Best note taking app for iPad

Discussion in 'Productivity Apps Forum' started by mach5k, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. Glock Girl
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    Glock Girl iPF Noob

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    Wow! I'm a new IPad user and this threadbis JUST what I needed. I am looking for a note taking app that will do boh typing and hand written. To find an app that also records audio is like adding gravy to a beautifully cooked roast.

    Does anyone know if any of these apps can convert the handwritten note to text?

    Great forum you have here!
  2. donka
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    donka iPad Junkie

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    Confused?? :confused:
  3. Hasty
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    Hasty iPad Ninja

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    Glock Girl I think Notes Plus deserves a look.
    Scribble, type and yodel...
  4. bdegrande
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    bdegrande iPF Novice

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    Underscore Notify has the usual (typing drawing, audio) and will convert handwriting to text if you buy a $3 in app purchase.
  5. atinoue
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    atinoue iPF Noob

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    Notebook for iPad

    Circus Ponnies Note Book for iPad would be the best in the near future.
    It takes too much memory and has some minor bugs, however it's functinalities are splendid.
  6. chowdown
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    chowdown iPad Fan

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    Wrist protection doesn't work for me, so, Note Taker HD.

    Wrist protection doesn't work for me and that's probably the main reason I use Note Taker HD. You can do all your writing at the bottom of the screen, thereby allowing you to rest your hand harmlessly on the iPad's bezel. Your handwriting can be positioned easily anywhere in the document, and even if you write big in the editing panel the resulting text in the document can be as small as you want (microscopic, even!). It also has an extremely useful auto-advance feature.

    Using Note Taker HD I can write very quickly, small and legibly. I use it for notes and mathematical work and even draw diagrams (with the help of an invention of mine, a thin-bit-rigid metal "bridge" that spans the screen which I use to rest my drawing hand on. Notes can be tagged.

    The developer, Dan Bricklin, is the real thing; he co-wrote VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet for personal computers, more than 30 years ago. He seems to be very committed to the app.

    What it doesn't do? Type-written text, picture import, audio. It doesn't do cut/copy/paste either, but that may change in a future update.

    If Dan Bricklin can get cut/copy/paste into Note Taker HD, I for one will be a very happy camper because as far as I can tell this functionality is absent from all current handwritten note-taking apps on the iPad. (Happy to be proved wrong). :)
  7. DDustiNN
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    DDustiNN iPF Novice

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    I'm looking for a good app to take notes during class and there are so many to choose from. Unfortunately, many of these posts are rather old now so I'm not sure of their relevance, as new stuff is constantly coming out. So far the video for SmartNote looks really nice. I'm thinking of ordering a stylus and would like something that can take decent hand-written notes. My biggest concern is the touch screen of course... Meaning, can you write naturally? Or do you have to keep your hand/wrist elevated? I usually have to write rather quickly so I don't really have time to mess around with extra lines/smudges from my hand resting on the page. Do the apps ignore this at all, and just recognize when you're writing?
  8. chowdown
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    chowdown iPad Fan

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    Dustin, did you read the post directly above yours?
  9. DDustiNN
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    DDustiNN iPF Novice

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    Thanks for the response, chow. I did read that post, but while it's a similar subject, I don't think it specifically answered my question. The reason is that I'm not sure what is meant by "wrist protection" there. Is that a physical item? Or is it an in-app object that you place on the paper to ignore your wrist touching the screen? And I'm more worried about my hand than the wrist, actually. While I'm writing (right-handed), in addition to my wrist on the paper, my pinky finger's knuckle also rests on the paper ahead of where the pen writes. I'm curious if that would register as "writing" or if it would be ignored by any of these apps.

    Please let me know if I'm not explaining this clearly enough. Does what I'm saying make sense? And if so, do you have any idea if that's an issue with any of these apps?

    I wish I could try out these apps without the purchase being permanent :(
    On my Android, if you buy an app, you can get a refund within 24 hours if you don't like it. I just got my iPad last week and I really wish the store had this feature.

    Thanks for any advice!
  10. chowdown
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    When you write or draw on an iPad screen you've got to be careful that only the tip of the stylus (forget about finger!) touches the screen. If not, you'll get extra unintended marks or other unwanted results like zooming/panning.

    So what do you do? Write with your hand floating above the screen? Boring, painful, untenable.

    Many note-taking apps have a feature called "wrist-protection" which, when activated within the app, supposedly allows you to rest your hand/palm/wrist/pinky/whatever on the screen without causing any problems.

    Here is a summary of what I have learned about wrist-protection over the last three weeks in four different apps: it is shite.

    The app Note Taker HD (which incidentally offers wrist-protection; I ignore it) circumvents this problem brilliantly by offering the input method that I describe above.
  11. Mickey330
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    Mickey330 Administrator Staff Member

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    It is for this reason alone I keep coming back to Note Taker HD for my college class note-taking. The ability to rest my hand/wrist/fingers/whatever on the bezel makes it so I can write naturally and easily (and rapidly).

    I have tried a LOT of handwriting apps - and still use some for other reasons. But, in my books, THIS is the app you want for consistent, legible notes.

    Marilyn
  12. Bpad
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    Bpad iPF Noob

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    It's Evernote for me. I am a noob iPad user and was looking for a notebook app for it. Saw some recommendations for Evernote in this thread, installed on iPad, PC and Blackberry... and have now discarded(sort of) the real notebooks(3) I was lugging around and it's GREAT! Syncing between PC and iPad is seamless, emailing notes is a breeze... will definitely keep this! Having a little bit of trouble with BB though, my notes don't seem to be showing up on it, although I see the notebooks when I tried to make a new note :confused:
  13. Mickey330
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    Nevermind. I was confused as to where in this thread I was...

