Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Note Taker HD for iPad: almost paper, only better

Note Taker HD by Software Garden turns your iPad into a yellow notepad, and no, I don't mean that one that comes loaded on your iPad.  This one is for handwriting.  While you can use the keyboard to write in this app, really this is the app for the person for whom the soft keyboard on the iPad is not exactly a natural fit.  Thanks to the zoom window for written entry, you have a big space for writing with your finger (or a stylus), and then the app shrinks it down so that it looks like normal handwriting as it appears on the page.

My favourite is using it to complete PDF forms from the web, and then fax or email them without ever printing.  I use myfax.com to send the fax right from my iPad.  

Right there, that's worth the five bucks for Note Taker HD.

Link here to iTunes purchase

But wait... there's more.

You can also insert images, draw (with colours and variable width of line), and choose from 138 different useful pre-set shapes, including time stamps, architectural shapes, and musical charts.

It also does some PDF annotation, but there are more robust annotation apps out there.  Where this one really shines is in nearly honouring the experience of paper for those who still have that strong attachment, especially a need to have the feeling of writing with a pen.

There is a file structure and a tag structure, so although your notes won't have OCR search capability, you can find them by tags.  You can back-up to DropBox, and use the "open in" function to import and export.

Finally, your "handwritten" note taking is less intrusive than on a laptop, as the input is silent:  no tapping or clicking.