Monday, August 20, 2012

iPad for the On-the-Go Writer

I just returned from a conference about a hot enterprise technology where I used my iPad to soak up notes, images, video interviews and BROLL, and organize them for future use. I will use the notes and interviews as fodder for stories for the next 6 months. No laptop on this trip.  I used an application called Noteshelf along with the iPad's native photo and video apps.

I took 39 pages of notes. Here’s a page of my Noteshelf notes:

I wrote notes with a rocking Bamboo stylus, snapped pictures of speaker's slides, cropped them, and pulled them into my notes. This all happened so quickly I never lost track of the presentation. 

The notes are easily searchable in the Noteshelf app (see below) and I can export them to Evernote, so when I'm writing a story three months down the road I won't be wondering where I stashed my notes.

The image above shows how Noteshelf allows you to flip through the pages of your notebook. I color code the names of speakers or interviewees so I can easily spot them as I flip through the notebook. The app also allows you to tag and search, but I like this more visual search function.

I tried several other note-taking apps before I found Noteshelf, including Notes Plus and Penultimate. Noteshelf seemed easiest to write on:  You can rest your hand on the screen, it's good a good pen selection, the interface for adding images and text from other sources is simple.  One thing is doesn't have is a way to convert your handwriting to text.

If you’re writing in a standard paper notebook, I would strongly suggest you upgrade to the iPad with Noteshelf.

Writers might also check out the new Galaxy Note 10.1-inch tablet because this kind of note taking and collaboration is built in to the device's native software.

In a future post I will discuss my experience creating and publishing on the iPad.  For now, this is being written on my laptop.