Best note taking apps for Windows in 2022

Note-taking is a personal thing. Some of us like to just scratch a few words, while others make elaborate notes with headings and different colors to mark important parts. And when you do that on your PC, you need a dedicated Windows notes app to take notes properly. In this article, we will share with you the best note taking apps for Windows users in 2022.

Note taking apps for Windows icons on a notebook

What is note taking?

Note taking (also written as notetaking or note-taking) is the practice of capturing information from different sources and events. By taking notes, you record the essence of the information, freeing your mind from having to remember everything.

Starting with the Ancient Greeks, who were the first to keep personal records on important subjects, taking notes was an important part of human history and scientific development.

Nowadays notes are an important tool and skill to both students and professionals alike.

Why is note taking important?

  • Note-taking emphasizes and organizes information - the sole act of deciding what to write in a note while you are listening to an audio book or reading some document, helps you to remember better the gist of it.
  • Note-taking aids your memory - having written notes is the foundation for using the spaced repetition method for learning new things.
  • Notes are a repository of your thinking - even if you don’t try to commit everything to your long-term memory, your notes are still useful as your personal filing system, an external memory aid.
  • Notes are a resource for your writing - having good, comprehensive notes are invaluable to your future self, especially when you are looking for ideas and materials for writing.

What is a note-taking app?

While, it is still possible and common to use paper notebooks (or sticky notes) for note-taking, majority of people prefer to keep their notes in digital form.

A note taking app is the software program that makes this possible. It is an app where you can capture, store, edit, organize, and search your notes.

Note-taking apps are available to a large number of platforms (Mac and iOS from Apple, Android from Google, and Linux), but we are going to review only Windows note taking software and particularly note taking apps that are compatible with Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Cloud vs offline note taking software

One of the major distinctions between the different note taking software apps is where your notes are stored.

Cloud- or web-based note taking apps store your notes on their servers. This is similar to how Gmail or Google Calendar store your e-mails and appointments on their servers. This makes it easier to access your notes on different devices and enables better collaborative tools, but may result in less secure data and privacy issues.

Offline or desktop-based note apps store your notes on your own device. In most cases you can still share them between your personal computer and laptop via some third-party service like Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive or Apple iCloud.

Mobile vs desktop note-taking apps

Your mobile phone already includes a note taking app of its own. If you use iPhone, you already have Apple Notes, while if you are using an Android phone, it comes with Google Keep.

Both apps have simple note-taking capabilities, which might be enough for your mobile needs. They are missing however more robust note-taking organization tools and features.

Key features of the best note-taking software for Windows

So, what are the things that you should be looking for, when deciding on the best note taking Windows program for you?

  • Efficient text editor - having an easy to use and feature rich text editor is essential for each note taking app. Since this is the place where you are going to write your notes, you need a solid editor, probably with rich formatting (different fonts, colors), and support for lists, tables, images, and hyperlinks.
  • Tags - tagging is the standard way to organize notes. You add labels related to the note content and purpose and later use them to find related notes, and to find connections between them.
  • Hierarchy - Tags, however, allow for a rather flat organization of your notes. Professional note taking applications offer you ways to organize your notes hierarchically. And the best-of-breed notes apps allow you to have both hierarchy and tags.
  • Search - probably the biggest benefit of having your notes digitally, is the ability to search them. Best note taking apps offer various ways to do that, starting with simple text searches and finishing with powerful Boolean queries.
  • Web clipper - sometimes we don't need to write down notes from scratch, because someone else has already written what we need. And when this is on the Web we need a good web clipper to capture this information directly from your web browser along with the images and links.
  • Encryption - If you have confidential notes or your notes contain personally sensitive information, you need an app that offers secure encryption and password-protection.
  • Export - your notes should be truly yours. You should be able to export them to a non-proprietary file format in order to migrate to a different software or platform.

Popular note taking apps for Windows

We have reviewed best note taking applications for Windows users. By all means, it does not include all available note taking apps for Windows, but these that are worth it and that have native apps. Web-only apps are not included.

All reviewed applications have tags support and feature their own web clippers (normally Chrome extension, but in most cases working in all major browsers).

MyInfo

MyInfo is a professional note-taking software for Windows 10 or newer. It is a fully offline note taking app, so all your notes are stored locally on your computer, and nobody else has access to them.

Text editor: Visual text editor with rich formatting, images, tables, links, checklists, attachments, and full text styles support.

Hierarchy: Notes can be arranged in outlines (unlimited levels) and/or grouped by tags and other note attributes

Search: Basic and advanced queries, quick filter, search in attachments

Encryption: Yes (whole notebooks can be protected)

Export: Microsoft Word, HTML, plain text, folders & files, third-party plugins support

Unique note-taking features: Create perspectives - custom views of your notes grouped and sorted by tags & metadata.

Price: $99 USD (one-time fee)

Download 30-day trial or learn more at myinfoapp.com

Evernote

Probably the best-known note-taking app out there. Evernote is cloud-based, meaning that your files are stored on Evernote's servers.

Text editor: Visual text editor with rich formatting, images, tables, links, checklists, and attachments.

Hierarchy: Notes can be grouped by tags

Search: Basic and advanced queries, quick filter, search in attachments

Encryption: Limited (parts of notes can be protected)

Export: HTML

Unique note-taking features: Search in image texts. Multiple platform support.

Price: plans: Free, Personal ($7.99 a month or $69.99 a year), Professional ($9.99 a month or $99.99 a year)

Available at evernote.com

OneNote for Windows 10

If you use Windows 10 or newer, you already have Microsoft OneNote pre-installed. It is a decent note taking app with digital pen & ink support.

Text editor: Visual text editor with rich formatting, images, tables, links, checklists, and attachments.

Hierarchy: Notes can be arranged in outlines (up to two levels)

Search: Basic queries

Encryption: None

Export: None

Unique note-taking features: Integration with Microsoft Outlook.

Price: free

Pre-installed in Windows 10 and newer

Joplin

Joplin is an Electron-based open-source note taking app. Supports math expressions and diagrams.

Text editor: Markup-based (Markdown) editor with rich formatting, images, links, checklists, and attachments.

Hierarchy: No

Search: Basic and advanced queries, quick filter

Encryption: None

Export: Markdown, HTML, PDF

Unique note-taking features: Create math expressions and diagrams directly from the app. Cross-platform support.

Price: free, open-source

Available at https://github.com/laurent22/joplin/

Best note taking software recap

If Windows is your platform of choice, definitely download and try MyInfo. It offers fully functional 30-day trial, which should be enough to appreciate this user-friendly app, its performance, and its unique features.

MyInfo helps you collect and remember anything