#iPadOnly book » Section 3 - There's an app for that! » Chapter 14 - Note taking

Chapter 14 - Note taking

Taking notes on the iPad feels more natural than ever!

As mentioned in the ‘File Management’ chapter of this book, all of our notes end up in Evernote. This is our central hub for notes and files and paperless office.

Along with a stylus, the iPad makes a fantastic note-taking device.

We tested several styluses and note-taking apps on the iPad and finally settled on the apps described below.

Augusto uses Drafts app:

“This is the super app. It looks like a simple blank page. It opens fast and allows me to write notes from conversations. From there I can move to any other platform or email or text. My handwriting is abysmal. This application allows me to take notes during meetings and from there, process them to other platforms.”

Michael likes the Moleskine Notebook app

“I take all of my hand-written notes in the Moleskine app. It has a great note taking app with several useful features like zooming and wrist-pad. It makes note-taking on the iPad easy. Whenever I’m on a call with someone I open this app and start taking notes. Later, I send each note to Evernote for further processing. The Moleskine notebook, together with the Cosmonaut stylus, is a perfect substitute for the ballpoint-pen and paper.”

Michael also uses Paper by 53 app:

“I use this app more for drawing than for note-taking. I’ve drawn illustrations for my blog posts and this book, I draw user interfaces for my Nozbe apps and I sketch out other ideas. The app is beautiful, with only a few options and a limited toolset… but the results are stunning. I really love it. I save my finished sketches to the Camera Roll and later export them to Evernote or Dropbox or wherever I want.”

Michael is also a big fan of the Skitch app:

“Skitch is an app from Evernote that I use for quick feedback loops with my programming and design teams. It’s great for pointing out things to change, improve and re-design.

When they send me a link or a mockup, I press the ‘home’ and ‘off’ buttons on my iPad to catch a screenshot. Then I open the screenshot in Skitch, add a few arrows, colors, boxes, pieces of texts… what have you. Next, I export it to Camera Roll and email it back to my team or upload it to the appropriate Nozbe project or task.

It’s a fantastic little app that lets me send visual feedback to my team quickly. As an added bonus, all the ‘skitches’ are synced with my Evernote account so I can’t lose anything.”


Although you can take notes using just your fingertip, drawing on the iPad with a stylus feels more natural. You can’t go wrong with any stylus and there are lots of them on the market. We recommend Bamboo as a traditional stylus and the Cosmonaut for the thicker marker-like look and feel. There is also the new Pencil by 53 which Michael uses with his Paper app. It’s really cool, too. Especially that it connects with Bluetooth and this way can let you rest your palm on the iPad while drawing.

Note taking is fun on the iPad

Not only is note-taking with a stylus very natural on the iPad but it’s also something that can’t be done on a traditional laptop or PC. And it’s so much fun. Interacting with the content, drawing, annotating, sketching… it’s all simply amazing.

Next Chapter: Chapter 15 - Office type of applications

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