Whether you are taking a shower or an evening stroll after dinner, a good idea can strike anywhere. In fact, most of the great ideas come when you least expect or when your brain is in “diffused state”. That said, your brain is also quite used to forgetting a lot of thoughts; it only makes sense to jot down your ideas immediately, no matter how confident you are that you’ll remember it.
There are plenty of note-taking apps for Apple Watch with features like voice dictation, audio recording, and checklists etc. However, finding the right note-taking app for your Apple Watch may take some time. And that’s where we come in. Last week we tested almost every note-taking app for Apple Watch Series 3and shortlisted best one for every need. Next time you want to capture the flashes of inspiration when you have nothing, your Apple Watch will help. Let’s begin.
Best Apple Watch Notes App
1. Quick Notes – view notes on Apple Watch
Starting with the most basic of all, we have Quick Notes which is the simplest note taking application on our list. The only feature that this application has to offer is that you can make a note on your iPhone or iPad which will appear on your Apple Watch when you open quick notes application on it.
At the very outset, that’s pretty much all this application has to offer if you’re on the basic version, which practically makes this application useless for note taking for Apple Watch users. The only possible use of this application can be made when you want to cheat on your examinations (Just Kidding). You can simply copy paste the data into the quick notes application on your iPhone or iPad which then appears on Apple Watch. But then that’s not why you wear such an expensive accessory to a smartphone, is it? Or it is? Hmm, well, that’s for you to decide.
Pros: Simple and easy to use to the app, if you want to preview your note on your Apple Watch
Cons: There is no option to create notes directly from Apple Watch, neither does it have a checklist option.
Availability: Quick notes is a free application available on iPhone and iPad but there’s no Mac version yet.
Price: The application offers some in-app purchases that unlock features like night mode, history and Watch dictation. But would you wanna spend money to have an option of a single note at a time when you can have multiple for free. Let’s move forward and see.
Next in the list is Bear, a free note-taking application available across all devices iPad, iPhone, Mac, and Apple Watch. The home screen of Bear app on your Apple Watch will simply give you a list of all the existing notes. With a dictation button on top of them, you can add a new note. To see more options of input, simply use 3D touch on the mic icon which will give you the option to create a note by voice dictation, use of scribble feature or even create a smiley note.
In our experience, the voice dictation is pretty good, you can create a long note where all the punctuations and commands like ‘comma’, ‘semicolon’, ‘next line’ work just fine.
For most of the part, the application is basic, you simply create a note from your Apple Watch or iPhone. You can view existing notes across all devices or even edit them. If you want to delete a note, simply swipe left for options on your iPhone and select the delete option. An additional feature lets you search notes and texts inside them on your iPhone and iPad. Also while on iPhone or iPad, it gives you many input options right above the keyboard like photo insert, scribble on screen, add a web link or URL etc.
Pros: Voice dictation from Apple Watch, Edit existing notes, check off tasks
Cons: No option to create a checklist or voice recording
Availability: Available on all Apple devices – iPad, iPhone, Mac, and Apple Watch
Price: Bear is a freemium app, The Pro version, though a little expensive at $2 for a month and $15 a year, gives you unlimited sync between all devices, application themes, and an export feature to convert your note into a PDF, DOCX, HTML, JPEG etc.
Overall this application is a good call when you use note applications on iPhone and iPad extensively. All the input options make it exceptionally well with an additional feature of adding new notes or even adding text to the existing notes via your Apple Watch.
3. Notebook (Our pick for best Apple Watch notes app)
The Notebook, available on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and the web version. The very first time you open the application it will prompt you to sign in to the notebook application on your iPhone or iPad in case you want to use it across all devices however you can log in as a guest and bypass to sign up.
On the home screen of the application on your Apple Watch, it gives you the options to either create a note with voice dictation or record audio. Yes, you can create voice notes with Notebook. There is a time limit of 30 minutes for voice recording which totally makes sense because if you are willing to make notes for that long, you might as well grab your smartphone. The best part is that you can also playback your audio right on your Apple Watch.
To create a note you can either use voice dictation to dictate notes on Apple watch or scribble just as in other such applications. However, you may also insert checklists inside the notes in the notebook application on your iPhone and iPad which automatically. It syncs with your Watch as well but there is no option to insert a checklist through your Apple Watch.
Some additional cool features like the sketch option which comes in handy if you are an iPad pro user. If you sketch often but even your fingers will do if you are on a normal iPad. The sketches sync to your Watch as well and are visible there as pictures in a non-editable format. You can even view PDF on Apple watch.
