Classroom notetaking

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by benmrii, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. benmrii macrumors 65816

    benmrii

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    NC
    #1
    Thought I'd start a conversation (albeit selfishly, as I'm shopping for one) about the newer and/or better iPad App options out there for those of us carrying our bluetooth keyboards into the classroom this Fall.

    I'm curious what folks use for such things. I've been disappointed with the few that I've tried, primarily for their lack of ability to synchronize/transfer using Dropbox (or something similar), and an inability to organize the notes using bullet points (or something similar).

    The features in Apps like Notability to add/draw images and such are nice, but mainly I am looking for something solid that will take lots of typed text, can be organized by bullet points on the fly in a format that will transfer to my computer, and syncs reliably. I appreciate any input you will have from your experiences.
     
  2. palpatine, Aug 21, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011

    palpatine macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #2
    pen and paper
    this is how i prefer to take notes in class. bullet points are easy. so are drawings, multiple languages, etc. it handles them like a champ. it syncs via scansnap--a few seconds of scanning each night and my notes are available in pdf form in evernote.

    simplenote
    syncs through dropbox (i think). works great with scrivener on osx. i am thinking of purchasing scrivener and using this. as far as i know, no apps support rich text (EDIT: with the exception of Pages, of course), but you can probably have some bullets in a file, copy them before class, and just use command+v to paste during a lecture whenever you want a bullet. a dash and a space works wonders as well :)

    plaintext
    syncs similar to simplenote.

    evernote
    syncs to evernote servers. i like it well enough for ios, but i have an unresolved issue with evernote aboutthe app failing to save note changes in osx. at the moment, despite being a premium member, i am not using it as much. i need something more stable.
     
  3. jaseone macrumors 65816

    jaseone

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    Houston, USA
    #3
    A lot of people rave about Elements and it does all that you want, only thing is for some reason the developer in all their stupidity forces you to save in an Elements folder in the root of your dropbox, which is why I haven't bought it.

    The reviews of Elements led me to Notesy, which also meets your needs without the inflexibility for Dropbox, I may even add that to my tool kit as Nebulous, which I have is just plain text.
     
  4. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #4
    notesy looks interesting and has good reviews, but does it sync with other osx programs, or have an osx version? it seems like just a notetaking app that syncs to dropbox. in that case, it is no different than plaintext or simplenote, except that it costs five dollars and they are free, right?
     
  5. jaseone macrumors 65816

    jaseone

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    #5
    It saves as plain text, assumedly with the markdown in order for any app to be able to read/edit it.
     
  6. saberahul macrumors 68040

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    USA
    #6
    iA Writer is good if you're just typing. Frankly speaking, I think your best bet is to get the iWork Suite and make use of iCloud syncing once iOS 5 is release (soon). If you do a lot of typing, Pages works very well. If you want to do typing + drawing + voice recording + dropbox sync, I couldn't find a better app than Notes Plus.
     
  7. benmrii thread starter macrumors 65816

    benmrii

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    #7
    Thanks for the input.

    saberahul, I was wondering about Pages. I've not liked the OSX iterations and wasn't excited about paying for the iPad version, but more and more it sounds like that might be the better route if I want to do more than plain text which then requires me to reorganize everything after the fact. I keep running into the problem of such poor opportunities to sync/save off the iPad that it has, but hopefully that will be resolved sometime soon.

    Personally I don't care about voice recording (I use a separate/better device) or drawing, and it seems like I'm sacrificing quality and ability of typing programs to get those features when all I want is something closer to Word on an iPad.
     
  8. Ruffian829 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 17, 2008
    #8
    Have you looked at Circus Ponies Notebook app? I haven't used the iPad version as Im just purchasing the iPad next week but Ive used the OSX version for years and love it. It does all you are looking for I believe. Although it is pricey. I *think* they just added dropbox support as well?
     
  9. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #9
    Pages on iPad is pretty. You get fonts, bold, bullet points, lists, and the like. You can email your document (to Evernote, for example).
     
  10. NewGenAdam macrumors 6502

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    Jun 29, 2008
    #10
    I'm also looking to get an iPad for university: notes, this and that here and there... Pages looks like a powerful app for such a small device. My concern is its lack of sync. But I believe that will be addressed in iOS 5 with iCloud. I'm looking forward to its release!
     
  11. benmrii thread starter macrumors 65816

    benmrii

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    #11
    Thanks for pointing me in that direction, though a lot of reviews are pretty bad and most often it's about the lack of ability to get files out of the app. Apparently it doesn't work with Dropbox, or anything similar, and the only way I can see to get files from it to your desktop is to spend another $50 and buy the desktop version. I will be curious for your review of it having used the desktop version for so long.

    Looks like I'll be buying Pages for now. I'm not holding my breath that Apple will include better syncing functionality in the future, but for now I'll take the minor annoyance of having to email myself my notes over the lack of functionality that most others that I looked at have.
     
