Why this rabbit hole?

I started something that I need to finish:

I need to find the best personal note taking app for Android!

I use Google Keep at work on my work phone, tablet, and laptop and I love it. Simple to use, clean UI, I can attach photos, I can add sketches, and color and label each note. It's completely replaced my Engineering Log Books.

In my personal life I've been trying to go Google free for years even though I love Android. I've been using NextCloud for my files and notes for a few years but I've found the Notes app too basic. I can't attach images. It has markdown support but not much else.

So, a couple of months ago I decided to look for a good note taking app for Android. Instead of figuring out my needs first, I just dove in and downloaded a whack of them and tried them out.

I've tried 72 Android apps and counting!

As I used the apps, I kept finding the different ways people designed their apps, what functions they included and became amazed at the creativity and interesting approaches (not all good). With each app my wants started diverging from what I thought I needed. I found myself wanting checklists, labels, colors, audio recording, and text highlighting to name a few.

As I shared my notes with the Developers, it started conversations with a couple of them.

I'm curious what you put under "Great" and "Awesome" for other apps 🙂.
Please list the 5 best Android note apps that you think are the best.

So, here I am. Sharing my notes on note taking apps until I find the best one. I hope you find it helpful as it's sure been fun for me.