iPad for grad school

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Sc24evr, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. Sc24evr macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    I am going to be starting law school in the fall and i have been trying to come up with a good method to incorporate idisk with my ipad so that i can take notes on my ipad and be able to organize it in a simple and easy way. I was hoping to use pages but pages doesn't let you upload files. I have also tried quickoffice but suprisingly that app has no spellcheck. Has anyone found a solution to this or is getting a laptop the only resort? Thanks
  2. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    Get a notebook.
  3. IrishVixen macrumors 68020


    Jun 20, 2010
    Depends on how you want to take your notes (handwritten or typed) and how you prefer to organize them.

    I'm using Notebooks for iPad at this point for a lot of research and a lot of writing tasks. It fits my personal criteria--I can organize using infinitely nested "notebooks" (or think of them as folders), it can import many file types, it has full external keyboard support (so I can use the wireless keyboard for long typing/editing sessions), and it syncs with iDisk (or through any other WebDAV based solution). What it doesn't have is RTF editing--no bold, italics, or other formatting is possible within the program, though docs imported with these features retain it.

    It's on the higher end for an iPad app, at $8.99, and its feature-set may not work for everyone, but it's been worth every penny to me.

    For meetings, conferences, and classes, I also picked up SoundPaper, which allows for simple note taking along with audio recording. It should be helpful for times when you don't want to miss anything, but can't quite type fast enough on the virtual keyboard.

    I did ask my husband, who has a masters' degree and is currently a heavy iPad user for notes at work. He votes for a laptop or netbook; doesn't want to carry the hardware keyboard and can't type fast enough in his opinion to use the virtual one in a classroom situation.

    Edit: just tested something else. The GoodReader PDF app can upload files to iDisk. I think if you email Pages docs to yourself, then choose to "Open in GoodReader" from mail, you can then move those files into iDisk. It's a clunky workaround, but it should work if you otherwise like Pages' functionality. I don't have Pages to test with though.
  4. obamtl macrumors regular

    May 24, 2010
    Pages lets you upload to iwork.com or email the PDF to yourself.
  5. MikeTemple macrumors member


    Jun 4, 2010
    In the cloud
    Soundpaper looks really neat. One question, though. Presumably you have to ask people if they are OK with you recording them? What's their reaction?
  6. TraceyS/FL macrumors 601

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    I use Notebooks on my touch and haven't taken the plunge on the iPad yet. My main use was document organization (med records mainly) but my daughter used it for all her notetaking needs. She is using pages now and so I haven't tackled it yet.

    The developer is responsive so be sure to request any features you want! I can highly recommend the app though based on past experience with the dev.
  7. Hawkeye411 macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2007
    Canada EH!!!
    An iPad would not be good for grad school. Get a notebook so that you can install software necessary for some of your courses (e.g. Stats).
  8. Sc24evr thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    In law school most of my notetaking I believe will be In some form of word processor so that later I can compile everything into an outline. I am going to look into that app though thanks. I honestly just want to be able to take notes and keep them organized and up to date on all devices. Emailing them back and forth will make it to hard to keep track of on my multie devices. APPLE UPDATE PAGES!!
  9. shadowbird423 macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2009
    Chapel Hill

    Just use the iWork.com funtionality built into Pages. Works fine and is WAY more convenient than emailing files.
  10. mdatwood macrumors 6502a

    Mar 14, 2010
    Denver, CO
    In grad school I always found that taking notes on paper and then transferring them to a digital outline to be a key part of my studying. I couldn't imagine trying to build an outline while also paying attention in class and making sure not to miss anything. My notebooks were so free form that unless a tablet incorporates a stylus it would never work for me. Just something to think about.
  11. Diet Pepsi macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2010
    It is early, here and I thought this said "for grade school." Yikes
  12. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    I love my iPad - it's with me every day and I use it at work - practicing law. However, I could not imagine using it for 3 years of law school. Maybe as a second device, but not as my primary tool for class notetaking and/or organization. Get a notebook.
  13. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    Sorry to be blunt. You can lie to yourself as much as you want, iPad cannot and will not replace a laptop. It is not sufficient as a sole device for school, grad or undergrad, period. *** I am not saying iPad is NOT useful, just not good enough to REPLACE a laptop.

    I understand that iPad is irresistible to many people. So just get on with it, buy an iPad, and enjoy it as much as you want. But do yourself a favor and save enough money to buy a Macbook after.
  14. TraceyS/FL macrumors 601

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    I'd like to take a moment to point out - the OP appears to already OWN the iPad (because he has tried pages & quickoffice), and hasn't indicated what he owns to sync said device with.

    Back to the topic at hand that I can't comment on because way back in the dark ages when i was in college and had the only computer in the apartment complex, i couldn't get it to school on my bike despite owning a cool piece of Mac Luggage for it (Mac SE with extended keyboard). Hence i used paper. Typing on anything would have been a boon to me because i can type and listen but writing and listening i loose track of where i am in the listening thing. Which has a name because my daughter has the same thing - Central Auditory Processing Disorder, she can take notes on her Touch (in the Notebooks App) but not on paper.

