A few added features make this productivity app a standout.
There are literally hundreds of note taking solutions available for the iPad. Some are free. Some cost money. Most do the same things. So in a world chockfull of writing applications, what makes Notability, well, notable?
A few things. For starters, notability has all the basic functions you’d expect to find in this type of productivity app: folders to sort notes, endless space to type them on, and a keyboard you can use to convert your thoughts into words on the screen. But it sets itself apart from the pack through the addition of a few features you won’t find in every notepad-based app.
First off, there’s the ability to indent and make bulleted/numbered lists through tabbing, which makes it the perfect tool for wannabe Letterman staff members who can use it to organize their thoughts, make a checklist for spec submissions or craft the perfect Lindsay Lohan-related Top Ten. It’s a function you didn’t know you were missing in other note-apps, but once you start using it you realize you were missing a lot.
Notability also features the ability to add any photo (or full web pages) into your document from the web or your own collection, which means if you’re preparing an outline about Future Markets Solutions you can insert a photo to help you remember what those are. You can also draw your own unique illustrations and graphs with a Photoshop lite-like paint program and insert them into your notes to make them cooler.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GRAPH USAGE AND COOLNESS
Best of all, the text will wrap around inserted objects, and that function is almost easier to use in Notability that it is in MS Word, so you can make your notes from history class look like a high-class history text book.
There’s also the ability to write in other colors or a variety of fonts, which should appeal to all. There are 16 font options and 16 color options, which means color coding your next biochem lecture will be easier on the iPad than it was with that box of Crayolas. Plus, Notability features the option to record at any point during your note taking. If you’re listening to a lecture and can’t write down all the details, simply hit record and the App will utilize your iPad’s microphone to do the work for you. And Notability knows what you were typing when you pressed record, so when you’re reviewing your text you can also review the corresponding audio. For example, you could record your boss’s breakdown of your fourth quarter performance. While reviewing at home, simply tap where you wrote ‘he’s seriously lost it’ to find out what he was saying that caused you to write that to begin with.
You can distribute your notes a variety of ways. As a .pdf (with imbedded audio), a .note file or, if you’re only saving audio, as an iTunes file. It would be nice to send multiple notes at once as .pdfs, or to send files in .doc form, but perhaps you can’t have it all. Also, in landscape view the screen gets a little crowded, and it’s difficult to view more than a few lines of your notes at a time while you’re typing. On the whole though, the app does what you want it to, the way you want it to, without much hassle. Are there other options out there? Yes. Is Notability one of the best of the bunch? For sure. Make a note of it.
Sidenote: This entire review was written using Notability. It’s such a joy to use, I couldn’t help myself!
App Store: on sale now for $2.99
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