Programming Tools

10 Best Note-Taking Apps for Programmers and Coders

Best Note-Taking Apps for Programmers
Written by Martins D. Okoi

There are a thousand and one note-taking applications in the market right now but not all note-taking applications are created equal and some are developed with a specific userbase in mind and are, thus, more efficient for certain tasks.

For example, a note-taking application aimed at coders typically features auto-complete and auto-correction, syntax highlighting, and support for a variety of programming languages.

Today,  we bring you a list of the best note-taking applications designed with programmers and developers in mind listed in no particular order for mixing plain text with code snippets, regular expressions, etc.

1. Notion

Notion is an all-in-one workspace designed for writing, planning, collaborating on, and organizing anything you want to. It functions mainly as a note-taking app with support for PDF, import/export, syntax highlight, kanban board, to-do lists, several programming languages, HTML, Markdown, etc. and cross-platform synchronization, among other features.

Features:
  • Personal note-taking
  • Team project management
  • Team docs & knowledge base
  • To-do lists
  • Kanban boards
  • Import/export
  • Syntax highlighting & code folding
  • Programming language support
  • Templates for different document categories
  • Collaboration in real-time
  • Support for keyboard shortcuts

Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Web
Cost: Free, $4/month for Personal, $8/month/member for Teams, $20/member/month for Enterprise.

Notion - a note-taking and collaboration application

Notion – a note-taking and collaboration application

2. Stackedit

Stackedit is a robust free open-source platform-agnostic Markdown editor for publishing any type of document including to-dos, research papers, flowcharts, entity diagrams, software documentation, etc. It features a beautiful, distraction-free User Interface and is developed based on PageDown – the Markdown library used by Stack Overflow and its family of Stack Exchange sites.

Features:
  • Share feature for team collaboration
  • Import/export support for PDF files
  • Support for keyboard shortcuts
  • Live preview mode and synchronized scroll when the dual view is active
  • Markdown support
  • Support for UML diagrams
  • Save documents directly to Google Drive
  • Templates for documents export
  • Multiple workspaces for compartmentalizing projects

Platforms: Web
Cost: Free

StackEdit - Note-Taking App

StackEdit – Note-Taking App

3. Typora

Typora is a minimalist What You See Is What You Mean (WYSIWYM) Markdown editor designed to be distraction-free in order to be readable and writable. It boasts a rich feature set and can be used to write documents and export them to PDF, HTML, Doc, etc. and vice versa.

Features:
  • GitHub flavored Markdown
  • 20+ themes for a personalized writing experience
  • Support for headers, lists, tables, code fences, mathematics, diagrams, inline styles, etc.
  • Import/export support for PDF with bookmarks
  • Integration support for LaTex, Epub, OpenOffice, etc.
  • Supports word count, syntax highlighting, code blocks, etc.
  • An outline panel for jumping between documents
  • A file tree and articles panel for seamless cloud synchronization
  Taskbook - Command Line-Based Tasks, Boards, and Notes

Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac (beta)
Cost: Free

Typora - Note-Taking App

Typora – Note-Taking App

4. Boostnote

Boostnote is an outstanding note-taking Markdown editor designed for developers to store notes especially code snippets. It is open-source and built to boast a beautiful and intuitive UI that is customizable using themes and easy to navigate using its document tree view panel.

Features:
  • Free and open-source
  • Finder popup – type and search for notes from anywhere in the app
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Support for tags and folders
  • Themes for customization
  • Full support for LaTex and Markdown with live preview

Platforms: Linux, Mac, Windows
Cost: Free

Boostnote - Note-Taking App

Boostnote – Note-Taking App

5. CherryTree

CherryTree is a full-featured, free and open-source hierarchical note-taking application for creating different types of documents. Its support for rich text editing and syntax highlighting makes it an excellent choice for collecting data and even storing it in single SQLite/XML files.

