IPad Note Taking Apps

Discussion in 'iPad' started by kyoung3, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. kyoung3 macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2012
    I just bought an Ipad 3 and I am looking for a good note taking app. I want to be able to download my class presentation (My Profs Notes) from our class site and be able to add my own notes to their presentation. I have previously seen students using an Ipad and they where able to add notes to the teachers slides but they were in a different section so you were able to tell the difference between your notes and the profs notes. Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)
  2. phillytim macrumors 65816


    Aug 12, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
  3. Bobby.e macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2012
    I have never used it but I hear Penultimate is good.
  4. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    Seconded, but I'd like to expand on it just how impressed I am with it. It doesn't support PowerPoint or Word Document formats (yet), so you'll need to convert those to PDF.

    The work flow is easy. Notability supports DropBox, and two other services (not iCloud yet, and not SkyDrive). Put your "raw" note files into DropBox, and then import them from within Notability. Notability allows you to organize your notes into sections if you want. Once you're done with your notes, you can send them back to DropBox. I have two folders within DropBox for this purpose: one for the unedited notes (to be imported into Notability), and one for the annotated notes (exported from Notability).

    But how it is for actually writing notes? Amazing. I have one of those capacitative pens that I use for note-taking. The "tip" on those pens is rounded, and it's very difficult to write small on the iPad. Notability's solution is to have a "magnified" view: a resizable box can be dragged around the document, and the lower fifth or so of the screen represents what's in that box. This allows you to make larger strokes for legible writing, but it appears on the document as regular-sized text. On the right side of this writing box is a green-colored strip, and when you make a mark inside of it, the magnification shifts over so that you can keep writing. Once you hit the edge of the page, it shifts down and across to the other side. It's an incredibly smart implementation.

    I had one class where we had to write a lot of things very quickly, and I didn't have any paper on me. That forced me to use the iPad, and that's when I discovered that I can write almost as quickly on the iPad using Notability as on paper. Thanks to Notability, the iPad has replaced paper for me.

    I saw another classmate with a different note-taking program that looked like it had a similar magnified view for writing, but I don't know which program he was using. Notability does a very good job, though, and I can highly recommend it.
  5. ghoti macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2008
    What Ledgem said.

    Seriously though, having used both Penultimate and Notability -- Notability wins by a landslide. I am a teacher and I take notes at meetings on a blank sheet. I use the iPad as my gradebook by importing class lists via box.com and grade away. I keep my class rosters and seating charts on it for quick access.

    Notability is the best. I use my finger for quick entries like gradebook scores, but bring out the capacitive pen for note-taking. (I got one of those cheap ones from ZooGue. -- I don't recommend it, but it works alright. I just cant find my old c-pen that I used to carry around.)
  6. virginblue4 macrumors 68000


    Apr 15, 2012
    United Kingdom
    I use goodnotes at College and find it is very good :)
  7. timotay89 macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2011
    I've tried Notability and Goodnotes.

    There were two main differences for me:

    1. Notability takes each stroke as a single object. If you write cursive (without picking up the stylus), you can't go back and change one part of a word. If you erase, that whole thing will be erased. Goodnotes doesn't do this, it works more like how a normal pencil and eraser works.

    2. While they both back up to Dropbox, Notabilty backs up your files as PDFs and Goodnotes backs them up all as a .zip file. I like how notability does it better, I can view everything on my iPhone if I need to & it's all easy to access in my Dropbox.

    Overall though, I liked Notability so much more than Goodnotes.

    Plus, Notability has a left-handed mode (don't know if Goodnotes does, I'm right-handed).
  8. linkgx1 macrumors 68000

    Oct 12, 2011
    Lol, I was about to make a post on this. Any other tips? Is a tablet worst for taking notes if anyone has any experience? Definately trying to stay organized this semester for school.
  9. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    I've been using both Notability and ProjectBook. I like them both. Both probably have more features than I need. I also use Pages for some things because like the way it uses iCloud.
  10. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008

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