Syncing iPad handwritten notes with a desktop app (and vice versa)?
May 4, 2012 6:04 PM   Subscribe

Is there an iPad handwritten note-taking app that also has extensive file organization AND syncing capability (like Evernote)?

So I just got my new iPad and looking to maximize usability at work. To that end I want to end my paper notetaking and do it all electronically. Ideally, if I'm in someone else's office I want to take handwritten notes with stylus on a particular issue on the iPad and save those notes so that they then sync with a program on my desktop in my office. Then when I'm back in my office I want to be able access those handwritten notes (whether converted to text or not) in the desktop version of the same program and edit/add to them, and have those changes reflected for the next time I need to add/edit, whether that be on desktop or iPad, so the set of notes can develop over time as the issue evolves.

I'm aware that Evernote has syncing capability like this, but it stupidly doesn't do handwriting (and the 7note handwriting app it advertises resides externally, so still have to export, and then can't access again to handwrite). Some other apps I've seen can export to dropbox, but I don't think that really gives me what I'm looking for.

So, does this magical app product not yet exist? Or am I missing some obvious solution?
posted by saladpants to Technology (9 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Not sure if this will help at all, but check out Penultimate.
posted by kdern at 6:55 PM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

I suggest Penultimate also, but the only options for sharing a Penultimate notebook are via Evernote or Dropbox, and that might not give you what you are looking for.

Maybe PaperDesk? There is a lite version of PaperDesk you could try for free.
posted by Rob Rockets at 7:32 PM on May 4, 2012

I'm thinking of purchasing PaperDesk for just these kinds of features.
posted by misha at 7:34 PM on May 4, 2012

I'm not sure it all exists in one cross-platform program. Paperdesk looks like it might work for the iPad portion, depending on how it imports/exports, but you still need something on the computer end.

Penultimate will do automatic backups to Dropbox, but you can't edit externally, I don't think. It'll also export to Dropbox/Evernote/as images/etc., but importing wouldn't be good.

Is there a reason you want to be able to specifically edit them not on the iPad? Handwriting works pretty well on the iPad, but is a pretty niche market as far as desktops and laptops go.
posted by brentajones at 7:52 PM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Agreed that there doesnt seem to be a perfect solution. And yes there is a reason, because at my desktop I type faster than I write. On the pad I don't. I could lug around a portable keyboard with the pad, but thats annoying and bulky and then why not just carry the laptop with me everywhere I go. Doesn't seem to me that it should be so difficult to come up with a way to edit the same document in both formats in both places, but perhaps I'm the odd duck here.
posted by saladpants at 8:57 PM on May 4, 2012

i use notetaker hd, and just export to evernote. I agree that it is very annoying that you cant edit after exporting, however I really dislike the idea of having my information spread over alot of different services so untill they allow externally editable notes on evernote...
posted by Mai2k3 at 10:10 PM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

What about Sundry Note? I haven't used it myself but I have a friend who swears by it, and it looks like it has a sync option.
posted by Xany at 3:04 AM on May 5, 2012

I think you should be looking for an unofficial OneNote app - unofficial because the official oneNote for iPad doesn't support ink, but there are others that do. MobileNoter sounds like it will do exactly what you want.
posted by jacalata at 10:39 PM on May 5, 2012

As a followup, I see this morning that Evernote has acquired Penultimate (which is my handwriting/sketching app of choice for most things). I'm not sure what they plan to do with it or how long it would take, but this seems like it may go in the direction of what you're asking for.
posted by brentajones at 7:53 AM on May 7, 2012

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