Looking for a Fantastic Notes App? Here You Go!

When it comes to taking and managing notes, there are a million app options out there to choose from. Evernote, OneNote and Notability are three of the most popular options available today. They each have their strengths and weaknesses (like everything), and offer a plethora of bells and whistles.

For those who are looking for something a little simpler, yet just as effective (in my opinion) with a clean and intuitive interface (not to mention free), this tip is for you! Read on.

When Apple released OS X El Capitan, one of the many improvements was with the Notes app. Notes has always been a great note-taking app that syncs between your various devices using iCloud, but it was somewhat limited to simple and rich text as well as images. Apple has since added the ability to use clickable checklists as well as pen drawing. To say these features are a big improvement is an understatement! Let’s take a closer look.

First, let’s look at the clickable checklists.


To add a new list, all we need to do is tap the (+) button above the keyboard, then choose the checklist option.


Next, it’s time to start building our list! When we’re done, and ready to start using the list, we simply tap the circle next to each item to mark them off.


Next, let’s talk about the drawing feature (a.k.a.: doodle tool).


Between the pen tool, highlighter, pencil and ruler, this is an incredible note-taking power-tool!

To add a line using the pen tool, we simply tap the pen icon to engage that tool. To add a highlight, we use the highlight tool. To add a pencil line… you get the idea. One things to keep in mind is that you can change the color of any of these by tapping the black dot to the right, revealing color options.


The last feature is the ruler. To engage the ruler… you guessed it, we tap the ruler. With the ruler open, we can use two fingers to rotate and place the ruler where it needs to go. Once there, we can now use any of the tools to draw (or erase) a straight line.


When you’re done, you can disengage the ruler by tapping the ruler option again. When we are done with our drawing, we can tap the “Done” link at the top, taking us back to our note.


You can add as may individual drawings, checklists, images as you need or want to make your notes meaningful to you.

The above screenshots were all taken on my iPhone, but the Notes app works just as well on an iPad, and while not all the same functionality exists on the Mac version of Notes (you can't doodle), it displays everything perfectly!

Posted on January 15, 2016 and filed under Design, How To, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Mac, Opinion.