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Old Dec 31, 2012, 03:58 PM   #26
thetruth1985
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Originally Posted by firemonk09 View Post
I'm considering purchasing an ipad mini mainly for daily media consumption, but I was also wondering how plausible it is to use note taking apps such as Notability or Penultimate on the ipad mini given it's size. I was considering purchasing a full-sized ipad, but I prefer 7 inch tablets and the mini's size. I know that Notability has a zoom feature which could be helpful in taking notes. I am an engineering college student, so the majority of my notes are handwritten. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
I personally wouldn't use any ios device for handwritten notes. I've tried these apps in the past and never liked the idea of changing how I write or having to use a stylus with a big fat tip. The mini is good for looking over notes but not for taking them unless you are typing them. Since you are in engineering, you will need to take math notes and that will be no fun with a keyboard. For handwritten notes, you are better off going with a windows 8 tablet or a galaxy note 10.1. At least with those, you get palm rejection out of the box and you can even turn off finger input to only allow input from the pen. Another option would be the livescribe wifi. You would have to take notes on their specialized paper but they will sync over wifi and you can view them on your mini timestamped with audio.

I didn't have a mini last semester but I went the livescribe route since one of my professors didn't allow any tablets or computers. I took my notes with the livescribe and was able to view them on my ipad 2 immediately after syncing the pen. If you are keen on getting a 7 inch device, a good alternative may be a used htc flyer since it accepts pen input (you can get them pretty cheap now). There is also a rumor that a 7 inch version of the galaxy note will be coming out. If money is no object, you can get a cheap iPad mini for reading/consumption and get a larger non-ios tablet for note taking. That's just my opinion.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 04:00 PM   #27
BHP41
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Originally Posted by palpatine View Post
I don't understand. If you position the zoom box at the bottom of the tablet on the iPad, your wrist doesn't take up screen space either. What is this extra screen?
For me, having the zoom box at the bottom of my 3 wasn't comfortable. The height of the 3 along with the extra bit of bezel made me finding the comfort spot with the zoom box up some to allow me to rest my wrist the iPad itself. With the mini it's at the bottom, so for me there is more screen(more of my notes) viewable.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 04:19 PM   #28
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For me, having the zoom box at the bottom of my 3 wasn't comfortable. The height of the 3 along with the extra bit of bezel made me finding the comfort spot with the zoom box up some to allow me to rest my wrist the iPad itself. With the mini it's at the bottom, so for me there is more screen(more of my notes) viewable.

I see. It hasn't bothered me, but I can see how it might bother someone.

One thing that I have done for several years now is take notes on paper (sometimes, you receive handouts and don't have time to snap photos of the pages) and run them through a scansnap at home. It is quite painless. I have actually gone paperless, thanks to the device. I have scanned every piece of paper accumulated over the years, and I am working now on digitizing my personal library. I am hoping to finish the last few books in 2013
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 04:24 PM   #29
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I was also wondering how plausible it is to use note taking apps such as Notability or Penultimate on the ipad mini given it's size.
Works well. iPad Mini is the perfect size for typing or taking handwritten notes.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 04:39 PM   #30
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not worth the effort, imo

For my purposes--math and science--note taking on either ipod is just an exercise in frustration. Yes you can kind of make it work with a an adonit stylus and wearing a glove, but overall it will still be a struggle. I have long wished for this technology and even considered buying an ms surface.

Then I realized i was overthinking this way too much and went back to paper notes. I use the ipad for e-textbooks, pdfs and scanned notes.

I hope someday there is a 15" ipad/cintique technology with a digitizer. It may happen, it may not--it is a niche market.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 05:24 PM   #31
fenjen
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Originally Posted by firemonk09 View Post
I'm considering purchasing an ipad mini mainly for daily media consumption, but I was also wondering how plausible it is to use note taking apps such as Notability or Penultimate on the ipad mini given it's size. I was considering purchasing a full-sized ipad, but I prefer 7 inch tablets and the mini's size. I know that Notability has a zoom feature which could be helpful in taking notes. I am an engineering college student, so the majority of my notes are handwritten. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
I'm using the iPad mini with a wacom bamboo stylus and the Goodnotes app. It works like a charm.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 05:51 PM   #32
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I bought a mini mainly for reading PDFs (mostly journal articles, book scans) for school and I also bought a stylus (from Applydea). I've got Penultimate and some other scribble and note taking apps, but I don't use any of them to take notes, I feel I can write much faster and have the luxury of space with a regular physical notebook, so I take handwritten notes in class, then I transcribe them into Evernote, which is great because I can tag and title the notes and they're synchronised to all my computers (and best of all, they're saved to the "cloud" so I'll never lose them). That's my process, I might not be taking advantage of the power of the tablet but it works really well for me.
As a Mech E major the majority of my notes were diagrams and formulas. Thinking back to that i would lean toward the method above seeming like the best option.

