Notes Plus is a shift in paradigm! (and that’s good!)

So I have been looking for better ways to do “things”. I have been using Evernote since forever and love that I can have all my notes on all my devices all synced without thinking too hard about it.

BUT In looking around and finally being willing to start paying a little bit of money for some new apps I have run across several other note taking apps that have proven interesting! If you are reading this post on the weekend of Feb. 20 you should rush over to the app store and purchase NotesPlus – It’s on sale for $1.99 vs it’s regular price of $6.99! Normally I would not say GO – BUY but since the sale is on I am saying it!

Here is why…. I think that many times if I could just handwrite a note it would be so much easier than trying to type. There is much to be said for simplicity. Tap on the notes app and start writing with your finger. The NotesPlus app gets better though. There are a couple ideas this developer has incorporated that make this a great start! I love the palm rest feature – this lets you rest your hand on part of the screen while writing. Again this is a natural, simple thing we would do with normal paper but on the iPad it takes a bit of extra thought. This procedure works. Another feature that is well implemented is the close-up writing mode. Tap a box in the tool bar and a small rectangle and a big rectangle appears. You then position the small rectangle where you would like to write. Then you write in the big rectangle. As you write and get close to the right-hand edge you see a small portion of what you just wrote appear on the left. You then simply move over to that far left and continue writing! The box moves and it is a great way to save from having to click on buttons to move the writing area around! It is hard to describe but if you head over to the website and watch the video you will see that is has been implemented well! In using this closeup writing mode you write big but that gets shrunk down and looks very nice! There is also a smoothing technology at work here too that helps your notes look great!

I am very excited about the possibility of the audio recording in this app! There is one other app out there, I think it was Sound Note, that does the audio recording feature better right now. (EDIT – I mention that Sound Note works better – only because the recordings are synced to any given word or picture you draw on the page. So if you tap on a word half way that you wrote half way through the recording the recording will jump to that point) Right now NotePlus will let you record audio as you write notes. It will sync the audio to each page of your notebook. So If I start recording, then change to page two then to page three and so on, later when I visit page 2 I will hear only the audio that was recorded while on THAT page. In fact if I go on to page three and then come back to page two while recording audio then later while on page two I will see that there are 2 audio sections to listen to. I would love to be able to see this sync feature go a step further and when I tap on a word have the audio jump to that spot when I wrote that word! Think of what a great tool this could be while in rehearsal! Since this audio recording works while accessing other apps – I could start a rehearsal note, switch into UnRealBook to see the music then switch back and write some notes. Later I could jump right to the correct section of the recording without having to wait/search for that section.

There of course is the ability to type notes, change pen color/size, change fonts and draw shapes. In fact while drawing shapes the program will recognize that you were trying to draw a specific shape and will turn it into a vector drawing which gives you some great control over that shape!

There is not an “eraser” available which is kind of different – re-think the way we do things! Instead you simply scribble out what you want erased. this ends up saving you time. Or you can draw a shape around what you would like erased and you will be asked if you wanted to draw a shape or delete something.

I am excited to see some improvements in this app, like dropbox and Evernote support. I would like to be able to click on an icon that actually looks like a pen or pencil or highlighter instead of trying to set settings. I just think it would be easier and faster but I do like being able to select and tweak those settings! I would also like a way to interact with these notes on the Mac – more than just look at them as a PDF.

I would also like to see my bed so even though we are getting snow and school may very well be cancelled tomorrow, I am constantly having to go back and delete misspelled words in this post! So THAT tells me – IT’S BED TIME! By the way if you have a note taking app you are using all the time leave a comment!

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