Features:
  • Free and open-source
  • Support for several languages including German, Japanese, Chinese, French, Czech, Russian, Turkish, and Greek
  • A tree-view panel for file and document navigation
  • Rich text editing
  • Spell check
  • Multi-level lists and simple table handling
  • Support for embedded files
  • Import from plain text or HTML files and/or folders
  • Password protection using 7-zip

Cost: Free
Platforms: Linux, Windows, Mac

CherryTree - Note-Taking App

CherryTree – Note-Taking App

6. MedleyText

MedleyText is a stylish easy-to-use note-taking application designed for developers to productively organize their notes. It is built with support for several languages including HTML, JS, CSS, and Markdown.

Features:
  • Proprietary software with a free 45-day trial no credit card needed
  • Stylish User Interface
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Live preview
  • Support for code blocks
  • Customizable app window & UI
  • Support for keyboard shortcuts
  • Cloud synchronization

Platforms: Linux, Windows, Mac
Cost: Subscription plan starts at $5/month or $45/year

MedleyText - Note-Taking App

MedleyText – Note-Taking App

7. Quiver

Quiver, nick-named ‘the programmer’s notebook‘, is a premium note-taking application that allows users to record plaintext together with code snippets, Markdown text, LaTeX code, etc. inside a single workspace.

Features:
  • Premium app with
  • Support for images, files, and links
  • Presentation mode
  • Customizable themes including light and dark themes
  • Instant full-text search
  • Autosave
  • tag support
  • Integration with o
  • Support for team collaboration and cloud syncing
  • Version control & backup and recovering with a single click
  Cherrytree - A Feature-Rich Wiki-Style Note-Taking App

Platforms: Mac, iOS (for opening notes alone)
Cost: A one-time payment of $9.99

Quiver - Note-Taking App

Quiver – Note-Taking App

8. OneNote

OneNote is a full-featured note-taking application developed by Microsoft to be used in virtually any context. It can be used for creating and managing to-do lists, creating sketches and charts, drawing, team collaboration, etc.

On its own, OneNote does not support syntax highlighting but that can be fixed using this nifty plugin on GitHub – NoteHighlight2016.

Features:
  • Web clipper for capturing content with a single click
  • Support for audio, video, and PDF files
  • Sketch or write with a digital pen or finger
  • Labels for organizing notes
  • Sections and pages for top-level organization

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Web
Cost: Bundled in MS Office suite or Office 365

OneNote Note Taking App

OneNote Note Taking App

9. Turtl

Turtl is a freemium open-source note-taking application for organizing and sharing data in workspaces. It supports Markdown editing, TeX math rendering, note searching using tags and text queries, shareable links, etc.

Features:
  • Free to download and use with 2 subscription plans with extra features
  • Support for Markdown, TeX, RTL text
  • Import/export profiles
  • Bookmarking extensions
  • Team collaboration starting with at least 3 members
  • At least 50MB storage space
  • Data encryption
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Support for multiple languages
  • Use on different devices simultaneously

Platform: Linux, Windows, Mac, Android, (iOS coming soon)
Cost: Free, $3/month for Premium and $8/month for Business

Turtl Secure Collaborative Notebook

Turtl Secure Collaborative Notebook

10. Bear

Bear is a beautifully designed flexible note-taking application for creating any type of notes using a rich text editing interface. While it is the last on this list, it is certainly not the least of choices and is bound to offer you an enjoyable writing experience if you use an Apple device.

Features:
  • Distraction-free writing
  • Multiple beautiful themes
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Hashtags for organizing notes
  • Cross-note links for adding references, etc.
  • In-line support for images
  • Live preview
  • Multi-device synchronization

Platforms: Mac, iPad, iOS
Cost: $1.49/month after a free one-week trial or $14.99/year with a free one-month trial

Bear Writing App for Notes

Bear Writing App for Notes

Conclusion

So, there you have it, folks! All the above-mentioned applications boast a beautiful and mostly customizable UI with easy-to-follow setup and usage guidelines, note creating and editing options, device synchronization features, and whatnot. Which one have you decided to use?

Do you already have some experience with some or all of them? Feel free to tell us what your favorite is in the discussion section below.

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About the author

Martins D. Okoi

Martins Divine Okoi is a graduate of Computer Science with a passion for Linux and the Open Source community. He works as a Graphic Designer, Web Developer, and programmer.