Top 10 Writing & Note-taking Apps for iPad

Looking for the best writing and note-taking apps for iPad? Well, you’re at the right place. Today we’ll be looking at ten such apps to help you write better and make taking notes an easy and joyful task.

The Apple App Store has a lot of note-taking apps that work decently well on an iPad. However, choosing the best of the best, meant scanning through all the apps and cherry-picking the most unique or the best-reviewed apps. We only chose the apps with the best tools and optimized performance for the iPad, meaning you may have an incredible experience. So, let’s dive straight into it and take a look at the apps.

Top 10 best writing & note-taking apps for iPad

1. GoodNotes

Goodnotes is a powerful writing and note-taking app for the iPad. Seamlessly integrated with iCloud, Goodnotes was designed from the ground up to be a user-friendly writer’s notepad for people who want to get their ideas down. Its handwriting recognition is the fastest and most accurate, making it equally perfect for annotating documents. Whether you’re jotting down notes, writing a novel, or need to remember that recipe for next week’s dinner with the in-laws, Goodnotes is there for you.


  • Exceptional paper-like experience with easy note organization and navigation.
  • Goodnotes is the best way to take notes, annotate PDF documents, PDF annotations, and share your work with others.
  • Features an elegant user interface.
  • It is available with broad stylus support from stylus pens to your fingertips, so you can create, capture and naturally share ideas.
  • Allows easy import of any document from iCloud or dropbox into your notes.


  • User-friendly interface.
  • Easy import of any document.


  • The text feature is basic.
  • Notes can be viewed only by category.

2. Apple Notes

Apple Notes is an elegant note-taking app designed for iPad. It combines the simplicity of writing with the power of iCloud.  Whether you’re jotting down a quick note, sketching out a sketch, or capturing a screenshot of something as it flies by, Apple Notes creates an organized outline that can be easily shared to iMessage and mail at any time. With iCloud Drive and Notes, your notes will sync across all your devices and will provide continuous updates and improvements over time.  Apple Notes allows you to create your note-taking and sketching experience whether you write in the corner of a meeting room, in the field, or on a train. The flexible layout and rich functionality of Apple Notes make getting things done easy and fun.


  • With Apple Notes, you can create notes and checklists, add pictures from your photo library, sketch out mind maps, and turn ideas into beautifully formatted documents.
  • This app allows you to take notes quickly by hand, with your voice, or an electronic stylus.
  • It features rich text formatting, live sync, iCloud integration, and sharing capabilities.
  • It flexibly organizes all the notes.


  • Apple Notes is an easy-to-use app, and it has a cleaner user interface than many note-taking apps.
  • It allows users to take notes easily through voice or text.
  • The software allows creating multiple notebooks.


  • Apple Notes is only available on iOS, iPad but other note-taking apps such as LiquidText can be accessed everywhere, including iOS and iPad.

3. Notability

Notability is an award-winning writing and note-taking app, available for iPad and iPhone, designed by students for students. Notability allows you to capture your ideas and collaborate with others in real-time. Its interface was designed to go beyond the page, freeing you to write, draw & annotate in ways that were never before possible. Whether you are taking notes in a boardroom, inking illustrations with friends, or painting your next masterpiece, Notability gives you the freedom to express your ideas how you want to. It also allows you to access your notes on any device, anywhere, anytime.


  • Notability makes it easy to take notes, sketch ideas, create checklists, and annotate PDFs anywhere.
  • It allows users to type or handwrite as well as record audio.
  • It allows creating handouts on your iPad, full-screen writing mode, a multilevel undo/redo system.
  • It allows to type with ease, browse handwriting freehand with precise cursive writing.


  • Notability’s easy-to-use interface lets you focus on what matters most, no extra work, no confusion.
  • Take notes in a flash, sketch ideas in a snap, add all kinds of attachments from images to audio.


  • Multiple pages cannot be deleted quickly.
  • No auto shapes.

4. LiquidText

LiquidText for iPad turns your iPad into a powerful extension of your brain by allowing you to effortlessly capture ideas and content in any environment and make connections among your notes with ease. It is an indispensable extension of who you are and how you work in today’s digital world. LiquidText runs on all the devices that you rely on every day.

It also has some of the best comment features that we have seen. You can create a separate column entirely and add stuff there for easier access while commenting or collaborating. So you can always access your notes from wherever you are using whatever device is at hand. With unique searching capabilities and features like snap-to-grid that help your notes line up, LiquidText is the simplest way to start collecting your thoughts into one place. It just syncs everything to all of your devices for easy access whenever inspiration strikes.


