed for simplicity and ease, don’t overlook Google Keep. This free app is a standalone-only option, but it’s a great wide-use app for beginners looking for basic notetaking capability. It’s great for sticky-note-type idea jotting or notetaking that might require labels, colors, or reminders. Anyone who’s not a fan of tapping into the phone or device will also love the speech-to-text function. And list-makers will appreciate the ability to set up checkboxes for those upcoming church tasks. It’s a minimal design, which may be its strongest attribute for beginners. If your church already uses G Suite or is considering the Google Grant, in which $10,000 is awarded to churches for use in marketing, Google Keep is a no-brainer addition to the roster of helpful tools in the arsenal.
If your church staff and volunteers need a delightful notetaking experience, the College Info Geek gang says Notion is a great option. This database-driven app offers an experience unlike most notetaking apps on the market. There are flexible pages allowing users to layer collections of notes or duplicate pages. Notion is compatible with Android, Mac, iOS, Browser, and Windows. And there are some really great tables that function like a mesh of Google Docs and Google Sheets. Historically, this app used to be fairly pricey, especially if you opted for the team plans. But church members can enjoy the Personal Plan for free.
One of the oldest and most feature-packed notetaking apps of them all might be Evernote. Create complex or super-simple workflows, use notebooks, or add tags to content easily. But one of the most favorited features of Evernote is the Web Clipper extension allowing online research, supported by Firefox, Safari, and Chrome browsers. Notes can be accessed on the web, via mobile devices, or a church member’s laptop, making retrieving any saved notes a breeze. Some of the latest installments for the app include Siri integration and new table designs. There is a free plan available as well as a couple of paid plans if your volunteers end up loving Evernote’s capabilities.
10. Roam Research
Organization takes on a whole new range of possibilities with Roam Research’s notetaking tools. Imagine being able to link one note to another with a single click, connecting an entire web of ideas among users. You don’t need tags or folders with this platform, and the easy writing makes it great for journaling or daily planner entries. It’s a browser-only app, but it does have a strong support for Markdown. The “Graph Overview” function shows all the notetaking connections in a web format, great for developing unique ideas from multiple volunteers into one church project.
11. Apple Notes
All iOS and macOS devices come pre-installed with Apple’s default notetaking software, Apple Notes. When looked at from afar, the app appears too basic and rudimentary for the super tech-savvy. However, when beginners start using it and dive deeper into its features, they’ll see that it has a lot of advantages. The best thing about Notes is that it synchronizes quickly across Apple devices. And it’s quite dependable. Surprisingly, it also syncs with Gmail, making things much easier for a G Suite user. You can modify the appearance of your notes and even add checkboxes to your lists using this software. And the best news is these features are free, ideal for those who are die-hard iOS fans.
Slite, a notetaking software designed for team collaboration, allows teams of infinite numbers to share and collaborate on note platforms. Individual members of a group or team can create rooms on the app for their collective notes that they may collaboratively edit or discuss. Aside from the team members’ co-editing, commenting, and editing history, Slite also allows you to keep personal notes private. There are a host of layouts from which to choose, as well as the option to import your documents from various apps and platforms. It’s free and mobile compatible with both Android and iOS devices.
Grammarly is a proofreading app, but it also has unique notetaking features. You can save ideas and notes and search them later by name in the basic account. The paid premium account does give you more room to experiment than the basic account. But it’s still a great notetaking app option for church staff. Nonetheless, when used as a proofreading tool, it can function as a simple notetaking software alongside its primary role of a proofreading program. You can save documents as notes and have them displayed as tiles on your homepage, where you may either delete or download them. You can sync your account to five different devices, with a 150K-word note limit per document. It’s also compatible with typical web browsers, native apps for Windows and macOS, Google Docs, and MS Word and Outlook.
Typora has numerous functions your teams might also enjoy as notetaking tools. Its user-friendly interface is quite convenient, with the ability to see your word count, focus mode, and typewriter mode, as well as code editor-type auto combine of braces, quotes, and Markdown symbols. The program also eliminates the need for a preview window and instead provides you with a real-time view. Although Typora is primarily a Markdown app, it does not include any of the sophisticated features of a notetaking program like collaborative editing and direct sharing with a group or team. But it is free and a great first app for notetakers within your congregation.
Quip is more of a collaborative word-processing and spreadsheet software than a notetaking program. It’s marketed towards business workers, intended to enable them to work together in different departments, such as sales, HR, IT, or project management.
16. Zoho Notebook
Zoho Notebook is a great notetaking software for tablets and smartphones. Users are encouraged to make distinct notebooks within the program, each with a unique picture, great for organizing ideas. It has solid image and text formatting support as well as synchronization and backup across several devices. This makes it incredibly useful for taking notes during service and then transferring notes to a desktop later.
17. ColorNote Notepad Notes
ColorNote Notepad Notes an Android app that allows you to take notes on your device. It’s just a basic program with similar functionality to Sticky Notes. Still, it gets a nod because it’s one of the few notetaking applications that have been successfully ported to the Amazon app store. Having a quick way to jot down important details, right on your Android device can be helpful for church members on the go.
18. Squid Notes
Squid Notes is an Android app that supports writing and sketching, which can be quite handy when working with text and pictures. There are several different types of “paper” backgrounds from which to choose. You may also add digital signatures to your documents and export them in diverse formats like pdf.
Milanote is, at its core, a scrapbook for visual thinkers. It allows you to mix pictures, blocks of text, and lists together in any combination you desire, with drawers on the side for holding page components that you haven’t utilized but intend to use later. Although it is not a mobile app, it is a web app that has been optimized for mobile devices and offers cross-platform functionality.
Explore some of these notetaking apps for yourself and let your church staff and volunteers sample some of the great collaborative tools. Finding the right tools to help your teams share ideas can be wonderful for attracting new church visitors, too. And, as always, let us help you assess and improve your digital outreach or take the next step in the Google Grant process!