Summits and conferences are invaluable opportunities to gather industry knowledge and business connections but it can be a lot to take in. There is so much information shared – how do you collect and organise it all? There is nothing worse than racing to jot down notes, only to lose them or not be able to comprehend them later on.
How do you currently take notes during summits?
To help at future events, we have researched the top 10 note-taking apps:
Evernote is a great note-taking app, available on all platforms. It allows you to easily take, organise and enhance your notes with tables, attachments and web clippings. You can also record audio notes of your own thoughts or keynote speakers.
Stay organised by tagging your notes and then easily find them by date, title or tag. The search feature allows you to easily access any note even if you cannot remember exactly when you took it or what you labeled it.
If you tend to take notes that end up cluttered and all over the page but want to better organise them, they also offer templates!
Evernote offers a free and paid version, depending on your needs. One great feature, of many, in the paid version, is the ability to scan and digitise business cards. This would be extremely helpful during the summit networking sessions.
Onenote is a Microsoft office 365 app. It allows you to organise your notes by sections or pages to easily navigate or search your content. You can even add custom annotations by drawing on your notes to make them even more personalized.
Add recorded audio, online videos and other files to your notes. Share them with coworkers to make the most of the knowledge you learned.
The best thing about OneNote is that it is available on all platforms and does not have a device limit, all for free!
This app is a free product from Dropbox that allows you to not only take notes but also collaborate with team members, manage projects and much more. For conferences, its smart formatting makes it easy to create a clean design while keeping up with the engaging speaker panels.
Paper also lets you easily integrate almost anything into your notes. Add audio, YouTube videos, Pinterest boards, google maps and more.
One of the great things about paper is content and accident protection. The free plan gives you a 30-day file recovery and Dropbox rewind if you accidentally delete any note. The paid plans offer longer recovery periods. You can also wipe devices remotely to protect sensitive material and all plans come with two-step verification.
Another key function is its collaborative workspace. Easily share your notes with team members and have them comment or ask questions in real-time. This can be great for large teams that cannot afford to send every member to the conference. Give them access to the information being shared and allow them to submit questions in real-time.
Simplenote is all in the name. A note-taking app focused on speed and efficiency. You will not find fancy integrations with this app but if you simply want to take text-based notes and that is it, then Simplenote has you covered.
It does have a tagging feature and the ability to go back in time, plus sharing capabilities. It is available, free across all platforms and devices.
For device-specific note-taking apps, iPhone and Mac users can take advantage of Apple Notes. Apple Notes lets you type out your notes or tell them to Siri for her to record. You can also create tables inside your notes for easy organisation.
Lock confidential information using a password, Touch ID or Face ID. Share your notes and allow invited guests to edit them. Other features include adding web links to your note, organising by folders and pinning important ones for easy access.
By simply tapping the Aa icon, you can add formatting to your notes such as headings, indentions and stylized text.
For android users or fans of the Google suite, you can use Google Keep. Besides adding text, images and audio to your notes, you can also set time or location-based reminders. Take notes at the summit and then set a reminder for the time you get back into the office or have the reminder pop up as you pull into work on Monday to review the information you learned and share it with your team.
Like many of the other apps we have mentioned, Google Keep lets you share and collaborate on notes and quickly filter by colour or other attributes to find the information you are looking for.
Access your notes anytime, from any device by simply logging in with your Google credentials.
Zoho Notebook has different cards for the different types of notes you might take. They also pride themselves on being the most beautiful note-taking app across all devices.
Save text, audio, photos, files and sketches to Notebook then let the smart card feature transform them into beautiful note cards.
Notebook is synced to the cloud, free to use and free of ads!
While Bear is a great note-taking app, it is only available on Apple devices. It has features such as read time and character count for more formal writing but for simple note-taking purposes, you can stylize your text with simple taps or keystrokes.
Multiple themes offer different styles for each user. Hashtags allow simple not tagging and organisation, while in-not linking lets you connect ideas within several notes. Also, export your note in multiple options.
While Bear does offer a free trial period, you will have to buy a monthly or annual subscription to use it long term.
Notion can be used as a simple note-taking app or an all-in-one workspace for your team. Notion offers four tools in one – Notes/Docs, Knowledge Base, Tasks/Projects and Databases. Build the right solution for your team and ditch all the tabs.
Notion, like other tools, lets you create checklists, add images and links and even create bookmarks. Drag and drop to structure your thoughts, sync across devices and work offline.
With free, personal, team and enterprise plans, you can find the right solution for you and your team.
Standard Notes is a free, open-source and completely encrypted note-taking app. Extensions allow you to compose any kind of note but it remains fast and lighter than most note apps.
The total encryption is a big selling point of Standard Notes and comes with their free version, along with cross-platform syncing capability. The extended version gives you access to editors, themes and automated backups so you never lose any of the valuable information you learned during the summit.
Bonus: If you need to save a digital file of your notes but prefer the hand-written approach, several smartpens allow you to do so.
Livescribe Aegir Smartpen – the Livescribe pen allows you to digitise your notes effortlessly. The pen is supported by an app to add audio to your written notes and search for terms within your writing. Take notes during the summit and then back them up later when you have free time. The Livescribe pen is almost the same size and weight as a normal pen but it allows you to take your note-taking to the next level.
NeoLab N2 Smartpen – This pen is compatible with some of the apps mentioned above. Easily write down your notes and then access them through the app later to edit, review or share.
Once digitised, add color to your notes and sort them by date, tags or keywords. The smartpen also supports 15 languages. This pen allows you to record audio but the coolest feature is that your notetaking process is recorded so you can play it back and see your thought process to relive what you were thinking during keynote speakers or panel discussions.
Easily collaborate by sharing your notebook with others or pass the knowledge along to your team by checking the email icon.
No matter what your note-taking style is, we hope these apps will help you get the most out of the next summit you attend. Download one and try it out today. If you do not love it, there are many others to explore.
How do you currently take notes during summits? Which of these apps will you try?
Excited to try out a new note-taking app or technique but don’t have any scheduled summits coming up? Check out our upcoming events and register for the one that interests you!