1. G323q569's Avatar
    I am going to be getting an iPad for school here soon and I am looking forward to using it in school to take notes.
    I have been looking at a lot of notetaking apps and am having a hard time deciding what one(s) would be the best.
    To start off, I want one that I can write on instead of typing and specifically one that will allow me to use a stylus so the writing won't be huge and become cumbersome. I am in many science style classes so not only will I be taking many notes I will have drawings that will accompany them with all shapes and sizes so I would like one that I am able to write and draw on.
    Also, if possible I am looking for one that I can easily organize, read, and study off of that I will be able to just flip through.
    If it has an option to highlight, change font size/color/type that would be great but it isn't a must.

    The two I have noticed that seem to be good competitors are Penultimate and Noteshelf.
    I am just looking for other options as well as personal opinions from other students/note takers on these apps or ones they have found useful for them.

    Sorry this is so long but I really appreciate any feedback.
    Last edited by G323Q569; 01-16-2012 at 09:14 AM.
    01-16-2012 08:51 AM
  2. Alli's Avatar
    Penultimate used to be great because it was alone. Take a look at both CaptureNotes 2 and Notability - they are currently the very best available. CN2 is easier to organize, and currently Notability has the better macro function. But CN2 has a huge refresh coming that should make it the clear winner.
    01-16-2012 09:19 AM
  3. hotrod#AC's Avatar
    I like PhatPad, because I can record audio while I'm taking notes.
    01-16-2012 09:28 AM
  4. Alli's Avatar
    You can record audio while taking notes with both CaptureNotes 2 and Notability.
    01-16-2012 06:03 PM
  5. back2kcab's Avatar
    Notes Plus with myscript handwiritng recognition. I use this with the recommended Boxwave capacitive stylus. You can record audio, open pdf files side by side annotate and tons of other great features.
    01-16-2012 06:49 PM
  6. manutd7's Avatar
    I'm currently using Notability for my MBA class.
    My only complaint is it does not have Evernote integration (it does sync to dropbox though)
    It also has a major revision coming Mid-January according to the developer website.
    I do hear good things about Noteshelf and was very tempted but at the time Noteshelf did not allow both Handwriting and typing text (it does now) and it was also $4.99 compared to Notability's $0.99 price.
    01-17-2012 07:27 AM
  7. R33Luke's Avatar
    Evernote definitely does the job for me.
    01-17-2012 08:27 AM
  8. atlkr5's Avatar

    I use AudioNote on my iPhone, and Mac book.
    You can use a finger or styles for free hand, highlighter, type your notes and the audio matches text timing, which is really cool.
    It is a bit different in taking the notes because you are making ques for the place in the audio.

    so to review a hour long class or meeting, can take min for the parts that you need to review.


    CONS- I had to pay for both devices to use it but I can transfer the notes both ways.
    01-17-2012 09:44 AM
  9. jalba3's Avatar
    I purchased an iPad after graduating with a BS in Biological Sciences. I can't chime in too much, but as far as taking classes like Organic Chemistry, or upper level math/physics courses, a handwriting app would have been amazing as opposed to carrying both Laptop and notebook.

    I have Noteshelf but have not really sat down to explore it. It works well for just writing, however I would definitely look into annotating PDF documents. Many professors provide their power point slides either as a pptx or pdf format. If you can annotate PDF documents, you can focus on listening during lecture versus trying to write down major points that a professors discusses that are already on the slides.
    01-17-2012 10:00 AM
  10. G323q569's Avatar
    You all are awesome, thank you very much, I am checking out many of these and it looks like there are tons of options and choices!
    01-17-2012 11:11 AM
  11. 1776_1865_RIP's Avatar
    I flop around between Neu.Notes+, Sketch Rolls, Notability and Documents to Go (word docs). Not sure one is always the best option.
    Last edited by 1776_1865_RIP; 01-17-2012 at 12:27 PM.
    01-17-2012 12:23 PM
  12. cardfan's Avatar
    I used a notebook and pen. Worked great.
    jkender likes this.
    01-17-2012 04:00 PM
  13. anon(17713)'s Avatar
    Notes Plus and Evernote are two apps you should definitely check out.
    01-22-2012 12:13 AM
  14. emirozmen's Avatar
    Note Taker HD, uPad and the top paid app in App Store (couldn't remember the name) are the best I have seen and tried.

