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Apple iPad

Note taking apps – some feature requests

So, today I got fed up with my current iPad note taking app (Sundry Notes) crashing and taking my notes with it and decided to look for a new one.

Wow! There are a lot of sticky notes, cork boards, and note taking / drawing apps out there! They could be a category all their own. EXCEPT They all do the same damn thing. Let me tell you, if you’re planning on creating a note taking app for the iPad, your app will not be “stupendous” “amazing” or “revolutionary” (no matter how many times you use those or other superlatives in your description) if all you have is the ability to write notes and change the background color/pattern of the paper.

Here’s what I want from a note taking app:

  • Typed as well as handwritten notes. Personally, I don’t have great handwriting with a pen, so expecting my finger to create legible text is laughable at best. Give me a keyboard! And make sure that the bluetooth keyboard works, while you’re at it.
  • A pen tool is nice, but being able to create different colors and widths is important. Not mission critical, but colors are pretty!
  • Web browsing. Okay, I don’t need a built-in browser (well, actually I do), but I would like to use my note taking tool for research as well as notes. And so being able to surf to a page or Google search, grab the content (copy text as well as take a screen shot, please) and paste it into my note would be really handy. But please don’t make me a plagiarist, include the URL of the page I got the info from as well.
  • Multiple pages in one category or note. The iPad screen is big, but my thoughts are bigger. Let me page between screens, but have it all kept together as one note.
  • Categories are my friend. I want to be able to create notes and put them in categories, then move them to other categories. For instance, perhaps I’ve created a list of things I need to do. I would store that in the “to do” category. But then when they are all done, I’d like to be able to move them to the “done” category.
  • Search. Since I’m putting all this work into typing my notes, it would be great if I could then search for what I’d written to find it later.
  • Honestly, I don’t care about your images, backgrounds, or metaphor. Make it a sticky note on a cork board or a spiral notebook on a refrigerator. I don’t care. BUT. Make it pretty. I’m not going to be impressed with an app that just has a series of lines of text, even if they have twisty icons to show that there’s more content below the headline. Text is boring, give me a notebook metaphor or something. If I wanted plain text, I’d have kept my VT-100 terminal!
  • And don’t charge an arm and a leg. On the iPad that means that unless you convince me that your app will make my bed and get my toddler to sleep before 10pm, I’m not, I repeat NOT, paying $9.99 or more for it. Come ON! Don’t be greedy. At least give me a light version that’s free so I can be convinced that $9.99 will help baby fall asleep, but remember $9.99 is too much. I won’t do it. I just won’t!

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