Best App For Notes Mac

Musicnotes App for Mac. The ideal desktop application to make sorting, storing and organizing your Musicnotes collection fast and easy. Use it in the office and sync it with your mobile device for performances. Compatible with all iMac, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air.

Taking notes on a Mac is as simple as opening Notes and starting to type. But the best way to take notes actually depends on your own personal habits and workflow.

Some people are better with sticky notes that stay on your screen all the time, or an app that syncs seamlessly with Evernote. If your notes tend to turn into blog posts, an app like MarsEdit can keep them organized until they’re ready to publish.

Unified Library - No matter where you save your notes - iCloud, Dropbox, or Google Drive, simply add the location via the + button and Write will arrange them neatly. You can then have quick access to them whenever you need. Unified Tags - Any tags you add via Write for iOS or Mac will be listed here. Tags are automatically synced with the iOS app over iCloud. May 28, 2020  Evernote. Whenever the talk of the best note-taking apps, Evernote app is pop up in your mind. Evernote is an incredibly powerful tool built for creating notes and organizing them in an efficient manner. The tool does come with cloud space of 60 MB for uploading the notes online for instant access. Evernote comes with the feature to attach the pages of a website as well as images. Apr 24, 2020  There are two ways to use Sticky Notes on the Mac. Microsoft is using the Outlook app for Sticky Notes integration. Follow the steps below. Step 1: Open the Mac App.

Setapp collection is packed with useful apps that might fit your unique way of note-taking better than a one-size-fits-all solution like Apple’s own Notes. With over 150 apps to choose from — and a free trial — you’re bound to find the best app for jotting down your thoughts. Here are our favorites.

Best note-taking apps for Mac

Get the most out of your notes - with a huge set of top Mac apps in one pack!

Capture ideas with Unclutter

Unclutter is perfect for capturing the smallest germ of an idea, since it works as both a sticky notes app and a clipboard manager. Because it’s always open, you can write down an idea the second you have it. Unclutter’s notes are sticky because they never go away, and the interface is even better than default sticky notes on the desktop since Unclutter doesn’t clutter up the view when you’re working in other apps.

To access Unclutter, you can just mouse to the top of your screen and scroll down (or choose your own key command), and its three-pane layout appears, with sections labeled Clipboard, Files, and Notes.

In Clipboard, you’ll see a list of everything you’ve copied to your Mac’s clipboard, ready to re-copy and paste whenever and wherever you need. You can star favorite items to keep them accessible here forever.

Files is a handy place to drop files you need an easy access to, like things you’re working on right now.

Unclutter’s Notes pane is a text field where you can type out notes and also drag text and links into. You can keep one long-running note to yourself or create multiple notes and view them in a list — the Search field searches the full text of all of your notes, so you can always find what you’re looking for. All panes are easy to resize to give yourself more room.

Unclutter is easy to fit into your workflow since it’s always there, and the search field helps you find things later. Dropbox integration even syncs your Unclutter files and notes across multiple Macs. When you want to turn your thoughts into something more edited, you can choose another note-taking app from Setapp.

MarsEdit and Strike for blogging

MarsEdit makes it easy to create content, cleverly edit what you write, and integrate with WordPress as well as other blog publishing services right from the app. Besides giving you a place to write in Markdown or Rich and Plain text, MarsEdit lets you build and format robust blog posts, complete with links, images, and other media. You can add tags and schedule your posts to go live anytime.

MarsEdit even makes it easy to gather links and media to blog about. It has a Safari extension that lets you save URLs and start blogging instantly once you find something worth writing about.

If you’re looking for a writing tool that allows to collaborate on a doc, you should go with Strike. This effortless text editor lets up to 10 people to work on the same content in real time.

Improve your writing‎ with Ulysses

Ulysses is a writing app with outstanding organizational features, so you can move from notes to an outline to a full manuscript. In fact, Ulysses is a popular app for Mac users participating in NaNoWriMo, a month-long exercise that encourages people to write a novel. It has all kinds of features to get you to write more, from flexible themes to eliminate distractions, to writing goals that count words written.

