Lecture notes on iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Supadoodles, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. Supadoodles macrumors newbie


    Mar 5, 2011
    I've made the decision to go for the iPad 2 -- 16GB WiFi, black. I'm a college student and one of the main uses I want to use it for is for taking notes in class. I think with some practice and a nice case I could probably take alright notes with the on-screen keyboard, but what I'm really interested in is finding the right app to do so.

    What I use right now is a really heavy old Macbook with Microsoft Word. I take notes using bullet lists and frequently tab in to indent and de-indent (can't remember what that word is, lol). Would an Apple Wireless Keyboard attached to an iPad let me shift+tab/tab to indent and whatnot?

    Without a keyboard, the only app I've seen with easily accessible indentation buttons is Notability, which has a little bar that hovers above the keyboard and lets you push it in and out. Any suggestions from someone who uses the current iPad to take organized notes?

    Sorry for the text wall :(
  2. JohnnyQuest macrumors 65816


    May 25, 2006
    College student here as well. Don't even try it, it's pretty inconvenient. You have to be fast when taking notes, and on the iPad, it's oftentimes hard to go very fast when typing; at least fast enough for note-taking. Plus, its still a novelty for many people, so expect a lot of onlookers.

    Just my experience. It's a great device, but for places other than lecture. I usually just haul in my MBP unfortunately. I will say it's fantastic for some Angry Birds in a large lecture hall!
  3. fertilized-egg macrumors 68020

    Dec 18, 2009
    I agree. A cheap small netbook with good battery will be a better choice by far for that purpose.

    I remember getting a lot of attention when I had the first EEE PC, haha those were the days.
  4. macrat macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2003
  5. JohnnyQuest macrumors 65816


    May 25, 2006
    Oh, how far we've come haha. When I go to lecture, I just want to concentrate on the lecture and material, not on everyone eyeing my toy.

    Pages is really great for just typing out the groundwork for essays, but not for taking notes. It just doesn't work. I think everyone should have an iPad, just because of the ease of use and portability. But, if you really want a compact college device, get the 11" MBA.
  6. Erkenntnis macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2009
    You could get yourself a stylus and try one of the many handwriting apps, like:

    • Note Taker HD
    • Noteshelf
    • Notes Plus
    • Penultimate

    All are good. Noteshelf is the prettiest, I think, but Note Taker HD is feature-packed and powerful. Notes Plus has the distinct advantage of being able to record sound as well as do handwriting.

    After you're done writing notes, you can email notes as PDFs into Evernote or something like that.
  7. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

    Nov 22, 2007
    Ask Apple
    The iPad is good for many things, it's bad for many things. This is one case where it would suck for most people.

    If you want your grades to suffer in some attempt to justify the expense of an iPad, by all means do it.

    As others have said, the 11 inch iPad is where it's at for college.
  8. Supadoodles thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 5, 2011
    I'd get an iPad either way (whether it works for notes or not) and would have plenty to use it for outside of class so I don't have worries in that regard.

    Just wanted to know if it were a viable option to use for notetaking, and it seems like it's not! I guess I'll give it a try one day and see how it goes. Otherwise, I still have my old Macbook.

    Thank you for the responses :D
  9. myoldwatermill macrumors member

    Jan 2, 2010
    I have no problem hitting 60-80 word per minute on my iPad.

    But get SoundNote. I ditched my macbook day 1, haven't looked back.
  10. Lurchdubious macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2008
    I'm not a big fan of typing on my iPad, but iAnnotate and Penultimate are EXCELLENT for taking notes!
  11. IcyStorm macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2010
    I think DocsToGo does what you want? But I don't have my iPad on me to check (sold it for the iPad 2 >_>).
  12. interslicer macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2010
  13. bpd115 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2003
    I use it for notes in meetings....Penultimate is great for hand written notes. For typing notes, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Evernote. All your notes will be available on the iPad, iPhone and online instantly, has a built in sound recorder to attach sound to notes and you can email yourself attachments to save in Evernote. They do a great job with it and are always improving the App.
  14. pdqgp macrumors 68020


    Mar 23, 2010
    I'm trying out all of the above and so far Penultimate is the most simple and is good, but Noteshelf is my favorite.

    Still not 100% convinced it will replace my legal pads in the office, but I'm trying.
  15. Rolfmaomachizli macrumors member

    Go for it, but beware!

    Do not even bother trying to take notes on the Ipad without at least an Ipad external keyboard or bluetooth keyboard.

    You will just slow yourself down, mistype things. I have experience, I tried, and it simply does not work, for the simple reason that you have to be looking at the keyboard while typing on it, which really just doesn't work.

    If you have no other choice then I STRONGLY suggest buying the relatively cheap Ipad keyboard, although it is not optimal as you cannot go landscape.