    I use uPad with a stylus and it works superb! Really recommend it.
    01-25-2012 02:09 AM
  15. g.711#AC's Avatar
    Notability will get a major refresh next week. Great app and only .99 can't go wrong
    manutd7 likes this.
    01-26-2012 03:48 AM
  16. Brickman's Avatar
    Clibe is another one worth looking at. very nice. Of course you can never go wrong with SpringPad and/or EverNote. Both are great FREE options.
    01-26-2012 09:23 AM
  17. Tom.0's Avatar
    I am a big fan of Evernote! I bought my iPad at the beginning of last semester and used Evernote religiously. I utilized the recording feature quite a bit. I am currently using a Dell Laptop and the fact that it could sync was the selling factor. Best of luck!
    01-26-2012 09:53 PM
  18. phreddyl's Avatar
    Notability will get a major refresh next week. Great app and only .99 can't go wrong
    Do you know what the update will include?
    01-26-2012 10:39 PM
  19. TiNuts's Avatar
    I've used both Noteshelf and Notability and at the end of the day I prefer Noteshelf. The wrist protection of Noteshelf moves itself down the page as you write; you have to manually move it yourself in Notability. Sometimes it bites me in the *** when drawing and such, but for quick continuous writing it works great.

    Notability does seem easier to write more accurately than Noteshelf. I have a lot of math based classes and when you need to write superscripts and subscripts of variables, Notability seems to be easier to write smaller and clearer. They both have similar options when it comes to drawing. Noteshelf has many more options as far as "paper" is concerned, which may or may not be a big deal for you.

    I also like Noteshelfs UI better. Noteshelf you can create a notebook for each class and it operates just like a paper notebook. You flip from page to page when studying and writing notes. Notability allows you to create subjects, but you create individual notes for each subject. If you have a single note is more than one page, you scroll in a horizontal fashion like a pdf. There's also a "read only" mode in Noteshelf that allows you to read your notes without accidentally making stray marks on the pages. I haven't been able to find such a feature in Notability.

    Unfortunately, these are the only two note taking apps that I have seriously used over the last year(but in my opinion, the only 2 to seriously consider), so I can't say anything about other apps. Hope this helps.

    These were both used with a bamboo stylus if it matters.
    Last edited by TiNuts; 01-27-2012 at 04:13 PM.
    01-27-2012 04:05 PM
  20. hotrod#AC's Avatar
    OK. I've have owned all of these note apps (except audio note) but not used most of them till now. PhatPad (which was my recommendation, is out. Notability is in. I tried AudioNote, and it does record and take notes, but the organization of notes is bad...and there are no options for dropbox or easy syncing and I felt the stroking, or inking was not as smooth and easy as other apps.

    Notability is now my #1 note app. I liked phatpad before, because it inked well, but it had limited or poor wrist protection, and the audio recording was an afterthought for the app...you could not pause recording and notes were not sync'd with audio.

    Notability has all the options I want;
    Dropbox, audio notes, smooth inking, sync'd audio, pausing/restarting, wrist protection. I love it now.
    01-29-2012 09:16 AM
  21. Mr.Mcgoo's Avatar
    I used a notebook and pen. Worked great.
    That's funny....always use a laugh but so true.
    01-30-2012 03:48 AM
  22. hotrod#AC's Avatar
    Just to play the devil's advocate....my pen and paper were never able to record the audio from the class or meeting...(my Livescribe pen would, but that was not ordinary paper or a plain pen)
    01-30-2012 08:12 AM
  23. g.711#AC's Avatar
    Notabilty will put out an update this week. However rthe current release is the fastest (tracking your finger/stylus) app out there full features, password feature great app. DocAS Just released version 3 and it is good to. Pentilum is the worst app available imo

    Also notability will release an update in a few days.

    One big point I like with this app is that if you email them a problem or suggest you get a reply quickly. I will need a follup post to see if they took any of my ideas. Like expanded export feature.

    Lastly docsAS released an update monday and that app rocks now.
    Last edited by Zipur; 02-01-2012 at 02:24 PM.
    01-30-2012 01:50 PM
  24. hchiba's Avatar
    I recommend Voice Recorder HD. Simple and easy to use for audio record.

    Efusion | Facebook
    08-03-2012 01:22 AM
  25. Seeker2787's Avatar
    Hopefully this thread will pick up steam for students in the fall....

    I have used 5 or 6 different note-taking apps and keep coming back to Notability. It has decent organization of courses, multiple ink styles, voice recording, zoom writing, and other features. Other apps such as Penultimate, Notes Plus, and Capture Notes each have pros and cons as well, but for whatever reason, I keep coming back to Notability.

    Hope this helps a little. I'm pretty sure there has been an "app-shoot out" on iMore that involved a few note taking apps. Might also be worth checking out.
    08-09-2012 12:39 PM
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