The iPad is a handy device when it comes to taking notes. Apple has included a free program that lets users jot down vital information and store it for later viewing. However, it’s limited to simply inserting and saving text . If additional note-taking tools are needed (like the ability to record voice reminders or add diagrams), consider these handy applications . For just a few dollars more, they greatly expand note-taking abilities.
NotePad Pro for iPad (iTech Development Systems, $2.99)
Available for the promotional price of $2.99 for a limited time, NotePad Pro is an ideal yet simple tool for recording important information. It supports and saves text, drawing and audio recordings, and has six different paper styles to choose from, perfect for diversifying between classes. It also provides other helpful tools, including easy erasing, spell checking and being able to transfer visual and audio files to PDF and WAV formats, respectively, for emailing. It supports both landscape and portrait styles, and has a menu that’s trouble-free for the most part. While it’s lacking in flair (compared to other apps, anyway), NotePad Pro is highly recommended.
Evernote (Evernote, free)
On a budget and can’t really afford a deluxe application, but still want all the comforts of a custom note-taking program? Evernote is here to help. It stores text, photo and audio notes, and auto-synchronizes with nearby Mac and PC computers that use Evernote for easy transfers. It also includes file synchronization, a huge plus when it comes to adding, syncing or sharing files through a number of formats, including PDF, Word, Excel, PPT and others. Notes can also be sorted through customized notebooks, perfect for separating between projects and/or classes. Evernote is an ever-favorite.
SoundNote (David Estes, $4.99)
Formally known as SoundPaper, the much better named SoundNote is a superb tool when it comes to tracking notes. It coordinates what’s typed and drawn while recording audio at the same time, then syncs the two when it comes to searching for specific notes and words. For students caught napping during their class, or journalists covering the vital details of an interview, it’s great to simply tap a word to catch up, rather than skimming the entire thing. It also allows for easy transference of audio files through M4A format, and provides emailing options as well. This one Sounds like a winner.
Note Taker HD (Software Garden, $4.99)
Note Taker HD is, ahem, noteworthy, mainly because it’s one of the few word processing apps that specifically takes advantage of the iPad 2’s camera and Digital AV HDMI adapter. (It works for the original iPad as well.) This program lets you create pages by writing on the screen with a finger, or a stylus that works with the iPad. From there, text can be enlarged or shrunken down, without the need to “write small” and lose quality in the penmanship. It also provides layout variations for both left and right-handed users, along with custom background settings and the ability to insert images, either from the Photo library or pictures taken with the iPad 2 camera. It’s a little more crude than more professional-style note-taking apps, but it’s quite effective for doodlers or those that like to read notes back in their own style.
WritePad (Stan Miasnikov, $3.99)
WritePad is unique compared to most dictation-based applications, many because it includes a superb handwriting recognition feature. No matter how sloppy your writing might be (some of us have the writing talents of a fifth grader, don’t lie), this program instantly translates text into a professional format. It enables storage of text documents right onto the iPad, and also has a built-in HTTP server so notes can be transferred to other iDevices on the same Wi-Fi network, without the need for email. It also supports both Landscape and Portrait modes, perfect for any kind of creative writer.
Awesome Note + Todo (BRID, $3.99)
Last but definitely not least, we have BRID’s remarkable note-taking app, which has a number of options to choose from. The main one is a calendar that’s built in to each folder, not only storing important details from work and/or school, but also other personal documents, such as a travel diary, shopping list and checklists. It also has multiple colors, fonts and folder icons to choose from, with lots of room for customization. Other small features include built-in alarms (for reminders of tests and meetings), the option to print (iOS 4 or higher required) and easy sync-up with Google Docs, so documentation can easily be shared with colleagues and classmates. Awesome Note certainly lives up to its name.