Which notes app do you use and why?

Hello! I’ve been using Evernote for some years, but last year they doubled its price and since then they never stop fiddling with it, so you can never be quite sure if you’ll find the note you’re looking for quickly or whether the interface will have changed again and you’ll end up wasting time searching for it. Annual renewal is coming up and I’m starting to think of replacing it with something that’s easier to use. As I have an Office 365 subscription, I’ve tried MS OneNote but found it too complicated and over-engineered. Before this morning, I’d never heard of Nimbus , and that looks interesting, but having come across one product I’d known nothing about I thought it would be a good idea to find out what other Scrivener users use for note taking. My Evernotes contain mainly text with some PDFs and a few JPGs. Is there a notekeeping product you love almost as much as Scrivener, and what makes it so loveable?

Scrivener (macOS and iOS), DEVONthink Pro (macOS), and DEVONthink ToGo (iOS).

Some “notes” related to things to do go into … wait for it … “Things”.

Why? Keep it Simple.

Microsoft OneNote, because it can be used on all devices and keeps the notes in the cloud. It’s a pity they updated the UI, so it’s not that fast any more. :woozy_face:

If you already own Scrivener, I see no reason not to use Scrivener as a notes app. Or what’s stopping you? I use Scrivener for everything.


You don’t say if you’re on Mac or Windows. Obsidian is an app you might look into; it uses Markdown for editing, which might be something you need to take into account.

I’m on Mac and use Notebooks, though I’m not taking masses of notes which need linking.



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Thanks AntonIdol! It’s an option I tried some years back, but I found a purpose-build note app was more convenient. I’ll look into it again.

Thanks for the tips everybody!

Always and only Scrivener. It is installed on my desktop Mac and MacBookPro. Also on my iPand and iPhone. As long as I sync the mobile devices with my Writing Journal Project before leaving my house making notes while out-and-about with Scrivener is fine. Pretty much every note I make will contribute to a project at some time so why would I write them with some other app?


Joplin. It is free and like an open source Evernote that works with markdown rather than EML (which always seemed quirky in an unhelpful way to me).

It works. It has a growing plugin ecosphere. It is available on Mac, Windows, Android and iOS/iPadOS. It has a large and helpful community like Scrivener…

Well, as you might expect if you’ve had any dealings with me in the past, work appears perfectly (:asterisk:) formed in my head with no need for planning or editing. As such, I’m not a heavy user of notes apps.


  • if the notes relate to a live project, they just go straight into Scrivener
  • other than that, I use a real life actual notebook with a real life actual pen

:asterisk: - your definition of perfectly may differ from mine


I use Scrivener for anything related to my fiction.

It’s OneNote for everything else, and has been for over a decade. Any info about anything in my life that I want to keep ends up in a OneNote page, filed away by Section & Notebook. Searching is fast. I don’t find it complicated or over-engineered, but the only features I use are bullets, linking text to text, and some very light tagging. Every now and then I’ll embed an image. OneNote syncs across our PCs and iDevices, so our notes are accessible anywhere. Backing up & restoring OneNote notebooks isn’t exactly straightforward, but there is a process and it does work.

When I’m out and about and need to jot something down fast, I use the Drafts app on my iPhone. It’s pretty much ‘instant on’ whenever I need it.


While DEVONthink is where I keep all notes (and more) it is Drafts for note taking. It works instantly and unmatched on the Apple Watch.

Drafts is a Markdown app but since Scrivener, despite being a rich text app, is Markdown friendly, that is not a problem at all. Even footnotes get imported correctly, Scrivener distincts between inline/“random” (MultiMarkdown style) footnotes and footnotes at the end of a Markdown file.

I love scrivener as a notes app as well. Make a notes project and divide by topics. Can do scrivener searches add keywords like if add multiple notes from a book add book title as keyword. Or use links between related notes . Link note to saved research. I use scrivener for all types of non writing projects be cause of all the organization tools.

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Not sure if you use a mac but the Notes app (Apple Notes- that is) is pretty good. Like you I transferred from Evernote and found that Apple Notes does all I need. I have about 900 notes stored there. It will store pdfs, images, video, - just about anything you want. Can be tagged or linked. Everything searchable. Also can be immediately usable (Hey Siri) for either voice note, typed or hand written. Will sync across all your devices and is free.
If you aren’t in the apple world or need to cross platforms than Microsoft Onenote is a pretty good alternative (it is also free - you don’t need an Office subscription). There are both Mac and Windows versions - so it can sync between all your devices.

If I am not at my main computer and/or don’t have access to my notes project, I have a google doc (accessible from any machine, anytime, anywhere – so long as I have internet) where I just throw everything loose, separated by -----------------'s, and which I clean up every now and then, cut/pasting things where they actually belong. (Either in my notes project or wherever.)

. . . . . . . . . .

But that is pretty rare.
Ever since I became a green belt in @pigfender internationally acclaimed method for permanent higher consciousness, I don’t need to note much as I barely ever forget anything ; – especially questions, since I already hold the answer to everything.
(Except to “Why life? Why not just dust and rocks floating around?” – As I said : I’m just a green belt.)


Apple Notes; it syncs via iCloud between Mac and iPhone.

@paulcoholic Occasionally. Tried using Apple Notes for a shopping list when visitng a local Apple Store. Created the note on my Mac Mini but two hours later when in the Store it had still not synced to the iPhone. I find similar huge latency syncing Dropbox for apps other than Scrivener.

I use Google Keep, since it’s free, and I can use it in any device. Whenever I have an idea, which can happen at any time, I can just take my phone and write it there. Then, when I’m on my laptop using Scrivener, I just copy the note/s into my project. That has done wonders for me, since we all know ideas tend to come at the worst possible situations haha, so being able to write it all on my phone at that moment is super, super useful :blush:

I find that syncing takes awhile some times; not often problematic enough for me to switch to non-Apple stuff.

“To each their own” and “whatever works for you.”

It is annoying and frustrating especially as my network connection is full fibre and my Mac is plugged into the router.

From the Mac Power Users forum I picked up a trick of using the command line

killall bird

which forces iCloud to restart on the Mac. Also useful for those times when iCloud is stuck trying to up-/down-load a file.

My MacBookPro is less prone to iCloud syncing hiatuses but still needs a kick using the killall trick.

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