Note-taking using a pen and paper has been around for ages. However, with the advancements in technology, the trend of digitally taking notes has become very common. How efficiently you take notes plays a crucial role in determining your productivity. According to Forbes, several note-taking methodologies provide a boost to your productivity. Due to the popularization of digital note-taking, numerous note-taking applications are readily available for users in the market. In this article, we will compare three of the best note-taking applications – NotePlan, Agenda, and Things.
NotePlan, Agenda, and Things – An Overview:
Noteplan – If you are looking for the best markdown note-taking app, NotePlan is a great option you could consider. It not only offers note-taking capabilities but also provides calendar functionalities, bullet journalling features, and options for creating lists. Noteplan supports Markdown, making formatting any note for reading and organizing very smooth and easy. It supports multiple gesture controls and offers robust backups.
Agenda – Agenda is another note-taking application that everyone, ranging from business professionals to artists, prefer using. It follows a date-focused model and helps create well-organized and navigable notes to ensure the completion of any project. Users can choose from multiple writing styles and add valuable features such as tags, tables, and hyperlinks in their notes. Similar to NotePlan, you can use Agenda across multiple devices.
Things – Things is one of the most popular task management and note-taking applications present in the market currently. It sports an appealing interface and features top-tier design elements. Thanks to its design and appearance, the application has bagged numerous accolades over the years. It facilitates making helpful checklists and breaking down tasks into finer details to ensure every task gets completed correctly. Things’ quick find feature allows users to look up a specific project or tag within seconds.
Key Differences – NotePlan vs. Agenda vs. Things:
Now that we have a clear idea about each app, let’s take a look at some of the most significant differences between the three applications:
- User Experience & Interface
Starting with NotePlan, the applications sports design elements similar to macOS, iOS, and iPadOS. Noteplan provides an appealing feel to the users in speed and consistency. The app was built keeping the idea of efficient note-taking in mind, and its UI and user experience put the emphasis precisely on those aspects. Users can also customize the app’s overall look based on their preferences.
Coming to Agenda, its look-and-feel is very different from NotePlan. It features a unique design & style that does not resemble Apple’s software. Like NotePlan, Agenda users can also customize the app’s look according to their choice. However, the styling options of Agenda are very limited.
Things looks and feels very appealing. The app has won many awards because of its appealing design and looks. However, its design and feel is a double-edged sword, i.e., it is too fixed. Unlike NotePlan and Agenda, there are no options that allow users to customize the interface on macOS. However, users can create customized themes.
- Note-Taking & Referencing
Noteplan is essentially built on the idea of making digital note-taking a smooth and convenient experience. It allows exceptional note-linking. You can also combine notes and dates, making it very convenient to reference other tasks projects.
Similar to NotePlan, Agenda also provides you with features to structure the notes. However, Agenda does not offer complete organizational flexibility like NotePlan. Agenda provides pre-set structures like “Categories” and “Sub-Categories”, whereas NotePlan offers more organization options.
Unlike the other two, Things does not focus much on note-taking since it is primarily focused on creating to-do lists. Even though you can put up notes on projects, you cannot build ideas, state references, or research notes using the app.
- Task Management
When it comes to task management, NotePlan is an exceptional application. The app can categorize tasks based on their status (Open, Completed, Cancelled, Scheduled). Moreover, it also offers the feature to set up recurring tasks. Moreover, you can also add a timecode to your tasks.
Agenda provides its users with a smart overview feature, which allows them to look at all the tasks present quickly. However, it offers fewer options than NotePlan regarding task management. For instance, users can only mark tasks as “Done” or “Undone”.
Since Things is designed as a traditional task manager, it provides more features than NotePlan and Agenda. From adding tags to assigning start dates and deadlines, Things is ahead in the task management category by miles. The application also offers robust repeating options.
All of the applications are excellent tools that you can use to maximize your productivity. Determining which one is the best for you is entirely dependent upon your requirements. Therefore, compare all the features of every app thoroughly before finalizing the right tool for yourself.