smartNote/Penultimate/iBrainstorm

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by Major Eazy, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. Major Eazy
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    Major Eazy iPF Novice

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    While I am saving up to treat myself an iPad for Xmas, I figure it would help to review apps to make a list of what apps I would like to download so when the time comes, just download what apps I have on my "shopping list of apps to download", I spent a lot of time narrowing down similar apps. There are three apps I am interested in and would like other member's suggestions and advice on my ideas. The apps are

    smartNote (Christoper Thibault and Brendan Lee)
    Penultimate (Cocoa Box Design LLC)
    iBrainstorm (Universal Mmmind)

    I am looking for an app that could allow me to make notes, sketches, and so on, if possibile, with a number of books, and I found out that my best bet would have to be smartNote over that of Penltimate, but although smartNote seems bit complex, Penultimate is much simipler (ever if somewhat less interesting).

    Do anyone think it is a good idea or would advise against the idea of downloading both smartNote and Penltimate? I thought maybe use smartNote for something really complex and serious work, with so much details, but use Penltimate for very simple notes and sketch only? Maybe use Penultimate for sketch only?

    I found iBrainstorm interesting becuase you could write notes and sketech whatever you like, very much similar to Penultimate, but the extra interesting thing is that you can have Post-It sticky notes on top of your drawings in iBrainstorm, so wonder if smartNote have something similar? I mean, to write or type notes or draw sketches in smartNotes, but do it have anything like sticking a Post-It note on top of the pages?

    Many thanks for any input and advice.
  2. donka
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    donka iPad Junkie

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    Penultimate is simple but effective and currently on sale so maybe be worth picking up now if it is on your short list.
  3. Bogy
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    Bogy iPF Novice

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    I don't see where downloading both would be a problem. I have Note Taker HD, SmartNote, Penultimate, UYH Gold, Notes Plus and Notes on mine. Still haven't decided which I like best. Depends on what I am doing.
  4. Major Eazy
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    Major Eazy iPF Novice

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    I agree but if I download smartNote and Penultimate as well as every other apps I want to try out and compare to each other, it would mean a lot of money (add up the costs of each apps), beside, being on low income, it makes senses that I should try to review apps I'm interested in and see what others think of so-and-so, in order to pick one, it would mean leaving spare cash for other apps or music tracks or ever video clips to download.

    As well as the fact, what's the point of adding up memory size and the fact that given a lack of time, I can't always spend too much time trying them all out. For example, I may spend 5 minutes making notes on (say as example) smartNotes then have to go and cook the dinner for the kids. I may not have an extra 5 minutes for (say as example) Penultimate, and another 5 minutes for another app, and so on.

    I agree with you that downloading both is not a problem, but it is a matter of costs and time, sort of like buying two or three cars becuase you can't make up your mind which you want. I may not mind having to be forced to download both and find the time to try both out, to compare them to each other, but really, the sooner I have one choice, the sooner I can get to do some work.

    That's why after some time reviewing them, I just wanted to see what other members think, then figure out which to go for.

    Actually just some time ago, I went to my mother's and use her computer (which have faster broadband and Windows XP) to watch smartNote and Penultimate in action on YouTube, smartNote seems more impressive than Penultimate. Ever thought I like the look of Penultimate, I've opt for smartNote as it seems to have more tools than Penultimate. It's a close shave, but for me it is something like five stars for smartNote while four stars for Penultimate.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  5. yianniskyr
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    yianniskyr iPF Novice

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    i use smartNote and i'm very happy.
  6. Bogy
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    Bogy iPF Novice

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    Major Eazy, after your comments about the apps I have running up to quite a bit of money, I looked at what the apps I have cost today, and what I paid for them, because I have not spent that much on apps since I bought my iPad. What I found shows the benefits of buying apps that have just come out, while they might not yet have everything you would like to see in an app, before they get all the bells and whistles installed and jack up the price, or while they are running a special promotional price. Here's what I found.

