You have a brand new iPad 2 in your hands and want to take notes for class or business meetings. With numerous options to choose from on the App Store, you’re stumped on which one to choose. You’ve eliminated the choices down to those with 4 or 5 star ratings but they often don’t tell you the whole story. Most of these apps are paid app, and although they aren’t exactly expensive, you don’t want to waste your money.
If you were one of the folks who had the dilemma described above, myself included, I urge you to try out the Noteshelf app by FluidTouch.biz. I’ve used a number of note-taking apps myself and Noteshelf is my favorite to date. It writes silky smooth and although it’s not an app with the most amount of options, sometimes ‘having it all’ only gives you clutter and nothing else. Noteshelf gives you everything you need in a stylish format, and writing on it is super smooth.
The first thing you notice when you open the app is its beautiful iBooks-like bookshelf to store all your notebooks. Notebooks could be shown by itself or organized into stacks. NoteShelf also offers a variety of options for paper templates (lined, grid, agenda, etc) and cover designs. You’re also able to add custom templates of your own and NoteShelf provides you with the dimensions that’s compatible with the app.
As for writing tools, you’re given choices of pens to use in a wide variety of colors. The size of the tip could be adjusted as well, so you could use the pen tool as a pen or a marker.
I tried a number of similar apps and none of them came close to the smoothness of how the NoteShelf writes. Only one app came close to the experience, and it was Bamboo Paper app but it lacked way too many features to be a real competitor to the NoteShelf. I suggested the NoteShelf and Bamboo Paper to the folks over at iAnnotate app (my favorite among PDF annotation apps) and they were thoroughly impressed. I’m hoping that iAnnotate brings out an update to smoothen things out with the writing experience…but anyway, back to NoteShelf.
There’s also an option to add icons. It seems to pull from the default icon set that Apple uses, and it’s a nice little feature to add sticker-like pictures in your notebook. These icons’ sizes could be adjusted as well!
An option to export our notes is obviously very important. NoteShelf provides an option to export the pages into Images or PDF, and to Email, iTunes, Dropbox, Evernote, iPad Album, and even Air Print.
The folks over at FluidTouch.biz is always available to help. I got my first set of questions responded within the 12 hours – pretty impressive comparing with other apps that usually either does not have any information to contact the developers or takes weeks to respond (yes, I’m looking at you, iAnnotate).
FluidTouch also gave me tips on how to use the App related to my question and my question turned into a small discussion rather than the standard technically support email that you get more often these days.
So there you have it. NoteShelf isn’t a notebook app that has ‘all’ the features perhaps like Note Taker HD, but it maintains the perfect balance of simplicity and functionality. NoteShelf is a clear winner when it comes to notebook apps for the iPad and I guarantee that you will enjoy the app as much as I do.
Do you have other note taking apps that you want to recommend? More thoughts about NoteShelf? Tell us your thoughts in comments!