Third-party notes apps

iOS and iPadOS

Well, looks like they might have fixed the crashiness of the Notes app with this newest update. Fingers crossed. (Now if only they'd fix all the notification issues and add some new ringtones while they're at it!) Despite this hopeful resolution, it's occurred to me that I might like to have a note-taking app that's more compact. I've found my way around the formatting bar in the stock app but don't use it. So, assuming there's no way to disable it, does any of you use a third-party notes app that's nice and zappy with no formatting bar? I do see there's a list of note-taking apps here but am working mandatory overtime these days and find the impressively wide array of options a little dizzying. :) I figure word-of-mouth is a good place to start.

Many thanks,



Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Hi! Ok. I'll be upfront on 2 things. First, I have multiple note-taking apps on my Ipad. Second, I'm a cheapskate, and I don't usually like recommending apps that cost. Because I know sometimes people might not have the funds, or it's not their first choice, etc etc. However, in this case, I'm going to make an exception. I recommend the Voice Dream Writer app. If you use VD. products before, then you know how great the quality is, and accessibility and such. It's worth every bit of the $5 USD. that you'll pay for it. It's made spicifically for blind low-vision and the print disabled. It's barebones and writes in txt. format. It has the ability to support markdown which would eliminate format bars, a built-in spell checker, word finder, and more. There's a podcast on here about this app, that I highly recommend you take a look at. While I have multiple note-taking/word processor apps, voice Dream Writer is the one that I use most. I have a list of books in there, as well as a few documents that I've created since becoming a Hadley student, such as a handout detailing a list of Facebook groups for the visually impaired. I hope this helps. :-)

Submitted by Edward Louie on Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Personally I recommend Google keep, it’s one of the best alternative note taking apps that are accessible with voiceover, if you used Google products before, you know that Google usually has accessibility in mind when creating products, it works really well and it is similar to the Apple notes app, Best of all, it’s free. All you need is a Google account and you’re done

Submitted by Scott Davert on Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

I debated purchasing this app, and then got it when it was on sale. The result? It has replaced the Notes app entirely for me. As a braille display user, I'm able to reliably type with it and get past the bugs in Mail and Notes, so for me anyway, it has been money well spent.

Submitted by Yvonnezed on Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Sure, it's usually advertised as a place to move things in and out of, but the tags work fine to keep things tidy and quick search is great to find stuff. Not to mention the authors all in on accessibility.

Submitted by Matthew Whitaker on Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Hi. I use Drafts. It works great on all devices... plus with my help I was able to fix some unlabeled buttons on the Mac version of the app. Here's the link so you can check it out.

Submitted by Wenwei on Wednesday, January 19, 2022

I actually use the notes app a lot (for quick things) because you can open a quick note with a keystroke.

If I plan on recording, I'll use Noted because it's really easy to type place markers for later review, so you don't need to listen to the entire recording when you want to review lecture + written notes. Noted is great for me when I don't have a pre-planned strategy to my notetaking. But if I have an outline or expectations of structure, I'll still use Noted to place audio bookmarks and VOiceDream Writer to take formatted notes. Good luck!

Submitted by Justin Philips on Wednesday, January 19, 2022

This is another good app worth checking out.

Submitted by PinkCupcake5 on Saturday, January 22, 2022

I and curious because I type notes both on my iPhone and PC. I’ve been using Simplenote but recently every time I typing on the PC just keeps saying editor, editor, editor, and rereading lines which makes it really annoying

Submitted by Justin Philips on Saturday, January 22, 2022

OneNote has both Iphone and PC apps. The PC app is not that intuitive.

Submitted by RainbowBraille on Sunday, January 30, 2022

Sorry I dropped off the face of the earth for a minute there. Life kind of exploded. :D I appreciate your feedback so much, especially because I seem to have spoken too soon about the Notes app not crashing anymore. I think I'm leaning toward Voice Dream Writer or Google Keep but have one more question. Can anyone tell me whether their preferred third-party note-taking app allowed them to import documents from the native Notes app? I'd appreciate your feedback so much!