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Note app that really works....

Discussion in 'Productivity Apps Forum' started by juniorgolf18, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. juniorgolf18
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    juniorgolf18 iPF Novice

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    If anyone really had a note taking app that really worked they'd make a fortune.

    Notesplus has potential but is unusable in current form.

    Notability has good writing but very crude

    Penultimate writes the best but no zoom equals no good for lots of notes.

    Frustrating....
  2. Mimshacktee
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    Mimshacktee iPF Novice

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    Try upad. You could try out the lite version first
  3. Guy1717
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    Guy1717 iPF Novice

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    I was frustrated too until i found Awesomenote, you can try the lite version also
  4. chowdown
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    chowdown iPad Fan

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    Not as frustrating as your unanswerable post. :)

    I would recommend Note Taker HD to you, but I have no idea what you want from a note taking app besides zoom, which Notes Plus does very well (so does NTHD, the best note-taking app out there, imo).

    Care to expand on the unusability of Notes Plus?

    Cheers.
  5. guthrien
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    guthrien iPad Enthusiast

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    I suppose it depends on what "really works" means to you. There is a kind of a richness of note taking apps compared to most platforms, even for handwriting. Though I grant it doesn't have it's OneNote yet, but then you're not stuck using Windows either.
  6. juniorgolf18
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    juniorgolf18 iPF Novice

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    No handwriting though.... Correct?
  7. juniorgolf18
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    juniorgolf18 iPF Novice

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    Sorry vague - venting a little I guess. Was asking for suggestions of other apps etc.

    Notesplus has great potential - looks great on page, notes look good if ever get them written, audio recording works fantastic, but recent upgrades have made writing the worst part. It's almost impossible to write in zoom mode now. Just awful. Reviews are slamming them and on their comments on site. They have tried to add ink smoothing but its jumpy and makes it distracting as you write. Another plus, their auto advance is the best imho out there.

    Note Taker HD - I have it too - didn't care for how it advances in zoom, can't tell where to start your next letter or word since you can't see the previous where you left off like in NP. Also no dropbox or goog doc support - a must. Also missing recording. Even notability has that. But notetaker hd does have some fantastic writing.
  8. brobot
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    brobot iPF Noob

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    What do you mean when you say Notability is crude?
  9. Mickey330
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    Mickey330 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Take a look at Noteshelf ($4.99, USD). I really like the zoom feature - it auto zooms and you can see the writing to the left so you know where to start up again.

    Plus, you can organize your notes on the note shelf and create custom templates to have, essentially, whatever you want as a page.

    Just a thought...

    Marilyn
  10. guthrien
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    guthrien iPad Enthusiast

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    Noteshelf has come a long way, it's really slick and smooth.
  11. juniorgolf18
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    juniorgolf18 iPF Novice

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    Ok mine doesnt show the words to the left , it just kind of slides to the right. Notesapp is only one I've seen that does that.
  12. juniorgolf18
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    juniorgolf18 iPF Novice

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    No default paper. Limited paper looks. VEry basic interface, not professional looking.
  13. chowdown
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    chowdown iPad Fan

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    I agree that NTHD's auto advance isn't as good as Notes Plus's, but I think the quibble is a minor one.

    Yes, no recording, bit of a shame, but I hope it isn't implemented at the expense of any of the other many features. I mean, perhaps NP's currently unsatisfactorily jerky ink is a result of the app trying to do too much?

    As for NTHD and DropBox, you might want to check that again. :)
  14. juniorgolf18
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    juniorgolf18 iPF Novice

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    Explain nthd and Dropbox.

    I really tried nthd in a meeting and the auto advance and the blue dot drives me crazy. Messes up fluid writing and words.
  15. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    Been trying various note taking apps ever since I purchased the iPad. I think I have about 10 on my iPad at the moment. A few points.

    () Keep your priorities straight. Do you want to take handwritten notes? If so, is that your primary or secondary priority? i.e. Are you going to type for the most part and just want the ability to add a quick annotation or a diagram or do you expect to write by hand/draw and just want to add a readable typed few lines to your drawing/handwriting? If you need to capture diagrams and drawings, look for an app that can turn a squiggly scrawled box into something cleaner. If you're taking notes on Shakespeare, that may not be very important.

    () Is organization of your notes in categories and folders important to you? Some apps support that approach; others are "flat" in their organization.