    Note Taker HD is the most expensive of the bunch. It cost me $4.99 when I bought it, and the price is still $4.99. It was the app that convinced me to purchase the iPad, because I wanted the ability to take handwritten notes. I bought the iPad and the first app I purchased was Note Taker, because I was attending a conference that week and wanted to use the iPad to take notes. The handwriting has been smoothed out greatly since I first purchased it. You can now download pdf files into it, although I have used SmartNote for this function, since SN had it when I bought it, for that purpose.

    I bought SmartNote for 99 cents, and the price today is $2.99. Nice app that allows you to import pdf files and then highlight passages and make notes in the margins. I have loaded 200 page documents into it. It keeps them in nice spiral bound notebooks.

    I bought Penultimate for $3.99, but I bought it for $2.99. I think this was a promotional price break, so I bought it while it was on sale. To be honest, I have not used it a lot. I bought it while it was on sale because it's always mentioned as these comparisons, but while it does a nice job of taking notes, for the price I would go with SmartNotes.

    UYH Gold is 99 cents, and that is what I paid for it. Simple program if you just want to make a list, on a blackboard, with pretty neon colors.

    Notes Plus cost me 99 cents, but today it is $4.99. You can mix handwritten and typed notes on a page, and it has an algorithm to detect when you are drawing shapes. Lots of different fonts you can use.

    I haven't tried iBrainStorm, but since it is free I downloaded it, but of course haven't had a chance to try it yet.

    For the kind of use that you are describing I would recommend SmartNotes over Penultimate. Take a look at Notes Plus, it is more, but it has a lot of nice features. Also get iBrainStorm, hopefully it will still be free when you get your iPad. And watch out for sales and new apps. I visit the App Store every day to see what kinds of deals are available. I deleted half the apps I had on my iPad a few weeks ago because I never used them, and before the os update. But all of them were free apps. Also, try the "lite" versions, if available, before you buy the full version. Adding apps and then deleting them are much easier, and cheaper, than doing the same on a regular computer.
  7. Major Eazy
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    Major Eazy iPF Novice

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    Thanks Bogy for the interesting suggestions, I feel more lean towards smartNotes and since you and one other suggest it, I feel better to go for it, I got a few more chances to look at smartNotes on YouTube, they look very interesting enough and I also got to see Note Taker HD on YouTube too. From what I see, from what I read, and from what you guys spoke of, I've decided smartNotes sounds much better so it's on my "shopping list" and when I get my iPad, smartNotes along with many other apps, will be the first batch to buy and download.

    Many thanks.
  8. Grape Ape
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    Grape Ape iPF Noob

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    I just want to do some typing but am looking for a program that allows me to also set the fonts to bold, underlined and/or italics. If it is possible to change the fonts and font colors, that is a plus but not a deal breaker for me. Do any of the above mentioned apps do any of this?

    I currently use the Notes app that came with the iPad and it works alright but I would likesonething that does a little more.

    Thanks for your help.
  9. Major Eazy
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    Major Eazy iPF Novice

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    The apps I mentioned, smartNote, Penultimate, and iBrainstorm are mainly done by writing using your finger not typing. Although smartNote can have some typing done, mostly when adding boxes to the pages, it is in general mainly a writing and drawing with your finger app. Not the sort you're looking for.

    There is an app that I could suggest you have a look at, "Notebooks for iPad", developed by Alfons Schmid, found under productivity, that is text based and therefore typing only, but it is much more better than iPad's own Notes becuase Notebooks for iPad offers more in a package. It includes changing font sizes, colours, and ever using different fonts. I've got this on my list of apps to buy and download as soon as I get my new iPad. Please remember that its proper name is "Notebooks for iPad" and not to be confused as "Notebooks" [designed] for [the] iPad.

    When you had a review of this, hope it is something you're looking for.
  10. Grape Ape
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    Grape Ape iPF Noob

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    Thank you for the Notebooks for iPad recommendation. I will certainly check it out.
  11. sch
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    sch iPad Fan

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    +1 for Notebooks for iPad. Great program. I use it to sync with Scrivener on the Mac for writing my books.

    Cheers,

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