10 Tested OS X Applications for Note Taking

10 Tested OS X Applications for Note Taking

Range Govindan
Feb 4, 2011

When Microsoft's OneNote was initially launched, we had trouble figuring out what it was for. But over time, it became apparent that OneNote was a powerful way of taking notes of almost any kind, from scrapbooks, logs, diaries, to lists of all sorts. The only trouble is that OneNote is a Windows-only app, so you won't find it on OS X. Here are some alternatives we found for OS X users who are looking for something like OneNote...

1. viJournal Of all of the apps that we've tried, viJournal is one of the easiest to use, especially for daily note taking. The simple calendar interface makes it very convenient. There are also versions of this app for you iPhone, iPod, and iPad.

2. Evernote If you really want to use your OneNote .one notebooks, then Evernote is the key. The Premium version, which costs $45/year, will allow you to import .one notebooks and store them in the cloud. Evernote works across multiple platforms, from PC to Mac, so it's convenient. The only issue is that the overall interface isn't as polished as some OS X apps. Evernote Express can be found in the Mac App Store for free.

3. Mémoires This app is pretty straightforward and very similar to viJournal. However, there is no zoom feature, which can make it a pain to use on higher resolution screens. It's currently on special in the App Store and you can save 50%. There is also a Video Mémoires app that is available ($15), for people who want to do a daily video log, but keep it on their hard drives.

4. Growly Notes This is basically a OneNote clone for Macs. It works well, but isn't as polished as OneNote. However, it's free so you can't get a better offer than that.

5. Thoughts This app is pretty enough, but ultimately it is somewhat expensive. It costs $40 in the App Store. The overall interface reminds us of iBooks.

6. OmniOutliner Both OmniOutliner and DEVONote are much more than simple note-taking apps. They can effectively used to organize large amounts of information of any kind.

7. DEVONote This app is part of DEVONthink and its different versions. It's pretty powerful and uses some smart programming to store and organize your notes. It allows you to create structure if you haven't got any. DEVONote costs $25.

8. Microsoft Word 2011 in Notebook Layout Instead of using a different app to take notes, if you've got MS Word 2011 already installed on your Mac, then you can use it in the Notebook Layout format. Simply click View and select Notebook Layout. The interface is similar to the other apps in this roundup.

9. Plain Text Files While apps are nice, plain text files will do as well. The only problem with this, if you take a lot of notes, is that organizing them can be a challenge. If you take notes all over the place in different forms, then you might consider DEVONthink, which can organize these types of files.

10. MS Word While different word processing apps are nice, in the end, if you've got MS Word installed on your PC or Mac, you can take notes very efficiently. Once again, if you take a lot of notes, it can get confusing if you're not diligent in your file organization.

(Image: Flickr member Tartanpodcast licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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