25 Free and Open-source Note-taking Apps for Windows

25 Free and Open-source Note-taking Apps for Windows
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Note-taking apps have become essential tools for boosting productivity and organization in various fields. They offer convenience, flexibility, and powerful features that cater to the needs of different users, including students, researchers, writers, and creative individuals.

For students, note-taking apps provide a digital solution to keep track of lectures, class materials, and assignments. With the ability to create organized notes, annotate PDFs, and even record audio during lectures, these apps streamline the learning process and help students stay organized.

The ability to search through notes and add tags allows for quick retrieval of information, making studying and exam preparation more efficient.

Researchers can benefit greatly from note-taking apps as well. These apps provide a centralized location to store research findings, articles, and references. With features like markdown support, rich text formatting, and the ability to attach files, researchers can easily organize and document their work.

Collaboration features, such as the ability to share notes and work on projects with team members, enhance the research process and facilitate knowledge exchange.

Writers can also take advantage of note-taking apps to capture ideas, outline plots, and draft their work. The ability to create different notebooks or folders for different projects allows for better organization and easy access to relevant materials. Many note-taking apps offer distraction-free writing modes, allowing writers to focus solely on their work without distractions. Markdown support and the ability to export notes in various formats make these apps versatile tools for writers.

Creative individuals, such as artists, designers, and musicians, can find note-taking apps useful for brainstorming ideas, sketching concepts, and organizing inspiration. These apps often provide the ability to add images, draw, and create multimedia-rich notes. Features like layers, stylus support, and integration with other creative tools enable a seamless and integrated creative workflow.

9 Open-source Free HandWritten Note Apps
Are you tired of jotting down your notes in a traditional notebook and constantly losing them? Or maybe you want to enhance your note-taking experience by incorporating handwritten notes and sketches? Either way, the solution lies in handwritten note apps. Here are some of the best-handwritten note apps that can

Overall, note-taking apps empower users to capture, organize, and retrieve information effectively, leading to improved productivity and enhanced creativity. Whether you are a student, researcher, writer, or creative individual, these apps offer a digital workspace that enhances your workflow, fosters organization, and boosts your overall productivity.

In this list, we collected the best open-source and free note-taking apps for Windows, which you can download, install, and use them for free.

1- Notes Keeper

Notes Keeper
Notes Keeper

Notes Keeper is an open-source free app that enables you to write, save, and organize your note with ease. Your note can include images, files, text, or tables. You can also lock and encrypt your notes with a password.

Key Features

  • Creating notes
  • Unicode support
  • Powerful search
  • Dynamic date and time at the status bar
  • Very easy to customize
  • Auto save
  • Lock notes
  • Password protect notes
  • Encrypt notes
  • Search the web from a note itself
  • Snap it to the screen edges
Notes Keeper
Download Notes Keeper for free. A program for saving and organizing notes. Notes Keeper Don’t you like your notes to be saved in the clouds, where you can’t control. Do you like to have all your notes with you.

2- NoteFly

NoteFly is a lightweight but advanced note-taking application written in C#. It offers features such as creating notes with rich text formatting, support for note skins, high customizability with lots of settings, lightweight design, highlighting PHP, HTML, and SQL snippets (beta), and the ability to be extended with plugins.

3- Lifeograph

Lifeograph is a diary program with essential functionality and a clean user interface. It supports encrypted and unencrypted diaries, automatically logs out when not in use, formats entry titles and subheadings, and has wiki-like rich text formatting.

Lifeograph is a Personal Diary and Journal Application
Lifeograph is an open-source personal diary and journal application designed to help users document their thoughts, experiences, and memories. It provides a simple and intuitive interface for writing and organizing entries, allowing users to create a digital record of their lives. Use-Cases 1-Personal Reflection Lifeograph is an ideal tool for

4- Crispy Synced Notes

Crispy Synced Notes is a note-taking program with WebDAV sync capabilities. It allows you to organize notes and images in a tree structure, sync with any WebDAV server, encrypt files locally and remotely, and supports multiple languages.

Crispy Synced Notes
Download Crispy Synced Notes for free. A note taking program with WebDAV sync. An note taking program with WebDAV sync capabilities. It works on a local (and WebDAV) directory and shows the items (text/image/binary) in a tree view.

5- Xournal++


Xournal++ is free, open-source and cross-platform note-taking software that offers fast, flexible, and functional features. It supports pressure-sensitive stylus and drawing tablets, provides robust and customizable pen tools, allows the use of layers for complex notes, and includes a built-in LaTeX editor.

