Notes are not just Post-it Notes or Stickies anymore. Nearly everyone those days takes notes. If it’s not a to-do list, or a task list, it’s actual meeting, classroom, or lecture notes. From Mac to iPhone to iPad, Apple makes the best devices to gather, store, and organize information, so you’ll find plenty of notes apps, and the best ones integrate into Apple’s ecosystem and synchronize between devices.
If you’re a serious notes hound, whether you use Mac, iPhone, but especially the iPad Pro with Pencil, then here’s the app that’ll catch your notes-taking hair on fire because it’s so full of note-taking functions that range from drawing to audio recording to typing.
It’s called Notability, and, as expected, there’s a version available for all three of Apple’s main devices. If all you need is simple notes synchronized between devices then get Evernote or Simplenote or any one of a few dozen blah blah lah lah notes taking apps that range from free to WTF? That much?
Otherwise, look at Notability. This is a digital notebook which lets you create notes which can be stored in the cloud and synchronized with Notability on other devices. Here’s what’s different. Notes in Notability can have documents, photos, images, audio recordings, and annotations. All in the same note. And you can use Pencil on an iPad Pro.
Check this out and note the combination of text entry, drawing, photos, and more– all included within a single note.
Notability comes with an option to record the audio of a meeting, lecture, classroom, or presentation– and take notes at the same time. Notes look and work the same on Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
Built-in to Notability is a mini-word processor so your notes can be formatted to look good, but there’s also an option to use handwriting (takes some getting used to with mouse or trackpad on the Mac, but it’s easier on an iPad).
Now, here’s what’s cool about blending notes with audio. They’re synchronized. So, as you take notes, audio is being recorded. When you play back the notes, you’ll hear audio at the same time as your notes appear on screen.
Notes are easily organized from within Notability, and sync takes place in the background using, iCloud, Dropbox, or Google Drive. Notes can also be shared via email and AirDrop (requires OS X Yosemite to connect to iPhone and iPad).
This is the note taking app I recommend, but it’s not free– though the iPhone and iPad version costs much less at just a few dollars than the Mac version. It deserves all the four and five star reviews it gets. The real killer app, though, is Pencil on iPad Pro. Head to an Apple Store and try it out. Pencil makes Notability a truly wonderful notes-taking app; all modern with a touch of the old #2 pencil.
One thing to think about, though, is how to enter notes. All versions have audio recording capability built-in, but entering notes in the Mac’s keyboard is easier, faster, and noisier. The iPhone is the worst, but that’s a screen real estate issue– small is not so beautiful when it comes to taking notes. Otherwise, going with Pencil on iPad Pro is a delight.