Your Next Favorite Notes App - Notebook by Zoho

Since the new year rang in with one of the coldest years on record in Times Square, I’ve started cutting down on my monthly subscriptions. [1] In that same theme, I decided to stop my monthly cell plan to my iPad Pro. As insanely useful as that data plan was, my credit card bill dictated what was truly necessary for 2018…so goodbye always connected iPad. [2]

My place of work does not use Macs, so for the past couple weeks I’ve been on the hunt for apps that I enjoy using, can use on my iPhone, iPad, Mac (at home), and in a browser while at work. That last requirement tends to severely limit the playing field but there are some high quality apps out there that meet my criteria.

If you are familiar with any of these apps, you’re aware that they’re what most would consider “higher quality”, and that’s why I specifically listed them here. There are probably numerous apps that meet my minimum criteria…but I wouldn’t use them as they are too basic, not user friendly, or may even cost too much. [3]

I recently migrated from Omnifocus to Todoist for my todo app of choice. I was an OF user for many years, but the lack of ability to batch edit or defer tasks on my iPad or iPhone drove me to Things 3 and then to Todoist. Todoist met all of my criteria (to my surprise) and the natural language input is far superior to anything I’ve found aside from Fantastical 2. Google Calendar is of course easy to use in the browser and syncs to any calendar app of choice. While I don’t use Overcast in the browser often, it’s nice to have that capability.

My note taking app of choice tends to change every couple of years and for the longest time I was using Evernote as my “brain bucket”. I completed my masters degree using this as a research gathering app and even put my class PDFs in to it so I could use it’s highlighting and note taking features. [4] But over the years, Evernote started to feel bloated, I finished my masters so I dropped from the paid to free tier, and then Evernote started limiting how many devices could sync to an Evernote account on that free tier. Goodbye regular usage of Evernote.

For a couple years I’ve floated from app to app for note taking, never really settling down to anything in particular other than Notes Plus for handwriting notes on my iPad. [5]

Recently I found Notebook .

  1. and most of my annual ones as well  ↩

  2. insert teary eyed emoji here  ↩

  3. although that last point is always relative  ↩

  4. I even paid the $45 annual fee for 2 or 3 years  ↩

  5. hands down the best iPad app for pure handwriting out there. with the Apple Pencil it’s seriously like writing on paper  ↩


To be honest, I actually discovered this app a while ago. I messed around with it but didn't see the need for it at the time and never truly dug in to its capabilities. With my newest requirement of browser usability, I decided to give this app another shot after I stubmled across a mention that Notebook had this funcationality.

Not only does Notebook meet my criteria of being usable everywhere, to include a browser, but it itches a new scratch of mine...better organization of thoughts/ideas for various areas of my life. Work...I can take quick text notes or make checklists with reminders...check. Blog...I can clip web pages, videos, save pictures/links/text snippets, even do audio and sketches...check. Home...I can snap a picture and mark it up, save a website for later use....check.

 iPad version

iPad version

 Mac version

Mac version

 Browser version

Browser version

 iPhone version

iPhone version

Organized into Notebooks (of course) you have various ways to take notes.

  • text
  • checklists
  • audio recordings
  • picutres
  • files
  • sketches
 Pretty much everything you can do in Evernote but laid out and displayed much better, in my opinion. 

Pretty much everything you can do in Evernote but laid out and displayed much better, in my opinion. 

With all of these options, you won’t be lacking for a way to quickly jot down whatever idea pops in to your brain. 3D pressing on the iPhone app gives you quick access to each of these types of notes as well.

Within the notebooks, you can group your note cards of any type, turning them in to a display of seemingly stacked cards. If you swipe across the stack the top card is replaced the by next, and so on. Ungrouping them is now easier than in the past (if my memory serves me correctly). All of the icons to add these notes are at the bottom rather than in the top most corner like some older apps.

All in all, there is a little bit of everything for everyone in this app.

Visually it’s modern and pleasing, functionally it seems to have it all, and you can use it on any platform. [1] I’m very excited to continue using this beautiful little app and I encourage you to check it out as well.

Oh yeah… it’s free.

  1. yes, it’s on Android as well  ↩