You can use Ulysses to post to a WordPress blog, export Word documents, or even format an entire ebook. But at the most fundamental level, it’s a great note-taking app because you never have to save anything, and your writing can sync between multiple Macs and iOS devices via iCloud or Dropbox. Your notes can contain images, keywords, and PDFs. The search function is incredibly thorough; for example, you can find keywords in notes created before a certain date, in case you want to see how your thoughts about something have evolved over time.

Take study notes with Studies

While other note-taking apps are flexible enough to handle work and personal topics side-by-side, Studies is created especially for those in academic settings. It’s designed to take your notes and turn them into study notes, which are basically flashcards on steroids.

Instead of a traditional two-sided flashcard for memorizing terms, the study notes in Studies can have as many “sides” as you need. They can contain text, images, videos, even audio. This makes them flexible enough that you can create study notes for any subject, from accounting to zoology. You can share study notes with classmates or even download pre-written note sets from Quizlet.

Then, you can use Studies to quiz yourself. The app can set up a schedule for you, based on prepping for an exam or just learning the material as quickly as you can. It chooses notes to study every day, and the cards you got wrong will re-appear more frequently in future sessions, so you can get it right.

Setapp puts all best note-taking apps together

All these note-taking apps are available in Setapp, so you have access to them all for your ideal workflow. You could start an idea as a sticky note in Uncluttered, paste it into Alternote, where you flesh out the idea a little more. That syncs it to Evernote, which you can also connect to Blogo, and turn that note into a full-featured blog post for the world to read.

It’s all up to you, and Setapp lets you focus on the work, instead of finding the right apps, buying them, and then buying them again for updates. Just consider subscribing once and then all you have to do is write.

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For the past few months I have been researching some research apps…

On our sister site, The Focus Course, I recently wrote an article detailing my process for how I build my own, alternate index of notes and ideas when reading a book.

You can get much more detail in the link above, but in a nut, an alternate index is no more than something you list out in the back of the book you’re reading that you create and update as you read through the book. It’s a list you create in real time that is comprised of the book’s themes and topics that most resonate with you, as well as the pages that have the best quotes and ideas around those topics.

Within that article, I dropped in a brief aside about my desire to begin organizing the notes, highlights, and takeaways from the books I read into a digital database of sorts. As such, I’ve been looking at different research apps to find just the right one.

I’ve been writing for a living since 2011, and despite my greatest fears, I’ve never had a shortage of ideas. For nearly a decade all of my ideas and notes have been kept in Simplenote, but for the past year or so I’ve been wanting a system that is just a little bit more complex than what I’m currently using.

In short, what I’m looking for is something to store all of the ideas, bits of inspiration, notes, quotes, takeaways from the books I read, and more. (Something akin to Ryan Holliday’s notecard system — but digital.)

Since I’m already creating an alternate index of ideas in the back of each book I read, what I’d like to do is create a digital and universally-searchable version of that index: a single repository to organize, sort, and search all my highlights and notes.

As you can imagine, there are a LOT of notes and research apps out there that do this. The issue wasn’t finding an app that was capable — it was finding an app that works for me and my workflows.


I want to do more than simply jot down my ideas and notes. I also want to have them compiled and structured (rather than a giant list sorted only by modification date), but not wholly cut off from one another.

And I also want some pretty fancy search capabilities. For instance, I’d love the ability to bring up all the highlights related to “focus” from all books I’ve read. Or, perhaps, to view my notes and highlights related to “time management,” but only from those books that are about entrepreneurship, and then compare those same notes and highlights against books that are only about creativity.

Best Notes App For Macbook Pro

That said, here are a few of my initial thoughts on some of the different notes and research apps out there today.