I tried writing on my Mini briefly and found that my method of writing would need to be modified as my palm rests on the screen while writing which of course affects the whole touchscreen experience lol.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 06:07 PM   #33
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An option never discussed is forgoing the ipad and using a mac book air with a 4x5 wacom tablet and an app like sketchbook pro (x86) It took me awhile to get used to writing on the wacom, but you do get a natural pen feel and none of the issues that tablets cause.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 01:03 AM   #34
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Yes. Use it all the time. It's much better than the larger iPads due to he thin it it.

Find a stylus that you like and a good app. I use uPad but some like note taker hd and notes plus.

The best way is to use the zoom mode for accurate handwriting. It's takes a bit to get use to but after a few pages you'll have the controls down.

Don't listen to the poster about having a Wacom stylus or whatever. He's on android. It has nothing to do with iOS and its capabilities. Plenty of great apps our there got what you want to do and the mini is the perfect device for it. I use to use my 3 before I bought the mini. Now it's only the mini for notes.

----------



It's such a small market I would be surprised if a developer took the time to actually make a decent app to take notes(kind of ironic given its name) on. It's android and we're talking iOS here. If you don't have a mini how do you know? You don't/can't have a informed opinion on something you've never tried.
I've had 2 minis, I've had many tablets both big and small, phones and phablets.

Don't assume anything
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 12:07 PM   #35
haleigh
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I'd go for a regular iPad, not the mini. I've been using Notes Plus on mine with a Wacom stylus and I have to admit, I like it a lot! Can't wait for classes to start now haha
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 12:11 PM   #36
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It will hinder you more than help you. It seems like you are trying to justify the purchase of an ipad by using it for something it's not very good at.

If you gave me the option of a $1,000 tablet and a $1 paper notepad for the purpose of taking notes, I'll take the $1 paper notepad 10 times out of 10.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 12:49 PM   #37
DodgeV83
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Originally Posted by firemonk09 View Post
I'm considering purchasing an ipad mini mainly for daily media consumption, but I was also wondering how plausible it is to use note taking apps such as Notability or Penultimate on the ipad mini given it's size. I was considering purchasing a full-sized ipad, but I prefer 7 inch tablets and the mini's size. I know that Notability has a zoom feature which could be helpful in taking notes. I am an engineering college student, so the majority of my notes are handwritten. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
I've been using Notability for quite some time, and despite trying all of the apps recommended in this thread (just now), I still think its the best. Since you'll be doing your primary note taking while in the zoom mode anyway, the size difference between the iPad mini and iPad isn't very noticeable.

I choose Notability because it is very easy to import the posted PDFs or slide shows from class, and take notes directly on top of them after converting the slides to Handouts view so there's space to write on the right:



This really plays to the advantage of Notability, because it syncs the audio recording of the lecture to your written notes, so if you tap on a word, it will playback exactly what the professor was saying at that time. This combination in my opinion really puts Notability above and beyond any other method of taking notes, including a laptop and regular written notes. Imagine reviewing notes while studying for a final, not quite remembering the details of a specific topic from the beginning of the year, and being able to tap on the slide from that topic and instantly hear the professor's voice explain the topic. This is really powerful.

Unfortunately, it doesn't sync to handwritten notes, but you can type a note word in between each slide so you can jump to that slide in the recording.

I like GoodNotes as well, for many of the same reasons, but its missing the audio recording functionality, which is important to me.

Good luck choosing an app!

Last edited by DodgeV83; Jan 1, 2013 at 12:58 PM.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 12:52 PM   #38
palpatine
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It will hinder you more than help you. It seems like you are trying to justify the purchase of an ipad by using it for something it's not very good at.

