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Top 10 Visual Note-Taking Apps to Revolutionize Your Workflow: Linked Notes Meet Mindmaps

Yuhang Zhao (Zoey)
01/08/2024

Are you still jotting down your thoughts and notes with pen and paper?

Imagine that there are now some visual note-taking tools where you can not only capture text that comes to your mind at any time but also organize your logical thinking with mind maps, making your notes clearer!

In an era where the classic method of jotting down thoughts and notes with pen and paper has been prevalent for years, a new wave of technological innovation is transforming the way we capture and express our ideas. Visual note-taking apps, although relatively recent in their emergence, have swiftly gained prominence among individuals who derive satisfaction from witnessing their thoughts, notes, and visual concepts materialize dynamically.

Unlike the traditional pen-and-paper approach, visual note-taking apps provide a digital canvas where users can illustrate, connect ideas, and create visual representations of their thoughts. This shift from the tangible to the digital realm offers a dynamic and interactive experience, allowing users to engage with their ideas in a more fluid and flexible manner.

What Are Visual Note-Taking Apps?

Visual note-taking apps are digital tools designed for creating and organizing notes using a combination of text, images, drawings, and multimedia elements. These applications offer a visual and interactive platform for users to express ideas and information in a more dynamic and engaging manner compared to traditional text-based notes.

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  • Multimodal Content Creation: Visual note-taking apps allow users to create notes that combine text, drawings, images, and other multimedia elements. Users can express ideas in a more dynamic and engaging way compared to traditional text-based notes.
  • Mind Mapping and Diagrams: Many visual note-taking apps support mind mapping, allowing users to create hierarchical diagrams that represent relationships between concepts. Diagrams and flowcharts can be used to visualize processes, ideas, and connections between different pieces of information.
  • Real-Time Editing and Updates: Users can make real-time edits to visual notes, making it easy to update and modify information as needed. This feature is particularly useful in dynamic environments where information is subject to change.
  • Digital Accessibility: Visual note-taking apps provide the convenience of digital access to notes, enabling users to access and edit their visual notes across various devices. Cloud-based storage and synchronization features ensure that notes are accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Export and Sharing Options: Visual note-taking apps stand out for their diverse export and sharing options, allowing users to effortlessly export notes as PDFs or image files or share them via convenient links. These versatile features ensure accessibility and promote enhanced collaboration. Streamlined sharing capabilities facilitate the easy dissemination of information, fostering a collaborative environment where ideas flow freely and efficiently.

Contrast with Traditional Note-Taking Software

In comparison to traditional note-taking software, such as Evernote, visual note-taking apps diverge significantly. While common note-taking apps often rely on list-based formats, visual note apps stand out due to their unique layout. Unlike their counterparts, these apps permit users to freely move notes around a canvas, fostering a more interactive and spatial note-taking experience.

  • Layout Flexibility: The key distinction lies in the layout flexibility offered by visual note apps. Unlike the rigidity of list-based notes, visual note-taking apps provide a dynamic environment where users can manipulate and arrange their notes freely on a canvas, mimicking the unrestricted nature of a whiteboard.
  • Connectivity of Notes: Depending on the software, advanced visual note-taking apps often feature the ability to connect notes, allowing users to establish meaningful relationships between various concepts and ideas.
  • Daily Note-Taking and Visual Integration: More sophisticated visual note-taking tools frequently support daily note-taking routines and seamlessly integrate visual elements into the canvas. This enhances the overall note-taking experience, making it more immersive and comprehensive.

Top 10 Visual Note-Taking Apps with Mindmaps

1. AFFiNE

AFFiNE is a versatile editor that lets you write, draw, plan, and present all in one place. Easily capture detailed information about your new business using the page mode, allowing for straightforward document editing. Efficiently organize your projects by using a database to keep track of deadlines, assign responsibilities, and effortlessly manage project progress. Take advantage of AFFiNE's powerful whiteboard feature to brainstorm ideas with your team. Moreover, craft visually appealing posters about your business for seamless publication and display on different social media platforms. AFFiNE offers a user-friendly platform for comprehensive business management and seamless team collaboration.

Seamless Integration of Experience and Mind Mapping in Note-Taking

In AFFiNE's page mode, capture thoughts as they come to mind. Ever wondered about applying mind maps to your notes? Try AFFiNE's latest concept map template, transforming linear text editing into a clear and visible mind map! Explore a dynamic approach to note-taking.

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Explore Edgeless Creativity with a Whiteboard

Unlock the full spectrum of your creative potential through our dynamic whiteboard. Boasting essential features like a plethora of colors, diverse font options, shapes, and connectors, this powerful tool is designed to elevate your creative process. Seamlessly upload images in various formats and utilize the extensive collection of styles and templates to further amplify your creativity. Transform your ideas into compelling business posters with unparalleled ease and versatility!

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Advanced Collaboration Capability

When you do need to collaborate with other contributors to discuss your concept map, AFFiNE makes getting feedback simple. Appealing collaboration capability provides visibility into assigned tasks, making tables easier to estimate, and ensuring your concept map remains well-designed. You can invite team members or classmates to collaborate on concept maps together, making it perfect for group projects or study sessions.

