Mobile Devices - Note taking

Research & Instructional Design



This page will help you choose apps that permit you to take both typewritten and handwritten notes on your mobile devices. Many of these solutions also enable you to effortlessly synchronize your notes across your devices simultaneously, meaning you will never be without your information wherever you go and on whichever device you use. Also covered on this page are hardware solutions that facilitate the process of taking notes.

Popular Apps

Name Price Description Platform


  • Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders and makes these notes completely searchable on any device you own that is connected to Evernote.
  • Evernote works on laptops, desktops, and virtually all major mobile devices.

Evernote Penultimate Free
  • Companion app to Evernote that lets you take handwritten notes that seamlessly synchronize with the Evernote infrastructure.
Notes Plus $7.99
  • A note-taking tool that supports handwriting, typing, audio recording and PDF annotation.
  • Offers close-up writing mode, stroke smoothing, vector shape auto-detection, palm handling, complete folder structure, images, PDF exporting and emailing, automatic backup to Dropbox and more.
Google Drive Free
  • Cloud storage, note-taking, word document, spreadsheet, and presentation creation solution.
  • Integrated into HillConnect, meaning your data is available wherever you can log into your e-mail, meaning virtually everywhere.

Paper by Fifty-Three Free (Basic Version)
  • Capture ideas as sketches, diagrams, illustrations, notes or drawings and share them across the web.

Notability $1.99
  • Integrates handwriting, PDF annotation, typing, recording, and organizing
  • Synchronizes with Dropbox or Google Drive (HillConnect)
Daedalus Touch $4.99
  • Minimalistic, powerful text editing solution.



There is a great variety of styluses to accommodate almost any style, hand, or need. There are continuums galore: Price, materials, stroke density, &c. Fortunately, the Internet is a great source for reviews and guides published by stylus users and review groups:

  • The Verge published an exhaustive, easy-to-navigate guide for a panoply of styluses. Chances are exceptionally good that you will find a stylus that will work for your needs at an attractive price point.
  • Current users of styluses:


A good keyboard can turn a mobile device into a virtually full-featured laptop replacement for the purpose of notetaking. Many mobile devices feature a long battery life compared to other devices, which makes them extremely attractive laptop replacements, especially for all-day meetings and conferences.

In terms of finding a quality keyboard that serves your needs, mobile keyboards are just like styluses: there are continuums galore to explore. Some advice for finding the keyboard that is perfect for you needs: search the internet (keywords: "mobile," "keyboard," "(Device name) + keyboard," etc.); ask for the opinions of friends who have mobile keyboards; contact the list of Hamilton people (see below) who have mobile keyboards; and go to electronics stores and try ones they have in stock.

  • Current users of mobile keyboards:
    • Ted Fondak (tfondak@hamilton.edu)
    • Nikki Reynolds (nreynold@hamilton.edu) (iPad)
    • Lisa Forrest (lforrest@hamilton.edu)
    • Mike Sprague (msprague@hamilton.edu) (Android)



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Last updated: August 30, 2017

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