App for strictly taking notes?

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by SS4Luck, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. SS4Luck macrumors regular

    SS4Luck

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Location:
    Michigan
    #1
    i bought my iPP strictly for taking notes in college. I'm tired of carrying around a bunch of notebook and stuff.

    All the threads I've seen are months old and never updated

    I'd like an app that will allow me to organize all notes by class, but that is all that I need. I'll be taking all my notes with an apple pencil


    Best suggestions?
     
  2. chscag macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    #2
    Microsoft OneNote or EverNote. Most folks I know seem to like OneNote best (and it's free from MS in the Mac App Store).
     
  3. joy_ng macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
  4. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #4
    Yeah Evernote is a nice cloud notes app, keeps everything in sync between devices.
     
  5. friedmud, Jan 16, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016

    friedmud macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #5
    Notability and Goodnotes are two of the best. They also have desktop versions of the apps that automatically sync with your iPad over iCloud (handy!).

    I personally own and have used the following and would rank them in this order:

    • Notability
      • Perfect Pencil support: absolutely no lag, pressure sensitive... awesome
      • Good iCloud syncing
      • Automatic PDF Export to Dropbox
      • Continuous scrolling
      • Good PDF annotating
      • Excellent ability to annotate images
      • Good iPhone App
      • Good OS X App
      • Instant Sync between iOS using iCloud
      • Unique: Lecture audio recording synced to your notes!
    • Goodnotes
      • Great Pencil support (even has a mode where it will ONLY take input from from the pencil - completely ignoring fingers)
      • Good iCloud support
      • Mediocre Dropbox support
      • Bad: no continuous scrolling!
      • Good PDF annotation
      • Unique: search handwritten notes!
    • OneNote
      • Good Pencil Support
        • Pressure sensitive
        • Azimuthal angle sensitive!! I haven't seen this in any other notes app. It's not just "tilt" it is also using the "direction" of the tilt
        • Unfortunately: LAG
        • Good: Can turn off "finger marking" so that it will only accept input from the Pencil
      • Bad: interface takes up WAY too much screen real estate (especially the bar on the left)
      • Poor support for inserting images with handwritten notes
      • Poor "Pages" organization. Are you really supposed to create a page for each page? Or just one per session (like for each day of notes)?
      • No Dropbox
      • No iCloud
    • UPAD3
      • Update: 2/8/2016: with the latest update it gained really good compatibility. I have thus moved it way up the list!
      • Good Pencil support: minimal lag, excellent accuracy, good pressure curve, excellent resolution independent marking
      • Weird eraser (built for a finger or fat stylus)
      • No continuous scrolling
      • No Dropbox support
      • Lots of Pen options
      • No desktop app

    • PDF Expert
      • If your "notes" consist of marking up PDFs (like slides published by your professors before class) this is the one to use.
      • Great Dropbox support (can edit documents directly on Dropbox and they are synced back immediately)
      • Looks great on the iPP
      • Continuous scrolling (it's under the "aA" button in the top center)
      • Decent Apple Pencil support
        • Minimal lag
        • No pressure or tilt sensitivity
        • Good accuracy
    • Noteshelf
      • Decent Pencil support.
        • It's weird because it is pressure sensitive but it also still has the stupid velocity based line thickness enabled (NoteShelf used this with old styluses to make handwriting look more natural)
        • More lag than Notability and Goodnotes
        • Medium accuracy
      • Odd organization system (do they really think you want a whole notebook with all of the notes for a class in just one huge document?)
      • No zooming!
      • No continuous scrolling
      • It seems like the interface hasn't been updated for iPP (still a bit "biggish")
      • No Dropbox
    • Penultimate (Evernote)
      • Ok Pencil Support: WAY more lag than Notability and Goodnotes
      • No iCloud
      • Dropbox support
      • No PDF annotating
    • Zoomnotes
      • Poor Pencil support: Huge lag, not accurate, poor pressure curve
      • Really bad pixelation on strokes with the pencil
      • Only backup to Dropbox
    • Paper by 53
      • Not really made for doing hand written notes
      • Ok Pencil support (lots of lag, but does support tilt detection for shading)
      • No iCloud
      • No Dropbox
      • Unique: lots of drawing tools
    • Notes Plus
      • Not updated for iPP
      • No Pencil Support
    • iAnnotatePDF
      • Not updated for iPP
      • No Pencil Support
      • Great Dropbox support
    • Outline
      • Just terrible Apple Pencil support
      • Jerky, laggy, imprecise. Awful.
      • Do not buy under any circumstances (wish I could get my money back!)
    Not really a notes app, but still cool: Liquid Text. Great for reading research papers and organizing clips from them.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 16, 2016 ---
    Here's an example from Notability (please excuse the bad handwriting... it looks like that on real paper too! ;-)

