Review: YouNote


Well-known member
Jul 5, 2008
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YouNote is a somewhat complicated note taking tool. It's primary goal is to enable you to take any and every kind of note you would want. You can create a "note", and include a bevy of options within that note to make sure you get all the information you want.

Within any given note, you have a number of choices of information to include, and a button of the top of the screen to input that information. It allows you to write a note on a notepad, take a picture, record a voice memo, draw a picture, or use a webpage (the description calls them AudioNote, PictNote, TextNote, DrawNote, WebNote....all combined for a MultiNote). Let's go through these features one by one.

The notepad feature is pretty self explanatory. You simply type your note with the keypad.

The photo feature allows you to take a photo, or to use a photo from your camera roll.

The voice recorder allows you to record a voice memo. The voice quality is not great, but it serves it's purpose.

The scribble feature is a simple stick note stlye scribble pad. There are not a lot of option - you only have one color (black) and you can draw, add straight lines, or make a sqaure (using the multitouch feature). You can also erase.

The webpage feature allows you to take a "snapshot" of a webpage. Note, the snap shot isn't dynamic, but simply a screen shot of what the webpage is when you visted it.

Note, the camera and webpage interface are not the default iPhone interface options. According to the YouNote website, the web browser was still Safari, but the interface was a little different.

Each of these features can be added to a singe "note" multiple time. So you can have a note with a memo you typed, a couple of pictures, as well as a voice recording (or two).

One cool feature was that YouNote will record your location when you make a note, so you can look at GoogleMaps to see where you were. I don't know what happens when you modify a note (if it records more than one location or the new one).

Once you finish a note, you can save it. By default the title of the note what you typed in the memo (unless that is blank, and then it is the date and time), but you can go back and edit these later. Oh yes, within a note you can also add contacts and search tags.

On the main screen (the "home" screen) of YouNote, you have a list of your notes. You also have a search function. This search will look through any information you have typed, as well as any tags you have added to the various notes.When using YouNote, it did crash on me a couple of times (both times when I was taking a picture). There were other times I used the camera with no problems.

So that is YouNote in a nutshell. It tried to combine every possible way you might want to save some information into one program, creating a robust, detailed "note". There are some options you can control (aside from just renaming a note). You can sort notes alphabetically or by date. You can also change the text color that your note title is written in (didn't really see much point to that, unless you want to draw attention to a specific note). You also have the choice of synchronizing your notes wirelessly, but to do so you need to download YouNote Desktop. I didn't do this, so I don't know how well the synchronization process works. The desktop program is PC and Mac compatible, and is open source.

The biggest problem I had was that YouNote was trying to be too much. It was trying to cover all the bases, and as a result, it didn't really excel in any of them, and it made it very complicated to take a note.

I could see times that this program might come in handy. If you are comparison shopping, and you take a photo of an item in a few different stores, add you comments with a voice memo, maybe add a website with a online price check or review of the item..that sort of thing. But for everyday use, to take a quick memo or trying to jot down an idea, it is simply too complex to use. Further customization options that make sense might also improve the usability of the program. It would also be nice if you could email a note (either all of it, or part of it).

I applaud YouNote for trying to be innovative and expand the "note" concept, but I can really only see this program being useful in limited circumstances. To record a quick memo, you probably want another program. If you want a detailed, information laden note, this program could be beneficial.

Pros: Takes note taking to the next level, lots of ways to record your thoughts and ideas.

Cons: Can get to be too complicated to record a note, almost tries to do too much, can be a little buggy at times.

All in all, this is a new approach to note taking and it may end up finding a niche. But for quickly jotting down an idea, it just seems too much. However, this app is free, and if you envision yourself wanting to record multiple data types, it could be very handy. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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New member
Dec 4, 2008
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Thanks for the review!
YouNote is a very good, yet as you said complicated app. Impressive that it is free. It is not my 1st pick up application. I would love to combine pictures in Note like "NoteMaster" and to easily sync via wifi or edge to a desktop or online note application like "NoteBook"

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