Work moves impossibly fast these days.
You’re a creative professional: You open up your browser to find a quick stat or nugget of information, and all of a sudden the juices of your brain are flowing and you’re opening tabs left and right. Before you know it, said tabs become impressively small in your browser—you have no idea what’s what unless you click on them. You’ve digested a ton of information and have no problem coming up with idea after idea, but because you keep processing new data, some thoughts get lost in the mix.
It’s beyond frustrating.
Good news: If you can relate to the above in any way, shape or form, you don’t have to accept forgetting ideas from time to time as the norm. In fact, there’s no shortage of note-taking tools and platforms you can use to seriously streamline your workflow—and deliver stronger results. Your ideas will always be retrievable, after all.
Here are five of the stronger note-taking apps on the market. Which one is right for you?
One of the more popular note-taking platforms, Evernote allows you to organize your thoughts, notes, images, links and more with just a click of the mouse. It’s completely customizable, so you can set up Evernote to your exact specifications. It’s also syncs your folders and files across all devices, so you never have to worry about your hard drive crashing again. And thanks to a sweet Chrome extension, you’re able to search through your Evernote through Google’s standard search bar. Pretty cool, eh?
2. Google Keep.
Keep is Google’s spin on note-taking services. Like Evernote, you can use Keep to store your notes, lists, photos and audio files. Though it’s a minimalistic tool, Keep enables you to stay on top of your thoughts as you go about your day. For example, you can jot notes in the Keep app on your phone when you’re on the train. Once you return to your laptop and open your browser, voila, those notes will be waiting for you.
A collaboration platform that accelerates decision making, Knotable can be used to keep team members on the same page. Here’s how it works: Ideas, tasks, thoughts, what have you, are made as Knotes which are then sorted into Knotepads. If you’re a small business owner, you can use Knotable to easily manage your whole operations, creating Knotepads for marketing, finance, development, sales and design, for example. Knotable’s also released a cool Chrome extension, Knotes, that allows you to easily take notes in your Chrome browser.
OneNote is Microsoft’s interpretation of note-taking software. And according to Derek Walter over at PCWorld, it’s “the best Microsoft program you’re probably not using.” Compatible with virtually every platform—Android, iOS, Mac, Windows and Chrome—OneNote is a great tool for users who are stuck inside the Microsoft ecosystem all day. A particularly cool feature: You can handwrite words or math equations that will automatically be converted into text. So futuristic, man.
An oldie but a goodie, FutzMe has been around since 2009 and it’s included on this list due to its insane simplicity. You can use FutzMe to send yourself notes, reminders, tasks to do, links, pictures and more—right from your browser’s address bar. Here’s how it works: Once you sign up, you’re given a FutzMe username (in this example, let’s have that name be “Copernicus”). To send yourself a note, all you have to do is type “futz.me/Copernicus knote.com”, for example, and “knote.com” will be sent to your inbox or your SMS, whichever you prefer. Again: insane simplicity.
It’s important to remember that everyone works differently. So some folks might transform their workflows with Knotes, for example, and others might find FutzMe to be a game changer.
If you’re looking for a better way to take notes, it’s in your best interest to try a whole bunch of them to see what sticks. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find something even better than what’s mentioned above. If so, do tell in the comments below.