    image.png
     
  6. SS4Luck thread starter macrumors regular

    SS4Luck

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Location:
    Michigan
    #6

    This post right here is enough for me. I'm an engineering student and this is what the majority of my notes look like. The $6 is easily worth it to me
     
  7. emembee macrumors regular

    emembee

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Location:
    Surrey,UK
    #7
    Are there any apps or options for,tagging notes but not Evernote which I am not keen on? I Also like Notability and with Mac version can see everything at a glance but would like finer sorting to look at specific notes only, not just by using folders.

    Many thanks.
     
  8. spitf1r3 macrumors regular

    spitf1r3

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    Location:
    Neverland
    #8
    Drafts 4! Simple of you want it to be, lets you do a lot when you need to.
     
  9. yillbs macrumors 6502

    yillbs

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    Goodnotes, and noteability are indeed the best. OneNote does have ability to lock notebooks with fingerprint / password, something others do not. It's not nearly as pencil friendly though. I use good notes exclusively, I have over 50 notebooks in mine, and it works like a charm. It can NOT global search handwritten notes though, so add that to the other guys post about cons.
     
  10. GerritV macrumors 65816

    GerritV

    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    #10
    Another vote for GoodNotes.
    Aside from handwritten notes, I recently started to use it as an alternative for iBooks as well.
     
  11. SS4Luck thread starter macrumors regular

    SS4Luck

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Location:
    Michigan
    #11
    Cool. Thanks everyone.


    I download notability and good notes. I'll give em both test drives this week and see where they lead me
     
  12. emembee macrumors regular

    emembee

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Location:
    Surrey,UK
    #12
    One bonus point IMO for Notability is importing of text or rtf, very useful if you are text oriented (in addition to PDF or images).

    Only issue with all of these is no tagging (excluding evernote), would be very useful, must send them a feature request ;-)
     
  13. yillbs macrumors 6502

    yillbs

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Location:
    Texas
    #13
    Does noteability offer protecting of notes with fingerprint and / or password yet? Have they announced that they might / will in future versions ?
     
  14. GerritV macrumors 65816

    GerritV

    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    #14
    I just installed Notability again to find out. You can set a password on a subject, not on an individual note.
    Once you unlock a subject, it seems to remind accessible until you quit and relaunch the app.

    As a sidenote: I stopped using Notability a long time ago because I found the writing experience rather poor. Today, I was positively surprised by the progress they made, the palm rejection and other things. I always liked the clean home screen and the management of notes and subjects.
    And last but certainly not least, after the 30 minutes I spent with Notability this morning, my GoodNotes was still trying to upload a small modification I did earlier to iCloud - while Notability was constantly and succesfully updating everything I did via iCloud to all of my devices, almost while I was writing. Now that gives me something to think about...
     
  15. Jochen K macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2014
    #15
    Hi,

    while I agree with most of what has been said in this posts, there is a new competitor: UPAD3 has been updated for iPad Pro and Apple Pencil just a few days ago; I have, until then, used GoodNotes (and Notability before that), but for my taste UPAD3 — despite being asthetically not as pleasing as Notability — is (as of now) the best notetaking app among those which I have tried (and I have tried many!)

    Jochen
     
  16. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Location:
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    #16
    My favorite remains ZoomNotes, which has been updated for IPP support. You have great control, and the ability to tag a section so that you can easily find and return directly to it is great. You can also keep zooming in, rather than the traditional outline form.
     
