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These are the 6 best iPad note-taking apps

Are you looking for an iPad note-taking app that is free? These are the top free note-taking apps available for iPad.


A powerful combination for digital note-taking is an iPad and Apple Pencil. Although the App Store has a lot of great software to handwrite notes, they are not free.

You can also find many apps that offer a free trial of their capabilities, but you will need to pay for the full features.

We’ve found a few apps that allow you to handwrite notes for free. You don’t need to pay for in-app purchases, timed trials or distracting ads.

1. Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote, the classic notebook app from Microsoft, is now available. It is free to use and comes with many useful productivity features. You can’t go wrong if you already use other Microsoft programs.

This app organizes your notes in the sidebar using Sections, Notebooks, and Pages. It is possible to create sub-notebooks or sub-pages which makes it easy to keep organized. The convenient sidebar makes it easy to move between pages.

You can add text, insert files and draw. You can customize the colors of both the highlighter and pressure-sensitive pen. You can even choose from glitter options.

OneNote’s best feature for note-taking is its ability to save unlimited amounts of highlighters and pens to the toolbar. You can also choose from six different stylus orientations to best suit your writing style.

OneNote combines all types of content, including text, drawings, PDFs and more, on one page. It does this well. It syncs your notes across devices so it is easy to switch between writing notes on an iPad and typing them on your computer.

It has all the features that most people need to be productive. This app is great for students who need to annotate PDFs or want to use a combination of handwritten and typed notes. Learn more about the app, and learn about some lesser-known OneNote functions that you will love.

Download: Microsoft OneNote (Free)

2. CollaNote

It is difficult to believe that this app provides a lot of note-taking functionality free of charge. CollaNote offers a free alternative to popular digital note-taking apps like Goodnotes or Notability.


CollaNote includes the classic pencil, highlighter and lasso as well as a pencil, pencil, highlighter and lasso set. You can customize the colors and add thickness combinations and pen colors to your favorite items for quick switching.

There are also a few other useful tools, such as a laser pointer and an adjustable ruler. Stickers can be used to create voice notes. These notes will sync with your writing time. There are many templates available, from paper-type to adorable pages for digital bullet journaling.

CollaNote has the advantage of allowing users to collaborate on notes. Even public documents can be created to serve as “rooms”. You can save time by merging notes from different people if you are working together on a note.


CollaNote’s text tool isn’t as intuitive. To add text, you will be taken to a separate screen where you can either type your text or, by default, use your Apple Pencil to write it. and other great apps are also available for the Apple Pencil.

Once you’re done, the note page will display it for you to edit. Although it’s not the fastest process, the rest of the features of the app make up for it. If you prefer handwritten notes and more productivity features, this is the app for you.

Download ColaNote Free

3. Notebook by Zoho

If you are looking to combine handwritten notes and diagrams with typed notes, Notebook is the app for you. You can customize the colors of your highlighter, pencil, or pen. The pencil tool is one of the best digital apps for creating realistic pencil experiences.


Some of the coolest features include the ability lock notes and create a password that will allow you to access them. You can scan documents and annotate them directly. The document scanner on Notebook works in a similar way to taking a photograph.

Notebook has one major drawback. Handwritten notes are kept separate from all other types of notes, even if they’re on the same page. This app is great for handwriting notes or inserting occasional diagrams on a page of text notes.

Download Notebook: Take Notes, Sync Free

4. Loose Leaf

Loose Leaf, an app that is hidden in plain sight, works exactly as its name implies. There are no notebooks. Instead, you can use loose-leaf sketches or notes to organize your thoughts. It’s designed to feel like you’re actually working with loose paper.

There are many features on the iPad that require two finger gestures. This includes flipping pages, closing loose-leaf stacks and deleting notes. The movements will become second-nature once you get used to them.


Pens and markers are pressure-sensitive, so there is no way to manually adjust the thickness. There are only five primary colors available, but this could be enough for your specific needs.

This app has some unique features, such as the Scissor tool replacing the Lasso tool, and an asymmetry tool that allows you to mirror your drawings. You can also use the page styles to make your pages more useful, such as a blank music score or a blank list of things to do.

If you are looking for an easy way to draw ideas, this is the app for you.

Download: Loose Leaf (Free)

5. Apple Notes

is Apple’s default note-taking app. It’s packed with hidden features so don’t underestimate it’s functionality. This note-taking app allows you to take notes, handwrite them, sync them across multiple platforms, and even use Apple Pencil to write with.

You can access all of the tools available through Markup, including a pen, highlighter and pencil. You can also customize your colors with the adjustable ruler and lasso tool included in the Notes app.


You can also choose to auto-minimize the toolbar, which will move it out of your way when you begin writing. There are several options to change the paper style.

Notes also have the ability to scan documents. It’s possible to scan documents using your smartphone camera and add them to your note on iPad. You can scan the documents from a note and attach them to your iPad.

6. Post-it notes

Post-it Notes combines the best of both old and new technology with your iPad.

You can easily create short notes and new notes right from the app. You can also import up to 200 real-world Post-it Notes using your camera. Handwriting recognition is a great tool for searching and exporting information.

You can edit your iPad notes with a variety of tools, including erasers, outlines, and other editing tools. You can organize your notes in many ways, including by thought or on a grid. Export your notes to cloud services such as Dropbox, Excel, PowerPoint, Excel, and a PDF.


Home screen widgets can display the most important notes in a glance, without the need to open the app.

The app is available on both the iPhone and Mac. iCloud sync allows you to automatically make changes on any device.

Download Postit Notes (Free)

Select the app that’s right for you

You now know that there are many free options to create digital notes. You can download one or all five of them to test it out and see if they are able to meet your productivity goals.

A good app for handwriting notes can be used to take notes, draw out ideas or do digital bullet-journalling.




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