Make a note

With OneNote, Microsoft has an app that power users will love simply because it makes getting organized easy. It syncs all the content across PCs, phones and tablets


Google Keep lets you write notes and create lists, and also supports scribbling by hand, recording voice memos, capturing images and attaching Web links.
Google Keep lets you write notes and create lists, and also supports scribbling by hand, recording voice memos, capturing images and attaching Web links.

Many Internet users are already on tenterhooks when it comes to the privacy and security of their data online. Trust is hard to come by, and that is exactly what Evernote, the popular note-taking app, had garnered in abundance over the years. But it may have lost much of that goodwill after the developers announced that Evernote employees would be able to access and read users’ saved notes from 23 January, “primarily to make sure that our machine-learning technologies are working correctly”.

Artificial intelligence improvement is all very well, but no user would like their data and private notes to be read by company employees. In view of the user backlash, Evernote has decided not to go ahead with the plan for the moment. The seeds of doubt have been planted, however, and trust may be hard to come by. If you are actually thinking of switching to another app, here are some options you can consider.

Google Keep

Free

Android, iOS, Chrome OS, Web

If you need an app that simply lets you get on with the task of note creation and compilation, there aren’t many that are as simple and uncluttered as Google Keep. It lets you write notes and create lists, and also supports scribbling by hand, recording voice memos, capturing images and attaching Web links. But it will not confuse you with a myriad complicated options for sorting, tagging and segregation. You simply create a note, set a tag (food, cars, work, etc., for example), and that’s it—none of the complicated notebook creation systems that some other note-taking apps have. On an Android phone, the widget on the home screen can be really handy too. Keep can also send you reminders, if you have added those with any note, for a particular date or time. 

Microsoft OneNote

Free

Android, iOS, Windows, Windows Phone, Chrome OS, Web

With OneNote, Microsoft has an app that power users will love simply because it makes getting organized easy. It syncs all the content across PCs, phones and tablets. A user basically starts off by creating a notebook. Each notebook can have sections with individual pages of notes. This logical structure makes it easy to locate notes later. There are fairly comprehensive sharing and collaboration capabilities that allow you to give family members and colleagues access to a note or a checklist, and let them add notes and edit. You can type out a note, or even scribble using a variety of colours. There is also a “Convert to Shapes” option, for hand-drawn art. It’s the best option if you wish to share notes and lists with colleagues.

Simplenote

Free

Android, iOS, Windows, Web

This note-taking app has some useful party tricks up its sleeve. For starters, it lets you sift through multiple versions of each note, which you may have modified along the way. This is very useful if you want to track the changes you may have made over time, or revisit one of them. The clutter-free interface is the other big advantage, letting you jot down notes and points without the bother of unnecessary options. And you get the ability to add tags too, to better organize your notes. 

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