Note taking apps for Mac Blog Feature

10 Best Note-Taking Apps for Mac in 2024

Note-taking apps can make your workflows much more efficient. These apps improve the tedious task of note-taking so you can easily jot down takeaways from meetings, throw your creative new product ideas on paper, and keep track of your team’s progress.

But not all note-taking apps work seamlessly on your Apple products. You need note-taking apps for MacOS to really get the most out of these tools. (Think keyboard shortcuts and plenty of useful integrations!)

Here, we’ll go over note-taking apps for Mac and key elements to seek out. Plus, we’ll reveal the 10 best note-taking apps for Mac with a breakdown of what makes them so great. 

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What are Note-Taking Apps for Mac?

Note-taking apps for Mac are native to the Mac operating system. That means they’re designed to integrate with Mac software. Like writing apps for Macs, they’re different from tools that open in a browser window. They sync across all Apple devices, work in the cloud, and are built to integrate right into the Mac operating system.

These note-taking apps are better for productivity because they’re purpose-built for Mac workflows. That means you won’t have notifications from outside your workspace. Plus, it’s easier to search your notes without opening browser windows and getting distracted.

There are several types of note-taking apps for Mac. They range from simple note tools where you jot down a few ideas to complete software ecosystems that work as project management hubs. 🌻

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What Should You Look for in Note-Taking Apps for Mac?

There’s a wide variety of note-taking apps for Mac, putting dozens of options at your fingertips. Whether you want a traditional feel or a high-powered tool that handles everything, there’s an app for your needs. 👀

Here’s what to look for in note-taking apps for Mac:

  • Seamless organization: It’s easy to get lost in your thoughts—and to lose them in a poorly organized folder. Look for a note-taking app that keeps things structured in a way that makes sense to you
  • Useful search: There’s no point in taking notes if you can’t find them later. Pick a note-taking app that offers effective search tools
  • Fast to use: Choose a note-taking app that has an intuitive interface and tools that let you get started quickly
  • Quick load time: Be sure that your app loads quickly and lets you take notes fast—bonus points for keyboard shortcuts and tools that speed things up further
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The 10 Best Note-Taking Apps for Mac to Use in 2024

Here are the best apps for taking notes on a Mac. From simple apps with text editor tools designed to write down memos to software management tools, there’s something for every business need. ✨

1. ClickUp

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ClickUp is a project management software tool that works seamlessly on Mac and other operating systems. It goes above and beyond with functionality for automating tasks, creating custom dashboards, and building content databases, and its features are perfect for your note-taking needs. 🤩

ClickUp’s Notepad is a customizable note-taking tool. Use it to annotate project proposals, write down checklists, or make quick notes after a meeting. It features rich editing and drag-and-drop tools to make organization a breeze.

Add headers to break up longer notes and use color coding to call out important facts. Plus, turn any note into a task with due dates, priorities, and assignees. And with the built-in Chrome extension, desktop app, and mobile app, access your notes from anywhere.

ClickUp Docs offers another way to take notes. More advanced features like nested pages, embedded tables, and formatting tools let you take simple notes to new heights. Collaborate on your notes in real time with colleagues and easily find them later with the intuitive search.

Need help writing notes? ClickUp AI offers suggestions, edits your work, and saves time with instant summarization. This writing assistant software also generates action items and streamlines formatting for better organization.

ClickUp best features

  • Thousands of templates including guides to using Docs, organizational templates, and workflow templates save time when it comes to staying on top of your to-do list
  • Simplify document management thanks to wikis, dashboards, and custom filters to find everything in seconds
  • Use the desktop app on all of your Apple devices including iPad, iPhone, Mac desktops, and Macbooks
  • With real-time collaboration, work with your team to edit notes or integrate them into a larger task management system
  • The simple user interface makes it easy to take notes and organize them without a big learning curve
  • The easily searchable tool means you’ll find your notes and ideas in seconds

ClickUp limitations 

  • ClickUp AI is currently available only on the desktop app, but the mobile rollout is coming soon
  • While it’s easy to understand the note-taking features, there’s a learning curve for leveraging the full software tool

ClickUp pricing

  • Free Forever
  • Unlimited: $7/month per user
  • Business: $12/month per user
  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing
  • ClickUp AI is available for purchase on all paid plans at the price of $5 per Workspace member and internal guest per month

ClickUp ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.7/5 (8,900+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.6/5 (3,800+ reviews)

2. Apple iCloud Notes

What’s better than a note-taking tool designed by Apple for Mac? Apple Notes, available on the App Store, is a native Mac app that makes it easy to take meeting notes and jot down key takeaways. 

