If you’re on a budget, simply using TextEdit on your Mac works very well.
Or, to be deadly simple about notes, just use the built-in Notes app in OS X Mountain Lion (notice that it’s no longer called Mac OS X?). Your Mac and Apple’s iCloud makes it easy to create notes, organize notes, and sync notes between Macs or between Mac and iPhone or iPad.
There’s an even better way to create notes, use notes, organize notes and sync notes. And if you don’t make too many notes, Evernote is the best note-taking app on the planet.
Evernote is free to use on Mac, Windows PCs, iPhone, iPad, or many Android devices. But it’s free only up to a point. Once you’ve used up your allotment of data, Evernote Premium comes along and it has a price tag.
Fortunately, you can create many, many thousands of notes, and sync them up to each device, before you cross the capitalism threshold.
What sets Evernote apart, besides the instant and reliable synchronization between devices, is the user interface. On the Mac, Evernote resembles a highly organized mini-word processor. The Toolbar has easily identifiable and self explanatory tools. There’s a usage meter pie chart so you can see how much data has been stored on Evernote.
All you notebooks are stored in the Evernote Sidebar. And, yes, each notebook can have many notes. Click on a notebook and the notes inside are listed just to the right of the Notebooks’ Sidebar.
Click on a note, and the contents are revealed in the right Sidebar. Each note can have a title, be assigned to a Notebook, has a creation and updated date, and other options. There’s even an OS X Mountain Lion-like Share button to email notes, or post notes to Twitter or Facebook.
Beyond the sync aspect, Evernote has other touches that make it worthy. There’s Web Clips (find something in Safari and have it dropped into a notebook in Evernote).
Each note can be given tags to make them easier to find during a search (very useful if you have many thousands of notes). This makes Evernote a good platform for doing research because you can store text, files, even photos online and synced between devices.
Not only is Evernote’s app similar across devices, all you need is a browser with an internet connection, and your account information, and all your notes and files are available.
This might be what Apple eventually wants with Notes and TextEdit and iCloud, but years of clever integration and a competitive price make Evernote a more fluid and useful note-taking experience.