Notebook app with tabs

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by diane143, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. diane143, Dec 21, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014

    diane143 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    I've been using Notability on my ipad for almost 3 years now and I like it but..... I'd really love a todo type feature (where I can type tasks and check them off) and I'd really really like a notebook that looks like a notebook!

    Does anyone remember the old Lotus Organizer? It actually looked like a day timer or planner on the screen and I've always felt the ipad would lend itself well to that. Unfortunately my brain lends itself well to that and I can't seem to find it.

    I'd downloaded and discarded many apps except for Notability but I'm almost at the point where I want to pick up pad and paper again for one job.

    I bought Opus Domini in the spring and it's oh so close to what I want. But no real note taking section. I'm really trying to incorporate a todo list, calendar and notes into one app with tabs.

    I am running iOS 7 and Mountain Lion. My Mac will likely be replaced before my mobile devices. A Mac version is nice but not a deal breaker.
  2. GerritV macrumors 65816

    May 11, 2012
  3. diane143 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Do you use that? It doesn't look familiar so I guess I've missed it on my other searches.

    Does it record? And I noticed someone made a comment about upgrading to the premium version, but I don't see any other reference to that.

  4. GerritV macrumors 65816

    May 11, 2012
    Since I prefer handwriting notes, I don't use this one as much as I'd like to - because it's a nifty journal. Doesn't record audio though.

    It may not look familiar, I myself found it through NoteShelf (also from Fluid Touch).

    There's no premium version AFAIK, just a universal iPad/iPhone version.
  5. EmileBerteloot macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2013
  6. diane143, Dec 26, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2014

    diane143 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Ugh! You need an account to use it. No thanks, I have enough accounts out in space already that I won't even look at something that requires it these days. :(

    But I hadn't seen that before either so maybe like apps will find me something else.
  7. GerritV macrumors 65816

    May 11, 2012
    If you have a gmail account, I believe you can use it.
    Also, signing up comes with 15 GB free storage.
    FWIW, OneNote is a 550 MB application - a wee too much for my notetaking.
    And it's just for taking notes - no task management nor agenda.
  8. diane143 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Well, it is Microsoft lol.

    I think I'm going to restart using Omni again despite its odd syncing issues, and keep Noteability for recording. I don't record often bit it's really handy for when I need it.

    Hopefully someday someone will come out with the ultimate app!
  9. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    OneNote for iOS doesn't support inking either.

    I suggest looking at Outline+ which is a notebook app that is fully compatible with OneNote. Outline+ supports inking.
  10. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    No, OneNote on iOS doesn't support inking, but it wasn't clear to me that the OP was looking for that?

    If you are a serious note taker, OneNote is definitely worth a look as it's a very powerful program that Microsoft is putting their full weight behind updating. I've been using it on various platforms for 7-8 years.

    The other heavyweight is of course Evernote which again doesn't support inking directly, although it does have a companion app for that purpose, and I believe others connect to it as well.
  11. diane143, Dec 26, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2014

    diane143 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Do you mean handwriting recognition? Or writing freehand? Either is a plus, writing freehand is actually handy as I often sketch out layouts. Importing files is a plus as well.

    Notability really does just about everything I'd like in a notebook app.... Except it doesn't allow me to make check lists and doesn't hook into a calendar. And the layout is a hair off for me. I just really like tabs (like an old school paper notebook).

    Opus allows a great todo list which is color coded based on its status and it's hooked into the calendar. I'll have to try the note taking function.... There are preset tabs and I don't think they can be changed. One in particular is kind of useless to me, it's a physical, social, mental and spiritual compass and this is something I use more for work so that doesn't really fit.

    I discovered years ago that I work in the GTD method, so I am most productive if I find something that follows that protocol. Once I found Things, my long term todo lists rocked! But that's about all it does. I really need something for staff meetings which end up having lists of things to do as time goes on.

    I tried Evernote around the time I found Things, but I was looking for the todo function so I discarded it. Maybe I need to look at it again. There're was another app I also tried that had a proprietary database, that I now can't get clippings out of....