  • Simplenote: This is the app I’ve been using for idea capture and other miscellaneous note taking since it shipped nearly a decade ago. I love how easy it is to use, how — ahem — simple it is, and how reliable the sync is. But for my current use-case, I’m looking for something that can handle images and has a more robust folder structure beyond just tags.

  • Bear: If you haven’t tried out Bear, you really should (Mac / iOS). It’s spectacular (and may even replace Simplenote for me). You can insert photos into notes in Bear, but otherwise it’s still pretty simple. That’s not a knock against the app — it is simple by design. But that means that, for my needs in this case, it’s too simple to be my go-to research app.

  • Day One: This app is one of my all-time favorites, but, as with the aforementioned apps, Day One is not built for what I need in this scenario.

  • Apple’s Notes App: There is a lot to love about the Notes app (and even more once iOS 11 ships). You can drop all sorts of cool things into a note, and even draw and sketch, and more. But the search and sort functionality within Notes is not quite what I’m looking for.

  • Evernote: I love the power of Evernote and its strong emphasis on making idea capture as easy as possible, but I don’t love the way it ruins the formatting of my text and the way all my content is a silo inside the app. There are many, many smart folks who use Evernote, but so far, for me, it still just doesn’t feel right.

  • Together: An alternative to Evernote, Together is a pretty classy app. But, at least so far in my experience, the process of getting information into the app is far too tedious, as is the process for properly tagging that information. I may just need to spend more time learning the app, but if something isn’t easy to use then I know from experience that I won’t use it.

  • Other Apps: There is also Microsoft OneNote, Scrivener, plain text files with nvALT, DEVONthink, Papers, and probably a few others. Some of these simply don’t appeal to me, and some of them I haven’t yet tried out.

Ulysses (My Pick)

I’ve been using Ulysses for quite a long time, but only as a writing app — not for collecting notes and other tidbits related to research.

Ulysses is a fantastic app, and it does a great job at simplifying it’s vast complexity. However, I didn’t initially consider it for my researching needs because I didn’t think it had a robust search engine. But, turns out, I was wrong.

Thanks to a new project we’re working on here at The Sweet Setup, I just discovered the Smart Filters in Ulysses, and whoa. These filters are basically smart folders. You can create all sorts of variables for how you want sheets to be filtered, and you can even move the filters around within different groups so as to bring up different results based on the group.

For example, here’s a filter I set up to search within all my book quotes for any notes that contain the keywords “business” and “creativity.”

Mac Note Taking App

And here’s a filter I set up that shows me any and all notes I’ve created or worked on within the past 48 hours.

Input and Organization Within Research Apps

The two things that matter most to in my use of notes and research apps are: (1) ease of input and (2) powerful search and categorization. It seems that many apps excel at one or the other, but not both.

It’s also critical that these research apps be full-featured on both Mac and iOS.

Best Notes App For Macos

That’s why Ulysses smart filters are so exciting to me. You can get more complex than what I’ve shown above. You can include parameters that search the entire text of a note (not just the keywords/tags), and you can also include “negative” search parameters that exclude notes with certain words. And, these smart filters also sync between Mac and iOS versions.

My biggest quibble with Ulysses right now as a note-taking, researching tool is the way it handles inline images. If the image is inline with a note, you see an IMG markdown tag. Or, an image can be attached to a note, but otherwise not shown inline. It’d be great to be able to have images displayed inline.

Though, I do like how you can attach images to a note (if you want an image / screenshot nearby as reference material, but perhaps not as something you want to be in-line with your actual text).

So, all that said, I’m obviously now using Ulysses (Mac / iOS) as my writing and researching app of choice, and I’ve already begun transcribing all my book notes and highlights into the app.

And, as I mentioned, we’ve got something brand new related to Ulysses in the works. Click here to find out more.

Stop losing your ideas and notes to multiple apps…

Free Notes App For Desktop

An online course to help you save time, organize your notes, and master the best writing app for Mac and iOS: Ulysses.