If you gave me the option of a $1,000 tablet and a $1 paper notepad for the purpose of taking notes, I'll take the $1 paper notepad 10 times out of 10.
I didn't buy a $1,000 iPad to take notes. I bought a $500 iPad to take notes, read PDFs, read books (Kindle), write papers, watch movies, listen to music, surf the Web, email, organize my notes (Evernote), watch lectures (iTunes U), listen to Audiobooks (Audible), and much more. All of this in the palm of my hand, so I can go overseas or sit at my desk and have everything with me (assuming you go paperless). It is pretty exciting, and a far cry from the tablet of paper
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 01:28 PM   #39
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It will hinder you more than help you. It seems like you are trying to justify the purchase of an ipad by using it for something it's not very good at..
Look, there is a subset of users comfortable typing on the ipad and there is a smaller set users comfortable writing on the ipad. But by and large, most people aren't productive with these tools. I say by all means give it a shot, but beware of getting too hung up trying to make it work (like me)

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-no glare
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 01:29 PM   #40
Spungoflex
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Originally Posted by palpatine View Post
I didn't buy a $1,000 iPad to take notes. I bought a $500 iPad to take notes, read PDFs, read books (Kindle), write papers, watch movies, listen to music, surf the Web, email, organize my notes (Evernote), watch lectures (iTunes U), listen to Audiobooks (Audible), and much more. All of this in the palm of my hand, so I can go overseas or sit at my desk and have everything with me (assuming you go paperless). It is pretty exciting, and a far cry from the tablet of paper
Technically, you could probably slice an apple using an ipad. That doesn't mean you *should* use it for that purpose. A knife works much better.

The ipad is great for all those things you listed, but a regular sheet of paper beats the living daylights out of the ipad for note-taking.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 01:46 PM   #41
DodgeV83
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I personally wouldn't use any ios device for handwritten notes. I've tried these apps in the past and never liked the idea of changing how I write or having to use a stylus with a big fat tip. The mini is good for looking over notes but not for taking them unless you are typing them. Since you are in engineering, you will need to take math notes and that will be no fun with a keyboard. For handwritten notes, you are better off going with a windows 8 tablet or a galaxy note 10.1. At least with those, you get palm rejection out of the box and you can even turn off finger input to only allow input from the pen. Another option would be the livescribe wifi. You would have to take notes on their specialized paper but they will sync over wifi and you can view them on your mini timestamped with audio.

I didn't have a mini last semester but I went the livescribe route since one of my professors didn't allow any tablets or computers. I took my notes with the livescribe and was able to view them on my ipad 2 immediately after syncing the pen. If you are keen on getting a 7 inch device, a good alternative may be a used htc flyer since it accepts pen input (you can get them pretty cheap now). There is also a rumor that a 7 inch version of the galaxy note will be coming out. If money is no object, you can get a cheap iPad mini for reading/consumption and get a larger non-ios tablet for note taking. That's just my opinion.
Thanks for this, I wasn't aware LiveScribe updated their pen so dramatically! I bought this pen for my girlfriend a few years ago, and while it performed its function perfectly, it was a bit too big physically for her to enjoy writing with it.

The pen still looks a bit big, and you have to write on their paper (can't write on a printed slideshow from the professor), but I love the new digital features. This is definitely a viable option.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 01:56 PM   #42
palpatine
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Technically, you could probably slice an apple using an ipad. That doesn't mean you *should* use it for that purpose. A knife works much better.

The ipad is great for all those things you listed, but a regular sheet of paper beats the living daylights out of the ipad for note-taking.
We'll have to agree to disagree on the usefulness of the iPad. I am a calligrapher, and I certainly do use paper on occasion, but in a college classroom? No. I much prefer the iPad.

Why? I take my notes, they look great, they include photos of the whiteboard / presentation, and I even annotate PDFs of the power points if the lecturer makes them available. Before I have even left the classroom, this stuff can be sent to my Evernote account packaged away into a notebook for the class. When it comes time to review, I can open the notes on any device and read them anywhere, anytime. In fact (true story) I was just reviewing notes today from a class I took in 2005 on Chinese law, because I remembered a case from the Qing period that I was wanting to use for a research project (specifically, I wrote the notes in 2005-09-08). It took me all of one minute to find it, and I wasn't even at home. Try carrying around 7 years worth of paper notes. It just isn't feasible.

But, let's say that you are definitely not going to ever write on an iPad. There are a lot of cool devices for you. Livescribe is one. The Evernote Moleskine one is another. These make digitizing paper notes much more interesting than just scanning, which is what I did for those 2005 notes.

I've got nothing against paper, but I have to say that taking notes on the iPad is quite nice with the right stylus (I prefer the Pogo Sketch Pro), the right app (I prefer GoodNotes), and the right device (I prefer the large iPad).
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 02:03 PM   #43
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Maybe one day, the ipad will come with an active digitizer. Until then, I think the ultimate note taking tool outside of paper is a windows tablet with onenote.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 02:25 PM   #44
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Maybe one day, the ipad will come with an active digitizer. Until then, I think the ultimate note taking tool outside of paper is a windows tablet with onenote.
I am pretty thrilled with the Pogo stuff, so I guess the active digitizer thing isn't very exciting for me. If you are into high-end, cutting-edge tech, then maybe this stylus will suit your needs http://tenonedesign.com/connect.php

Windows? I don't know if you have tried the Surface, but as much as I wanted to like it, I found it very difficult. OneNote? I wouldn't even know where to begin, except to say that if you are a Mac user you are out of luck with that app.

