5 All-Time Best Note Taking Apps for Students in 2020

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Note-taking has become common while studying, and with apps around us, it has become completely free. But, there are so many apps these days. How do you decide the one for you? Well, to solve this issue, here are the 5 best note-taking tools for students in 2020.

Table of contents


Screenshot of Notion Desktop
Notion Desktop

Notion is one of the new and fastest-growing note-taking apps, but the approach it takes is different than the experienced services such as Evernote. Notion is a block-based note-taking app. It offers over 30 types of blocks, including the headings, media attachments, calendar, and more. Mastering Notion is difficult because the service is a multi-level tool. For example, adding a calendar allows you to add a page for each day. You can comment and mention team members on each block as well.

The mobile app is a little bit unresponsive as it stops at the splash screen sometimes. The service offers free and paid plans while the personal paid plan is free for students, teachers, and other people who are in the education sector.

Related: OneNote vs Notion – Which One is for You? (2020)


Screenshot of Evernote Desktop
Evernote Desktop

Evernote is one of the famous and experienced note-taking apps, not because it is old, but because of the tools it offers. Evernote is available on PC, mobile devices, and as an extension for browsers. The app offers an intelligent camera which can be used to capture business cards, whiteboards, and documents on the go. The app automatically applies the crop to save the required part. Apart from that, the intelligent search is something to check as it lets you search for text within the notes and in images if the text is readable.

Evernote offers rich editing tools, while you can share notes with anyone with the view and edit permissions. The app is available for free, but there are some limitations. Well, the good news is, the student plan is also available on a 50% discounted price.

Keep Notes

Google Keep Web
Google Keep Web

Keep Notes, also called Google Keep, focuses on ease of use. I have been using Keep alongside Notion for almost two years. The features which do not allow me to go anywhere else are simplicity and power. Unlike Notion, the app is always responsive, and the powerful search supports searching for text and titles. The downside though is that you can’t use Keep for advanced note-taking features. It provides limited features on each note. For example, you can’t use checkboxes alongside text. If you do, the app will convert all text into checkboxes.

A couple of other features you find are setting a reminder, adding collaborators, and drawing. Overall, if you are not looking for something advanced and for personal use, then Google Keep is a must-try app. The app is completely free and available on iOS, Android, and as an extension for Google Chrome.

Related: Samsung Notes vs Google Keep | The Ultimate Comparison


Slite Web
Slite Web

Another new service is Slite. Slite is in between Evernote and Google Keep. It does not offer as many tools as Evernote while it’s not simple like Google Keep. Slite is team focused app available on PC and mobile devices. One of the unique features is on the fly tooltip, which pop-ups when you highlight some text. On mobile phones, all the elements are above the keyboard to make it easier to type and edit.

Slite uses channels, which are basically notebooks. In each channel, you add notes. Slite is a good platform for both personal and groups. It’s free for personal use, while there are some restrictions for teams. Windows Defender warned while installing the setup, but hopefully, they will fix this issue soon.


OneNote Web
OneNote Web

The last, but not least is OneNote. OneNote is a completely free note-taking service by Microsoft. In terms of tools, OneNote comes on the second after Evernote. The app uses sections and notebooks. In each section, you find notebooks, and in each notebook, you find pages. The problem though is, some tools are limited to the desktop version. Some of the desktop elements which you won’t find on the mobile app are:

  1. assistant,
  2. dictate tool,
  3. passcode,
  4. and more rich editing tools.

The assistant can do the basic tasks such as insert a table, paste text, create a to-do list etc. It does not offer the voice commands, but you can type a few words, and the assistant will suggest the action. OneNote desktop also allows adding people to collaborate, while the mobile app only offers to send the note as a copy.

More tools include locking notes with a passcode, adding sticky notes (mobile only), and auto-sync. OneNote is suitable for students who are looking for personal use as it lacks many of the features on its mobile app. For a group of students, there are other options to try before OneNote.

Related: Slite vs Notion | Which One is the Best Note-Taking Tool?

Which one is for you?

All the apps are useful, and each offers different features. Evernote and Slite offer some tools in the paid plans, but for basic needs, you don’t need any premium features. It depends on what you want to achieve. If you already have access to a service such as Google Keep which can be accessed with the Google account, then you should try those first.

Wrap up

The blog post covered the 5 best note-taking apps for students. I hope the information was useful. If you have any questions, drop them down below. You can also subscribe to the newsletter for future updates.

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