If you want a hassle-free note-taking app, Simplenote isn't the only notable (pun excuse) option available to you.
Keeping your ideas and projects organized would be difficult if you didn't have a solid note-taking app to fall back on. While big companies like Evernote and Microsoft OneNote are among the most popular note-taking tools, their complex set of features may not be to everyone's liking.
If you've been looking for a simpler note-taking app, you've probably found many recommendations for the cross-platform Simplenote app. Simplenote for Android is free, fast, and great. The Simplenote app for Android is free, fast, and Great Notepad Good apps like to show off their many features. Great apps get out of the way and let you do what you came here to do. Read more . That app definitely does its job well, but before you sign up, explore some other cool options like the three listed below.
The following apps have quite a few things in common. For starters, all of them are open source. What is open source software? [MakeUseOf Explains] What is open source software? [MakeUseOf Explains] "Open source" is a term that gets thrown around a lot these days. You may know that certain things are open source, like Linux and Android, but do you know what that implies? What is open... Read More A couple of them support Markdown, the smart way to write digitally. Learn The Basics Of Markdown In 10 Minutes With This Video Tutorial Learn The Basics Of Markdown In 10 Minutes With This Video Tutorial If you've heard about markdown but haven't had a chance to try it out yet, this short video should bring you up to speed. the language that facilitates the creation of content for the web. Read more . You don't have to go through a registration process to use any of them. Best of all, thanks to its local/remote storage options, you stay in control of your data. You can also choose to sync with third-party services like Dropbox. Now, let's take a closer look at each of these note-taking tools.
This open source app is minimal as they come. It was partially inspired by iA Writer, a popular text editor for Mac and iOS iA Writer for Mac and iOS - the best word processor you've never used iA Writer for Mac and iOS - the best word processor you've never used a newspaper school or a blog post, all of us at some point find ourselves in the position of having to dump a bunch of characters into a text file. While the cell phone... Read More When you open the Litewrite website, you will receive an introductory note by default. Click the little plus icon (+) at the top left and you can start taking notes right away.
All your notes appear as a hidden list in a discreet sidebar. When you scale down the browser window, the app hides the sidebar options inside a clicklist icon. Additionally, there are a handful of shortcuts for creating and switching between notes.
Your notes are backed up in your browser and accessible offline. If you are brave and geeky enough to deal with terms like Open Standard RemoteStorage , go ahead and click on the widget at the top right. Through this widget, you can sync your notes to multiple devices using your own storage provider. If you're a Chrome user, install the Litewrite Chrome app for easy access.
Laverna, based on Markdown, has a bit more advanced setup than Litewrite and Springseed (listed below). But that hasn't made its user interface too complex or difficult to navigate. If you've used Evernote, you'll find Laverna's approach similar.
With the app's easy-to-use UI as your guide, you should have no problem creating notebooks and notes. The main screen of the app provides a list of all your notes in a sidebar on the left. When you select a note, its content appears in the display area to the right, as shown below. In the Normal In mode, you can edit the note directly from this screen. Access your notebooks, app settings, starred items, and trash by using the dropdown menu at the top left.
The image below shows a preview of the note editing process in the Preview mode. Full screen is the third mode you can switch to. With Laverna, it is possible to insert tags and tasks into your notes. For tags, prefix the tag tag with @ . For tasks, prefix the element with  or [X] to mark it as incomplete or complete, respectively.
the Settings The section comes with options to add remote storage or a link to Dropbox, enable/disable encryption, import/export settings, switch between modes, etc. You can navigate the user interface using keyboard shortcuts, which also appear in the settings.
Laverna is still in beta, so you might come across some weird feature that doesn't work or doesn't work as expected. For example, I discovered that I could only bookmark a note from its content section and not from its sidebar list.
Springseed's user interface is nice and easy to find. Your notebooks are listed in the first column on the left, notes are in the second column, and note content is displayed in the last column. Creating, editing and deleting notes is easy and guided by useful universal icons that we are all used to. Springseed comes with Markdown support.
Notes are stored locally, and there's not much in the app's settings. Syncing your notes with your Dropbox account is the only additional setting that is possible in Springseed. The only approach you need is a great way to make note taking fast and efficient, and Springseed seems to have embraced it effortlessly.
Note taking apps like Evernote Springpad vs Catch vs Evernote vs OneNote - Which is the best on Android? Springpad vs Catch vs Evernote vs OneNote - Which is the best on Android? At one point, people had to carry notebooks if they wanted to take notes. Do you remember the great fashion of Moleskine notebooks? Today, smartphones have made most pocket-sized items obsolete. Why carry around... Read More But if you only need the most basic features to work with, all the bells and whistles of feature-rich apps can be distracting. In that case, it's best to opt for unobtrusive apps like Simplenote or its offline alternatives listed here.
Which note-taking app do you prefer and why? Let us know in the comments.