  17. SS4Luck thread starter macrumors regular

    SS4Luck

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Location:
    Michigan
    #17
    Curious as to the reasons you prefer the new app??
     
  18. friedmud macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #18
    Zoomnotes is bad. I've updated my post up above to include it.

    None of the other features matter if the writing is bad... and it IS bad.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 20, 2016 ---
    Just bought UPAD3 and it's not great. Biggest issue is drawing lag and lack of accuracy. It's not as bad as Zoomnotes... but definitely worse than Notability and Goodnotes.

    I added it to my post above...
     
  19. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Location:
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    #19
    I find the writing on ZoomNotes to be the best of the bunch. I gave up Notability for it and have never looked back.
     
  20. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #20
    Great list above.

    To add a couple others:

    While the Pencil-related features are limited (but supported), Evernote is also widely used app that supports iPhone, iPad, Mac, web and PC and can cross-sync between all devices. Supports location-based tracking and editable tags plus manageable notebooks and group/project multi-user messaging. Plus there's lots of other apps that integrate. Evernote's other iOS app, Penultimate, is crap. But Evernote itself is ok for Pencil and great for typed notes.

    Also a reminder about Microsoft OneNote which also is a very flexible cross-platform solution and has features like searchable handwriting recognition (and handwriting-to-text conversion on the Windows desktop app).
     
  21. friedmud macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #21
    Just bought and tried Outline. It's terrible. I updated my post above...
     
  22. GerritV macrumors 65816

    GerritV

    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    #22
    My problem with both One Note and Outline is, that at least 1/4 of screen estate is taken by the interface. There's the typical MS ribbon (uch), tabs, sidebars, titles...
    If you'd compare that with apps like Notebooks, Daily Notes... they make much better use of the screen - leaving you with the maximum amount of workspace.
     
  23. friedmud macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #23
    I agree. This is one reason why I prefer Notability and Goodnotes... both leave you with essentially a blank canvas. With the iPP that comes close to giving you screen real estate close to the size of a real sheet of paper.

    I just started reviewing OneNote today. So far, it's going to fall somewhere in the middle of my recommendations and the size of the interface definitely plays into that (the other major issue is lag with the Pencil).

    Oh: one more plus for Notability that I hadn't tried before: it has a very serviceable iPhone App. I wouldn't take notes using it... but just to pull up something real quick it is pretty good.
     
  24. friedmud, Jan 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016

    friedmud macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #24
    Just added Noteshelf to the list. It was "decent"... but I wouldn't recommend it.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 22, 2016 ---
    ok - added OneNote. I actually liked it more than I expected. Notability and Goodnotes are still better (especially when it comes to handling mixed media and they have less Pencil lag).

    The biggest problem for me is the way it deals with "pages". I don't want to have to create a whole new page every time I reach the end of the current page. If you're supposed to just keep writing on HUGE page then that sucks as well because it's not clear where the page ends which means it's going to be a mess to print out.

    Notability gives you a continuous long page... but with page markers. It also prints out PERFECTLY... my printed handwritten notes from notability look exactly like my handwritten notes on paper with a good pen. It's really pretty amazing.

    Overall: I would say that OneNote isn't bad. If you don't mind working in Microsoft's system (or maybe you already are for other reasons) then I would say go for it.
     
  25. friedmud macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #25
    Evernote is cool... but it's not for class notes. You only get one "page" (drawing) at a time... And each one you add to a Note is added as a separate image. Even worse: if you edit one... then it's placed at the bottom of the note! That would jumble your class notes.

    It does have decent Pencil support (probably better than Penultimate, which is funny) - but there is a reason they made Penultimate... Evernote is just not up to the task of class notes.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 22, 2016 ---
    When did you try Notability? Its Pencil support is well beyond everyone else (barring Goodnotes which is on par). In particular: Zoom notes pixelates it's strokes... whereas Notability and Goodnotes have resolution independent, smooth strokes.

    In addition, the way Zoomnotes deals with adding pages is clunky... and no continuous scrolling is a major bummer.
     

Share This Page