Best iPad Pro notetaking apps of 2022

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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
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iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) on table
(Image credit: Future)

The best note-taking apps for the iPad Pro provide a simple way to create and manage documents on your iPad..

Although Apple provides its own Notes app with the iPad, it only provides for basic functionality. If you want to get something more from your notes and documents, such as managing files and folders and including multimedia options, you'll need to look elsewhere.

Luckily, there are other notepad applications developed specifically for use on the iPad Pro which further develop and improve on this functionality. This is especially important because the iPad Pro has long been promoted as a useful business tool in itself.

Therefore look to the third-party software we feature below to extend its use and application for a range of business purposes, as well as provide value and purpose for general consumers.

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A particular track that the best note-taking apps take is to harness the strong multimedia features that the iPad can offer, so you don't just have to work with text but can also add in images, video, and audio. These apps work across the range of iPads (opens in new tab).

Here then are what we think are the best note-taking app for iPad devices around today.

We also feature the best iPad Pro deals.


The best iPad Pro notetaking apps of 2022 in full:

Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

(Image credit: Evernote)
Note-taking app with cross-platform support

Reasons to buy

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Free version
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Lots of features
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Also supports Android

Reasons to avoid

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Need premium version for collaboration

For those looking for a note-taking platform that works with their iPad Pro, but also Android devices, Evernote straddles the two mobile platforms with ease.

Evernote is a great app to collect multiple inputs, including images, text notes, recorded messages, and clippings of web pages - all in one file for storage and collaboration. They can then be accessed via the iPad Pro, Android, or a PC though the web browser interface for ease of workflow. Also, a further boon is that the notes are searchable.  

The iOS app is free, and offers in-app purchases. However, the free product is restricted to syncing only two devices, and uploads are limited to just 60MB per month. Step up to the Premium tier to sync all your devices, gain a more generous 10GB of uploads in a month, as well as the additional features of live chat support, and offline access to your notes. Alternatively, for collaborations, there's a business plan with increased limits and additional features. 

Read our full Evernote review.

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(Image credit: Notability)

2. Notability

The Swiss army knife of note-taking apps

Reasons to buy

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Annotate PDFs  
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Work with multiple input formats  
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Share notes via the cloud 

Reasons to avoid

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Higher cost 

Notability from Ginger Labs, is an excellent, general purpose note-taking app for the iOS platform. It has won multiple awards over the last several years.  

This app allows the user to combine multiple inputs, including typing, sketching, handwriting and photos, in a single place. 

Notability supports the editing and exporting to PDF, and supports many other document file formats. Files are synced to iCloud and users can share files with other users via email, and cloud-based services including AirDrop, Google Drive and Dropbox. 

The app also supports multiple other features including simultaneous audio recording and the conversion of handwriting and math equations to text.

The app is free to use, but you can unlock additional features and functionality with a monthly subscription costing $2.99 / £2.50 / AUD$5 or an annual one costing $11.99 / £10 / AUD$16.

Overall, Notability is an extremely versatile app which can be used for more than just taking notes. And, when you do take notes with this app, Notability makes it easy to export and share your notes to other software platforms and people as required. 

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(Image credit: GoodNotes)

3. GoodNotes

The note app that focuses on handwriting

Reasons to buy

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Flexible digital note-taking
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Handwriting to text conversion  
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Searchable handwritten notes 

Reasons to avoid

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No free tier 

Those who want to use their iPad Pro to easily take handwritten notes should check out GoodNotes. 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.

The GoodNotes approach can also be used to annotate PDFs, plus you can search handwritten notes and convert handwriting into text. The notes are also synced via iCloud, and can be backed up to your choice of cloud providers, including Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box.  

The app is free to use, but limits you to 3 notebooks. To unlock unlimited notebooks, document import, and handwriting recognition, there's a one-time fee of around $9 / £8 / AUD$14.

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(Image credit: Nebo)

4. Nebo

The advanced note-taking app

Reasons to buy

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Affordable price  
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Handles more complex documents
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Exports to multiple formats 

Reasons to avoid

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Requires an official Apple Pencil 

For note-takers with needs that go beyond the basic, Nebo can handle the challenge. While plenty of note-taking apps allow text to be entered, Nebo can also easily structure notes, allowing you to add paragraphs, titles and bullet lists for organization.

It also handles ‘rich content,’ such as diagrams, sketches (with different colors and pen widths), flow charts, and formulas, letting you integrate them into the document. Once completed, documents can be exported in a variety of formats, including Word, PDF, and even HTML.  