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Show Your Business Model Canvas Templates with AFFiNE's Single Page Sharing

No more oversharing of your workspace; now, you can precisely control what's shared with just a few clicks. AFFiNE's single-page sharing makes business model canvas improvement simple, offering a tailored approach to showing your business model canvas to your business partners.

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Pricing: Free

Link Notes: Yes

2. Obsidian

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Obsidian, initially a remarkable notes app, gained a new dimension with the introduction of Canvas—a free, whiteboard-like feature. Seamlessly integrating notes, images, and files, it transforms traditional note-taking into a visual playground. With offline support and a security-focused approach, Obsidian Canvas elevates the note-taking experience, attracting users seeking a versatile visual platform.

Pricing: Free with $8 upgrade for Obsidian Sync

Link Notes: Yes

Availability: macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS & Android

Visual Notes Score: 8 out of 10

3. Heptabase

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Heptabase, a novel visual notes app, facilitates connecting and managing ideas on a whiteboard. Attracting users from research and project planning backgrounds, it stands out for organizing notes, connecting ideas, and offering a Kanban-like view for efficient expression. Heptabase is gaining attention as a unified space for collating and visually presenting notes and ideas.

Pricing: $11.99 per month or $8.99 per month, annual plan

Link Notes: Yes

Availability: macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS & Android, Web (beta)

Visual Notes Score: 9 out of 10

4. Miro

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Miro is an online workspace and collaborative platform that offers a collaborative whiteboard app for effortless teamwork. It has been a trusted tool in this space for years, with an increasing range of integrations and features that people love. Whether you're in a hybrid or remote team focused on UX design or sales departments that need visual task monitoring, Miro can meet your needs. With video chat and whiteboard capabilities, team meetings become less necessary.

Pricing: Ranges from free to $16 for business accounts

Availability: Android, Web, iOS, macOS and Windows

Visual Notes Score: 7 out of 10

5. ClickUp

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Manage multiple workflows, collaborate more effectively, and streamline your work into one place with ClickUp – a free project management solution for teams. Whether you're new to project management apps or a seasoned user, ClickUp's customizable features can adapt to any team size. Plus, stay on top of your projects while on the go with the ClickUp mobile app.

Pricing: Free for solo users, with paid upgrades

Availability: Android, Web, iOS, macOS and Windows

Visual Notes Score: 7 out of 10

6. Google Keep

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Google Keep, a lightweight visual note-taking app, serves as a digital version of post-it notes for your phone. While not as advanced as tools like Heptabase, it offers quick image capture, color-coded reminders, and seamless integration with Google Docs. With image-AI search and file attachments, Google Keep provides a visually intuitive and versatile note-taking experience.

Pricing: Free

Availability: Android, Web, iOS

Visual Notes Score: 6 out of 10

7. MyMind

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MyMind, not initially on our list, offers visual note capture and organization within its apps, though lacking a canvas feel. It's classified as a visual notes app due to its unique note-taking approach using AI for retrieval and a visually appealing experience. MyMind stands out as a structured alternative, providing a distinctive and opinionated note-taking method.

Pricing: Free (limits)

Link Notes: No

Availability: macOS, Windows, iOS & Android

8. Milanote

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Milanote integrates tasks, boards, and note-taking in a cohesive platform, favored for its collaborative features and visual note-taking capabilities. Popular among design teams and freelancers, Milanote's versatility extends beyond professional collaboration, serving as a personal management tool for individuals who appreciate its visual approach to organizing ideas, projects, and life.

Pricing: Free with $9.99 per month

Link Notes: No

Availability: Web, iOS & macOS

Visual Notes Score: 8 of of 10

9. Napkin

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Napkin aims to revive and connect ideas, encouraging collaboration. With the unique feature of clipping ideas from Chrome or iOS, Napkin curates lists, offering a novel process for bringing perspective to both old and current ideas. Users appreciate the innovative approach to idea organization and connection.

Pricing: $10 per month or $60 per year

Link Notes: Yes

Availability: Chrome, iOS & Web

Visual Notes Score: 7 out of 10

10. Logseq

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Logseq's whiteboards enhance its traditional personal knowledge management (PKM) features, including notes, flashcards, calendar, and graph view. This visual canvas expands options, serving as a centralized space for managing and expressing notes. With Logseq whiteboards, users can bring diverse elements together for a comprehensive note-taking experience.

Pricing: Free

Link Notes: Yes

Availability: macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS & Android

Visual Notes App Score: 8 out of 10

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With top-notch software like AFFiNE at your disposal along with its diverse range of templates and user-friendly features, creating concept maps has never been easier or more effective. Commence concept mapping by using AFFiNE's user-friendly tool. Presently, AFFiNE has launched its Stable Version, with ongoing efforts to develop a more comprehensive and dependable iteration. Join us on our voyage through our social media channels and be part of the experience. Come and join us on our journey over on our media platforms. 🚀

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