By Software Garden
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"Best App for Handwritten Notes" - O'Reilly Best iPhone Apps
"Using Dan Bricklin’s Note Taker is a beautiful experience, as the app is a brilliant workaround to a formerly sticky situation. More important, it works like a charm." - John Fuller, Macworld.com (writing about version 1.0 . . . and version 2.0 is even better!)
Dan Bricklin's® Note Taker makes it easy for you to quickly write down and organize names, phone numbers, addresses, shopping lists, notes, and more. You write directly on the screen with your finger. It's like having a stack of note cards and a pencil always with you.
Pages are flexibly organized by date/time last modified, tags, favorites, and more, with thumbnail images of part of each page to help you find them later.
You can write in large letters on the screen rather than trying to make tiny motions like a pencil. Note Taker automatically shrinks your writing so you can fit a lot of text on the screen. You just keep writing and Note Taker automatically adds new writing next to the old. To quickly correct mistakes, it has a multi-level undo button as well as an eraser -- just drag your finger over the page to erase the "ink" under it.
The "paper" your writing ends up on is equivalent to about a 3"x5" card. You can write anywhere on it, so you can cross out shopping items as you buy them, go back and underline, draw diagrams, and more. You lay out the page the way you want. Use any markings: stars, underlines, and characters in any language. Create multiple pages.
You can email your notes as JPEGs, or save them to a photo album.
With this full version, you can email multiple pages as a PDF. You can also create "Typed" pages with the keyboard and organize them with the ink pages. On ink pages you can bring up a keyboard later to transcribe what you wrote into contact information that can be added to the Address Book with the tap of a button or pasted into other apps. This full version does not have a limit on the number of pages and does not have a watermark on the JPEGs.
Note Taker was designed and programmed by Dan Bricklin, the same person who 30 years ago came up with VisiCalc, the pioneering electronic spreadsheet that made working with numbers on a personal computer so easy.
See the Note Taker YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/DBNoteTaker -- MAKE SURE YOU WATCH THE "How to write on the screen" video or follow the "Try It" tutorial in the app itself to learn the "trick" to writing.
What's New in Version 2.0.0
Version 2.0 is a major upgrade. Here are some of the changes: It adds thumbnails, tags, favorites, sorting, and more to the list of pages. It can email multiple pages as a PDF. In addition to the normal ink pages that you create by writing on the screen with your finger, you now can create "Typed" pages using the keyboard and organize them along with the ink pages. Auto-advance now handles cursive handwriting better, especially when dotting an "i" or crossing a "t". Writing is reportedly smoother on iPhone 3G and the older devices thanks to new code.
See www.youtube.com/DBNoteTaker for more information.
I really like Note Taker. I am using it to scribble down thoughts on the go. My iPod Touch (2nd Gen) is always with me and this app works well for my purposes. I prefer scribbling to typing notes, because when typing I always need to watch that I hit the right letters or need to hold and slide to get a special character, while when I scribble my own writing might look bad to somebody else, but it is always readable, at least to me. Also to me scribbling down notes it just more fun.
I tried the free version first and quickly decided to upgrade. I think the free version is a fair offering and everybody interested in Note Taker should try it before buying. I think Note Taker is a very good app, but of course it might not be the app for you. It is worth watching the videos on the website and going through the introduction.
I use tags to organize my notes. For instance I tag notes *work* or *personal* and then I might attach another tag for a specific project. At first I thought it might be nice to stack notes, but now I think tags are powerful enough to get organized.
I was a user of Apple's Notes app before getting Note Taker and have now completely switched over. I am not using this app for sketches, although it is possible to create simple drawings. I think there are other apps better suited for that purposes.
What it does, it does well
Note Taker is a well-thought and working app with apparently active support. No glitches or annoying behaviors caused by lazy programming. If you want a truly useful app for notes, this may be the only one. I cannot take typed notes quickly with the other note apps. For $2 you can't go wrong.
Saying that, there are improvements I hope Dan will make:
1. Sketching Improvements
a. Include line straightening, curve smoothing, and snap-to points.
My drawing skills are similar to what I see in the Note Taker videos;
sure, it’s acceptable to remember something for later, but wouldn’t it
be great to have nice looking sketches? Note, I don't want to have to pick
a straight line or curve; I should be able to hand-draw those, and it will
straighten and smooth them automatically.
b. A few colors, maybe dashed/solid lines.
2. Include photos and audio on the note page.
3. OCR hand-drawn characters. I know this was problematic for a long time,
maybe it still is, but for instance the Dragon folks do an amazing job
translating speech into text. So maybe handwriting or handprinting could be OCR’ed?
Well thought out design and implementation!
After using the free sample of this app, I immediately had to purchase it. I've tried many hand recognition apps on both the iPhone and iPad. This is an excellent app when you need to quickly jot down a note, save it, email it, etc. The handwriting recognition is a bit slower than some apps, but the additional features (there are many!) far outweigh a minuscule delay. The negative comments left seem to be made by people who weren't willing to use the tutorials (which are well written) or their expectations were outside of the app's intended purpose.
- Category: Productivity
- Updated: Mar 17, 2010
- Version: 2.0.0
- Size: 1.3 MB
- Language: English
- Seller: Software Garden, Inc.
- © 2010 Software Garden, Inc.
Compatibility: Requires iOS 3.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.