Users can also create plugins using the Lua programming language. Xournal++ is available on macOS, Windows, and Linux, making it suitable for various purposes, from academic problem-solving to creating travel diaries.

Download Xournal++ for free. A handwriting notetaking software with PDF annotation support. Xournal++ (/ˌzɚnl̟ˌplʌsˈplʌs/) is an open-source and cross-platform note-taking software that is fast, flexible, and functional. A modern rewrite and a more feature-rich version of the wonderful Xournal program.

6- ThoughtStack

ThoughtStack is a folding-tree-based notepad with features like folding, standalone functionality, and versatile use for brainstorming, outlining, planning, and note-taking.

Download ThoughtStack for free. Organize your thoughts with ThoughtStack! ThoughtStack is a folding-tree-based notepad. It’s great for brain storming, outlining, planning, and all your other note-taking needs!

7- Notes


Notes is a cross-platform note-taking application with features such as instantaneous note search, auto-save, cross-platform compatibility, and keyboard shortcuts.

Notes Is a Great Lightweight Note-taking App for Windows, Linux, and macOS
Introducing Notes! Notes app is a free and open-source note-taking app for those who want to effortlessly and confidently jot down their thoughts and ideas. Built-in C++ with Qt, this app is both lightning-fast and stunningly attractive, allowing users to record their ideas seamlessly without any lag. But that’s not

8- Joplin


Joplin is a free and open source note-taking and to-do app that can handle numerous notes in Markdown format. It allows you to organize notes into notebooks, synchronize them with various cloud services, and easily copy, tag, search, and modify them.

You can import notes from Evernote, including formatted content, resources, metadata, or plain Markdown files. Joplin supports cloud services like Nextcloud, OneDrive, Dropbox, and WebDAV.

It is available for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android in three versions: desktop, mobile, and terminal, all with similar user interfaces and synchronization capabilities.

Key Features

  • There are three main types of applications: desktop, mobile, and terminal applications. These applications provide different ways to access the functionalities of the system.
  • A useful feature is the web clipper, which allows users to save web pages and screenshots directly into the application.
  • To ensure privacy and security, the application offers end-to-end encryption for all notes and data.
  • Another handy feature is the note history, which allows users to track changes and revisions made to their notes over time.
  • The application supports synchronization with a wide range of services, enabling users to access their notes from different devices and platforms.
  • Users can easily import and export files, making it convenient to transfer their notes to and from other applications or devices.
  • To keep notes organized, the application provides notebooks, tags, and to-do lists, allowing users to categorize and prioritize their notes.
  • Notes can be sorted by various criteria, providing users with flexibility and options for finding and organizing their content.
  • The Goto Anything feature offers a quick and efficient way to navigate through the notes and find specific information.
  • The application supports alarm and notification features, ensuring that users never miss important deadlines or reminders.
  • Users can work offline with confidence, as the application follows an offline-first approach, allowing them to access and edit their notes even without an internet connection.
  • Both desktop and mobile versions of the application support markdown notes, which can be rendered with images and formatting for a visually appealing and organized note-taking experience.
  • Advanced users will appreciate the extra features like math notation and checkboxes, which enhance the versatility and functionality of the application.
  • The application also supports file attachment, making it convenient to include relevant files or documents alongside the notes.
  • With geo-location support, users can add location information to their notes, providing context and relevance to their content.
  • The powerful search functionality allows users to quickly find specific notes or information within their vast collection of notes.
  • The application is available in multiple languages, ensuring that users from different regions and cultures can comfortably use the application in their preferred language.
  • For users who prefer to work with external editors, the application offers support for integrating with external editing tools, providing a seamless and customizable note-taking experience.

9- Makagiga

Makagiga is an open-source, portable application with features like to-do management, note-taking, widgets, and plugins for tasks like image viewing and markup preview.

Download Makagiga for free. To-do manager, notepad, RSS reader... Makagiga is an open-source, easy-to-use, portable application for doing a variety of tasks, such as todo listing, text editing, or RSS reading. Plugins are used to implement its various capabilities.

10- Notable

Notable is a free and open-source note-taking application and Markdown editor with a rich set of features. It allows you to create diagrams using Mermaid syntax and write math code with KaTeX. It is a viable alternative to Evernote, Notion, Boostnote, and Apple Note app.

