Our society is always on the go with jobs, school, and life in general exerting pressure on us while bosses and teachers continually throwing facts, figures, and instructions at us – how are we expected to remember all of that? We need to write it down, of course, and what better way to do that than on a smartphone or tablet…certainly not in a paper notebook; too old school. We take a look at the top ten apps using a stylus for taking electronic notes – most are free, however, in order to use all of their capabilities, you may have to purchase add-ons (the developers have to make money somehow). None of these apps are bad, and most offer many features, but we had to do a ranking and our selections are as follows:
10. Note Anytime Notetaker Notepad
This is the number one app in Japan and was the 2013 Apply Award Finalist and it really takes “electronic ink” to a new level. You can use a variety of “papers and pens” to mark up contracts, business documents, take quick notes, create calendar lists, sketch on photos, and then share via email or on social media. The graphics are colorful and the app looks professionally done.
9. Handy Note free
This app is number 1 of top 100 Free apps in the Amazon app store of America, Germany, France, and Italy. Several sites have praised it, saying it is “almost like a real notebook” and another claimed it was one of the “10 Best S-Pen Apps for the Galaxy Note 2.” This app can be used for personal, school, or business uses. You can create password-protected journals – great for diary writers. Screens are colorful and the app offers many customizable features and a wide variety of templates for diaries, business, or academics. A Pro Version without ads is available and synchronizes with Dropbox, Evernote, and unlimited downloads of Add-ons.
8. Genial Writing 2
This app is great for quick note taking, and the free version is Ad supported, of course. You can export PDF, it supports Dropbox Syncing, and you can share your notes with friends via email, MMS, and Facebook. Options are available to quickly change pen width and pen color, insert photos via the camera key, and you can easily copy and paste between notes. The app is colorful and can be placed on your Home Screen as a widget.
This app is like having a full word-processor for handwriting – you can edit, undo, redo, copy, cut, paste, and insert handwritten notes and the text flows just like a word-processor. Insert pictures, graphics, sketches, etc., and watch the test wrap around and adjust to your addition. You can have custom pages sizes, colors, and ruling, as well as customized pens. Write is perfect for brainstorming, note taking and drawing.
6. MyScript Stylus (Beta)
This is a Beta version to download, use, and join their Google+ community to find tips and let them know what you think of the app. This app is an interactive handwriting recognition application that allows real-time text input on touchscreen devices using either your finger or a stylus. Your handwriting is converted to digital text in real-time and offers an alternative to text input for SMS, MMS, emails, calendar, web browsers, etc. With simple gestures you can make corrections in your handwritten notes, and for those words it does not recognize, a pop-up list will offer you an alternative selection.
This one will cost you $4.37 (odd amount), and is for on-screen note taking with a stylus and is mainly designed for the university user, either the note-taker or the lecturer. However, it is also ideal for the business user, sales representatives, or even an artist to create sketches or drawings. It supports pressure sensitive pens, the Samsung S-Pen, and much more. There is a free trial version that is fully functional, but the paid version adds more notebooks and the ability for longer note taking. Professional looking with many options and menus.
4. Papyrus – Natural Note Taking
This is another app that allows you to take notes in your natural handwriting – it’s like writing on a piece of paper, but adds the flexibility and advantages of modern technology. You can use Samsung’s S-Pen, a passive stylus, or simply your finger. This is a featured app in Google Play and received honorable mention for Productivity in the Samsung Galaxy Note S-Pen Challenge. A Tool Pack adds a “true” eraser tool, shape tools, and a text tool. It is packed full of features to handle anything you can throw at it.
3. FreeNote 7.9.8
FreeNote is a hybrid note taker that combines the handwritten note with that of a keyboard. It allows you to “note” everything – text, painting, voice, photos, and videos. It has a calendar, alarm, to do lists, and many more. This is the evaluation version and it will nag you once a week for evaluation input, although there is a purchasable version, FreeNote+, that allows importing of data, but the free version is fully functional. It has almost 6,700 reviews and over 9,400 Google+s and is has options galore and colorful, professional, screens.
2. MyScript Calculator
I had to throw in this amazing calculator, because it combines handwritten notes and formulas for calculating math problems. It also has close to 31,000 reviews (4.7/5.0) and 21,451 Google+s. Hand-write in any mathematical expression you can think of and MyScript Calculator will change it into digital text and numbers and give you the answer. Make a mistake, no problem, just erase the wrong part and rewrite the numbers or signs that you originally wanted and it will come up with the new answer. You can use your finger or a capacitive stylus on your smartphone or tablet and it makes full use of the S-Pen on Samsung Galaxy models. Perfect app for college students or professors alike and works in both portrait and landscape modes.
1. Handrite Note Notepad Lite
This is the ultimate note-taking app – it makes taking notes as close to writing in an old-fashioned notebook as an electronic experience can possibly allow. It has over one million downloads, over 12,500 reviews with a 4.4 out of 5.0 rating, and almost 15, 500 Google+s! It was just updated on November 27 and fixed a bug, added some features, and to make it faster. There are ads in the Lite Version, so you may want to upgrade to the Pro Version for $3.99. If you want an intuitive writing app to serve as a sticky note, to-do-list, memo pad, or complete journal, then this is the app you are looking for. The UI is colorful, yet professional, making it such a pleasure to use, you may look for some notes just so you can write them down.
Let us know in the comments or on Google+ if you use a Stylus Note app on your device, which one you use, or which one you would recommend to a friend.