    <edit> just found iStratus DayPlanner and SuperNote, will check them out too
  12. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    OneNote for iOS does neither. As I mentioned, Outline+ is a clone of OneNote that DOES support inking (freehand). There is a free (limited function) version that you can try out before you buy.

    One significant benefit of OneNote is it's cross-platform support. This allows you to take/update notes on the iPad in a meeting, and then access those notes from your desktop computer, laptop, or smartphone.

    For my workflow, I feel straight-jacketed in having to rely on a particular piece of technology for my data. Being able to pick up any of my devices at any time and pick up where I left off (regardless of what device I previously used) is terrific.

    For fast, basic notetaking, I use plain text files synced on DropBox.
    OSX: nvALT (Notational Velocity)
    Windows: ResophNotes
    Android: Drafts
    iOS: Notesy

    For brainstorming: SimpleMind mind mapping tool (Android/OSX/iOS)

    For long-term notes/storage: Outline+/OneNote (Android/OSX/iOS/Windows/ChromeOS)

    I've used EverNote in the past, but over time it has become a bloated behemoth IMO.
  13. GerritV macrumors 65816

    May 11, 2012
    Thanks for pointing out Outline - lovely looking app. I'm definitely going to give it a closer look soon.
    So if you have any tips...
  14. diane143 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    I found Outline, one is $1.99 and doesn't have OneNote support. That looks nice.

    I reactivated Evernote but it looks so much like Noteability that I deleted it again.

    IStratus DayPlanner looks good, but I can't get the sections to populate like you'd think they would. I gave up after a couple of hours.

    I wish Opus would fix the sync issues. I also wish he'd stop assuming everyone updates their devices yearly.

    I just stumbled on Work Flowy as an outliner. It's supposed to do lists too so I'll check that out. Scratch that, it requires an immediate account
  15. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    You might be asking for too much... I've had several attempts at finding the 'have it all' app for various purposes, but often I end up settling with two apps that do their respective purposes well. For work purposes I use a combination of 2Do (very similar to Things but syncs with my android phone) and Evernote. In 2Do, I insert a link to relevant notes in EN for my tasks. I use Notability for hand writing and export to Evernote.
  16. diane143 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    I think you're right and I come to that conclusion every time, then I try again in another year. It shouldn't be this difficult though :(

    The other problem is some of the apps cost - which is fine, I don't mind paying! But I would like to try before I buy and they don't all offer free versions. I keep looking at Notes Plus because it looks like you can next folders and notebooks in sub levels, but it's $10 and I'd like to see more before biting the bullet. If it's what I'm looking for the cost isn't an issue.
  17. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    The bold sounds like me :D and I've spent way more money than I should have done on trying out different apps. I'm now at a point where I'm trying to simplify my work flow and cut down on the experimentation, and just stick to a few apps that work for me.

    I tried Notes Plus a good while back and wrote about it here, but the post mainly concerns the hand writing recognition features:

    It's a very good app, but I preferred Notability (and 7NotesHD for hand writing recognition, although they started having issues post iOS8 and I don't know if that's been fixed yet).

    I find that the most flexible way of organising notes is by using tags. Then you can differentiate as much as you want, without having to think of hierarchical levels (although I believe Evernote does subtags as well).
  18. diane143 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Thanks so much for that article! Great comments in there as well. To be honest, I don't use handwriting as much as I thought I would. Mainly because it frustrates me. I just downloaded Inkcredible and it works great with my ZooGue stylus, though I shouldn't have skipped the demo upon opening lol

    Some days I think I should just splurge on a keyboard case!

    How do you feel Notes Plus works for organization compared to Noteability?

    Maybe I should go back to Reminders for todos on the go. I used it for the first few months I had the phone (4s). I see it has nesting now, which it don't think it did back then, so I can do lists for each job. And it obviously syncs well across devices.
  19. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    I've used external keyboards for my iPad and find that it greatly increases its use value. But these things are a lot about personal preference.

