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Best app for note taking

Discussion in 'iPad at School' started by Ryan429, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. Ryan429
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    Ryan429 iPF Noob

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    I am wondering if anyone has found a good note taking app or Amy must have apps for college?
  2. liveloud14
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    liveloud14 iPF Noob

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    What I prefer

    I used Notekata (free app) for a long time. It is very easy to use and easy to set up many notebooks. No frills. However, I began to use Notability today and LOVE it. I believe this app was 1.99. Well worth it. Again, easy to use but with this app you can type, handwrite, record audio and add photos if needed. I believe it is new and at an introductory price. Hope that is helpful.

    Also, when typing a lot of notes it is very helpful to have a bluetooth keyboard. Either a stand alone or case with keyboard. Believe me, when typing a lot it is worth having.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  3. techkid420
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    techkid420 iPF Novice

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    Make sure you search for questions before asking a question. This question has been asked several times before.

    If you are not taking notes to do with math I would recommend Pages from Apple.
    If you are taking notes to do with math I would recommend Note Taker HD. The difference would be having the ability to draw notes. In math you clearly can't type everything - well at least productively.

    Pages is the best fit for general note taking as far as I have found. I use Pages everyday in college for taking notes. I prefer the iPad with the Apple Wireless keyboard over my laptop.

    Sent from my Verizon 3G iPad 2 64GB using iPF
  4. Ryan429
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    Ryan429 iPF Noob

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    Sorry I need to clarify I am looking to use a stylus to handwritten and convert to text
  5. JewelGarden
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    JewelGarden iPad Fan

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    Take a look at 7notes HD Premium. It has great handwriting recognition and a predictive engine that makes suggestions of what the user

    Never, never, never give up -- Winston Churchill
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  6. JewelGarden
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    Never, never, never give up -- Winston Churchill
  7. PreVoiD
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    I was in the exact same situation a few months back. I'm currently studying at the University, and my program tend to have courses with different layouts. Most of them consists of pure text and fact being given from a professor. No problem using a MBP on those courses at all.

    However, I also tend to have courses which focus more on math, physics and statistics. I tried to use my precious MBP on those, but I figured out I'd fail bigtime if I continued like this. It simply wasn't possible to write down all of the insanely difficult formulas on a computer, compared to doing it with a pen and paper.

    The problem is, that I'm a tech-nerd (or something like that) and I figured that there HAD to be another way of doing things, except going back to the old fashioned pen and paper method.

    I bought the Logitech (ZAGG) keyboard case for the iPad 2 (which is a pice of art - tbh!) and this together with an invisibleshield on the back transformed the iPad 2 to a WONDERFUL little computer, and together with an stylus you're all set for math-class!

    When it comes to the note taking apps, I'm afraid that I've tried them all. Really. All of them. So I know everything when it comes to note-taking apps, lol. In my case, I preferred the app called "Notes Plus". It was a wonderful app during version 2.X of it - but it has been updated to version 3.0 as of a week or two back. This app has EVERYTHING you'll ever need. Trust me! Making shapes (lines, circles, triangles etc) is a breeze since it automatically figures out that you want to make a line, or circle - and transforms your "so-so" painted line or circle into a proper good looking computer-made form instead. It's simply much easier especially during math courses, since you'll end up with perfect diagrams and figures every single time!

    So, I suggest you go and check it out! It's dirt cheap on the App Store! And oh, did I forget to mention the fact that you can purchase an add-on within the app to get access to "handwritten to computerwritten text" aswell? :)
  8. this man
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    this man iPF Novice

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    I've been using Notability for about one year, for my university notes mainly. Now I've finished at university I've started to think I need something different.

    I find I need something that will work well with documents. The thing with apps like Notability is they seem to be self contained. For business use or even as an employee you are prone to needing an office suite so I've recently been struggling to find a solution for note taking that lets me easily put those notes or drawings into a document. I've made a small test on my iPad 2, with pasting things into a Pages document.

    I've actually found Penultimate lets me copy small parts of the page and I can paste those small parts into a Pages document. But Penultimate has been bought by Evernote and I don't like Evernote so I don't have confidence in Penultimate remaining useful.

    I found PhatPad lets me do the same as Penultimate. But its user interface doesn't grab me.

    I've found myself being addicted to Paper by FiftyThree. It doesn't have that capability of letting me copy just part of the page, but I find Paper to be a joy to use for just taking notes with my Wacom Bamboo Stylus. I can copy the pages to the Camera Roll and paste them into Pages from there.

    With Notes Plus I have to copy the whole page to the Camera Roll as well. But I find the user interface to be less satisfying than Paper by FiftyThree. The tool that converts writing to text is unreliable. Plus, unlike with Notability, I can't do a global search for text in pdf files.That's one big advantage in using Notability, i.e. the global search on text in files without having to go into specific folders.

