Projectbook is an interesting take on a notebook/diary/todo/task manager for the iPad. It is project oriented, so it’s useful for something like building a toolshed, setting up a company meeting or lots of daily tasks. It allows you to have all your notes, photos, audio and documents in one place. New entries are indexed and tagged. Web pages, documents and other items that are external can be ’emailed’ to Projectbook. More about that later.
The app accepts files from Dropbox and Instapaper, and lets you set up reminders or repeating events. You can write in formatted text, with styles like underlining supported. There are extensive sorting options, and the ability to share files as PDF, HTML or plain text.
The workflow needs a little getting accustomed to, but help is extensive, both online and built in. The built-in help could be improved, however. It is several pages long and you can’t exit until you reach the end, which is a bit of a pain. Searches are quick, and unless you are exporting or importing, you need not be online to use the app. It’s perfect for an airplane trip or places where network connectivity is not available.
Gallery: Projectbook for iPad
I especially like the ability to annotate photos or diagrams, and to write a note in freehand and include it in the project store.
One thing I don’t like is the requirement to set up a dedicated email account for this app. I understand the need to do this, so the only emailed material that comes in is data for this app, but it seems it should be a service provided by the app developers, not something you have to do yourself. The email requirement is for an IMAP account, and of course free ones are available through AOL and others. I just think this is the sort of thing that should be integrated into the app.
Having said that, Projectbook is very clever, somewhere between a to-do app and a full and more complex project management app. I like its ability to group many media types together, and to add notes or diagrams to existing files. The app is on sale for a limited time at US $1.99 and then will jump back to $6.99 on August 15.
I started a project using it, and found the process intuitive and logical. Finding things is easy and very fast. If you have a need to work on and keep track of a project while mobile, Projectbook is worthy of your serious consideration. I’d like to see a Mac app that syncs so I can have all my data everywhere. The company is hinting that other versions for computers and mobile phones are in the works. With that kind of ecosystem, Projectbook should do very well.