As a creative, you’re constantly thinking of new ideas, but they’re probably scattered across notebooks, phone apps, sticky notes and restaurant napkins. 

You’re working on a dozen projects at the same time and struggling to keep them all organized and moving forward.

Or what about your brilliant vision and massive creative goals that you put off because you’re overwhelmed and not sure what your next steps should be?

Sound familiar? First of all, you’re not alone. This is simply the nature of creativity—it’s spontaneous, chaotic and hard to tame. However, when you rely on creativity to make a living, you need to find ways to organize the chaos, keep the inspiration flowing and consistently make progress on your projects. 

This is where a tool like Milanote can make all the difference. 

What Is Milanote?

Designed specifically for creatives, Milanote is a note-taking app that helps brainstorm, plan and complete projects. It’s used by writers, designers, photographers, filmmakers, entrepreneurs and any visual thinkers who need help managing projects in their personal or professional lives. 

Milanote gives you a space to create visual boards for each of your projects or areas of your life that need organizing. With a simple drag-and-drop system, you can fill your boards with notes, to-do lists, deadlines, color swatches, images, videos, sketches, links and much more. 

Like file folders on your computer, boards can be nested into each other, so you can categorize and organize as many aspects of your work or personal life as you wish. For example, you can create separate boards for your marketing job, the novel you’re working on, planning your wedding and decorating your home.  

Milanote Pricing

If you only manage a handful of projects at a time, Milanote’s free lite plan would be perfect for you. It allows up to 100 notes, images or links and up to 10 file uploads. It never expires, so you can keep using Milanote for free for as long as you like. 

If you find that you need more space, you can upgrade to a paid plan at $9.99/month billed annually or $12.50/month billed monthly. This plan has no limits for how much you can add or upload to your visual boards. 

Milanote is also a great place to collaborate as a team. If you intend to use it professionally, consider one of their team plans, which start at $49/month for up to 10 users. 

Milanote Desktop App and Browser App 

You can use Milanote in your browser or, if you’re working with a team, download the desktop app to take advantage of notifications. With either option, you’ll start with a blank board, to which you can drag-and-drop any of the following cards:

  • Notes: you can customize the text with colors and styles and color-code your note cards
  • Links: link cards appear as previews of the webpage you’re linking to
  • To-do lists: you can add a deadline to each item on your to-do list and assign them to team members
  • Images: upload your own or search the built-in Pexels database for stock images
  • Other: You can also add headings, sketches, color swatches, audio clips, previews of documents, Google Maps links and YouTube videos
This is a screenshot of a brainstorming session in Milanote. A card in the middle lists two ideas for a new project. It’s surrounded by four other cards that list skills the user is proficient with, skills they want to learn, visuals and words that inspire them and big ideas they wonder about.
Still from Skillshare class Defeat Procrastination: Design Your Own Personalized Creative Workflow by Sarah McKinnon

You can link cards with arrows, add comments and emoji reactions to any card and draw directly on your Milanote board. Lastly, be sure to download Web Clipper, a free browser extension that allows you to send any text, images, videos and links you come across directly to Milanote so they can later be added to their respective boards. 

Milanote App for Tablets and Phones

If you’re an iPad user, you can take Milanote with you wherever you go. The iPad app offers the same full Milanote experience you’d find on a computer. You can also make sketches and notes with your Apple Pencil and save content from any app or website you browse on the iPad.

Recording notes and ideas on the go is even easier with Milanote’s iPhone and Android mobile apps. You won’t get the full desktop experience due to the limited screen size, but you can use the mobile app to view your existing boards, check off and add new to-do list items, add notes, upload images and save content from your browser. Everything gets uploaded to the cloud automatically and waits for you to sort it into boards when you have access to a computer or iPad.

Using Milanote

Each Milanote board is a blank canvas—you can build it to be exactly what you need it to be and function in a way that supports your unique creative process. To get you inspired, think about a few different ways you can use Milanote: 

Brainstorm Ideas

A card in the center summarizes the plot of a novel, and arrows extend out to four other cards with ideas about the characters, settings, themes and situations.
Screenshot of brainstorming template in Milanote.