Notable: The best open-source note-taking and Markdown editor for 2022
What is Notable? Notable is a free, open-source note-taking application as well as a Markdown editor that you can use without fear of a vendor lockdown. Notable it may look a simple note editor, but it comes with a rich set of useful features, and yet to come in the

11- Perpetual Notes

Perpetual Notes is a note-taking app that allows you to write beautifully, organize easily, and find everything quickly. With features like storing notes in RTF format, adding rich text and images, and searching across all notes, it offers a seamless note-taking experience. No sign-up is required, and it is compatible with Windows 7/8/10.

Perpetual Notes
Download Perpetual Notes for free. Write beautifully. Organize easily. Find everything. Take notes faster. Find information easily.

12- DustyPad

DustyPad is a standalone executable file that offers a multi-tab notepad utility. It allows you to create and save multiple pads within a tabbed environment, browse through them easily, and customize the font style and effects. The tool also includes word wrapping and features like notepad, tabbed interface, and utility.

Download DustyPad for free. Multi-tabbed notepad utility. DustyPad is a new multi-tab notepad utility which comes as a standalone executable file for easy and quick use. With DustyPad you can add as many new pads as you like within a tabbed environment and then save your pads for later use.

13- Hass Note

HassNotes is a free, lightweight note-taking application that allows users to create multiple notes and windows. It does not require an internet connection and stores notes within the application data.

Users can view their notes on top or behind open applications and have the option to customize the text size and style. The application has no limitations on the number of notes that can be created.

Download HassNotes for free. Free note taking application with multiple notes and multiple windows. Note taking application that is light-weight and does not require an internet connection. This application stores the notes within the users application data so can be easily transfered if required.

14- QOwnNotes

QOwnNotes is an open-source plain-text file notepad with markdown support and ownCloud integration. It offers features such as AES256 encryption, plain-text note taking, and dark mode support.

Download QOwnNotes for free. Plain-text file notepad with markdown support and ownCloud integration. QOwnNotes is the open source (GPL) plain-text file notepad with markdown support and todo list manager for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, that (optionally) works together with the notes application of ownCloud. Please visit the project webpage for downloading QOwnNotes.

15- GloboNote

GloboNote is a free and easy-to-use desktop note-taking application that allows you to create sticky notes, to-do lists, journals, reminders, and other notes. It is platform-independent and can be run on any OS with Java 8 or higher installed. Features include setting alarms and playing custom sounds for reminders.

Key Features

  • Create checklist. Insert checkboxes on note (Ctrl-Shift-C to create checkbox).
  • Build-in Calculator. Enter the calculation in the note then press F2
  • Organize notes in group. Display/Hide notes according to group
  • Customize notes. Change color, font, behavior of your note
  • Create note templates and load it using hotkeys(ALT-1 to ALT-8)
  • Search Notes. Locate your notes using the search tool. Search while you are typing
  • Hide/Show/Park note. Hide or Park unwanted note.
  • Attach files on note then double click to launch it
  • Attach images on notes. Paste image from clipboard to note
  • URL Detection. Support hyperlink detection. Press Ctrl to activate it and click on the detected link to launch appropriate application.
  • Find/Replace the content of the note
  • Make note to always stay on top of other window
  • Support for rich text editing with bold, italic, colour etc
  • Roll Up/Down note with a single click
  • Adjust transparency level of inactive note
GLOBONOTE Is A Feature-rich Sticky Note For Creative Minds
GloboNote is an exceptional desktop note-taking application that is both 100% free and incredibly easy to use. With GloboNote, you can take advantage of an extensive range of features, all of which can be utilized on any operating system, including Windows, Linux, and macOS. Whether you need to create reminders,

16- Boost Note

Boost Note is a document-driven project management tool that enhances remote DevOps team productivity. It allows for creating overviews of systems, organizing sprint backlogs, and facilitating collaboration through real-time editing.

With features like a powerful markdown editor, multiple views, and integration with various tools, Boost Note helps maximize knowledge sharing and team velocity.

Boost Note Has Evolved from a Note-taking App to a Powerful Project Management Tool
Boost Note is a document driven project management tool that maximizes remote DevOps team velocity.
Boost Note
Download Boost Note for free. Boost Note is a document driven project management tool. Boost Note is a document-driven project management tool that maximizes remote DevOps team velocity. Write overviews of systems including concepts, terminology definitions and descriptions of how these concepts work together.

17- Laverna

Laverna is a free Markdown editor with features like live preview, distraction-free mode, and the ability to sync notes across devices with Dropbox and RemoteStorage. It also offers encryption for privacy, task management, code snippets, and the option to use it anonymously without registration. Notes can be imported and exported, and the code is available on GitHub under the MPL-2.0 license.