Nebo is available for multiple platforms, including Windows 10, Android, and of course iOS.

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(Image credit: Apple)

5. Whink

The gel ink pen approach to notes

Reasons to buy

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Mimics a gel pen on paper  
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Perfect geometric shapes  
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Affordable

Reasons to avoid

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No cloud integration 

Whink is an iOS app that is equally at home taking notes via handwriting, as it is with text. Whether you prefer to write with a stylus, type text, or draw with a finger, Whink makes the process as simple as using real paper.

Other media can be added and incorporated including photos, diagrams with colors and “perfect geometric shapes”. Documents can also be marked up, and it supports multi-tasking so notes can be taken while reading another document (we have witnessed folks walking around with two tablets to accomplish this feat when it is not supported).  

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(Image credit: Notepad+)

6. Notepad+

The original advanced note pad

Reasons to buy

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Type or use handwriting
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Color and image options
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Works with multiple file formats

Notepad+ provides a digital notepad for you to do pretty much anything you'd like to that you would in a normal blank notepad. There's the ability to type notes, of course, as well as make lists, but you can also use it for sketching as well as adding images.

There are also additional features, not least for annotating other files, such as PDF files, as well as files from Excel, Keynote, and Numbers. A drag-and-drop function allows images from other apps to be copied into your notes, regardless of the file format used.

There are a wide range of formatting options that take Notepad+ away from standard note-taking software, with the ability to use different fonts, colors, and highlighting, as well as support for handwriting. 

Icons and smileys can also be added to notes, and you can add text next to them. A zoom feature allows you to change perspective if you need to move in closer or further away, which can be especially useful when using images.

Notepad+ is available in 12 different languages.


Also consider these note-taking apps

The success of the iPad and iPad Pro mean there are a lot of apps available for similar functions, and note taking is no different. Different apps focus on different areas, such as just text, rich text editing, including images, sketching images, and even integration with other platforms. We'll consider additional options which take the simple idea of making notes and expand on it:

Zoho Notebook is a powerful app for taking notes, editing text documents (such as Word or PDF files), adding images or creating sketches, spreadsheets, and even including audio recordings - all in the same note file. This makes it particularly versatile, and all saved files are synced your devices in the cloud. Even better it's free, and there are no ads.

Notes Plus (opens in new tab) allows you to make handwritten notes and then convert them into text files which you can then export to other file formats, such as PDF. Alternatively, you can import PDF and .doc files. Integration options include Dropbox, Google Drive, and Evernote. 

OneNote (opens in new tab) may be a Microsoft production, but it's a full-featured digital notepad for the iPad Pro and other iOS devices. Aside from the fact that it has a lot of functionality - and it's free - it also integrates with Microsoft Office, which could be a big plus for a lot of people.

PDF Expert (opens in new tab) isn't anywhere near as comprehensive as the above programs for working with text. Instead, it's focused only on working with PDF files, not least annotating, highlighting, or signing them. It's only a simple feature-set, but PDF Expert does it well. It's frequently cited as the best app for working specifically with PDF files. 

Bear (opens in new tab) is a decent note-taking app for people who use an iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer. Thanks to the user-friendly interface, using the app is an enjoyable experience. The relative affordability is also something we commend.


How we tested the best iPad Pro notetaking apps

To test for the best iPad Pro notetaking apps we first set up an account with the relevant software platform, then we tested the app to see what sort of features and tools were available for our notes. We also looked to see if we could export our notes to other platforms, and also share them with other users. The aim was to push each software platform to see how useful its basic tools were and also how easy it was to get to grips with any more advanced options.

See how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar.  

Which iPad Pro notetaking app is best for you?

When deciding which iPad Pro notetaking apps to download and use, first consider what your actual needs are. For example, are you planning to keep your notes mostly as plain text notes, or do you need to add media to them? Additionally, do you need to use your notes in other software such as Microsoft Word? Are you happy to just save locally or in the cloud? In such instances, you will need to look at the features to see whether the app satisfactorily answers such questions or not.

Additionally, you might like to take a look at the best free iPad apps. (opens in new tab)

Brian has over 30 years publishing experience as a writer and editor across a range of computing, technology, and marketing titles. He has been interviewed multiple times for the BBC and been a speaker at international conferences. His specialty on techradar is Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, covering everything from office suites to IT service tools. He is also a science fiction and fantasy author, published as Brian G Turner.