    Sorry.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  14. DDustiNN
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    DDustiNN iPF Novice

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    Well with class starting on Monday, it was time to make a decision and get some practice in so I can take notes.

    For me, it came down to Notes Plus and Note Taker HD. I finally bought Notes Plus yesterday and I have to say I absolutely love it. The lack of typing ability is what gave Note Taker HD the final blow.

    With Notes Plus, I can hand-write or type anywhere on the paper at any time. I also like the deletion gesture. If you're writing and you make a mistake, just swipe back and forth across what you want to delete and it's gone. Awesome! With pen and paper, I always had to scribble it out.

    I also like the ability to select anything that has been written and move it around. Sometimes I'd be taking notes during class and the instructor would go on a slight tangent, then go back to the original topic... but then I had no extra lines to add more notes! Now I can select a line (or however much I want) and simply move it (or you also have the option to delete a selection). It's so awesome.

    The auto-shape detection is no good for me, because my diagrams usually require smaller shapes... the shapes have to be rather large for them to be auto-detected. It's a cool feature, for sure, but I just don't see it being used much by me. However, I absolutely love the fact that I can draw anywhere on the page, as well as mix writing and typing, so that's still a major plus.

    Also, you have a quick toolbar that uses the most recent pens you've created. I created a fine blue pen for writing (looks just like the gel pens I love), and a think semitransparent pink one that functions as a highlighter. Very cool.

    Another bit of icing on the cake is the audio recording. You can record a lecture in your notebook! I played around with it a bit and found that if you stop the recording, and then start a new one (on the same page), it basically just adds another track. Good for breaks and stuff.

    But the absolute best feature, by far, is the zoom-writing mode (or whatever it's called). Similar to Note Taker HD, you have a zoomed in box that you write in, which writes smaller text on the areas where the box is located on the paper. It's kind of hard to explain without seeing it in action. But it auto-scrolls to the right in a very intuitive way, and you can also perform a carriage return function via a quick button. It sounds weird, but it's really amazing and very easy to use.

    At any time, you have a variety of options to export a whole notebook or individual pages as .pdf document (including all markups) via e-mail or GoogleDocs.

    For simply taking notes (handwritten or typed), Notes Plus is incredible. I give it 4/5 stars.

    To get that last 5/5 star, I feel like it could use these features:
    - import files (.pdf, .doc, .ppt) and be able to insert them as pages in an existing note, to allow for annotations
    - be able to delete an audio recording from a page
    - export an audio recording as .mp3
    - allow shape auto-detection to accept smaller shapes

    If it had those features, it would be absolutely perfect. I believe the developer is actually working on some of those, so I look forward to a future update.

    Overall, well worth the money for any college student (or anyone needing to write notes). I may even bring my iPad to work now and use it to take notes during meetings.
  15. muniswarv
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    muniswarv iPF Noob

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    Hi,
    I have recently started using Ipad.
    I also write tone of notes. Till now I have tried the following apps for Ipad.
    1: penultimate (1$)
    2: Noteshelf (3$)
    3: Jotbook (free)
    4: neo.notes (free)

    I have listed some of the feature that I have got and what I would like to have

    Features | Penultimate | Noteshelf
    Picture annotation | No | Yes
    back-up the notes | Yes | Yes ( back-up whole shelf)
    Share the notes in editable format |Yes ( .pen ) | No
    Free hand drawing |Yes | Yes
    Typing the text |NO | NO
    Search the type in text | NO | NO
    Thumb nail view of the pages |Yes |Yes
    Take pages from one note to another | No |No
    Zoom and write the text | Yes | Yes
    Quality of free hand drawing | Good |Good
  16. pluto6
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    pluto6 iPad Fan

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    I am looking for advice on what people are using. I have read through the thread, and have bought a couple of note taking apps, but don't really have a need for them. Until I go back to school this summer.....

    Grad school, apparently what they do is post the lecture using power point slides. So, what I guess students are doing is either importing the slides, or converting the powerpoint to a PDF, then importing.

    So, I need something with reasonable good file abilities to keep all the various classes organized, and the note taking would be marking up either powerpoint slides or a pdf... Obviously ability to save these to some format that is either to work with is necessary. At least one student recommended iAnnotate. Looking through the forums, it looks like there may be others here doing the same thing - what apps are you using successfully? THanks.
  17. Sridhar
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    Sridhar iPF Novice

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  18. bimo
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    I'd recommend using Noterize, which allows you to annotate both PDF and Powerpoint slides. There are a lot of apps out there to annotate PDF files, but few that allow you to annotate both. It's a decent app, for handwriting it will not smoothen your handwriting like some other handwriting note taking apps out there. The good thing is it allows you to save any changes you made, and you can send directly to yourself via email.
  19. pluto6
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    Thanks Bimo - I will check that one out.

    Anyone know of a note taking app that will let you "import" a picture, or text and pictures from the internet, like a copy and paste operation?

    The idea then would be to be able to mark this up and then save to whatever format - likely pdf?

    Right now, it looks like having to copy and paste to a word processor on a PC, then turn it into a pdf, then send either via e-mail, or through a cloud type system.. really cumbersome...
  20. Mickey330
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    Mickey330 Administrator Staff Member

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    In Safari, you can create a bookmarklet that'll let you save a web site as a PDF (no reason why you can't have just a picture opened in a site). Once the site has been saved, if you touch the screen, you'll get an "open in" option (all this in Safari). Select the appropriate PDF-annotationg app and off you go.

    Will this do? Or, is this what you are looking for? If need be, I can post the script to make this bookmarklet - should you not have/can't find it.

    Marilyn

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