You're here because you're heartbroken that Springpad decided to shut down its wonderful services by June 25, 2014. I know the feel, buddy. Hang in there.
First, let me explain why we're all in love with Springpad. "Let me count the ways."
- Free. Like free lunch. For all features with unlimited upload.
- Variety of note types include checklists, recipes, place, product, movie, book, file, and the list goes on.
- Text formatting is a breeze.
- Easy to organize with Notebooks that you can style with some options. Notes can even belong to more than one Notebook. Pretty neat!
- Tag support. I considered Notebooks as more solid classification and used tags for categorizing into more abstract classes. Like ideas, apps, etc.
- Media support is comprehensive. You can attach audio, video, photos, and other files to a Note.
- Collaboration is easy. You can add other Springpad users as editors on selected Notebooks and they can add/edit content.
- Comments on Notes allow you to discuss with other users. I think only Springpad has this feature.
- Sharing Notebooks allow you to share Notes in that Notebook to the public, the whole world. Great for sharing tips!
- Cross-platform support! Springpad was on the web, iOS, and Android. It didn't have a desktop version for Mac or PC though.
Now, to the meat of the post: the free alternatives. Like the Whatsapp alternatives, I'm just gonna tabulate them to make it easy for you, you lazy internet crawler, you.
All these alternatives have these shared characteristics which I'm not gonna put in the table:
- Cross-platform but some may not have native desktop versions
- Free, some with a premium upgrade
- Easy text formatting
|Note Variety||Organizing Tools||Media Support||Collaboration||Comments||Sharing|
|EverNote||Note type only||Notebooks and tags||Audio, photo, and any other file types.||Yes, with options to view or edit.||None||Yes|
|MS OneNote||Page (note) type*||Notebooks, sections, subpages||Photos only||None||None||via OneDrive|
|Google Keep||Note, photo, list only||None, flat list only||Photos only||None||None||None|
|SimpleNote||Notes only||Tags only||None||Yes, by email||None||Yes|
- Alternatives with the collaboration feature allows you to set other users as collaborators/editors on the items in the notebook/note while the Sharing column is for public sharing only, no edits.
- EverNote's shorcuts and recent notes in its app sidebar is pretty nifty
- MS OneNote allows you to write anywhere in the note space. Doesn't have to follow normal text flow.
- MS OneNote's UI feels like an MS Office app.
- *MS OneNote has dozens of rich embeddable objects (passwords, photos, idea, etc)
- Google Keep and SimpleNote are great for lightweight note taking.
What other note-taking apps do you use?