    () Do you want to take notes in sync with audio? If you're recording a lecture that may be important. If you're keeping notes in a meeting, it may be worthless.

    () What do you want to do with the notes when you're done? Be sure the app you choose can export the notes in an appropriate format to a destination you can use.

    () Do you want/need handwriting recognition? If you are as bad at writing on the screen as I am (even with a good stylus) it may be important to have an app that can transform your scrawl into something others (and even you) can read when you're done. Some recent apps provide excellent handwriting recognition but lack other crucial features. I've been using 7Notes HD Premium lately and find it to be extremely good at capturing and recognizing my handwriting and transforming it into readable text. That functionality combined with its predictive word recognition makes it almost as fast as typing, but it takes awhile to become proficient. (See note below about PRACTICING!)

    () If you're typing notes you may want more capable word processing features that enable you to "clean up" notes into a more formal output. If so, consider getting a full scale word processing app and use it for notes. In fact, if you're a good typist you may not find ANY note taking app is as useful as a good word processing app.

    () Whatever app you choose, PRACTICE! The most comprehensive and capable note taking apps (e.g. Notes Plus and Note Taker HD) call for lots of practice to use effectively. An app that seems simple to use in the first half hour may fail in terms of other features. Conversely, it may be difficult to use an app when you begin but after awhile it becomes more intuitive. Think how long it took you to learn to write. You weren't adept at it in a few hours. Whatever you do, DO NOT take a new app to an important meeting or a class and expect to be able to use it effectively. The stress of trying to keep up with what's going on and learning to use an app at the same time will only lead to frustration.

    () Finally, be prepared to invest a few bucks in your search for the app that works for you. The best apps are truly remarkable pieces of software and developers deserve to be compensated for their efforts. And don't expect others with different priorities and different abilities/backgrounds to advise you about the "best" note taking app.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
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  16. juniorgolf18
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    juniorgolf18 iPF Novice

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    Still trying to find NTHD and Dropbox.

    I emailed the developer and he even said no
  17. guthrien
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    guthrien iPad Enthusiast

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    Really great post, jsh1120.
  18. chowdown
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    chowdown iPad Fan

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    Maybe I'm misunderstanding what it is you want to do with NTHD and Dropbox. When I punch Output, Done, have open PDF selected, punch Start, up comes the "Open In..." box, and DropBox is there as an option. I click on DropBox and whoosh, the PDF is in DropBox. I know it works 'cause I just tried it (have never tried it before, mind you). I must be missing something.

    I use NTHD almost exclusively for maths, very rarely for reams of words. Lately when I do want to take lots of handwritten notes I've been using Noteshelf. Due to its excellent auto advance system I'd like to use Notes Plus but a few things about it annoy me.

    I agree with jsh about practice.

    I'd also say that it's been very useful to me to have more than one note-taking app on my iPad. I often have NTHD, Noteshelf, neu.Notes and Notabilty all going at the same time. I do the same with readers: Good Reader, iBooks, iFiles, iAnnotate. Switching from file to file with a push of the home button rather than having to move around in one app when you're juggling a number of documents.

    I don't know what you mean about the blue dot in NTHD.
  19. skallal
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    skallal iPad Fan

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    What about Underscore Notify? It is $1.99 in the App Store. I'll have to admit I haven't used it much, mainly because I'm hoping for a good handwriting recognition app. But this thread seems to be about hand written notes wo/ recognition. Notify does to impress me in its ability to pan around a page to edit or insert text. Also able to move text around on a page.

    That said Underscore Notify also has hand writing recognition as a $2.99 in app purchase, which I do NOT like. It uses the WritePad engine, but seems to be less effective than PhatPad in actual use. And that's why I haven't tried it as much.

    After trying a lot of hand writing recognition apps, I'm starting to think I'd be better off trying to relearn my childhood hand writing skills leave real text entry to the keyboard.

    Underscore Notify has gotten some mediocre reviews lately in the App Store, some of which don't match my experience. I do agree with jsh1120's comment, that you need to buy a number of apps and try them and that is takes practice. My iPad is littered with many such apps.

    This is my shameless plug for Underscore Notify. And your mileage probably will vary...
  20. juniorgolf18
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    juniorgolf18 iPF Novice

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    The blue dot on the left of auto advance screen. It tells you where you left off instead of showing the words like notesplus.

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