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The best apps for taking notes with iPad and Apple Pencil

app for taking notes

Do you need to take notes with your iPad or write down documents with Apple Pencil? IPad is the most suitable device for this function and you have certainly purchased it to carry out this activity as a hobby or for work. But the iPad is not enough, to perform this activity you also need a good one app for taking notes. So here is what you need to turn your iPad into an excellent work tool.

Apps for taking notes with iPad

Starting with the launch of the iPad 3 and iPad 5 mini, all new iPad device models support Apple Pencil. These are the 9.7-inch iPad, iPad Air, iPad Pro and iPad mini. If you need to take handwritten notes, annotate documents, record audio, create sports playbooks and more, the App Store has fantastic apps for taking notes with iPad also using Apple Pencil. Here is the result of our search for the best apps for taking notes with iPad and Apple Pencil.

To get started, try the Notes app

The app Note pre-installed on iPad perfect for use with Apple Pencil. Features search for text recognition, online scanning and annotation, and support for drawing or writing. With Apple Pencil 2, you can assign double touch to delete the last tool used. This is not a professional tool, so you will have more limited features than the best third-party Note apps. You can't sync your notes with major cloud services except iCloud. There is no easy way to connect various notes together – but if you are simply writing down a quick note or sketching an idea, the perfect Notes app for quick pinning.


Notability the best note-taking app

notability one of the favorite apps of many enthusiasts who need to take notes with a tablet. It has an excellent interface full of tools for handwriting, drawing, annotating PDFs, creating shapes, highlighting, moving objects, adding audio, integrating photos and web clips and more. Your note-taking experience becomes more real with Notability, because you can choose from different paper styles, including grids that are very useful for vector drawing. You can share your notebooks on almost all major services and print them, along with importing notes from Dropbox, Google Drive, Box or a WebDAV service. Notability also offers synchronization support with iCloud and an app for Mac.

The fact that it is feature-rich, it may seem difficult for new users who approach this app. Fortunately, Notability has a well-made tutorial that guides you through its features when you open it for the first time.


It also works perfectly with Apple Pencil, whether it's writing or drawing. an excellent and well-designed app if you want a little more power than that provided by the pre-installed Note app.

DOWNLOAD | Notability – 10.99

To take advanced notes, try GoodNotes

GoodNotes the reference app for those who habitually take notes. chock full of a robust list of professional features. I had never heard of this app until developer Chris Liscio advertised it well.

For beginners, GoodNotes offers a truly comprehensive selection of paper types for its digital notebooks, including lined, graphic, design and musical notes; there are also advanced options that allow you to upload custom templates. Better yet, most of the models available in specific paper sizes (if you need to print). GoodNotes also offers a wide range of cover styles and options, each of which can be further designed.


Like the other apps on this list, GoodNotes supports writing and drawing with Apple Pencil – along with a host of third-party style options – using two different digital writing tools: a digital fountain or a ballpoint pen in a spectrum of preset or customized colors.

GoodNotes it also has handwriting recognition and text conversion (performed through the MyScript engine, which also powers MyScript Nebo).

If you are looking for a more complete option than Notability, GoodNotes is a feature-rich app that deserves to be taken into consideration.

DOWNLOAD | GoodNotes – 8.99

For Office users, fantastic OneNote

OneNote, the Microsoft app for taking notes more than a simple app that stores notes, but a complete annotation app. That said, it has a lot of useful features for iPad owners with an Office 365 subscription. Even if you don't have a subscription, you can still import and edit documents for free. You only need a Microsoft or Skype account.


With OneNote you can share the links of your notebooks with whoever you want, send a PDF of your notebook by email and annotate the documents with your Apple Pencil. With a single note, you can sketch an idea, add photos and audio, type notes, create calendars and more. similar to Evernote but designed to work perfectly with Office 365.

DOWNLOAD | Microsoft OneNote – Free

PDF Expert is the king of PDF annotations

Even if you have the ability to quickly highlight, edit and mark your PDFs on iPad using the built-in extension, if you need to regularly annotate PDF files, you should consider PDF Expert. It has a complete list of integrated tools to simplify your work. You can open PDF from iCloud or practically any other online service with the PDF Expert app. Fill in forms and sign documents; you can also work with the digital pen with tools of shapes, an underlining option, a highlighting option, as well as creating "stamps" for the wording often used. All these changes, after being saved, are not only completely editable in PDF Expert, but in other apps such as Adobe Acrobat and Preview, so you can switch from Mac to PC and vice versa with the iPad.

PDF Expert

PDF Expert also allows you to change the structure of the PDFs themselves: you can rearrange pages, delete sections, extract parts of the PDF and even add new blank pages to your documents. Once you're done with a PDF document, you can even zip it with the PDF Expert built-in compressor and password protect sensitive documents.

If you want to further edit your PDFs, Expert offers an in-app Pro update that allows you to physically edit the text, images and links within a PDF, as well as correct the information.

DOWNLOAD | PDF Expert – 10.99

If you need handwriting recognition, try MyScript Nebo

Forget the simple note-taking: if you want your notes taken by hand to be converted into text, you will need an app that supports the conversion of handwriting. We have come a long way in recent years, but the apps available for these functions are still few. Apps such as Notes and GoodNotes scan text for research purposes, but do not offer handwriting recognition. On the contrary, there are apps like MyScript Nebo, which offers a complete conversion of handwriting.

MyScript Nebo

MyScript has been an important name in handwriting recognition for years (including a handwriting recognition keyboard), but the Nebo app is the company's first attempt in an application designed for Apple Pencil and iPad Pro, and excellent. quite simple to use and offers a fluid digital pen tool and in different colors. In addition, users can add photographic content, videos, diagrams and equations alongside handwriting or digital text.

Nebo's notebooks can be converted into one paragraph at a time or an entire notebook; these conversions are also completely non-destructive, so you can keep the handwriting if the conversion is not perfect. It is also possible to export the blocks as text documents, HTML, PDF or Word. Synchronization available through MyScript's proprietary service, as well as on iCloud, Google Drive and Dropbox.

DOWNLOAD | MyScript Nebo – 8.99

Other apps

Here are other note-taking apps that don't fit on this list, but still deserve to be mentioned.

Evernote, free with in-app purchases: like Microsoft's OneNote, Evernote is an incredible repository for organizing a myriad of data, notes, documents and sketches. But to take full advantage of its sync features, PDF annotation and more, a monthly subscription is required. Evernote is great if you need all the features offered by a subscription, but it's not worth using the free version.

LiquidText, free with in-app purchases: LiquidText a brilliant concept for organizing and annotating PDFs, but a little too specialized to be considered a competitor of PDF Expert.