  15. Sc24evr thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    I currently have my ipad, a PC and my iphone 4. I am worried that if i have different versions of files in different places I am going to lose track of versions. Does the notebooks app let you upload files to idisk too or just download? my goal is to have my notes in a format that I can edit on either pages or word from my pc so that I can compile them and save them off the ipad. There are some apps like sundry notes which is annoying to me because you can only save it as a pdf which is no use to me if I am not on the ipad directly.

    long story short I am trying to decide if I should just go buy a macbook for lawschool or try to find work arounds with my ipad. Because like other people said maybe even with all the workarounds it might still not be robust enough to get work done in law school. Thanks for the help.
  16. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    Even simple multitasking like downloading cases from Westlaw or Lexis while you're in a word processing app are beyond the ken of the iPad. As I said above, as much as I love my iPad, I wouldn't dream of using it as my primary device in law school (and I'd give the same advice to my son who just took his LSAT).
  17. TraceyS/FL macrumors 601

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    I honestly haven't played much with Notebooks and iDisk because i'm never around wifi outside of my house, so it wasn't much use to me for my Touch. My info is pretty static so i wasn't going back and forth with it very often.

    I will have to play with it now that i have my iPad. It is very frustrating that Pages doesn't use it at this time.

    I totally see where you want to go with it all, and that sounds good to me. Drives me bonkers to have multiple versions floating around (like i have now).

    I can't play with it until later this afternoon, but I will try it out on the iPhone/Touch version with iDisk. It's been on my list to get to for a few weeks anyway!

    Have you been to the dev's website?

  18. wesrk macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2007
    My best friend recorded almost an entire semester worth of notes, he didn't ask for permission and his argument was that since he wasn't making money or passing the recordings to anybody else, it was ok. Whether or not this is true is another issue, but that was his reasoning.
  19. kenmarable macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2007
    Not to stick with the tangent too much, but granted I'm in a PhD program and not law school, but an iPad is working perfect for me as my portable device. In fact, the 3G makes it even better than any laptop I've had.

    Of course it isn't my only device since I have a desktop at home for main word processing and other tasks, but as my sole portable device, the iPad works great (although like the OP, I'm still sorting out the best way to incorporate Pages or other app, especially since I'm a frequent Dropbox user - if Pages had Dropbox support or iOs 4 for iPad created a shared file repository that both could access, I'd be all set).

    But I have ZERO need for a laptop or netbook or anything like that. Individual needs vary, and maybe it doesn't fit your and others' workflow, but it works for us.
  20. jazz1 macrumors 65816


    Aug 19, 2002
    Mid-West USA
    Exam Taking Might Be A Problem

    Many law schools use software for secure testing environments, like ExamSoft's SofTest. It currently runs on laptops, and will soon run natively on Mac (you won't need BootCamp and a Windows install on your Mac laptop anymore).

    I'm guessing the iPad won't be be running any secure testing software anytime soon.

    Or you could Bluebook it.
  21. IrishVixen macrumors 68020


    Jun 20, 2010
    Every file type I've uploaded from Notebooks to iDisk has been viewable on iDisk. My husband is sending me a file from Pages right now in mail; I'll see how I can move it into Notebooks from mail, then to iDisk.

    Edit: Easy as pie. Clicked on the file in mail--it offered "open in ..." and Notebooks was one of the options. Imported with formatting correct. Resynced to iDisk, the file appeared up there and was perfectly viewable. Took under one minute...one page doc.

    I can also do the same thing in GoodReader. So as I said, it's a kludgy setup for something that Apple should have added themselves, but really, I probably would send it anyway just so I can file it in Notebooks.

    Since the formatting stayed correct from Pages, I may pick that app up myself!
  22. SouthBeachMac macrumors member

    Mar 27, 2010

    Seems many here seem to be confused about your purpose. As an owner of an iPad, and a recent law school grad, I only had the chance to use the iPad for the last month of law school with Apple's Pages application. I used it in a Bankruptcy Course, which was quite intensive and nearly 2 hours of constant note taking. However, as YMMV, I am quite fast at typing on the iPad keyboard, and thus really didn't have a problem using the iPad. My biggest gripe was the lack of multitasking - which will be solved this fall hopefully. Other than that, I took notes out of class on the iPad, took them in class for lectures, and found it very easy to email from Pages. Obviously, if you are planning on taking exams on a computer as opposed to handwriting them(I highly suggest the computer approach, by the way, due to the ability to erase and organize thoughts), then you'll need some kind of computer to install the exam software on - I simoly don't see it being able to install on an ipad in the future. But I know my school had loaner laptops available to students, so that could be an option. Hope that helps! Best of luck with law school - the three years might not seem too bad, but wait till you have to study for the Bar. (Sent from my iPad)
  23. Chrisrokc macrumors regular

    May 19, 2008
    From someone that has been there and done that with law school, the iPad will not work well. The amount of case briefs and notes that you will take the first year will be staggering. Even with the keyboard you would still be laking utility to swap to and from other notes and case briefs at whim.You professors call on you and you must have that case brief right in front of you and everything that pertains to it. Also you will need a laptop for the Exam Software. If you do not have this then you will have to hand write your exam. You will get more down if you type your exam.

    Good luck.... but seriously.... use a laptop.

    Oh and one more thing. You are not allowed to recored law school professors. So no recording for notes. It really wouldn't be that helpful anyways as you are supposed to learn the material your self before the class day even starts. Most likely you will have a slight grasp on some of the material, after class you will have a better grasp. Then you will study tons more and still not have a complete grasp. lol
  24. Chrisrokc macrumors regular

    May 19, 2008

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