Do you ever find yourself putting off a creative project because you’re not sure where to start? Use Milanote to defeat procrastination by making a brainstorming board. This will help you create a visual representation of your ideas, connect them and keep everything organized in a way that facilitates your workflow. When you get started on your project, you’ll know exactly what you need to do, expand on, or research. 

Make a Milanote Moodboard

An interior design mood board features pictures of fabrics, textures, colors and decor pieces.
Screenshot of a mood boarding template in Milanote.

A mood board is a digital collage that communicates visual ideas, concepts and feelings. For example, if you’re decorating a space, putting together an interior design mood board will help you get a sense of your personal style and the kind of atmosphere you want to create with your design. Or maybe you’re a writer—you can create a character mood board to get clarity on who your character is, what they wear, where they live and what they like. 

Manage Projects

This is a design project for a tea company. The project board includes a list of next steps, mockup illustrations and comments about them, as well as nested boards for the creative brief, tasks, documents, mood board, design ideas and work in progress.
Screenshot of a project management template in Milanote.

Milanote has many uses, but where it truly shines is with project management. It gives you a space to house every aspect of any given project—brainstorming sessions, mood boards, to-do lists, deadlines, documents, sketches and anything else you might need. Everything can be sorted and organized in a way that helps you stay creative and productive. 

Increase Productivity

This to-do list is split up by day of the week. Each day is separated into different categories and includes to-do list items with and without deadlines. Some items are already checked off.
Screenshot of a to-do list template in Milanote.

You can use Milanote to keep track of your progress on individual projects, but you can also create an all-encompassing to-do board to stay on top of every aspect of your life on a daily basis. Simply create columns for each day of the week and separate your to-dos into different categories. You can even add shortcuts to relevant Milanote boards to help you complete your to-dos more efficiently. 

Milanote Templates

Feel free to start with a blank Milanote board and build your own custom organization system. If you’d like a little help getting started or need inspiration, Milanote offers hundreds of ready-to-use templates for hobbyists and professionals across all creative industries. To access them, simply start a new Milanote board—a pop-up window will appear in the bottom right corner where you’ll be able to browse and search for the perfect template. 

Milanote Alternatives

Milanote isn’t the only project management tool out there, but it’s the only one designed specifically for creatives. Before you make your choice, consider how it compares to other popular options: 

Milanote vs. Notion

Like Milanote, Notion is a modular tool, meaning you can use building blocks to create a custom system that fits your specific needs. Although Notion allows you to embed visual media, the process is not as straightforward as it is with Milanote. It does, however, allow users to create tables, Kanban boards, Gantt charts and calendars. 

Ultimately, the two systems are similar, but Milanote is better suited for visual thinkers, while Notion is perfect for analytical thinkers who prefer to keep track of their ideas and tasks in lists and spreadsheets. 

Milanote vs. Miro

If you’re looking for a whiteboard-like tool for brainstorming and mind-mapping, Miro is a popular option. It’s designed to be used by teams and offers collaboration features like video conferencing and screen sharing. 

While Milanote is geared toward artists, freelancers and small teams in creative industires, Miro is best suited for large teams working in marketing, engineering, product development and UX design.  

Milanote vs. Trello 

Another popular project management tool is Trello, which relies on Kanban boards to organize ideas and tasks. Unlike Milanote, Trello stores information in a very structured way and doesn’t have many options for adding and organizing visual media. It’s best suited for individuals and teams who need a simple way to keep track of projects and communicate about their progress.

Try Milanote for Free

If Milanote sounds like the right tool for you, be sure to give it a try. You can use the free version for your next creative project or sign up for the paid plan and organize your entire life in it. Make a vision board, plan your workouts, save recipe ideas or create a social media content plan—there’s nothing Milanote can’t help you with!

Written By

Sayana Lam

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