    Bamboo Paper is buggy. One bug I found on my iPad 2 is when I open a page where an object has been deleted it reappears for a split second then it's gone again. That's just one bug. I notice there is a video of work on an updated version of Bamboo Paper but that's a year old and I have no idea when the new version of Bamboo Paper will be available.

    GoodNotes lets me copy part of page and paste that into a Pages document. But again the user interface does not grab me.

    Noteshelf won't let me paste anything into a Pages document so I guess I have to use the Camera Roll for that. But I don't like the user interface in that either.

    As for GoodReader, I did use that for a few months. But it doesn't have the global search on text that you find in Notability. So good luck to you if you forget which folder that pdf file is in.

    So I guess I'm stuck with Notability for now, while I'm trying to set aside time to figure out how I really want to do my note taking with text or pdf files. I do like Paper by FiftyThree for jotting down notes with my stylus.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
  9. chowdown
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    Hi tm.

    Here are some bald assertions. I can expand on them if you want.
    1. Since I started using an ipad I have found I'm using Office less and less. My current home desktop PC, bought in August 2012, doesn't even have Office installed, although I do use Excel at work. Just about everything else I produce is a PDF. I'm a Maths teacher.
    2. Penultimate is useless.
    3. Evernote is brilliant.
    4. PhatPad is useless.
    5. Paper by FiftyThree is style over substance. Pretty, but pretty useless. I do however understand its appeal.
    6. I've been checking on NotesPlus every six months or so for the last two-and-a-half years. Each time it has proved to be worse than useless, but I haven't checked it lately.
    7. Notability is a great app, in my top five.
    8. Bamboo paper is useless.
    9. GoodNotes is a great app, in my top five.
    10. Noteshelf is ok, but doesn't make the cut.
    11. GoodReader is brilliant.
    12. You haven't mentioned Note Taker HD, which is utterly brilliant.
    13. I just looked at MathSense in the App Store. It appears to be a quiz app rather than a note-taking app. Happy to be corrected.
    14. I figured out that I had to make my own 'suite' of apps for producing (PDF) notes on an iPad. Mine is Note Taker HD, GoodNotes, Notability, neu.Notes, iDraw, Crop Suey HD, FastKeyboard. Yes, there is repetition of functionality there.
    15. Associated apps are Evernote, GoodReader, iAnnotate PDF and pdf-notes. More repetition of functionality.
  10. this man
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    this man iPF Novice

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    "bald assertions"? I'd just gotten a hair cut but I'm not bald. Although I would've felt better if I'd typed my post with a Shirley Temple hairstyle as that would've given me more credence I'm sure. I say we should make it a rule in these forums that everybody keep at least one wig, styled in any one of the styles portrayed by any one of the child actors of the last one hundred years. "Bald assertions", indeed. :)

    Seriously, I should have emphasised the subjective nature of my post although my point about needing to use an office suite is still relevant to a large number of people. I really do think the developers of note taking apps should take that into account.

    Without going over each point you made, and I can see you have some good points, I'll just say this:

    In the time I used Evernote I found it does have this one bug that nearly made me lose my temper more than once. Whenever I opened it, more often than not the note I wanted to look at would disappear while Evernote checked for an update to the note. This, together with one or two other bugs, really gave me a low opinion of Evernote. I just got the impression they were more into adding features and weren't too concerned about fixing bugs.

    With Paper by FiftyThree I'll admit it's not to everybody's taste, particularly as a note taking app. It's just an app that's got me hooked. I'm being subjective but I can only relate what I honestly feel. I know it does not do typed text but for using my stylus it seems like a joy to use.

    Notability is a brilliant app, like you say. I'm just finding it to be a bit rough around the edges plus there is that issue of it not being more easy to use with an office suite. Plus actions like adding a new page to a note seem fiddly to do. It does have global search on text and that feature alone makes it much more useful than an app like GoodReader.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
  11. chowdown
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    Yes, that would be annoying. I've never experienced anything like that with Evernote. It's always been rock-solid on iPad, android phone, desktop app and web app.
  12. this man
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    That happened to me on my iPhone. I don't know if it's got something to do with the 3G coverage in the city I'm in but I don't have that problem with any other note taking app. I'm currently using Apple Notes as well as trialling SimpleNote and they are very quick to update and nothing disappears during the update. If Evernote could just behave like that I'd start using it again but I've lost confidence in it.
  13. jbcoleman
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    jbcoleman iPF Noob

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    +1 for Evernote. The only area where it falls short is in task management; an app like Omnifocus has much more robust task management features.

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