Additional features also include adding notes through adding files in phone memory or iCloud. It shows screenshots as notes which usually aren’t supported by Apple Watch because of file size issues. The camera feature inside the application also offers document scanning but that didn’t work out so well for us. You may try your hands on it though.
Pros: Supports voice dictation, checklist, voice recording, preview photo notes on your Apple Watch. also supports iMessage.
Cons: Nothing we could find.
Availability: Notebook is available on all Apple devices – iPad, iPhone, Mac, and Apple Watch. It even has a web clipper.
Price: Notebook is a free application with absolutely no ads and no extra paid features. In our experience notebook is one of the best application for note making on your Apple Watch.
4. Wunderlist (no support for watchOS 5)
We have Wunderlist which more or less offers you only the ‘to-do’ list application features. You can create folders and have sub-lists inside. Sub-lists can have multiple entries hence capturing your everyday task list in detail. All of these entries are of course visible on your Apple Watch application even when made on iPhone, iPad and other devices.
Wunderlist is available almost across all devices of daily use like iPhone, iPad, Mac and even Windows as well. And because it uses an email id of any domain to log in to the application. There is smooth sync between all your devices regardless of the platform. It also gives an option to choose what should be visible on the Apple Watch application. If you want to filter the lists according to your need you can do that as well. To add a task through your Apple Watch simply use the 3D touch feature inside any folder.
Wunderlist is a smart application that could be used between a group of friends or even at the workplace. The ‘to-do’ lists made therein can be easily assigned to other members who use the application. which is visible to the member it is assigned to across all devices.
Wunderlist offers a lot more with features like folders, comments, list sharing, reminders, notifications, add through email and one-touch print options as well.
Pros: Cross-platform, Supports checklist and reminder
Cons: No Voice recording
Availability: Wunderlist is a true cross-platform app, that’s available on each platform including – iPhone, iPad, Mac, and even Windows and Web.
Price: It’s a freemium app with most options are available in the free version
Fifth in the list is Evernote, a robust note-taking application which also happens to have an Apple Watch application apart from being on iPhone, iPad, and mac. It is very much similar to the other applications offering note making via voice dictation and audio recording as well. the only point of differentiation is that it offers a blog-style note making that has a title and a body.
Evernote is a free application except for some in-app purchases that offer premium features like extra storage space, notebook sharing, multiple accounts, business cards and the most different of all OCR amongst other features. Yes, you can search for printed and handwritten texts in image files if you pay for the premium services.
Pros: Cross-platform, Reminders, Good for creating a to-do list, search on Apple Watch
Cons: Apps laggy, doesn’t work well on our Apple Watch
Availability: Evernote is a cross-platform application available in iPhone, iPad, macOS, Android, Windows and even on the Web. you can very easily sync all your devices when logged in through a registered email. Although the features in the Apple Watch may be a little less than what is available on other devices but it is still worth it in considering many factors.
Price: Evernote follows the freemium model too, but here’s a twist, as of April 2018, Evernote is no longer available for purchase.
Last but not least, sixth on the list is the One Note application from Microsoft. Although being a Microsoft product it should have been the most smooth note taking application but unfortunately, the One Note application on Apple Watch offers only a single feature of making notes through voice dictation and over that you’ll have no control over the stored data. It does feel like an Apple restriction on the application but then there’s not really a say in that is there?
How to use OneNote on Apple Watch?
You can’t change or edit the existing notes that are only available to view on Apple Watch, you’ll always have to create a new note if you want an addition through Apple Watch. also, bullet points and numbered lists are not available on One Note in Apple Watch nor are the photos or sketches supported. It’s good for a quick note but for everything else you’ll really have to grab your phone only.
The app lists all of your recent notes, and you can access and read them easily. If you’re looking to find archived notes or ones from other subsections you might not have touched for years, then you’ll either end up scrolling for a long time or giving up. One Note on other platforms offers a lot more like note sharing, photos, and sketch, checklists etc but is limited to only dictation on Apple Watch even with paid accounts.
Pros: Cross-platform, voice dictation.
Cons: Apple Watch version of OneNote is quite basic, it only supports voice dictation.
Availability: Evernote is a cross-platform application available in iPhone, iPad, macOS, Android, Windows and even on the web
Price: Free with no-in app purchase
Final Thoughts: Apple Watch Notes App
These were some of the best note-taking apps for your Apple Watch. I personally prefer Notebook for it simple yet powerful features. If you are already an Evernote or Onenote user, then it makes sense to use their respective apps.
Let us know what apps are you going to use in the comments below.