Note Taking Application Faceoff

Whether you’re writing a simple article for a blog, piecing together the next blockbuster hit, or penning a 500 page romance novel, there are quite a few options for helping you get all of that information organized and drafted. There really are enough to chose from with a wide enough range of options that you’re sure to find something to fit your needs.


Journler is one of the more full-featured applications in it’s genre. It’s got everything from iWeb integration to video/audio note recording.

The aspect it takes on note taking/writing is in the form of a journal (hence the name). So while its main function certainly is geared more towards daily input, it still works very well for information gathering and jotting notes.

My only beef with Journler is that it’s current version feels like there are some loose ends that just aren’t tied up. There is a fairly major update coming soon that could fix these issues.

Journler is free for non-commercial use and $24.95 for commercial use.


Scrivener from Literature and Latte is a solid app that really is perfect for writing books, manuals, a thesis, or anything that has many parts to it.

One of it’s major features is called Corkboard. The Corkboard view lets you arrange notes (like index cards) to create a quick outline of parts/chapters to whatever it is you’re writing. This feature really helps with organization.

Scrivener will cost you $34.99.


Writeroom, which we’ve previous covered, is the minimalist cousin to all of these applications. It’s the modern day equivelent of an old-school typewriter.

It provides distraction-free writing by blacking out the entire screen and giving you a blank “canvas” to just start typing. Ultimately it’s TextEdit with flair.

Writeroom is free to download and $24.95 if you feel inclined to support them.


Mori is probably the closest thing to an actual notebook in terms of interface and organization. It’s a no-frills way to organize thoughts, lists, photos, and any other basic information or media.

Mori uses Apple’s CoreData technology which gives it the capability to hold literally 10’s of thousands of notes and still stay blazing fast.

Mori is $39.95 for a full license.


xPad is a light notepad application. If Mori is a full, 8.5×11 notebook, then xPad is it’s 6×9 little brother. It’s perfect for quick jots during a class or office meetings.

Its feature list is short, but that’s one of its strong points. The only real unique features it has are simple text highlighting and strikethrough, which are perfect for note jotting.

xPad is freeware, so you have no excuse for not giving it a whirl.


Circus Ponies’ NoteBook is the mother of all note repositories.

Your entire experience is started by telling NoteBook what project you’re working on. Whether it’s project management, research papers, or script writing, it has a template to help you on your way to organization paradise.

NoteBook has a fairly active community of people and has some great features like system-wide contextual menus and paper-like tabs.

NoteBook is $49.95 for a standard license and $29.95 for an academic license.


Bare Bones (makers of such popular apps as BBEdit, Mailsmith, and TextWrangler) bring you Yojimbo.

Yojimbo is one of those apps that you just wonder how you lived without. It ties itself in to many area of the OS and with it’s spotlight-esque information capturing area, it gives you no excuse not to store all your random tidbits of info and notes.

It’s Notes feature is great for writing articles (I’m writing this article in it) and provides other great features like encrypted storage, tagging, and bookmarking.

Yojimbo will run you $39 and is a must-have.