Paper/Pencil VS. iPad


penultimate logoNotability,  PenUltimate and Notes Plus Review

Can we find the perfect note taking app for each individual?  Is this to broad of an audience to meet the needs for all?  I think it will come down to a few apps being great for note taking.  I don’t think one company will monopolize this niche.  Why?  People are too different.  I may like certain features that my friend doesn’t.  With that said lets discuss some applications available.

  This topic has interested me from the beginning.  I am wondering if future generations will use pen and paper in 2100 or will they have a device to type or hand write their notes?  We have all used most of the freebies available so I want to spend this time discussing the paid note taking applications.  Which app features I like and don’t like. 

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One of the most recent note taking application I have used and really like is Penultimate.  This is a very advanced simple application.  It’s a reasonable priced application at $1.99.  It will allow the user to choose from several different types of free papers.  But if you need to write music or need some type of specialty paper, you will have to purchase it extra.  That was one of the negative aspects I have from a users point of view.  I think if you go far enough to purchase an application.  The developer should allow users full access to the application.  I do understand there could be exceptions to this but generally speaking that’s how I feel about purchasing any product.  That’s almost like getting a burger and having to pay extra for bread. 

Penultimate is a very clean, easy to use application for taking notes in a meeting, class lecture, or a simple grocery list.  You can choose your ink color, size, paper style, and more.  You can print from inside the app which I really like. You can export and import as pdf format through itunes.  You can email your notes, one page each or entire notebook with just a few clicks. This is a very nice application that’s not cluttered with a lot of extras you don’t need.  Although, being a dropbox fan, I would like to see them add dropbox linking in a future update.  Dropbox is a free and simple way to store, import, and export any type of document or image.  If you don’t have dropbox get it here.  It’s very useful to any computer and Smartphone owner.   I would also like to see them add the keyboard typing feature to this app.

Overall, if you are looking for an app to hand write notes.  I think Penultimate is a great choice.  It has many great features to offer.  The best thing I like about this app is the simplicity but efficiency it has.  When you first look at the UI, you may think there’s nothing here.  This application couldn’t begin to meet my note taking needs.  After spending some time using the application you will have a different outlook.  Although, it looks simple and it’s simple to use.  It’s a great note taking app.  It does have a few things it could add but overall I would give it 8/10.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.


pen loogoNotes Plus has it all covered in one application.  If you are looking for an app that does it all notes, record speaker, and hand written or typed note taking ability.  This application developer has covered everything.  Notes Plus is an awesome note taking application.  You can handwrite or type your notes.  This was a great feature I thought.  It also has a palm pad to keep user from making stray marks on the screen as you rest your hand to write notes.  You can adjust your pen options, text, paper, and app setting.  These are layed out in a simple way making them accessible and easy to adjust.  It is also, linked to dropbox.  I think dropbox is a great way to store, import, export, and makes having documents and images at your fingertips.  The app is a bit pricey at $5.99 but well worth it.  I have also noticed they run a sale about every week.  Get an app like App Advice and you can set it to alert you when it goes on sale.  Notes Plus have awesome tech support also.  If you have a problem they will help you work it out in a reasonable time frame.  So even if you can’t catch it on sale I would still buy it for $5.99.  I would have to rate this app 9/10.  I think they have covered about every feature needed for this type of application.  The only reason I didn’t rate it 10/10 is price.  If you can wait put it on the alert like I was telling.  They send you an email when the price goes down.  There are several sites that put apps on sale daily.  You can make request.  Maybe you could convince them to drop the price of this application.  If you would like me to review some of these sites that do this leave a comment.


Also worth checking out is Notability.  This application has many of the same geatures as Notes Plus.  It has more features for adding media.  Things such as images and charts can be added with just a tap of the screen.  I can see this application being needed by business people who need to creat lectures to present on a screen or projector.  This app has all the features anyone would ever need.  You can sort your notes but subject, date, size, and exported.  It has a built in library of figures and drawings at your fingertips.  The notes can even be password protected.  This app has an endless amount of features and possibilities.  I think this app would be a very good addition to anyones arsenal for note taking. 

You can export and import through a number of ways.  Just to name some of my favorites.  You have dropbox, iDisk, WebDav, Email, and Printing.  You can export into itunes also as pdf format.  If you need to annotate an article or letter this has a simple way to do that.  I can just name so many ways this can be used but you have your own imagination for that. 

We all know that it’s getting close to school time.  I can see how students and teachers both can use this application daily.  So if you are getting ready to return to school and are trying to figure which app would be the best for school.  This is a great app for that very purpose.  It also makes recordings to playback when you need to listen later.  Hope you enjoy making notes however it may be. 




Mitch Stevens

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