  • LiquidText allows creating bullets and lists by hand or with your voice.
  • LiquidText can help you annotate on PDFs and edit content directly.
  • It’s free, secure, and works everywhere.
  • LiquidText offers an impressive array of tools to capture notes in any setting.
  • It ensures all your notes are tagged, organized, and easily searchable.


  • It helps you create notes, reminders, to-do lists & notebooks with audio & photo attachments.
  • LiquidText tools are reliable, secure, easy to use across all your devices.


  • The liquidText free version app is limited.
  • Access to cloud notes is not possible while offline browsing.

5. Notion

Notion is a writing and note-taking application designed exclusively for the iPad. Notion uses a new way of thinking about organizing information. The ultimate experience of Notion combines the innovative drawing and note-taking capability of the iPad with the tactile joy of fine writing. Notion gives you everything you need to stay organized, productive and inspired. Keep notebooks, ideas, to-do lists, recipes, sketches, and photos in one place using flexible writing tools that sync effortlessly across all your devices. It also makes it easy to create a new notebook from scratch or import from your email, Dropbox, or LiquidText account.


  • Notion is designed with an interface that’s as natural and intuitive as pen and paper.
  • Notion is a multi-platform, multi-device app that offers a unified workspace that allows you to create notes, lists, outlines, mindmaps, and even slide presentations.
  • It brings real-time editing, a dual-pane desktop workspace, multiple viewing options, autosave capabilities, and an easy-to-use layout that can simplify your life.


  • User-friendly app.
  • Platform with multiple tools for note-taking.
  • Accessible on different devices and also has a free plan for users.


  • The feature of search and navigation needs to improve.
  • The paid version is a bit expensive.

6. Bear

Bear for iPad enables you to take notes and organize your writings in a way that works for you. The Bear app is a place for all of your notes and reminders in a format that makes them easy to search and share. With Bear, you can write creatively, take notes, pictures, and audio recordings while in a meeting or interviewing someone.

Bear provides a great way to record life’s most important moments, whether it be a note taken during a sales call or lecture from one of your professors or that brilliant idea that came to you at 1:00 am while you were watching TV. Bear makes it easy to capture ideas and to-do’s in a digital notebook and then access them anywhere.


  • It is a free app that allows users to easily capture, organize, share ideas all in one place.
  • The Voice dictation feature helps users to enter text quickly.
  • The snap-to feature organizes photos or illustrations into a clean, professional layout.
  • It comes with touch-friendly controls, full-screen mode, and handwriting support.
  • It allows to tag notes with colors, type, or handwrites notes using the included stylus.


  • Multi-touch experience and full-screen view.
  • Easy-to-use application for taking classroom notes with tools like sketching, drawing.


  • Too simple editing tools.
  • Complex user interface.
  • It can’t annotate PDFs.

7. Nebo

Nebo is a beautiful writing app for your iPad. It helps to write, read and annotate your writings, text, weblinks, sketches, drawings, photos, and PDFs, and also search notes, highlight text from other applications, and sync it all between your iPad and iPhone. The Nebo app takes full advantage of the iPad’s multi-touch gestures and vast screen real estate to give you the best note-taking experience possible.  Its thoughtful design features a simple word processor for writing, an advanced voice recorder for capturing audio, flexible image handling for screen captures and photographs. It’s perfect for teachers and students.


  • It provides powerful scrolling, note-syncing across devices, full-text search, media support, cloud sync, and many other unique features.
  • Its features include Ink-like handwriting that always looks sharp.
  • It features a Smart text selection tool for efficiently editing notes without cutting or copy/pasting.
  • Nebo combines easy-to-use iPad handwriting recognition with smart navigation for handwriting note-taking.


  • The Nebo App is a feature-rich writing app designed to make drafting, note-taking, editing, and sharing easy on the iPad platform.
  • Innovative, easy-to-use app for the iPad.
  • Provides perfect digital clarity.


  • You cannot use more than one language for the converting notes process, and also it does not recognize text in pictures.

8. Ulysses

A paperless world has never been more immediate. From the simplicity of handwriting to the beauty of language, Ulysses makes it easy to capture your thoughts immediately upon inspiration, wherever you are. Ulysses is a revolutionary writing app for the iPad, whether it’s a quick memo, a scrap of inspiration, sketch, draft, to-do list item, or the complete document.