Best of all, your notes are always up-to-date, thanks to cloud storage. That means you’ll see the latest version of your ideas on your phone, even if you wrote them down on your Mac desktop.

Apple iCloud best features

  • Folders let you organize notes based on purpose, goals, or whatever structure makes sense to you
  • Share features let you control access and permissions to your notes
  • Use the search functionality to track down ideas and notes, whether you took them this morning or two years ago
  • Recover deleted notes within 30 days in just two simple steps
  • Use hashtags to tag notes for better organization and searching

Apple iCloud limitations 

  • The Apple Notes app doesn’t access notes stored on other apps, like Google’s or Yahoo’s, and there’s no markdown support
  • The app doesn’t sync with Windows or Android, so it’s best for users who only use Apple iOS software

Apple iCloud pricing

  • Free

Apple iCloud ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.3/5 (900+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.7/5 (1,500+ reviews)

3. Evernote

Evernote is a popular cross-platform app that’s taken the note-taking world by storm. Whether you’re a student using it to take notes in class, a professional who leverages it for team organization, or someone who uses it for personal structure, it goes above and beyond traditional note-taking. ✍️

Evernote best features

  • Instantly create and assign tasks in your notes to move work down the pipeline
  • Use the web clipper tool to take screenshots of web pages and make notes directly on them
  • Scan hand-written notes and important documents right into the note-taking app for easy reference 
  • Integrations with Google Calendar keep you on track and attach your notes to meetings, so you always know where things stand

Evernote limitations 

  • The free version is limited and paid plans might be expensive for individuals who only need a simple note-taking tool
  • While you can share notes, it doesn’t support real-time collaboration

Evernote pricing

  • Free
  • Personal: $14.99/month
  • Professional: $17.99/month
  • For Teams: Contact for pricing

Evernote ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.4/5 (2,000+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.4/5 (8,100+ reviews)

4. Microsoft OneNote

OneNote from Microsoft is a tool that takes simple notes to the next level. Easily share notes and collaborate with your teammates in one ecosystem. Structure and search tools keep you organized and make finding your ideas easier than ever.

Microsoft OneNote best features

  • The tool offers a paper-like feel, appealing to traditionalists who yearn for the days of pen and paper
  • Subscriptions bundle the note-taking features with tools including Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and Outline
  • Organize your notes into sections and pages so you never lose an important idea again
  • Tools like highlighting, annotations, and drawing let you add more context to your ideas

Microsoft OneNote limitations 

  • There’s no offline-only storage—meaning any notes you take offline won’t sync until you have an internet connection—and if you close out the note before then, you’ll lose any changes you made 
  • The tool doesn’t have export options, so switching to another app would mean manually transferring your notes

Microsoft OneNote pricing

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic: $6.00/month
  • Microsoft 365 Personal: $6.99/month
  • Microsoft 365 Apps for Business: $8.25/month
  • Microsoft 365 Family: $9.99/month
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard: $12.50/month
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium: $22.00/month

Microsoft OneNote ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.5/5 (1,800+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.6/5 (1,300+ reviews)

5. Slite

Note taking apps for Mac: onboarding welcome notes in Slite
via Slite

Slite is a knowledge management tool powered by AI. It lets you create and store content, whether it’s a company wiki, team meeting notes, or onboarding processes and guides. The AI features translate, edit, and format your work, and they’re great for simplifying, summarizing, and shortening content.

Slite best features

  • Type a question into the search feature and get an answer based on your notes and documents
  • AI insights highlight notes that need to be reviewed, updated, or archived so your notes are always up to date
  • Quickly merge notes and delete duplicates
  • Import almost any type of document from tools like Notion, Evernote, and other note-taking apps thanks to built-in optical character recognition (OCR)

Slite limitations 

  • Limited exporting and importing options make it harder to move notes over from other tools
  • It doesn’t integrate well with other apps, so it may be too limited for organizations that have a mosaic of workflow tools

Slite pricing

  • Free
  • Standard: $10/user/month
  • Premium: $15/user/month
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing

Slite ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.7/5 (100+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.7/5 (40+ reviews)

6. Notebooks for Mac

Notebooks for Mac is a simple note-taking tool that adds structure and organization to your written thoughts. File your notes as nested books and build segments to track all of your content. 📝

Notebooks for Mac best features

  • The visual interface makes note-taking fun
  • Import supports a wide range of files, including markdown formatting, HTML, and plain text
  • Notes are stored as HTML files, reducing complexity and making the tools faster to load
  • Straightforward syncing lets you connect it to other tools for streamlined workflows

Notebooks for Mac limitations 

  • Some users noticed the app freezes on loading, especially if you have a lot of notes
  • The new Dropbox application might cause the search function to fail, but you can fix the issue in a few steps laid out by the support team

Notebooks for Mac pricing

  • Free trial
  • Subscription: $43.99

Notebooks for Mac ratings and reviews

  • G2: N/A
  • Capterra: N/A

7. Bear

Various notes in the Bear app
via Bear

Bear is a markdown notes app designed for Apple Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Use the award-winning app to take notes, add tables, embed photos, and create to-do lists all in one space.