    So my best guess would be:

    - Buy the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard ($70)

    - Note-taking application: Evernote

    Evernote: Seriously this is the best note-taking application around, for the simple reason that it can be accessed via a web application, on your mac or pc, and on the Ipad application, all synced up. You even have local backups on the PC, so you never lose your notes, and can easily edit them on the go.

    You can also create notebooks for different courses and also tag all your notes, add pictures, etc.

    Oh and you can also record your lessons while you write them, it saves them with the note you are taking, so if you have a Physics Lecture, you take the notes, missed something? No worries! You have the lesson recorded.



    Kind Regards,
  16. Toiletpapers macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2011
    I don't know what these guys are talking about, note taking on the ipad is easy as hell. I bring my iPad to college everyday. Smaller than a notebook, i just throw it in my bag, take it out in every class, and it's neat and keeps things organized. There's no more sharpening pencils for me, scrambling through papers to find the notes im looking for, its literally a life safer and has improved my grades drastically. I use notability currently, and its pretty damn good. The one thing i never understood is the point of a stylus for handwriting note taking apps like penultimate; that is just way too slow. I have a stylus, but i use it for drawing diagrams in notability, thats it. I type quite fast on my iPad, typed all this quite easily, so it's definitely not too slow. Not to mention i can organize my notes in such a way that a notebook or even paper could never do. I also have books that I need for my classes stored in my iPad, I scan documents like handouts, syllabus', etc. onto my ipad with my iphone and soon to be iPad 2 into readdledocs which is also organized by classes. Life is just easier, plain and simple.
  17. AbyssImpact macrumors 6502a

    Aug 6, 2010
    Why not just use pen and paper like 99% of the class?
  18. Rolfmaomachizli macrumors member

    I mean, yea, exactly, or even, if you can't be ****ed to write, at least use a laptop, which has a mouse, and a normal keyboard.
  19. slicecom macrumors 68020

    Aug 29, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    If he's anything like me, I can type faster than I can write with a pen. Also, when I type it out, I can actually read it later, unlike my chicken scratch writing.
  20. aberrero macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2010
    Buy a Thinkpad X120e

    Amazing keyboard, way better than the iPad for taking notes, and it is cheaper. If you have money to burn, get a Macbook Air, but seriously, don't bet on the iPad. It just flat out sucks.
  21. bluemonkeyguy macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2010
    Well what I was thinking is that I will replace my wireless bluetooth keyboard with the longer wired keyboard/numpad for the iMac, and use the wireless keyboard as a typing mate for the iPad. But I'll look quite douche-like:D typing with a wireless keyboard for the iPad in class. Who does that:rolleyes:??? but I'm desperate. Plus a lot of the reviews for the cases with the keyboards built in are saying they're crap.
  22. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3


    Feb 10, 2011
    How many wpm can you type on a keyboard? I'd guess if you can do 80 on the iPad, you must be well over 100 on a keyboard.
  23. Mystikal macrumors 68020


    Oct 4, 2007
    Irvine, CA
    Just do what one kid in my class does: watch surf videos.
  24. DDustiNN macrumors 68000


    Jan 27, 2011
    I use Notes Plus with a stylus to hand-write my notes in class. I love it. The ability to quickly erase something if you mess up, as well as select and move anything you want, along with the audio recording (which stay on the page you recorded on)... it's all awesome. You can even type anywhere you want, so you can mix typing and handwriting anywhere on a page. You can also create highlighters if you want, change your pen/ink types, etc.

    I also have a digital copy of my book on my iPad, so the iPad and stylus are the only things I ever need to bring to class. Notes Plus also supports background recording, so I can even switch between apps to look in the book real quick and the recording still continues.

    You can export your notes to PDF, and export your audio recordings to iTunes.

    I no longer need multiple notebooks. So far this is the only actual useful thing I've found for my iPad (aside from quick internet browsing at the couch).
  25. seajay96 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2010
    I disagree with anyone saying an iPad doesn't work for taking notes. It is (for me, anyway), the perfect solution. Light, easy to use, versatile, flexible, pick a good descriptive adjective and insert here.

    I use a combination of NoteTaker HD and Evernote to actually take and organize notes. I used to use Notes+ because it had audio recording, but I found I never went back to listen to them. So, I shifted to NoteTaker HD which has a better interface IMO.

    and, I use Goodreader to store, organize and highlight/annotate pdf's documents for class.

    One note on keyboards. If you are going to get a keyboard case combination, expect to have a very cramped, ill conceived layout. I have the zaggmate and really just don't like it. When I need a keyboard, I use the Apple BT keyboard. It works great with the iPad, has a full size layout, and it's light and small enough to slip in a backpack right alongside the iPad without any problems.

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