Best Note Talking App for iPad Pro and Apple Pencil?

kevroc

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 15, 2011
455
117
Hello,

Looking for feedback and pros/cons of different apps you are using for Note Taking. My primary use of the IPP/Pencil is NOT for art, can't draw to save my life, but do take a lot of notes. I just received the Pencil yesterday and spent last night going through different apps looking for a decent one.

So far the best ones seem to be;
OneNote
Notability
and the built-in notes apps.

I'm also getting a matte screen protector to help with the writing experience, it's very much a hard glass surface feel which is much different than taking notes with a traditional wacom type tablet/laptop.
 

David58117

macrumors 65816
Jan 24, 2013
1,205
498
I didn't like Notability when I tried it. GoodNotes is much, much better. It actually connects to "smart styluses" via bluetooth, and was updated to accept the Pencil...meaning, only the pen can write on the screen, so if you accidentally touch it, it doesn't mark up the screen..even if the pen is away from it.

It also syncs to the iPhone version and allows searchable handwritten notes.
 

mgipe

macrumors demi-god
Oct 6, 2009
671
143
CA
+1 on the matte screen protector. I have not received my Pro and pencil yet, but I've been using a Surface Pro 3 for a year. Initially the slipperiness of stylus on glass made writing feel much different than pen on paper. I got a matte screen protector, and that gave the display just the right amount of "tooth" to make writing more like pen on paper. I hope to see how the iPP works out real soon!
 

the future

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2002
1,484
1,170
Notability works great for me. Apple Notes has even less lag, but also fewer features.
 

seasurfer

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2007
648
129
Just wondering which is the best note taking apps with the Apple Pencil?

1. The original Apple Note app. - It seems to lack a lot of functions.

2. Notability - Seems like the most popular choice?

3. Evernote - I call it decent, but the reminder that keep popping up to ask you to upgrade is pretty annoying.

4. Onenote - Seems like a very good choice, but I am not sure if I like the way it organizes the note?

I know there are others....let's share your thought.
 

Aboo

macrumors 6502a
Jul 7, 2008
770
12
With some apps I have noticed the latency when using the Apple pencil. Mainly this has been in OneNote. The default notes app is phenomenal and feels just like writing on a piece of paper. Do any of the other apps replicate this experience?
 

the future

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2002
1,484
1,170
100%? I don't think so. But notability is pretty close (and has more functions). Goodnotes is supposed to be good as well, but I didn't try it as I'm happy with Notability and the Apple Notes app.
 

double329

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2008
452
75
I use one OneNote. It is available pretty much on any platform and all notes sync up. It is also well integrated into Outlook.
 
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seasurfer

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2007
648
129
Which apps do you all think has the fastest respond time? For example you need to take an emergency quick note....which one is like ready to use like right away...in your opinion.
 

xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
7,242
1,516
192.168.1.1
Which apps do you all think has the fastest respond time? For example you need to take an emergency quick note....which one is like ready to use like right away...in your opinion.
Both OneNote and Evernote have notification pane widgets so you can start a new note fairly quickly.
 

neutrino23

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2003
1,700
203
SF Bay area
I've tried a number of apps for this. Having the Pencil on the iPP changes things. I will use Notability, Inflow and Notes depending on the situation. Now that the Pencil is out I suspect there will be more effort put into this area of software.

Notability is very nice and does a lot. Syncing to an OS X version is a huge plus.

Inkflow is very nice. It lets you scale your scribblings, select them, move them around and such. Since it is vector based you can zoom in quite far and still draw with full resolution. They also have a nice option to vectorize a photo of drawings made on paper to bring those into the digital realm.

Apple Notes has some very nice drawing tools such as the ruler. Of course, it also syncs to OS X.

For straight text I use Pages. Pages would rank higher but the iOS version has very limited drawing tools.

It would be nice if there were support in these for layering or for arranging things (front to back), but perhaps that is too much feature creep.

For higher quality sketching I have Graphic from Autodesk.

I used to recommend NoteSuite but they have been acquired and they no longer sell this app. The drawing and text support were good and they had a nice way of supporting folders for organizing notes. Oh well.
 

mpetrides

macrumors member
Feb 10, 2007
99
38
I use Apple Notes and Bamboo Paper--which I started using years ago before Notes started allowing freehand input. The latter works quite well for simple note taking, but could use better palm rejection. OneNote seems excellent, as well, although I share the concern someone else expressed regarding the complexity of the way things are organized in OneNote.


I'm going to have to try Notability, since it's gotten such nice reviews here.
 

mpetrides

macrumors member
Feb 10, 2007
99
38
I like Bamboo Paper in addition to Apple Notes. I probably would simply stick with Notes if it had the option to write on lined pages.
 

JonSarge3108

macrumors regular
Nov 11, 2015
204
58
I tried notability but if I'm doing digital note taking I want the advantage of searching my hand written notes.

That led me to goodnotes - if anything the pencil integration is better than notability (screen update speed) but it's close, writing is also 'better' when I'm going fast and doing sharp turns I think - notability sometimes 'missed' bits like it couldn't figure out where I went.
 
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username:

macrumors 6502a
Dec 16, 2013
705
363
What makes me grumpy when looking at this topic is that the samsung note 5 looks so good at this type of thing with the S pen. But it is samsung :( i wish apple could make note taking on ios a bit quicker and easier. I watched a review of the note 5 and you can actually write on the lock screen and save that as a new note. Apple should do something similar.
 

mkitchen

macrumors member
Jul 7, 2008
93
36
Let me weigh in on this one more time as last night I spent some money and downloaded all the other apps I haven't downloaded yet.

If you just want to hand write notes then as the poster above pointed out, I think it has to be GoodNotes based purely on the fact that you can search your handwritten notes. If that killer feature doesn't mean anything to you (it does to me) then probably go with Notability for the voice recording and the continual vertical page w/ scrolling. To be honest though, if you can't search your notes, then what advantage does it have over paper?

If you are trying to collect information into one place then I would go with Outline+ or OneNote. Although I found OneNote overall amazing, the fact that you cannot drag around images and resize them after they have been placed is mind-numbingly annoying and I keep threatening to go back to Outline+, but their inking is the worst right now.

For a quick sketch, nothing can beat the tools of Apple's Notes app.

Overall I am sticking with GoodNotes for both delivering information to my class and taking notes in meetings. For collecting information for research and planning I am still debating between Outline+ and OneNote, but will probably stick with OneNote for now until Outline+ fixes their inking.

*Edit* I forgot to mention that if you are looking for something specifically to take notes on PDF's and Websites then bust out the keyboard and go with LiquidText. It is an impressively powerful app and they have assured me that handwritten notes with the Pencil is a feature being worked on right now.
 

mkitchen

macrumors member
Jul 7, 2008
93
36
What makes me grumpy when looking at this topic is that the samsung note 5 looks so good at this type of thing with the S pen. But it is samsung :( i wish apple could make note taking on ios a bit quicker and easier. I watched a review of the note 5 and you can actually write on the lock screen and save that as a new note. Apple should do something similar.
Let's remember that the Note 5 is called that becasue Samsung is on their 5th iteration of it. Taking notes on the homescreen is a recent new feature. Give Apple some time. I think their Pencil is amazing considering it is their first one since the Newton.
 

biosci

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Apr 16, 2010
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Chicagoland, IL