Writing (note taking) App and Stylus

Discussion in 'iPad' started by 62tele, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. 62tele macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2010
    Anyone have any recommendations for a great note App and stylus?

    This is for work. I want something to replace my notebook and something that I can organize and index.

    Any suggestions are appreciated.
  2. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Do you want the app to digitize the text (convert handwriting to text) or just an app that allows you to scribble notes you can save?

    If you just want to scribble notes, the Bamboo app from Wacom is nice. It's free for 1 notebook or a few dollars for more notebooks via an in app purchase.

    Its really for use with the Wacom stylus, but you can use any stylus you want (or your fingers).
  3. seajay96 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2010
    I have used Notetaker HD for straight handwriting and WritePad for handwriting recognition during a master's program for the last year and they both worked great, it depends on which style app you want and whether you want to manipulate the notes later.

    For stylus, I've used a number of different ones, right now I have a Kensington Virtuoso pen/stylus. I like it light, the tip glides nicely on the screen and the size and weight are very close to a nice quality pen. Make sure you check the tip if you can before you buy. Too bulbous and it just flops over; certain materials slide over the screen better, etc...
  4. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    i much prefer pen and paper. i have tried the bamboo stylus with a few apps. it felt like writing with a crayon and unless i wrote agonizingly slow, the text was illegible. it especially failed badly at rendering asian characters (if you write in these languages).

    here is the system i use. i'd say paper, pen, and scan snap will be a lot more pleasant than writing on the ipad.
  5. RossMc macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2010
    Newcastle, UK
    Notes Plus.

    I also use the Boxwave stylus and it works fine.
  6. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    You Luddite, you. ;) OK. I've been working on this issue for several months and thanks to the fact that I have the disposable income to, uh, dispose of on experiments like this I've tried half a dozen styluses and multiple note taking apps.

    For what it's worth, here's what I've found.

    Styluses: I've tried, I believe, about seven different ones. By far the best in terms of low (i.e. non-existent) drag and ease of use are from iFaraday (www.iFaraday.com) I have the "RX" model which feels like a real (fat) pen and the "artist" which is long and thin and gives me the illusion of being a talented painter (as long as I don't examine the results too closely.) Each is relatively expensive ($15-$25) and worth every cent.

    Targus is my next favorite. Smaller, heavier, but it comes with a ballpoint pen. Boxwave is OK. Pogo is, uh, worth what you pay for it.

    Handwritten notes: The two best (meaning most flexible and comprehensive) are Note Taker HD and Notes Plus. Each has a steep learning curve (compared to using a pen and paper.) Note Taker HD is a bit less steep, I think. Each allows you to mix handwritten and typed text but the priority is for handwriting. If you want to go in the other direction Noteability prioritizes typed notes while allowing handwritten "figures" (including text, of course) to be inserted on the page.

    Haven't yet tried Write Pad (with true handwriting recognition) but that's next on the list (especially since I can't read my own handwritten notes on the iPad with ANY of these tools.)

    So...Bottom line is that I have to agree with Palpatine. I've found nothing yet that really competes with a pen and a legal pad. In fact, if I'd been brought up using an iPad for writing and someone introduced me to a pen and paper I'd think it was a vast technological improvement.
  7. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    lol. i am kind of a luddite. but, i do scan my notes into pdfs so that i don't have a single scrap of paper left ovwr :)

    you really hit the nail on the head. paper and pen is a combination that can't be beat. speedy, flexible, and inexpensive. combined with scansnap or a digital camera (our ipad will do) and evernote you are all set.

    thanks for sharing your stylus experiences! good to know. so many rave reviews for the bamboo, but such a disappointment when i tried it. i was really bummed for a while.
  8. vega07 macrumors 65816

    Aug 7, 2006
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    iFaraday RX and Notes Plus. Killer combination. It will not disappoint. Money back guaranteed ;-).
  9. eye4ni macrumors member

    Apr 18, 2011
    As far as stylus goes, I've only purchased one, the targus at best buy for $20. It's okay, but with nothing to compare it to, I'm probably going to buy at least one or two more. The broad tip takes some getting used to, but I'm overall happy with the preciseness it gives, which is actually better than you would expect.

    As far as note taking apps go, I've purchased several. Currently, I own notes plus, note taker hd, noteshelf, ghost writer, and bamboo (free). In my opinion, they are all missing something, but not all of them are missing the same thing. Last week, my favorite was notes plus, but I really don't like how the notes are organized at all, and the ui is ugly as hell. Now this week, after a MAJOR update to the noteshelf app, it is my favorite. They greatly improved some features that were lacking, like the zoom in writing window. I really like that evernote is integrated with this app, I can send my handwritten notes directly to the evernote app as images, which are deciphered by evernote and my handwritten notes are then searchable (this does NOT work with PDF notes).

    So I am using the targus stylus, writing my notes in noteshelf, and organizing them in evernote, which is synchronized across all of my devices, I really like being able to search my handwritten notes from my iPhone, really cool. I can't help but wonder why in the hell Evernote doesn't just integrate handwritten notes directly into their iPad app, it really would save all of us a bunch of trouble. Till then, this is working just fine, and I have stopped using pen and paper for the most part.
  10. taylor200588 macrumors regular


    Oct 18, 2007
    Arbroath, Scotland
    The waccom bamboo stylus is amazing, I use mine all the time. And the free app you get from the app store from waccom is one of the best note taking apps I've used
  11. 62tele thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2010
    Wow. Thanks everyone for the responses. The iFaraday sounds great and I also found a site that recommends the Cape Cod.

    I sincerely appreciate the feedback.

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