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Taking notes on iPad

Mayuko's PictureIt’s almost 10 months since I got my iPad and I have been feeling very comfortable doing most of stuff on iPad.  I’d classify myself “fairly heavy user” because this semester, I’ve determined to read almost everything, take almost all notes, organize most of information (well, of course, nothing that I need to worry about the security) on iPad.  I’ve been using PDF Expert to highlight and make comments while reading, storing most of working files in a cloud (I like “Box” as they gave me 50GB for free), clipping web sites and organizing notes with Evernote etc.  I read books using Kindle (although I still like a hard copy books because iPad is a little too heavy for bed-time reading) and read news and other RSS and social network feeds on Flipboard.

My biggest problem so far was note-taking, so I decided to look for better note taking programs. Note app on iPad is OK when you’re just typing, but sometimes, you’d want to do more than typing.  I was taking a statistics class a few semester’s ago and I really wished I had a way to diagram or chart while taking notes on iPad.  I’m a facilitator for CTLT iPad Brownbag series so I needed something to talk about at the last week’s meeting.  So, I reviewed several apps.  Here’s my comparison note of several leading note-taking apps:

Notability (Currently on Sale for $.99!)

  • Handwriting input with stylus (with various pen width and color)
  • Zoom-text feature to enlarge the area you’re writing.
  • Keyboard input
  • Audio-recording
  • Web-clipping
  • Drawing figures
  • Taking a photo or inserting photo
  • PDF Annotation – you can import from DropBox, iDisk or WebDAV
  • Export as a PDF (if you have audio, it’ll zip).
  • You can e-mail the file, send it to dropbox, print it or store it in iTunes.

 

UPAD ($4.99 or Lite Version is Free)

  • Handwriting input with stylus (with various pen width and color)
  • Zoom-text feature to enlarge the area you’re writing.  I think this one has the best zoom-text recognition.
  • Keyboard input
  • Taking a photo or inserting photo
  • PDF Annotation – you have to have PDF in iTunes
  • Export as a PDF – it is a little annoying to export a PDF in this program as you have to iTunes
  • You can e-mail it (it looks like it’s embedding as an image), upload to Twitter and Facebook and print.

Note Taker HD ($4.99)

  • Handwriting input with stylus (with various pen width and color)
  • Zoom-text feature to enlarge the area you’re writing.  I think this one has the best zoom-text recognition.
  • Keyboard input
  • Lots of option for shapes (great flowchart shapes etc.)
  • Easy to move text and drawing (very precise movement)
  • Taking a photo or inserting photo (resolution control is a nice option)
  • PDF Annotation – you can use “open in” selection from another app or mail or you have to have files in iTunes
  • You can e-mail it as PDF or print it

 

So, guess which one I’m using now?  I’m using Notability to take notes.  I just love that you can incorporate camera, audio, diagram etc. and store everything on the cloud using Notability.  It’s also only 99 cents for now, so just get it and you won’t regret (well, even if I’m wrong, you won’t lose that much money).

If you want to learn more about iPad, come to iPad brownbag series.  The next one is on April 20 (Friday), at noon at CTLT.

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