Download Laverna for free. JavaScript note taking application with Markdown editor. Laverna has a simple and robust markdown editor, which can help you write faster than ever before with our live markdown preview. The editor can be switched to distraction free mode where you can focus solely on writing notes.

18- Treesheet

TreeSheet is a free and open-source application for organizing and manipulating hierarchical data. It has a flexible and intuitive interface, making it suitable for tasks like project management, brainstorming, outlining, and note-taking.

TreeSheet offers features such as cell formatting, formulas, sorting, filtering, and custom views. It is compatible with Windows, Linux, and macOS. The code is available on GitHub under the MIT license.

Stylishly Take your notes, mindmaps, and tasks with this Lightweight App: TreeSheets.
Ever wanted that note-taking application that gives you more freedom to write, visualize and organize your thoughts and ideas? TreeSheets may be the application you have been waiting for. What’s TreeSheets? TreeSheets is a lightweight note-taking application with spreadsheets features, mind mapping, outline options, and note-taking with text editing advanced

19- Note13

Note13 is a lightweight program for Windows that allows you to create notes on up to ten pages. It has a clutter-free interface, automatically saves and loads notes, and uses minimal CPU resources.

20- KeyNote NF

This is a tabbed notebook with a RichText editor, multi-level notes, and strong encryption. It has additional features compared to Marek's KeyNote, such as checkboxes on children of selected nodes, hidden nodes, and alarms on nodes.

It introduces new features such as checkboxes on children of selected nodes, hidden nodes, alarms on nodes, better treatment of tables and links, multilanguage support, virtual nodes called mirror nodes, Unicode compliance, a compressed file format, improved navigation history, faster and enhanced Find All functionality, new internal KNT links, KeyNote as a target format for export, improved Clipboard Capture/Web Clip, and a new property for default zoom and alternative margins.

KeyNote NF (New Features)
Download KeyNote NF (New Features) for free. Tabbed notebook with RichText editor, multi-level notes and strong encryption. Added new features to Marek’s KeyNote: checkboxes on children of selected nodes, hidden nodes, alarms on nodes.

21- Notesnook

Notesnook is a note-taking app that prioritizes data privacy. Unlike other apps, it offers a private notes vault, app lock, and encryption for personal diaries and journals. It emphasizes the importance of privacy for all users, regardless of their subscription level. Additionally, users can verify the encryption of their notes using the open-source tool, Vericrypt.

Download Notesnook for free. A fully open source & end-to-end encrypted note taking alternative. Notesnook makes it impossible for anyone to spy on your notes. Unlike Evernote and other note taking apps, your data is private, not open for everyone to see.
Notesnook Is an Open Source Note-taking App and Evernote Alternative
A fully open source & end-to-end encrypted note taking alternative to Evernote.

22- Zim

Zim: A Free Desktop Wiki and Note App
Zim is an open source free lightweight note-taking application in a form of desktop wiki. It allows you to organize your notes, articles, resources, and ideas all in one place, connect them together using page links, attach media and documents and more. By default, Zim supports wiki syntax and a

23- Notea

Notea is an Open-source Note-taking App and Notion AlternativeWhat is Notea? Notea is an open-source web-based note-taking app for creative people. By default, Notea supports Markdown, and comes with a sharing option to many services as Google Drive.

GitHub - notea-org/notea: 📒 Self hosted note taking app stored on S3
📒 Self hosted note taking app stored on S3. Contribute to notea-org/notea development by creating an account on GitHub.

24- PNotes

PNotes Is an Outstanding Note App for Windows
PNotes is a desktop manager that is great for virtual note-taking. It is versatile, lightweight, and customizable. It is also very user-friendly and has many features that make note-taking easier. PNotes supports multiple languages, so you can easily switch between them depending on your needs. In addition to its language

25- Butterfly

Butterfly is a versatile note-taking app available for Android, Windows, Linux, and the web. It offers a user-friendly interface with customizable tools and infinite paper size. You can store your data locally or in the cloud, and easily export and import files. Take your note-taking to the next level with Butterfly.

Butterfly: Is An Open-source Note-taking App Built with Flutter
Butterfly is a cutting-edge note-taking app that places your ideas at the forefront. With Butterfly, you can effortlessly add text and draw pictures, and export your notes with ease across all your devices. The app is available for Android, Windows, Linux, and the web, allowing you to access it from

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