The 5 Best Free Note Taking Tools For Teachers

Posted by Harshal on September 20th, 2021

How you take notes is a very personal thing. Do you carefully sub-head, section, and bullet, or quickly scrawl things down anywhere? Are you text-only, or do you use more of a scrapbook system? And how do you index and find old notes? Whatever your approach, there are some great digital note-taking apps out there that can accommodate all your quirks and note-related fancies. 

What makes a great note-taking app?

With so many apps to consider, we had some pretty strict criteria for what made a great notes app. 

  • First, the apps had to do what they set out to do, and do it well. Not every note-taking app needs to have image-to-text features or support styluses, but if it boasted about them, they\'d better be good. There are so many different ways to use digital notes that what one person considers essential can just clutter up the interface to another. 

  • Second, note-taking apps had to be quick and easy to use. A pen and scrap of paper are hard to beat for speed and convenience, but any note-taking app has to get out of your way. Creating, editing, and sorting notes needed to be something that felt seamless and natural, rather than a battle with a horrible user interface. If you couldn\'t create a new note in seconds or needed to jump through weird hoops to grab different tools, the app wasn\'t making our list. 

1. is an astonishingly simple web-based application for taking notes as quickly and as efficiently as possible.’s ease of use and ability to share information immediately make it highly beneficial for teachers in a hurry or students who are just getting used to classroom technology.

How to Use

To use, simply click on the link above and start typing! When you’re ready to share your notes click the “Short” icon in the right hand corner.  You will then be provided with a link to share via email, text, or a document. also gives you the capability of sharing via Facebook, Twitter or FriendFeed.

 2. mySchoolNotebook

 mySchoolNotebook is a note-taking platform that allows you to work online or offline. It ensures that you are never without a way to create an engaging note-taking experience for your students.

 How to Use mySchoolNotebook

To get started using mySchoolNotebook, first click the link above to go to the website. Next, create a profile through a Facebook account or through an email address. Once you’ve completed your profile you will be directed to your homepage.To start taking notes, click “New Notebook.” Fill in the “Title” and “Teacher’s Name” boxes. Click the checkmark to save your work thus far. Now click the “Add a Topic” button, type in the name of your topic and click “Save.”To add content to your notes, click “Add a Lesson.” Type in the notes you would like to take and once you’re content with your work, click “Save and Close.” Once you’re done you are free to export your notes to PDF, print them, or share them!

 3. Scriblink

Scriblink is an online note-taking program that functions like a digital whiteboard.  It allows user to share notes, drawings, or diagrams at any time. Scriblink’s ability to share free-hand sketches make it a valuable tool for any classroom full of creative students.

How to Use Scriblink

Scriblink’s use of Java makes it incredibly easy to use and incredibly simple to share. No signup is necessary. Simply click the link above to go the site and begin working on your whiteboard!  The tools at your disposal include: a free-form pen, a straight-line tool, a square creation tool, a circle creation tool, an eraser, a text tool, an “Upload” button, a color selection bar for your lines and your background, a slider that lets you vary the thickness of your lines, an “Undo” button, and a “Clear” button.Utilize all of these tools to create something worthy of sharing. Then save it, send it, or print it!

 4. Penzu

Penzu is an online personal journal. It was created in order to keep journal entries away from prying eyes and enables users to add photos and format their journal in other appealing ways. It’s perfect for students that want to keep notes to themselves or classroom journaling time.

How to Use Penzu

To begin taking notes with Penzu, sign up by clicking the green “Create Your FREE Journal” button. Fill in the required information and click “Sign Up.”Next, you will be prompted to select an avatar for your account. Choose your favorite from the options available and click “Next.” You will now be taken to a page that allows you to share Penzu on Facebook or Twitter, either do this or simply click “Next.”Penzu will now take you to a page that lets you decide whether you’d like to turn on Looking Glass or not. Looking Glass is a setting that enables you to be emailed old journal entries for nostalgia’s sake. Make a decision regarding this setting and click “Next.”  You will be asked if you would like to be sent reminders to journal on Penzu, select and option from the dropdown menu and click “Next.” Now choose a font for your journal and click “Done.”Now click “Untitled Journal” and write away! As a free user you are allotted one journal, so make the most of it by adding pictures, comments, or changing the format of the text from the list of icons directly above your journal. Once you’re done, save your journal, then either lock it or send it to someone!

5. Chronicle Cloud

Chronicle Cloud is a versatile app for teachers across all subjects. Designed to help teachers maximize student success, Chronicle Cloud aids teachers in note-taking (conferring and/or anecdotal), team teaching, managing groups, optimizing assessment data, and much more!

How to Use Chronicle Cloud

Chronicle Cloud at its most basic is a note-taking tool. This applies to both anecdotal and conferring note taking. While you can take notes with written words, it\'s also possible to enrich that with audio, images, and video attachments. All that can combine to help make it easier to recall student behavior, during a certain performance level, at a later date.

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