Notability ($4.99) by Ginger Labs is a fully featured note-taking app that is great for adding more to your notes than just plain text.
The iPad is a perfect tool for taking notes for those that would prefer to not have to carry around a laptop all day at school or work, so why should note taking be limited to text only? Notability let’s you do more.
The first thing you’ll come across in Notability is the ability to add folders to your notes to help you stay organized. The selected folder will be shown with a white highlight and the list of notes within that folder will be shown in the pane on the right side.
When you create a new note in a folder (or even just have it in the general “All Notes” folder), things get fun. First thing is first – you’ll probably want to name your note for reference and organizational purposes. Now you can start taking notes! Of course, you can just type with the iPad keyboard or any keyboard accessory you have with your iPad, but that’s not all. Notability allows you to insert photos from your photo library, figures (you can draw diagrams or whatever you need), and even insert web clips.
The Insert Figure feature is pretty much giving you a little blank canvas to map out a diagram or map or chart, etc. You get to select brush size and color and even undo/redo any changes. It’s like a drawing app within a note app. Web Clips will give you the option to use the app’s in-app browser to grab something off the web and insert it into the note, just like with an image or figure. All three of these objects can be moved around and resized to your liking.
Once you get a few of these objects in your note and need to insert some plain text, the text cursor will automatically be moved to a good spot for you to get some type in. There are options for numbered or bulleted lists, and you can indent the text (different bullet points and numbering systems will appear when used accordingly), or decrease the indent if desired. There are options to change the text font, size, and color. If you need emphasis in your note, you can also bold, italicize, and underline.
Additionally, you can even do audio recording while taking notes. During playback, if you tap anywhere on your text, the audio will jump to the point in that was recorded when you were typing. This is great to catch up on the notes if you missed something, and works like desktop software like Pear Note for Mac.
Notability also allows you to share notes via iTunes sharing, email, or Dropbox. If you are an AirPrint user, then you can also print your notes out. Everything that you would probably expect from a note-taking app.
The app works well for giving you a nice feature set for note-taking, but I found that some of the animations during transitions of screens to be a bit choppy at times. Not a huge problem, but I hope the developers can smooth it out a bit more. This app should work well in school environments, meetings, and any other place you may need to take notes with audio or visuals.
There’s currently a back-to-school sale price of $2.99, so it’s the best time to get the app! Happy note-taking!