There are quite a few note-taking apps for the iPad, but I have to say Note Anytime has features that are compelling. Notes can be as simple as writing on a legal pad, or more complex with images, hand-drawn illustrations, diagrams and documents that can be helpful in anything from project planning to creating an ad campaign.
The app is free for now, although there are a host of add-ons that range from US$0.99 to $6.99. None are necessary to use the app in powerful ways, but some may want the enhancements, like different patterns for papers or more artistic calligraphic fonts.
Gallery: Note Anytime for iPad
The app includes a series of introductory videos and extensive help, which really are needed, because to get the benefits of this app, you can’t just sit down and hack away. Learning the app is a small price to pay for the power it gives you.
Once you have your page or background chosen, you can start to type notes using the keyboard or you can use your finger as a pen. This is very accurate compared to other apps I’ve tried. The text looks like my writing, which is something I haven’t seen in some other similar apps.
You can import many elements to your notes, even web pages or PDFs. You can get images from your camera rol, or use the iPad camera from inside the app.
You can export your notes email, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, to the photo album or print directly if you have AirPrint-compatible hardware.
Some negatives: The handwriting can sometimes lag a bit, while the pixels are smoothing. I’d like to see the ability to turn my handwriting into text, perhaps as an in-app purchase. I’d also like to be able to record audio from within the app, or even shoot a quick video. As mentioned above, the app takes time to learn. It is not very intuitive, and sometimes next steps are not obvious until you’ve used the app awhile.
That said, this app is great for note-taking during a meeting. I would have loved to have it when I was in college.
If all this sparks your interest, I would grab Note Anytime while it is free. There are plenty of note-taking apps out there, most are four to five dollars or more. It’s hard to describe what the notes produced can look like, so check the gallery for some screen shots.
Note Anytime requires an iPad and iOS 5 or greater.