My 6 Best Note-taking Apps for iPad Pro and Apple Pencil

Amilin Cero
3 min readJan 25, 2021


As the production of Apple Pencil, more and more people like to take notes with iPad, including me. According to my years of experience, I’d like to share you with my best 6 Note-taking apps for iPad and Apple Pencil.

1. Goodnotes

Goodnotes is the top note-taking app that focuses on handwriting. With the focus on handwriting, this app makes it easy to enter complex mathematics and chemical formulas that can border on the impossible via a traditional keyboard. Its important functions, including varied paper types and effortless document managements, distinguish it from other similar note-taking apps.

Price: $7.99

2. Notability

Notability is one of the best note-taking apps that combines handwriting, drawings, photos, gifs, typing, audio records, custom shapes in a single note. It is also my favorite note-taking app for my iPad Pro. Compared to other note-taking apps, the distinctive features of this one include the support of audio recordings, a OCR search scanning both text and handwriting notes, handwriting to text conversion, and Multi-task which enables you to take notes while reading another document.

Price: $9.99

3. PDF Expert

PDF Expert is mainly focused on PDF editing, yet it also works efficiently as a nota-taking app for iPad. This is an important app for you if you regularly modify or work with PDF files. It boasts a variety of annotation tools like readymade “stamps”, highlight options, shapes, diagrams and etc.

Price: $9.99

4. Marginnote

Marginnote is a brand new efficicenty app that helps us to better study and digest our books and files. It integrates powerful tools for book annotation, mindmapping and flashcards to help us build up our reading notes. Compared with other note-taking apps, the biggest advantage of Marginnote is its function of MindMap. It’s easy for us to auto-create MindMap from excerpts or just drag PDF selection, pictures, texts to Mindmap.

Price: $6.99

5. OneNote

OneNote is a product produced by Microsoft. It is more a note-collecting app than a handwritten note-taking app. OneNote offers a special collaboration experience to let you work with your team or friends who have Microsoft accounts, which could be a big plus for lots of people. If you are an Office user, OneNote is great. More importantly, it’s totally free.

Price: free

6. Apple Notes

Apple Notes is an application which is pre-installed on every iOS device and is entirely free to use. It is a good choice for daily note taking because it’s simple, efficient and easy to open. However, there are not many advanced features like OCR searching, handwriting to text conversion or different pape templates.

Price: free

What’s your favourite note-taking app for the iPad? Leave a comment and share them with us!

Originally published at on January 25, 2021.