Note taking app for university

Discussion in 'Mac Applications and Mac App Store' started by SimonBS, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. macrumors regular

    SimonBS

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    #1
    Hello,

    I know there are threads on these but some of them might be old and also there are so many different note taking apps mentioned that it becomes very hard to decide. Therefore I hoe it is okay that I make a new thread :)

    I have just started studying software engineering at the university and now I am looking for the ultimate way to take notes.

    As I might be using both my Macbook, my iMac and my iPad it would be great if these could all sync and I have found CourseNotes which seems to do this. Therefore I would like to hear if anyone as any experience with CourseNotes; where it excels and where it falls short?

    Also if you know of other applications (preferably ones which syncs) please let me hear. If you know any great applications which does not sync, please say so as they might come in consideration :)

    For me a great note taking app does the following:
    1. Imports photos
    2. Records audio
    3. I can draw illustrations
    4. Organize notes by subject/course
    5. Has support for PDFs and possibly annotations
    6. Supports standard formating (italic, underline, bold, colors, highlighting etc.)
    7. Syncs between multiplace Macs and iPads
     
  2. macrumors 603

    Michaelgtrusa

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    Location:
    Everywhere And Nowhere
    #2
    Evernote is good. Papers app also.
     
  3. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    #3
    Note Taker HD
    Notes Plus
    Notability

    Doc
     
  4. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    #4
    I've mostly been using Evernote. Free + Cross-Platform (even to PC's & Android) + Web Platform.
     
  5. RolandNights, Sep 1, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011

    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    Location:
    California
    #5
    Evernote should do the trick for you, and it's free. You can upload PDFs to Evernote, but you can't annotate them easily. On the other hand, there's iPad apps for that (not sure about that one since I don't have an iPad), but I'm not sure if they have corresponding apps on the Mac App Store that will support the annotations you make on an iPad (and vice versa). Anyway, I really like Evernote's new additions of rich text and full-screen support. You can divide your notes into "Notebooks" for organization, as well as add tags to the notes you take. I've been using it for class for the past few weeks, and I like how it really keeps me organized compared to saving individual Word docs in folders.

    For sketches, you could use Skitch in conjunction with Evernote. Skitch is a sketch/photo annotating app. Once you finish, you can easily drag it into Evernote to place on your notes. It looks great and it's pretty easy to use.

    For exams, I also use Evernote in conjunction with Study Blue to make flash cards. Study Blue syncs with Evernote so the notes show up on the web page, giving you easy viewing to make flash cards. You can also import images to place on the flash cards. Download the Study Blue app on your iPhone/iPod or Android device, and happy studying. It's a clean-looking app and if you upgrade the app (only a buck or two), they give you some filters so you can sharpen the flash card sessions.
     
  6. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    #6
    You might also consider NoteBook from Circus Ponies.
     
  7. macrumors 68020

    munkery

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    Dec 18, 2006
    #7
  8. macrumors 6502a

    (marc)

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    Location:
    the woods
    #8
    You won't like to hear this, but actually writing with pen on paper is very efficient. :)
     
  9. thread starter macrumors regular

    SimonBS

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    #9
    My first impression of Everynote is that it is rather limited but maybe I should try it out as many people seems to like it. Especially because if it's sync.

    I use Papers but miss the function to draw.

    Both Notes Plus and Note Taker HD looks impressing but none of them seems to have any sort of sync or export function :(

    So, that's one more for Everynote. It seems quite popular.

    As mentioned above, Evernote seemed rather limited and you mention that it lacks a sketch function. This is not really a dealbreaker on the Mac but when using an iPad it's quite frustrating. On the other hand Evernote seems to be very good at organizing that notes so maybe I should check it out. Especially tags might come in quite handy.

    I have actually tried Skitch and this would be a great addition for Everynote on the Mac but as mentioned above, it's rather annoying to go into another application and draw the sketch then import it into the primary app on an iPad.

    I like your idea with study cards. I have never heard of Study Blue but I will definitely take a closer look on that.

    I tried the trial of NoteBook. I'm not really comfortable with the way to use it. I find it a bit confusing.

    I have never heard of Growly Notes but it looks interesting. I will try it out. It seems to handle multimedia, sketches and notebooks. Sadly, no sync.

    That's true! My paper notes often just ends up as a mess. Plus, it would be awesome to record a lecture and put it into a note ;)
     
  10. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Chandigarh
    #10
    App Development For iPhone

    If you have any idea in mind about the type of application you want ..you may let us know here ... We are into same industry from last 5 years.

    Rest most of user suggest you .. I really like to appreciate all...

    Thanxs
    Lucy
     
  11. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #11
    I have found an amazing application for taking notes a few days ago.
    Here is the link Curio
     
  12. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    #12
    How did things work out for you?