My recommendation would be one of the many solutions suggested (even paper + scanning afterwards) and Evernote. It is far superior to OneNote (in my opinion) for the simple reason that you can actually use it on the Mac (or any other device, including Android and Windows).
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 03:48 PM   #45
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What about one of those digital pens, where you take notes on paper and then download all those notes to your computer?
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 04:00 PM   #46
thetruth1985
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I am pretty thrilled with the Pogo stuff, so I guess the active digitizer thing isn't very exciting for me. If you are into high-end, cutting-edge tech, then maybe this stylus will suit your needs http://tenonedesign.com/connect.php

Windows? I don't know if you have tried the Surface, but as much as I wanted to like it, I found it very difficult. OneNote? I wouldn't even know where to begin, except to say that if you are a Mac user you are out of luck with that app.

My recommendation would be one of the many solutions suggested (even paper + scanning afterwards) and Evernote. It is far superior to OneNote (in my opinion) for the simple reason that you can actually use it on the Mac (or any other device, including Android and Windows).
I don't consider myself a mac or a pc user. I just like to use whatever is best suited for the task. I own various computers including a mini, macbook pro, a nexus 7, and a samsung slate. I only mentioned onenote because the op mentioned that he is looking to take handwritten notes. I have used a microsoft surface but you can't get the full benefit of onenote since it doesn't have a active digitizer. The upcoming surface pro does have pen input and yes, I will be buying that one. Handwriting input in evernote is very very limited. Although you can't install one note on a mac, you can access the skydrive web app. I am able to take handwritten notes on my samsung slate and I can see the handwriting appear on my mac (via skydrive) almost in real time. Also, if you use onenote, you can print anything (such as ppt, web pages, and word documents) directly to onenote and then you can scribble right over it.

If the op is set on getting a ipad, then I'm sure he can find a way to take college handwriting notes on it. I just wanted to point out that in my own experience, it's painful to take notes on a ipad. Raising your wrist to take notes may work for quick things like grocery lists but try writing like that for a 2 hour lecture and see how you feel. There are many benefits of having a wacom active digitizer such as being able to use the butt of the pen as an eraser and having full palm recognition straight out of the box. The Pogo pen may be good too but I have no experience with that one.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 05:12 PM   #47
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I don't consider myself a mac or a pc user. I just like to use whatever is best suited for the task. ... The Pogo pen may be good too but I have no experience with that one.
Well, I am the same about computers and gadgets. I just want stuff that works. It looks like we are looking for different things in our apps and styli, though. GoodNotes opens the note into Evernote immediately, as I mentioned above, so it isn't a big deal. Other notetaking apps work the same. They play well together.

As for taking notes on the iPad for 2 hour lectures, I spend many more hours than that taking notes on it every day (including classes/talks/workshops), and it isn't any big deal. But, that is just me, I guess.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 02:41 AM   #48
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I'm a researcher and use my iPad 3gen extensively for academic tasks. I wouldn't give up my large screen for a mini/lack of retina, but that's down to personal preference. I use Notability and iAnnotate as my main tools to take hand written/ typed notes and to mark up pdf documents or powerpoint/word files. I've written more about how I use them here and here. Otherwise, a lot of my use patterns are similar to those described by palpatine. In my experience, an iPad has considerably improved my academic work flow, and there is no way in hell I'd go back to pen and paper. Again, that's personal preference - there's no fixed answer to this.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 10:26 AM   #49
Deity 47
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For my purposes--math and science--note taking on either ipod is just an exercise in frustration. Yes you can kind of make it work with a an adonit stylus and wearing a glove, but overall it will still be a struggle. I have long wished for this technology and even considered buying an ms surface.

Then I realized i was overthinking this way too much and went back to paper notes. I use the ipad for e-textbooks, pdfs and scanned notes.

I hope someday there is a 15" ipad/cintique technology with a digitizer. It may happen, it may not--it is a niche market.
Turning off "multitasking gestures" in settings eliminates the frustration.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 11:12 PM   #50
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I am a college student and tried taking notes with my iPad and found it more frustrating than its worth. You just can't beat pencil and paper when it comes to jotting down notes as fast as you can.
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