Need a good way to take notes in college
September 7, 2010 12:44 PM   Subscribe

I really need a good note taking app for my iPad. I'm studying in the Computer Science major. I take Discrete Math, Software Design, Economics 101, and Precalculus. I'm currently using Noterize, but I don't like its lack of organization of notes. It doesn't really feel like a fully baked app. I would really prefer something that lets me type, scribble with my Pogo Sketch stylus, and also support bullet points. A really good UI would also be nice though not the most important. And third party export would be a nice plus. Are there any good apps like this?
posted by antgly to Technology (15 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I use Evernote for complex stuff and SimpleNote for ... um ... simple stuff.
posted by grumblebee at 12:48 PM on September 7, 2010

Response by poster: But neither Evernote nor Simplenpte have handwriting support.
posted by antgly at 12:51 PM on September 7, 2010

You don't mean OCR for your handwriting do you?
posted by Brent Parker at 12:55 PM on September 7, 2010

Response by poster: OCR isn't as important to me as just the ability to scribble notes a.k.a. Penultimate.
posted by antgly at 12:57 PM on September 7, 2010

Try Sundry Notes.
posted by Brent Parker at 12:58 PM on September 7, 2010

i like notetaker hd
posted by Morpeth at 1:11 PM on September 7, 2010

I am going to try to use SmartNote in school this year, but honestly I was planning on sticking with pen and paper in the math-heavy courses.
posted by shothotbot at 2:06 PM on September 7, 2010

I haven't used it personally, but Helvetinote might fit the bill for you.
posted by crosbyh at 2:59 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Penultimate is a worthy note tool. Outputs to PDF and allows a great deal of sketching.
posted by jadepearl at 6:05 PM on September 7, 2010

Honestly, WritePad is the only way to go. I've tried the lot of them (including Penultimate, which is decent) but it is the only one that provides handwriting recognition and converts it into text.

Give it a shot. I use it religiously and with a stylus, it can't be beat.
posted by purephase at 6:47 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

What are people using as a stylus? I never knew that was possible with the iPad.
posted by dobbs at 8:29 PM on September 7, 2010

dobbs: The Pogo Sketch stylus is great with both iPad and iPhone.
posted by coraline at 3:13 AM on September 8, 2010

good news everyone!

from what i can tell from penultimate reviews (TUAW and some site called tablet lawyer) that penultimate outputs to PDF.

here is more info from igoipad where they send their penultimate PDFs to their evernote email

if you use evernote premium your PDF's become searchable.

there are a number of apps in evernote trunk (mobile) which say they can be used for handwritten notes, and be sent to evernote but i have no experience with them.

anyway, from what i can tell evernote premium ($45/year) + penultimate = solution for you
posted by knockoutking at 5:20 AM on September 8, 2010

I have had the chance to use a few notetaking programs for my first 10 hours of class and I dont think smartNote will do the job. Its a good idea, but the implementation is not solid enough, it is dog slow, and is far too wedded to the "notebook" metaphor. There is no reason, for example, for it to trim my notes to 8.5 x 11 when exporting, therefore leaving some of my notes unexported. Mistakes like that dont get a second chance from me. If you want to give it a try, however, it does have synching.

I am going to try iNote for iPad. It is text-only, which is a pain. But perhaps a good text-only editor is better than a mediocre text and graphic editor. It synch with google docs, which is quite convenient and has a good hierarchical file structure.

My next try might be apple's pages.
posted by shothotbot at 9:34 PM on September 8, 2010

Best way I've found if I need a regular backup (I'm a mathematician, BTW, and OCR is pretty much worthless for me) is to use Penultimate then email the page or book to my Evernote account. If I'm just thinking I use Adobe Ideas (free) which lets me zoom in and out a ton which is great for detailed diagrams and big ideas with small important bits.
posted by monkeymadness at 5:51 AM on September 11, 2010

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