People take notes to keep track of information that might otherwise be lost or forgotten. Notes can be taken anytime, anywhere on a piece of paper, at the back of a notebook, on a sticky note—the list continues. And though this sounds convenient, chances are you may end up misplacing a sticky note or piece of paper.
Using note-taking software can be beneficial in such situations. The software helps capture and store important information and ideas at a centralized location. You can access the information any time and even share it with your friends or teammates.
Given the many options available on the market, it can be confusing to decide which software to choose. In this buyers guide, we provide all the information you need to purchase a note-taking tool that suits your business needs.
Here's what we'll cover:
What is note-taking software?
Note-taking software is a software tool that allows users to capture, store, and manage voice and text notes on different devices. Using the software is similar to organizing sticky notes and notebooks but in a digital space. It helps ensure secure document management while providing users quick access to the stored information.
Calendar integration, document annotations, search filters, multidevice support, voice notes, activity history, cloud storage, and file sharing are some of the key features of the software.
Note-taking software can integrate with other tools such as team collaboration and task management software to enhance accessibility. It is used by small, midsize, and large enterprises; educational institutions; entrepreneurs; and individuals alike.
Dashboard in Evernote note-taking software (Source)
Common features of note-taking software
Most note-taking software platforms have the following features in common:
||Share task-related notes, documents, and collective knowledge with authorized stakeholders and always stay in sync.
||Allows your team to add comments to collaborate in real time, take feedback on ideas, or check if they have anything to add.
||Look for specific points or keywords in a single document or an entire folder by entering the query in the search filter.
||Upload files to add to the digital notebook or download the stored data to create a backup on your system.
||Make the documents searchable by classifying them as personal or task-related and tagging them to relevant tasks.
||Access the stored documents on a laptop, PC, tablet, or mobile device with single sign-on (SSO) and stay connected anytime, anywhere.
What type of buyer are you?
Before evaluating note-taking software options, determine what you plan to use it for. Most buyers of the software belong to the following categories:
- Educational institutions: Notes are an essential source of reference to recall important information from a discussion, whether it is a classroom session or staff meeting. The captured information can be used to enhance work efficiency and boost productivity.
Note-taking software with features such as collaboration, comments, and data import/export, in addition to document management, would be a suitable choice for educational institutions.
- Businesses: Meetings and training sessions are common in organizations, be it small, midsize, or large. Although these discussions are essential, back-to-back sessions may overwork the attendees, and that may lead to missing out on important information. To this end, a note-taking tool can help quickly capture information by drawing, typing, or talking (think voice notes); the captured information can be accessed anytime, on any device.
Features such as multidevice support, collaboration, and document classification would work well for businesses to ensure a smooth flow of work with their teams.
Benefits of note-taking software
Implementing a note-taking platform has various benefits, including:
- Real-time sharing: Sharing notes with one or multiple teams helps understand different perspectives on improvising or putting an idea to work. Doing this in real time makes the document available to stakeholders while you can continue adding information or making changes. This eliminates the need to share and wait for inputs, saving time and effort for all involved teams.
- Information security: Notes can be taken for business-related concerns or ideas; however, both are intellectual properties and hence need to be protected. A note-taking software tool that ensures information protection proves to be a one-stop solution that allows secure capturing, storing, and sharing of information. Look for security features such as two-factor authentication that uses a password or secret code to allow access to authorized stakeholders.
Key considerations when selecting note-taking software
Here are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing a note-taking software solution:
- Integrations: Note-taking software limits usability to taking notes. However, allowing integration with software tools such as team communication, project management, and teleconferencing enables multitasking. For instance, you can make real-time changes in a document during an on-call discussion. Having a single platform to connect and capture information will help boost productivity and enhance work efficiency while saving time.
- Multidevice support: Carrying a laptop to every meeting may not be possible, and that highlights the importance of multidevice support. This feature lets you log in to your account from different devices, such as smartphones and laptops, and access the data anytime, anywhere. It not just ensures quick note-taking but also reduces downtime if one device is not working.
Market trends to understand
Here’s a recent note-taking software market trend that you should be aware of:
- Automatic note-taking with AI. Note-taking solutions are leveraging AI technology to enhance the process of taking notes. AI-powered note-taking software can enable automatic capturing of information along with real-time summarizing. This eliminates the chances of missing out on important information while saving time that would otherwise be spent on summarizing the information later. While AI technology is currently used by a few market players, efforts are being made to further enhance the software with features such as real-time spelling and punctuation review, and speech recognition.
Note: The application selected in this guide is an example to show a feature in context and is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation. It has been taken from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.