    "I have just started studying software engineering at the university and now I am looking for the ultimate way to take notes.

    As I might be using both my Macbook, my iMac and my iPad it would be great if these could all sync and I have found CourseNotes which seems to do this. Therefore I would like to hear if anyone as any experience with CourseNotes; where it excels and where it falls short?"

    I am in an engineering program too and was wondering what you worked out?
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #13
    I'm a researcher and for academic purposes I use Notability for hand written notes, iAnnotate to mark up pdfs, power point and word files (while you can do this in Notability, I prefer dedicated annotation apps as they have more features), and Circus Ponies Notebooks (primarily the mac version) to type up my literature notes - I've written about CPN here and here.

    Notability and iAnnotate can sync to dropbox. I've used MacDropAny to set up a seamless sync between my mac and iPad for my Circus Ponies notebooks. I don't really like their iPad version that much in terms of writing up notes, but I like to be able to always carry my notes with me (my iPad always comes with me, my Air stays more in the office).

    Like a previous poster, I really like Curio, but there's no iPad version.

    I also love Evernote and use it a lot for project management, but a bit less for for academic note taking. I think it's a great app, though.
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #14
    You might want to take a look at a Livescribe Pen, that enables you to write on a special pad of paper, but also makes a digital recording of what you write and the audio as well. You can then upload your notes from your Pen onto Your Mac and search your notes from the desktop app. If you have neat handwriting there is an OCR addon you can buy to covert your handwritten notes into editable text that works reasonably well.

    I would look at the Echo Smartpen, which is cheaper and avoid the new Sky Smartpen as I don't think they have got the Evernote / WiFi integration right yet. I have had one since 2009 and is a great way of capturing lecture / meeting notes, and being a Pen, very easy to capture sketches as well.
     
  15. macrumors 603

    Michaelgtrusa

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  16. macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    #16
    I use NoteBook by Circus Ponies for writing scripts and keeping an organised collection of random ideas, lines and partial scripts. You can sync it between your Mac and your iPad as well.
     
  17. SimonBS, Jan 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013

    thread starter macrumors regular

    SimonBS

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    #17
    Actually, I ended up buying a SmartPen at the semester start of last semester. That's about 4-5 months ago and I am very glad I did so. I ended up realizing that nothing beats handwritten notes but I still wanted a backup of my notes so that I don't loose them and the SmartPen is really great for this.
    It is easy to sync notes to the computer and to Evernote. Notes are automatically organized into notebooks and when synced you can hear what was being said during the lecture when writing a specific part of the note. This works directly on the pen as well.

    I know this thread is really about finding the best iPad app for taking notes but ultimately I had to realize that the best notes are taken in hand and I would recommend the SmartPen to everyone who finds this post :)
    Also, when syncing the notes to Evernote, you can have the notes on your iPad anyway.
     
  18. macrumors 68000

    James Craner

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    Location:
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    #18
    Which smartpen did you go for - The livescribe Echo ?
     
  19. thread starter macrumors regular

    SimonBS

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    #19
    Yea, I got the Echo. That was the newest back then.
    I think the Sky seems pretty cool but I don't really mind hooking the pen up to my computer. I have the computer and the cable with me anyways and I don't really sync often. Mostly I sync when I have to charge the pen or when I need to share some notes.
     
  20. macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #20
    I think you made the best choice anyway, the wireless integration sounds good, but the Evernote interface limits the functionality that you get with the Livescribe desktop. Also I think there are a number of bugs with the Sky / Evernote integration that have not been worked out yet. I have had a Livescribe Pen since early 2009 and used it every day, must be my favourite non Apple gadget. I have the original Pulse pen.
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Location:
    SF Bay area
    #21
    It is tough to beat paper and pen for rapidly taking notes and making quick sketches.

    I've been using ProjectNotebook a lot lately. I like the ability to organize things. It also allows handwritten notes, sketches and typing notes. You can export the results as a PDF to Dropbox. You can take a photo or import one. It does not allow audio recording which might be helpful. Other apps like Notability do this.

    I noticed that with iOS 6 writing with a stylus got much better. I guess the digitizer rate sped up so that you could write more quickly and still capture loops and such in letters. Most of my note taking is when I'm alone in the lab documenting an experiment or outlining ideas so I'm not as pressured as you are in a lecture.
     
  22. macrumors regular

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    Aug 27, 2008
    Location:
    SoCal
    #22
    For the longest time I wished Microsoft would release OneNote as part of the Office Mac series but alas I don't think ever happened. I still cling onto my OneNote notebooks via their web app.

    If I started over, I guess I would go with Evernote.
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #23
    The developers of Outline are working on a mac app that integrates with MO OneNote. They already have an iPad app.
     
  24. macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    Location:
    SoCal
    #24
    Oh great, I'll check it out. Looks promising.
     

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