    I never used Notes Plus enough to really test it properly on organisational features and deleted it from my iPad a long time ago, but I seem to remember that it had that notebooks-placed-on-shelves lay out, which isn't really my thing. A lot of people really swear by that app, though, so I'm not saying it's bad. It just didn't quite match my personal preferences.

    Why don't you use dedicated projects (or whatever it might be called) and sub lists in Things, and combine with tags? Would that address some of your needs for nesting? 2Do allows you to make customised lists, I assume that's also available in Things?
  20. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    The app is called, "Outline+" (note the "+") Outline without the "+" is a different app.
  21. diane143 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Sracer - thanks for the note on Outline+, I think I missed that

    I do use projects in Things. Tags not as much, though I have. The huge sticking point I had with it is that I can't take a completed project from 2013 and copy it as a new project for 2014. Same with a template, if I create a template and use it, it's then gone. (I will note it's been upgraded since I discovered that flaw so maybe it was taken care of). I realize that's a weird request but I work for an event company and I do the same basic things with modifications for the same event each year so it would be nice to have a template, then I'd really devote time to tags and stuff.

    Nesting would be an awesome addition to Things, especially as I use it for home and multiple jobs. It just makes things visually more tidy for me. Maybe I should be playing with tags more, I've only used them for my todo for a huge event.

    Now that I think about it, I use Things more for long term projects with a ton of detail. I don't do much with the scheduling option and maybe I need to. I certainly like the program, I bought it on my Mac long before I had an iOS device!
  22. diane143, Dec 28, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014

    diane143 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    I have to say, I just dug into Things feature set a bit more. I'm not sure when this was introduced, but it does have "Area". (I do remember it had a way to assign things to people so maybe that's where this came from)

    Anyway, I just set up a few Areas (house, my business and 2 jobs). It looks like I can define specific tags for each area, and anything I put in that area will automatically have those tags assigned to it. I can also move my current projects into these Areas.

    Another feature I've never used but will look into was "Today". I had originally bought Things to organize huge house projects so none of those were really current items, but rather lists of things I wanted to do in each room.

    Moral of the story, pay attention to app updates and always be willing to do new things with a much loved app!
  23. GerritV macrumors 65816

    May 11, 2012
    Not sure I understand. Looks like the only difference is the OneNote compatibility on the "+" version. And that only goes for the iPad versions. For Mac, I can only find Outline - no "+" version.
    But you say Outline is a different app. Where do I find it?
  24. GerritV macrumors 65816

    May 11, 2012
    You can make lists in Reminders, if that's what you mean by nesting?
    I'm using GoodTask, consider it a Reminders client that adds a few rather nice functionalities along the way (one of them being a beautiful interface IMHO).
  25. GerritV macrumors 65816

    May 11, 2012
    Notes Plus lets you create notebooks and folders, the idea being to nest your notebooks into folders.
    In GoodNotes you'd have Categories and Main Categories, same difference.
    In Noteshelf you can drop a notebook onto another, to create a "sub-shelf".

    So, all of the above have their own way of two level nesting. To me, two levels is enough - I don't like to dig any deeper when I need a note. YMMV

    About Notes Plus, I used it for about a year...
    The thing is, Notes Plus turns all your handwriting into vectors. Better yet: double polylines (yes, you can write in hollow letters, pick different colours for your character outlines and their fill colour). As beautiful as your writing will look, the app works extremily slow - most likely because of all the background calculation going on.
    You won't notice this on a quick review, writing stuff like "This is a test" "Hello World" "Get Milk". Just try and write a notebook of about 20 pages, add some graphics in it, import a pdf, do some markup. Then... try to select and move a sentence on one of your pages. Personally, I found it to be close to impossible. The lagging is horrible to work with.
    Not only that, if I were to write fast enough (taking meeting notes!), I'd often find my scribbling to be a whole word ahead of what was actually showing on screen.

Share This Page