Note Taking Apps

The best note taking apps for Windows in 2023: a roundup of personal knowledge management software for Microsoft and PC

Discover the best note taking apps for Windows and PC in 2022. Choose the right software to build your personal knowledge management system.
Elizabeth Butler, MD, PhD 5 min read
The best note taking apps for Windows in 2023: a roundup of personal knowledge management software for Microsoft and PC
Table of Contents

Hello note-taking friends! You might be a happy Windows user, or maybe you’re forced to use Microsoft and PC at work. Whether you use Windows happily or grudgingly, you’re looking for the best note taking apps and software to help you stay organised on Windows. Let’s get right to it. 👇

About your guide

Hi there! 👋 I’m Elizabeth Butler, physician, parent, part-time indie hacker, and personal knowledge management enthusiast. I’m the creator of the Calmer Notes method for personal knowledge management.

I get really excited about connecting people like you with the right note taking systems and apps. I firmly believe that having a robust note taking practice will make you happier, more productive, and more relaxed.

How to choose a note taking app

Choosing a note taking app is an incredibly personal choice. Some people prefer to use rigorous organization, with headings, subheadings, and complex tagging structures. Other people want a more minimalist approach, so they can just capture quickly on the go.

If you’re looking for a way to capture typed notes on your Windows laptop or work PC, all of these apps will do the job. You’ll likely prefer the aesthetics or specific functions of one over another, so it’s worth investing some time in exploring each to see what fits you best.

(Looking for a more systematic, detailed approach on how to choose a note taking app? You might be interested in my Calmer Notes for personal knowledge management course— in module 4, we do a deep dive into how to mindfully select the right note taking software that fits your life.)

The best note taking software with dedicated stand-alone Windows apps



Description: “Tame your work, organize your life. Remember everything and tackle any project with your notes, tasks, and schedule all in one place.”



Description: “Organizing your Markdown notes made simple.
With 100+ plugins, cross-platform and encrypted data sync support.”

Created by independent developer Takuya Matsuyama based in Japan, Inkdrop is a beautifully-designed, Markdown-based note taking app.



Description: “Fast and focused notes for you and your team. Capture at the speed of thought. Designed to be the fastest way of getting ideas out of your head.”



Description: “One workspace. Every team. We’re more than a doc. Or a table. Customize Notion to work the way you do.”



Description: “Your team’s collective brain. A modern, simple, and blazingly fast way to collaborate – bring knowledge, docs, and projects together in one place.”



Description: "A second brain, for you, forever. Obsidian is a powerful knowledge base on top of a local folder of plain text Markdown files.”

OneNote from Microsoft


Description: “Your digital notebook. One cross-functional notebook for all your notetaking needs.”



Description: “Organize your ideas. Stay focused and productive with a clean and clutter-free note space.”

Craft an intentional, effortless note taking system with the Calmer Notes method

Hi friend! If you're searching for the best note taking apps for Windows, there's a good chance you might also be trying to figure out the best way to structure and organize your note taking system. If you've been exploring the world personal knowledge management online for a while, you may have quite understandably reached the point of analysis paralysis.

You may find yourself wondering:

  • What's the best way to organize my notes? Should I use folders? Tags? Backlinks?
  • How can I choose the right note taking app... so I don't have to start from scratch again every few months?
  • How can I stop losing ideas and spending time searching for files and links over and over again?
  • If I organized my notes exactly like [fill-in-the-blank-productivity-You-Tuber-or-blogger] and bought the exact (pricey) apps and tech they use... would I finally be "insanely, ridiculously, unbelievably productive" like their headlines are always promising?
  • How can I finally build a note taking system I actually enjoy using?

I'm Elizabeth Butler, MD, PhD, and I'm a firm believer that there is not one single, perfect, one-size-fits-all setup for organizing your personal knowledge management system.

I’ve used personal knowledge management to organize my time and knowledge for nearly two decades. I believe that everyone deserves to be able to create a highly personalized note taking system that's perfectly tailored to fit their lives.

Ifyou’renew to the world of personal knowledge management, welcome! It’sa fun, fascinating place to be. If you’d like to explore more of my articles onpersonal knowledge management, please do explore my quick-start guide to find some of my most popular blog posts on note taking and personal knowledge management.

Maybe you’re done reading and browsing and searching, though. Perhaps today is the day that you’re ready to dive in with both feet and get starting building your own custom-designed, bespoke personal knowledge management system.

You’re ready to leave behind unsatisfying cookie-cutter solutions and endless internet rabbit holes in search of the “perfect” note taking app. If this is where you're at, Calmer Notes is what you've been searching for.

The Calmer Notes method is a step-by-step process for creating a personalized, tailored system to organize your notes and files. When you go through the Calmer Notes training (a self-paced course designed to fit comfortably into even the busiest of schedules), you’ll stop spinning your wheels, losing your notes, and investing hours upon hours on systems and apps that never quite fit. Instead, you’ll craft a sustainable note taking system you actually love to use month after month and year after year.

Wishing you all the best on your personal knowledge management journey!

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