Follow up to “Exploring the iPad as a note taking device”

On May 3, I posted about Exploring the iPad as a note taking device. It’s been a couple of weeks now, and I can definitely tell you that with my current setup the iPad sucks as a note taking device. Something has got to change.

I tried both UPAD and Notes Plus applications, and the Pogo sketch and Shapedad’s stylus socks. If I had to say there were winners, they would be UPAD and Shapedad’s Manuscript pen holder stylus. However, I wouldn’t recommend UPAD as a note taking application, as it doesn’t integrate well with Evernote or Dropbox.

Notes Plus

Of the applications, I found that UPAD did a much better job of recording my written notes. One reason I found UPAD easier to use was because in landscape mode it used the full screen, where Notes Plus in landscape used a portion of the screen for document management.

Of the two stylus I found the Shapedad’s stylus easier to use and more accurate. The package I bought came with two sizes. The smaller stylus did not work as well as the larger one (the Manuscript pen holder). Interestingly, the website says that the smaller one should be more accurate, but that wasn’t my experience. Either way, I recommend them as a stylus that is both accurate and durable (it holds up well when thrown in your backpack with your other pens and pencils).

All that being said, I do not plan to use the iPad for taking hand written notes. I can’t write fast enough for it to be a feasible solution. The other big disadvantage to hand written notes is that you cannot search them. This makes them a whole lot less useful than typewritten notes.

Now, I know that I type faster than I write. If found that I’ve been quite effective at taking notes with my laptop – except in Statistics, where symbols were often required. But, my laptop is heavy and I hate carrying it. I tried taking notes using the iPad keyboard but it sucked. I often accidentally hit the return key with the palm of my hand mid-sentence, and combined with autocorrect, it was really frustrating to use, and very inefficient.

I briefly tried out my Apple Bluetooth keyboard with the Incase Origami keyboard case / iPad stand. It worked pretty good, but I didn’t like carrying my keyboard around and didn’t feel that the origami case adequately protected the keyboard. I liked using my netbook for taking notes, so I think the form factor as iPad as netbook might work well. I’ve ordered a Logitech Keyboard Case by Zagg for iPad 2. I have high hopes for the device, and 45-days to try it.

Only time and practice will tell!

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