It is an app for exploring your creative side, tracking websites, making grocery lists, handwriting, sketching, or creating simple diagrams. There are no limits on the number of notebooks you can create. Ulysses lets you capture your thoughts and ideas in a clean, simple interface. The app uses iCloud to store notes in the cloud and synchronize them wirelessly across all of your devices, so you can start a project on your iPad or iPhone and then go back to it on your Mac.


  • Ulysses offers a clean interface that helps focus on what matters most to capture your ideas in unique ways while interacting directly with content inserted on the page.
  • The unique Easy Select feature highlights a word or phrase and navigates directly to that section within your note while you’re zoomed-out on the page.
  • The app allows one to view plain text files and attachments from within a note.


  • Writings are available both online and offline.
  • It has a clean and straightforward interface.
  • Free app.


  • It can feel a little cluttered at times.
  • Not enough features and search is limited to one tag.

9. IA Writer

IA Writer makes writing on your iPad easier than ever. It’s a modern and innovative app that lets you take notes just as you would on paper. It is the best way to capture your ideas, and it keeps them safe, organized, and beautifully presented. The IA Writer app helps make your ideas visually stimulating by allowing you to manage all your writings with hashtags and smart folders. This unique method can help you create a thought process that is both personal and professional representative. You can even use separate pages to take notes on or share your work with others via email, Facebook, or Twitter. It’s the only app that turns handwriting into clean digital text so that you can search or copy and paste your notes anywhere.


  • IA Writer app allows you to write notes and create writings with ease.
  • IA Writer even works with Office apps and can connect to your desktop.
  • It provides a blank screen to write with the choice of different pens and pencils.
  • This app enables natural note-taking and writing experiences while making sharing their content with other devices easy.


  • It keeps the writings and notes safe, organized, and beautifully presented.
  • It has a flexible user interface and provides a splendid writing experience.


  • It offers only two file types to export.

10.  LivingWriter

Note-taking, writing, and drawing for iPad has never been so spontaneous. Livingwriter is the first productivity app optimized for the iPad Retina display. Designed by the team that pioneered iPad note-taking and writing capabilities, it lets you capture ideas quickly in ink or text. The LivingWriter app makes it easier to write anything you desire, take notes, capture ideas, and get organized with an app designed to work seamlessly on iPad.

From a live list of your writings to a toolbar with a great selection of pens, pencils, and highlighters, you can make all your writings shine. It also has a great chapters section that helps you create chapters for what you’re writing and helps you enhance your notes with photos and images from your Photo Library using the easy photo attach feature. It also contains the most popular features, including sending content to other devices, wireless printing through AirPrint, cloud storage integration with Dropbox, digital signatures for PDF documents, and options to share web pages.


  • The app allows writing on images pinched from the web, on top of videos, pictures, or documents already on iPad.
  • You can resize, move or rotate notes to your preference.
  • The app offers features to capture notes, annotate e-books or PDFs, sketch designs, write reminders, and so much more.


  • An intuitive, user-friendly app that is accessible on all devices.
  • Flexible interface.


  • It shows some problems while sharing notes.


What is the best note-taking app for iPad for free?

While many apps provide a free note-taking experience, Bear and Apple Notes were the best standout apps. Both of these are free to use and provide an excellent experience for taking notes. They also have some great tools and can sync to the cloud for better compatibility across all your devices.

Which iPad is best for note-taking in College 2021?

The iPad Air or the iPad Pro are both great iPads for taking notes in college. However, if you need a cheaper alternative, getting the regular iPad or the newly announced iPad Mini 6 would make the most sense.

Are iPads good for taking notes?

Yes, iPads are perfect for taking notes. You can also use a paper-like screen protector to give you a natural paper experience while writing on the iPad. So, the combination of the large iPad display, a great paper-like screen protector, and the Apple Pencil would make for an excellent note-taking experience.

How do I write notes on my iPad?

You can write notes on your iPad by using a note-taking app and a stylus. We recommend sticking with the Apple Pencil as it has a great shape and feels natural in your hand. However, you can also use other alternative styluses if you already have one lying around.

How do I convert handwriting to text on the iPad?

You can also convert handwriting to text on your iPad by using the new “Copy as Text” feature. Apple included this on the last major patch for iPadOS, and it has become a great tool to help people quickly jot down notes and convert them to text for better compatibility.

Final words

While there are many apps on the Apple App Store, we have compiled a list of the best ones to help you get started with your note-taking experience. All the apps above have different tools and factors that help them stand out above the rest, and we hope that it has helped you pick the best possible app.

With that said, we have reached the end and hope that you will have a great and enjoyable time taking notes and writing on your iPad.

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