  12. benmrii thread starter macrumors 65816

    benmrii

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    #12
    Hey all - just thought I'd drop in and share my review of Pages. The short version is that I bought it, tried it out, and my response was to buy a new bag to carry my laptop back and forth. :) It's not very good as a word processor...

    Thanks again for your help. Below is my app store review:

     
  13. jaseone macrumors 65816

    jaseone

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    #13
    Is it really that hard to tap the I button and then use the left and right buttons to indent? Remember the iPad is designed as a touch device so it expects your fingers to be on the screen ready to tap to functions instead of using an external keyboard.

    It takes some adaption of your workflow to get used to it, once you do it works wonders but as with everything Apple you can't just expect it to work how you are used to as that isn't what they are about. I'll admit when I was just messing around with Pages then to see what you were talking about I had a little difficulty working it out but once I did I actually like the way Apple have handled indents as the way it is handled in offer apps like MS Word for example often results in horrible formatting.
     
  14. Deamos macrumors member

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    Mar 25, 2009
    #14
    My current setup for iPad notetaking for class is using 2 applications.
    1: UPAD: This software is awesome for quick notetaking with a Stylus. In addition, it works in conjunction with App #2
    2: Dropbox: A cloud service I can trust. I store all my notes here and am able to organize them however I want.
     
  15. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #15
    I don't understand why you paid ten dollars for pages to do the stuff you mentioned, when you could download Evernote for free and accomplish the same results, but also have one of the best programs out there in terms of syncing. I strongly recommend at least giving it a try, particularly after their August update that provided even more functionality.
     
  16. saylae macrumors newbie

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    Jul 30, 2010
    #16
    I've been using Notes+ since the beginning of the semester. It has completely replaced my notebook. There was a slight learning curve with writing with a stylus, but once I got over that hump, it couldn't have been easier.

    All of my notes are extremely legible, and basically mirror images of what my traditional notes would've looked like (thanks to the zoom tool), BUT way more organized.

    The ability to rearrange anything within a page is amazing as well.

    I only write with stylus and rarely ever type. I find that having a background of drawing helps tremendously with the ability to use a stylus effectively.

    I've also tried Upad and notetaker HD. If Upad had the ability to rearrange items like in that of Notes+, I would gladly switch, but hands down Notes+ is perfect for my case (supports Dropbox too)

    Notes Plus + Goodreader + Dropbox = my setup :)

    Hope this helps!
     
  17. Ruffian829 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 17, 2008
    #17
    So far I am loving notability to take notes in my classes with. The only faults I've come across is it takes too many taps to get bold/italics/underline but in the next update they are going right in the bottom toolbar. And it lacks spell check. Since these are just personal notes it's ok I guess but I'm an awful speller and I would reallyyyy like to have spell check (hopefully in the next update as well)
     
  18. swedefish macrumors 6502

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    Feb 12, 2008
    #18
    Ugh, the seemingly neverending search for the perfect note-taking app.

    I love Evernote, but I use it mainly to organize ideas that I want accessible across platforms.

    Note Taker HD has a really good concept but fails at execution. I'd really love to be able to take notes with a stylus, but the horrible line smoothing and the uncomfortable interface with the text entry box, makes it difficult to use as a laptop replacement for class notes. The capacitive screen really is both a blessing and a curse. Definitely the latter when it comes to working with a stylus.

    Quickoffice is neat for the few times I NEED to edit Word docments on the iPad

    Someone needs to perfect an app using a Palm GRAFITTI-style method for stylus input.
     
  19. redout macrumors member

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    Mar 14, 2011
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    Dublin
    #19
    Another thumbs up for Notes Plus - marvellous app.

    The upcoming version 3 update will take it further beyond its competitors.

    Notes Plus (with built-in dropbox auto-sync) and Goodreader is my setup.
     
  20. swedefish macrumors 6502

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    Feb 12, 2008
    #20
    I haven't heard of Note Plus before, but it seems like I should look into it because it does look like what I want from Note Taker HD, but haven't found.
     
  21. dtjay7 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    N. CA
    #21
    I spent my first day of only using the iPad with Notes Plus for notes. It makes me wonder why I waited. It works so much better than I expected with the zoom and dropbox sync. I am very happy with it. I have bought many iPad apps for notes and none of them have worked this completely.
     
  22. snowydog macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    #22
    Definitely note plus .... It's great and as someone else said, version 3 is going to really make it stand out from competitors.... With handwriting to text capabilities, in app calendar and browser to take snippets from web pages etc, it's going to be really great

    I was wondering what people use to view ppt and word documents? Also for editing PowerPoint and word as I'm pretty sure I'll have to make PowerPoint presentations this year and view and edit word documents.

    I'm going to install good reader before final year induction starts on Thursday
     
  23. swedefish macrumors 6502

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    Feb 12, 2008
    #23
    Quickoffice can edit Word docs and should be able to do Powerpoints as well, but I can't vouch for how that affects the formatting of the slides as I have never actually used it for .ppt.
     
  24. snowydog macrumors 6502

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    Aug 25, 2011
    #24
    Ah thank you - will look into this :)
     

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