Bear best features

  • Export notes in several formats and share your notes the way you want to
  • The gorgeous interface won the Apple Design Award, and it’s intuitive to use
  • Security features like encrypted notes keep your data and thoughts safe
  • OCR search functionality lets you search for text inside PDFs and images

Bear limitations 

  • The free version is limited so you’ll have to pay to get access to all the features
  • There’s no third-party integration, meaning you can only work inside the app 

Bear pricing

  • Free trial: 7-day trial
  • Bear Pro: $2.99/month

Bear ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.5/5 (40+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.5/5 (10+ reviews)

8. Obsidian

Obsidian is a fully customizable note-taking app that lets you access your thoughts both online and offline. Featuring hundreds of plugins and themes, journals, jot down notes, and build knowledge databases that fit your style.

Obsidian best features

  • Use this highly customizable app as a mini personal assistant that knows exactly where all of your information is stored
  • Easily link notes to create connections across thoughts and projects
  • Plot the connection between your thoughts and notes on a visually engaging graph to gain insights into how you think
  • Use the Canvas feature as a creative space to play around with ideas

Obsidian limitations 

  • You have to pay for simple features, like syncing, that are included in the pricing of other tools
  • There’s no native collaboration feature, which limits business teams

Obsidian pricing

  • Personal Use: Free
  • Commercial Use: $50/user/year

Obsidian ratings and reviews

  • G2: N/A
  • Capterra: 4.9/5 (20+ reviews)


Example of a PDF in UPDF
via UPDF

UPDF is an online PDF editor backed by AI features. Upload PDFs and then instantly annotate, edit, and summarize the information into simple notes.

UPDF best features

  • Support for dozens of formats, including HTML, XML, and PDF, lets you upload a variety of documents to turn into notes
  • Use the OCR functionality to search for text in PDFs
  • Built-in AI makes summarizing, highlighting takeaways, and jotting down notes faster than ever
  • A wide range of annotation tools like highlighters, shapes, and text boxes turn each note into a work of art

UPDF limitations 

  • Users report the tool is sometimes buggy, slowing down the thought process
  • The trackpad signature tool isn’t intuitive and may be tricky to use

UPDF pricing

  • UPDF Pro Yearly Plan: $59.99 billed annually
  • UPDF Pro Perpetual Plan: $109.99 one-time payment, lifetime access
  • UPDF AI Add-On: $12/month
  • UPDF Enterprise Plan: $109 one-time fee

UPDF ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4,8/5 (10+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 3.8/5 (5+ reviews)

10. Joplin

Example notes in the Joplin app
via Joplin

Joplin is an open-source note-taking app that lets you access your work from anywhere. The tool supports text, images, and audio files, taking your notes to new heights and formats. 

Joplin best features

  • Use the collaboration and sharing features to work together with teammates or friends on new ideas
  • The Firefox and Chrome Clipper extension turns web pages into editable notes
  • Plugins and themes let you customize the app
  • Encryption features keep your notes secure and protect your thoughts from competitors

Joplin limitations 

  • Collaboration features only work on Joplin Cloud
  • Doesn’t have advanced features like OCR or mobile scanning

Joplin pricing

  • Basic: $2.99/month
  • Pro: $5.99/month
  • Teams: $7.99/month

Joplin ratings and reviews

  • G2: 5/5 (1+ reviews)
  • Capterra: N/A
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Improve Your Note-Taking With ClickUp

Choose one of these best note-taking apps for Mac and start streamlining your workflows and taking better notes. With features like real-time collaboration, simple sharing, and security, you’ll get the whole team in on the action and beat the competition when launching new products. Plus, these tools make it easy to simplify your personal life or add organization to your thoughts.

Sign up for ClickUp today and improve your note-taking processes. Create tasks, add assignees, and flag priorities right in your notes. Or summarize key takeaways from meetings and build knowledge bases in seconds—not hours—thanks to built-in AI. With these tools, you’re ready to craft better ideas, share them with your team, and take action. 🙌

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