POLL: What is your PRIMARY note taking app?

I believed it would be intriguing and informative to conduct a poll on the PRIMARY app utilized by members of this forum. I am aware that many individuals in this forum use multiple apps, for different purposes, under different circumstances. When I refer to the PRIMARY app, I am specifically referring to the app you predominantly use (~51% of the time) for taking notes, regardless of whether they are typed or handwritten.

  • Agenda
  • Apple Notes
  • Bear
  • Craft
  • DEVONThink
  • Drafts
  • Evernote
  • GoodNotes
  • Google Keep
  • IA Writer
  • Joplin
  • Notebooks
  • NotePlan
  • Notenik
  • Notion
  • Notability
  • OneNote
  • Obsidian
  • Ulysses
  • Other

0 voters


:scream: This question will now prompt a technical debate as to what we define as “default” - you tried to head that off by defining “primary”, but already I’m thinking “How on Earth do I answer this? What is default? How many apps do I have? Do we just mean the place where notes start, or the place where the bulk of interaction with them takes place?”

I don’t have a default app as it depends entirely on the use-case for the note. Temporary personal notes for example always start in Apple Notes. A temporary work note when I am working usually (but not always) starts in NotePlan. A research note always starts in DevonThink. Book notes always start in DevonThink (actually technically they start in the book, wherever that is, but sometimes I open a Markdown file while reading).

All permanent notes eventually end up in DevonThink, but some take a long, winding journey to get there. The bulk of interaction may or may not take place in DevonThink.

But if your question is “what do you revert to when you’re out and about or doing something else and hastily need to scribble a note”, my answer is Apple Notes regardless of use-case. That’s the app I open if I need to quickly jot something down and have no paper to hand (although I still revert to paper if that’s available - it just rarely is unless I’m at my desk or have my bag with me).


Echoing what @Pupsino wrote: “primary” is a little tricky to define. I use a bunch of those apps regularly but for different purposes. I guess I’ll go with Drafts since text starts there for me…but never ends up there.


I know all of the caveats. There is no adequate way in a limited forum poll like this to account for all of the variables. I knew from the outset that there would be lots of “what about’s”…”it depends”…, etc. :slightly_smiling_face:This is not a scientific poll, it is more for fun than anything else. That said, most of us have a note taking app we use for the majority of our note taking, even if 51% of the time. At any rate, I don’t want this to get overly complicated. For those who use one app at least 51% of the time, what is it? :slightly_smiling_face:


I’m curious why you want to know? Looking to take on yet another change?


No, not at all. My workflow has been stable for at least six months. I’m content with my apps and how I’m using them.

Given the vast amount of discussion surrounding note-taking apps, I just thought it would be interesting and fun to conduct a simple, unscientific poll of the apps we primarily use.


I find the problem with the “Writing” notes is that I rarely write much. My PKM is a glorified filing cabinet that I know I can trust to find everything with maybe 10% written content.

This is why I was on Evernote for a decade and have struggled settling in to a replacement (Obsidian currently).


For me that is the more important issue not which app I might use but what format does the occasions call for. Is the note the equivalent of a postit note with a reminder to call someone or is it study notes from a university lecture? For the former I might use a reminder in Apple Reminders the latter something like Buzan’s MindMap app. Recently added some “notes” to an appoinment scheduled in my Calendar of things I need to discuss with my physio. Whereas similar notes for my next GP appointment are in Obsidian because the discussion will centre on medication and side-effects.

The primacy of note taking is not the app but the reason for taking the note in the first place. The requirements of each situation are very different and no one app provides a one-size fits all solution.


I’m using Concepts on my iPad, and taking notes with the Apple Pencil. After that I transfer important notes to other apps like OmniFocus, Apple Notes and/or my CRM.

For me, it depends on how you define a “note.” Like you and others have said, I use different apps for different types of notes. Apple Notes for things I need to remember and have access to on my phone, such as what color paint we used in the bedroom, or the number for the dog sitter. I use Bear for web pages I want to save (mostly recipes). But for things I write–in other words, my PKM–it’s Ulysses.


A horse race between Obsidian and Apple Notes. :horse_racing:

Seriously, @Bmosbacker … no UpNote? What’s the deal?

UpNote is among the top 5 of these and the user base is exploding higher.


My bad. I was trying to recall the apps most mentioned. I missed this on. My apologies.

I want to see all the 14% ‘other’ votes! UpNote, Capacities, pen and paper? :thinking:

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Yes, I do as well. I wish I’d suggested that in my OP.

I cannot use several apps for one purpose, that “switching” simply breaks my brain. And for me it was always difficult to come up with some kind of system by which I could determine exactly which application a some note should go to. So now I use Bear (currently beta of 2.0) for probably everything that similar to “notes” definition


Most notes start in Drafts but live in Devonthink


Same for me. I take notes on Drafts but almost all of them go to DT.

Main is Apple Notes and I’m currently in process of migrating my secondary from Joplin to Obsidian. I want my notes to be searchable by Spotlight, which prompted the migration.

In years past it used to be BBEdit. After I switched to an iPad as my primary computer it’s probably been Drafts.

But I also use Apple Notes for handwritten notes, Google Keep to capture snippets of text and bookmarks, etc., GoodLinks for articles, screenshots to “bookmark” a segment of a podcast I want to revisit, and 3x5 cards, backs of envelopes, etc. that will get scanned in later. Everything worth keeping eventually lands on Google Drive so I can search for it later.

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