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Best note taking / "whiteboard" app?

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  1. #1
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    Best note taking / "whiteboard" app?

    My boss just purchased an iPad, and he is looking for an app he will be able to use to record handwritten notes and to draw diagrams (he will be using a stylus). Essentially he would like to have a virtual whiteboard that he can use to take notes in meetings and then email the finished product back to himself. Can someone please recommend the best app for these purposes that would be very simple to both use and to export the data?

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  3. #2
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    Adobe Ideas probably wasn't designed as a note taker, but it works better than a lot of the competition.

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    I've been using the stock notepad app and it has worked fine for me. I would LOVE if they had a solution that integrated with one note though.

    -Greg
    iPad 3 64g LTE and trying VERY hard to resist buying the iPad 4!

  5. #4
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    I've been using Sundry Notes - the interface is a little juvenile on the main screen, but it is well featured:
    - selection of backgrounds
    - you can create binders of notes by day and/or topic
    - accepts keyboard, BT keyboard, and screen inputs
    - you can organize links, Wiki data, pictures, and notes on the same screen
    - save to PDF and e-mail

    And it's free.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jolek View Post
    My boss just purchased an iPad, and he is looking for an app he will be able to use to record handwritten notes and to draw diagrams (he will be using a stylus). Essentially he would like to have a virtual whiteboard that he can use to take notes in meetings and then email the finished product back to himself. Can someone please recommend the best app for these purposes that would be very simple to both use and to export the data?

    I have looked at several apps that do this.

    One that I found useful was Paper Desk.
    There is a lite version you may try but it is limited.

    Last night during a meeting there was an rapid fire announcement section lasting about five minutes. I had Paper Desk open and was going to take notes but I hit on the idea of recording into my notes the speaker himself.

    It worked like a charm, although at first I had no idea where the recording went. All I had was a record tab at the bottom which changed to a Stop tab so I could close out the recording.

    It appears when you select the record tab and an existing recording is present a little bookmark tab appears at the bottom which when selected pops up your recordings.

    While playing them back I was able to either hand write notes or typewrite my notes. I could play the audio back again and again to make sure I wrote down all the dates and details.

    I was able to send these to others as PDF documents of one document per page.

    The audio files did not transfer off the iPad.

    Since the mic is on the top pointed at the speaker this went fairly well and I could highly recommend this for note taking. I only need to experiment to see how many minutes or hours I can record.

    Also I noticed I had a couple of recordings and when I went to play them back I launched multiple audio streams as I sampled them. That was weird, but interesting.

    You can stop them individually so it isn't a show stopper. It was just user error on my part.
    Last edited by 4phun; 05-06-2010 at 08:50 AM.

  7. #6
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    I found a .jpg of lined notebook paper on Google Images and saved it to the iPad photo directory. I use Adobe Ideas, open the lined paper image, and use the Pogo Stylus for handwritten notes. When complete, I email the page (as a .pdf) to Evernote for storage.

  8. #7
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    A note taking app was one of the primary reasons I bought an iPad so I have tried at least 6 of them, plus two different styli with a third on the way. Here are my thoughts.

    Penultimate -- currently this one is my favorite in terms of a pure handwriting app. There is zero lag when you are writing and no jagged digitizing effects on the lines you write. Thus, it seems the most like actual writing. However, the app is very simply in its feature set. One color and size of pen and one eraser. That's it. You can keep multiple notebooks of multiple pages so that's good for organizing by case, project, class, etc. You can email notes and notebooks. Currently probably my favorite for just taking notes although I sure wish it did some of the things the other apps do.

    Ghostwriter -- I just disovered this app this week. Hadn't read about it anywhere else. This one also has fairly natural feeling writing although with some lag. It has a variety of pens and pencils and highliters too. But what sets this app apart from any other I have tried thus far is that it has a mode where you can write in an enlarged box that then perfectly shrinks your writing down to size on the lined paper. So you can fit much more on the page than with Penultimate for example. Writing in the box is actually quite easy and it works very well. You can also email notes and notebooks, although I haven't discovered a way to do so in pdf format yet. Overall a very solid contender especially if you want to get as much writing on the page as you normally would with a real pad of paper.

    Take Notes -- I really wanted to love this one the most, but it just isn't great at handwriting. You can import in various backgrounds, be it different paper types or even a pdf document you can then write or highlight on. There are lots of different pens, highliters, etc. and they can all be customized. There is no real note file system -- each note or document just sits on its own line in a list, although I suppose you could just continue to add pages to a note and consider it a notebook. I'm still not writing this one off (no pun intended) as it has so much potential. It does have multiple ways to import background documents, as they're called, into the app.

    Sundry Notes -- another one I wanted to like but really don't care for too much because of the handwriting aspect. Lots of features, including audio recording which could be handy. However, the handwriting is jagged and digitized in my opinion -- nothing at all like Penultimate. This one also has a built in browser and other extras that none of the other note apps have. But at the end of the day for me, if it doesn't handle handwriting well its not a contender and this one currently doesn't.

    Paper Desk -- Also another feature rich contender. But again, in my opinion does not write smoothly and thus can't compete with Penultimate or Ghostwriter.

    Almost forgot Adobe Ideas -- to me this is just not designed for note taking. The way it smooths out your writing is wierd although it does make it less jagged and digitized than some of the others above. There is no way to export as pdf which I think is key for my purposes. No real "notebook" organization either. Good for other functions but currently not for serious note taking in my opinion.

    There my two cents on note taking apps. One thing to consider, we are still so early in the lifecycle of these apps that I'm sure most of them will continue to develop and add features and perhaps smooth out some of the issues they currently have. That's why I leave all of these on my iPad for the moment so I'll be alerted when they update!

    Also, if you're curious about the styli, the best one I've currently got is the Pogo Sketch. Tried another one called a "universal stylus" for iPhone, iPad, etc. Absolutely horrible. Unusable. I've got the Dagi Stylus on order and am hoping that will prove to be the best of the current crop.
    Last edited by MileHiPad; 05-07-2010 at 12:14 PM. Reason: forgot something.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Beavis View Post
    I found a .jpg of lined notebook paper on Google Images and saved it to the iPad photo directory. I use Adobe Ideas, open the lined paper image, and use the Pogo Stylus for handwritten notes. When complete, I email the page (as a .pdf) to Evernote for storage.
    Rev, you're a genius!

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MileHiPad View Post
    Almost forgot Adobe Ideas -- ...... There is no way to export as pdf which I think is key for my purposes...
    Adobe Ideas will export as a .PDF via the email function.

  11. #10
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    SmartNote - grab it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolek View Post
    My boss just purchased an iPad, and he is looking for an app he will be able to use to record handwritten notes and to draw diagrams (he will be using a stylus). Essentially he would like to have a virtual whiteboard that he can use to take notes in meetings and then email the finished product back to himself. Can someone please recommend the best app for these purposes that would be very simple to both use and to export the data?
    I found what may become the perfect note taking app. It is SmartNote and it is way under priced at 99 cents. Written by two college students this is well on it's way to becoming the killer app on the iPad. It has a way to go but so far IMHO it is head and shoulders above the rest.

    Grab it before they realize it is way under priced compared to the similar apps on the iPad.

    More later after I have had more time with this.


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