Lefty Note Taking

Discussion in 'Productivity Apps Forum' started by masscac, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. masscac
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    masscac iPF Noob

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    Hi. I'm considering buying an iPad for use in my psychotherapy practice, to write my session notes, instead of using ppaper and pen. Problem is I'm left-handed, and concerned that none of the handwriting apps Will function correctly. As a kid, I used to come home from school every day with ink all over my left hand, since it rubbed right over the words I was writing. I imagine this would happen with the iPad too. Does anyone else have experience as a lefty using a handwriting app? I appreciate any feedback I can get. thank you!
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  2. richsadams
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    richsadams iPad Super Guru

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    Welcome to the forum! I'm guessing you were joking about being worried about getting ink all over your hands using the iPad. :) But I do get the left Vs right thing. There are a number of threads about note taking apps. Doing a quick Google search (upper right-hand corner of every page) here's a good list to start...

    best note taking apps - Google Search

    In the meantime there are a lot of great people here willing to lend a hand anytime. Often using the Advanced Search box (at the top of every page) will lead you to the answers you're looking for. If not, feel free to post a question in the appropriate area.


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    BTW, I moved your post to the iPad Apps area where you’re likely to get a better response to your question.


    Welcome again and enjoy!
  3. Poisonivy
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    Poisonivy Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi fellow leftie,havent had any experience of handwriting apps but im sure someone wil be able to help.
  4. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    Boy oh boy, do I feel your pain. I learned to type as a kid primarily to escape the problems of being a southpaw in a northpaw world. I've looked and looked for handwriting apps that make adequate provisions for lefties. With rare exceptions they don't. Penultimate actually has a setting that not only makes it possible to set the "wrist guard" appropriately for a left hand writer but also accommodates different "styles" of left handers including those of us who "push" the pen from the left and those who hold their writing hand above what is being written. You know what I'm talking about. Virtually all other handwriting apps I've tried insist on putting the wrist guard only below the space where one is writing. And unless you're a rare southpaw who holds a pen like a northpaw, that won't work for you. Again, you know what I'm talking about.

    Unfortunately, Penultimate is not the most comprehensive note taking app around. Although it was an early entry in the race, other note taking apps have (imo) surpassed it.

    Having said that, however, there is good news for folks like you and me. The best handwriting apps are designed with a "zoom box" at the bottom of a page where you enter text that is placed elsewhere on the page. Fortunately, this enables you to rest the side of your hand outside the box where you're writing and not create all sorts of stray marks on the screen. Among the best of these apps are Note Taker HD, Notes Plus, and my personal favorite at the moment 7Notes HD Premium, a handwriting app that does a real time translation of your handwriting into text and does an excellent job of predicting text being written from the context of your notes. (i.e. If you write "The quick brown..." the app will suggest "fox" as the next word.) The result is then placed on the screen page as typed text. If your handwriting is as bad as mine (I sometimes cannot read what I've written), you'll appreciate this feature.

    Just one word of advice. You're going to have to PRACTICE with whatever handwriting app (and probably a stylus) you choose to use. You're not going to find a 30 minute effort is sufficient to make you as efficient as you are with a pen and paper. But don't give up. After awhile you'll find you're improving. Trust me.
  5. twerppoet
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    Then there is always the low tech solution. Wear a fingerless glove (or better a fingered glove with the thumb and all but pinky cut down. Pinkies have a tendency to touch the screen.

    Not a southpaw, but if the pressure of right handedness hand't triumphed I think I would have ended up nearly ambidextrous.
  6. masscac
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    masscac iPF Noob

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    Thanks very much!
  7. masscac
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    masscac iPF Noob

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    Yes, all good advice, very much appreciated! I will practice and maybe try the fingerless glove too. Another possible solution suggested by another southpaw was to write with my finger rather than a stylus. 7Notes HD premuim sounds like an excellent choice too!
  8. pablos
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    pablos iPF Noob

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    What does the premium version do that the free version will not do?
  9. jsh1120
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    The premium version has real time translation to text as you write. Several of the other handwriting recognition apps require you to write a set of words, usually a sentence, select the group, and then translate the handwriting to text. Big problem if a word is missed and must then be edited. (The free version of 7Notes works this way, too.) The 7Notes Premium edition places word choices above your handwriting. Touch the word (or words) and they are inserted into the typed text. Much easier to use and edit simultaneously. And the handwriting recognition and text prediction "learns" from your handwriting so the more you use it, the more accurate it becomes.

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