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Given that things have changed since I last took copious notes in biology, organic chemistry, and physics, I am wondering if there is a better method for taking notes on a computer or a tablet. I am interested in keeping most of my notes digitized, and hope to easily transfer important information to the spaced repetition flash card program Anki for memorization.

I have a Macbook Pro, but am contemplating getting an iPad because of the increased ease in switching from typing to touch-input specifically including a stylus for easily drawing diagrams, structures, non-text based material.

What are some of the best examples of note taking software on a PC/Mac/iPad/tablet?

Is there software that will intuitively embed a sound file of the lecture in a given day's notes? I am thinking of something that will time stamp when you wrote a specific note and allow you to link to the same moment in the recording.

Any and all suggestions are appreciated!

asked Jun 07 '11 at 12:17

oliver's gravatar image


Well, Pear Note is one osx application that records notes, sound and video: http://www.usefulfruit.com/pearnote/ However it runs on osx and not ios. Plus I'm not sure about the export into Anki....

OmniOutliner now runs on ios, and it's a great outlining tool that I used for graduate work- though I used it on an osx laptop. Review here: http://www.148apps.com/reviews/omnioutliner-ipad-review/

On the ipad side there are two I'm familiar with: Notability and Penultimate. Notability: http://www.148apps.com/reviews/notability-ipad-review/ Penultimate: http://www.148apps.com/reviews/penultimate-review/

Both have limitation. I wonder if Evernote would be your best best. Combine it's syncing with it's ability to organize by notebooks and tagging- it has a lot going for it.


answered Jun 08 '11 at 06:55

rryan's gravatar image


I think you're right about incorporating Evernote into whatever I end up using. Pear Note looks good too! Having an audio track in my notes has always been a mythical feature for me.

Do you have any recommended stylus' for the iPad? What keyboard do you use?

3 years, 7 months ago
oliver's gravatar image oliver

Evernote works well for organizing notes, but in my experience, doesn't do as well taking them.

3 years, 7 months ago
Samuel%20Kordik's gravatar image Samuel Kordik

Can't help you with the stylus. I run the tech for a school district in the US. We've deployed a bunch of iPads- so that's where I'm getting my info. Have tried two keyboards: A Kensington one (not real good): http://www.amazon.com/Kensington-KeyFolio-Bluetooth-Keyboard-K39294US/dp/tags-on-product/B0043TB9D6 and one from Zagg (somewhat better but more expensive): http://www.zagg.com/accessories/logitech-ipad-2-keyboard-case here's a review from iLounge: http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/reviews/entry/logitech-keyboard-case-for-ipad-2/


answered Jun 09 '11 at 13:20

rryan's gravatar image


edited Jun 09 '11 at 13:20

I second OmniOutliner on the Mac. Pretty awesome notetaking software, and the audio record feature is gold for lectures.

However, the best notetaking software I've ever used is Microsoft's OneNote. Unfortunately, it is not available on the Mac and I have not found anything even remotely close to it on the Mac.


answered Jun 17 '11 at 12:09

Samuel%20Kordik's gravatar image

Samuel Kordik

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Asked: Jun 07 '11 at 12:17

Seen: 5,283 times

Last updated: Jun 17 '11 at 12:09

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