There are heaps of plain text note-taking applications for Android, and they all have their ups and downs. Right now, our favourite app is Flick Note, which syncs with Simplenote and gives you a ton of different options for viewing, editing and using your notes.
Price: Free ($2.06 for ad-free Pro version)
- Create, auto-save and sync plain text notes with Simplenote
- Syncs tags, pin state and trash
- Pinch gesture puts notes in full screen mode
- Custom fonts and colours
- Clickable URLs, phone numbers, and names of other notes, as well as clickable text checkboxes
- Scrollable widgets, so you can see your notes from your home screen
- Share notes with just about any share-compatible app on your phone
- Search your notes, filter by tag, and sort them however you want
Flicknote does a great job of integrating all of Simplenote’s features, like tags and filtering, while adding a few features that make it super-easy to use, like clickable links, checkboxes, and automatically linking between notes. You can also share your note with pretty much any app on your phone that has a “sharing” feature, which is great. Like all the other Simplenote clients, it’s very basic, which is exactly what we love about it.
Flick Note is pretty great, but if there’s one thing we’d love to see, it’s offline syncing. As soon as we took our phone offline, Flick Note not only couldn’t edit notes, but when we tried, it force closed — and when we went back in, all our notes were gone (they came back when the internet did, but still — that’s a pretty big issue). Despite this one thing, however, Flick Note pretty much kills every other Simplenote app on the Market. Of course, it’s extremely simple too, but that’s what we like about it — if you want something more full-featured, it isn’t the app for you.
As far as other Simplenote clients go, mNote is probably the other big choice. It has offline access, which is a big draw for some, but has annoying ads that you can’t even pay to turn off (I’ve clicked on them accidentally about a billion times), and it doesn’t support tags or clickable links which is absurd. AndroNoter is another choice, but still isn’t quite as good as Flick Note, which beats it out with its better filtering features.
Evernote is once again the choice for people that need more advanced note-taking and organising; it just has a ton of different capture and organisation features. It’s overkill if you’re just syncing text notes, but if Simplenote clients aren’t enough for you, you’ll want to look at Evernote.
I’m loath to include Springpad in this comparison, but it is a lot of people’s note-taking-and-capture application of choice. It really isn’t the same as apps Simplenote or Evernote; it’s a repository for all sorts of non-note items. Text notes are only one thing it does, and it’s definitely overkill if that’s all you’re using it for. It is, however, a great personal organiser .
There are a ton of others (Simplenote apps alone abound), so if you have a favourite note-taking-and-syncing app we didn’t feature, be sure to give it a shout out in the comments.
Lifehacker’s App Directory is a new and growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools in a number of given categories. This week, we’re focusing on syncing note-takers.