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iPad Inking App Noteshelf with Evernote and Dropbox Export is Fantastic



Some say Apple should just buy Dropbox. Maybe they are are right. For many Dropbox has become the de facto file system for the iPad as it allows users to move files around from device to device. For me it is an essential tool. And the fact that Dropbox makes its API available to other developers continues to open up opportunities. Evernote is also an essential App for me. Between these two Apps I can have access to anything I write, grab, snip, or whatever on any device I choose to sit down with.

I’m deep in rehearsals for A Christmas Carol at Wayside Theatre and that means digital note taking. As many readers here know I’ve been experimenting with different Apps and different stylus solutions for the iPad. I’ve recently chosen Noteshelf as my digital note taking App of choice. (You can check out Noteshelf on video in this GBM Shortcut.) A recent update to that App makes it an even better choice.

Noteshelf recently added the ability to export documents to both Evernote and Dropbox. This is huge in my work flow. I’m able to choose whether to export a page or an entire notebook to either Evernote or Dropbox. I can send the document as an image or a PDF. All of my notes for productions eventually make it into Evernote anyway. You can also export your notes to iTunes or via email. But what has me excited about this functionality is that Noteshelf is now essentially extensible in ways that it wasn’t before. By the way, other Digital Inking Apps use the Dropbox APIs as well, but Noteshelf is my choice of the moment.

Last night after a long day of rehearsal I needed to gather up my thoughts from my notes to prepare the agenda for our production staff today prior to the next dress rehearsal. I could have just opened up the notes on my iPad and sat that device adjacent to me while working on my MacBook Pro. Instead I just opened up the PDF file on the MacBook, and used that to create today’s agenda.

This functionality in Noteshelf makes this App really shine on top of its already excellent Digital Inking experience. Hopefully the next update will allow for Fast App Switching now that iOS 4.2 is out. I would have probably been able to eliminate the MacBook from the process I just described if that had been available.

Note also that Noteshelf is now a part of the Evernote Trunk program.



  1. HG

    11/25/2010 at 3:55 am

    I also now have made NoteShelf my first choice to take notes. Before it was Penultimate; which I still use but more for quick notes, kind of like a sticky note that I will email to myself. Good luck with “A Christmas Carol” at the Westside Theatre.

  2. JOE Houde

    11/25/2010 at 4:26 am

    Warner – How does this stand up to the digital inking experience in OneNote? My experience with Evernote in the past just didn’t cut it compared to inking in OneNote.

    • Anonymous

      11/25/2010 at 12:50 pm

      There’s no comparison on a couple of levels. Inking in OneNote on a Windows Tablet PC is far superior to any other experience including Evernote on a Windows Tablet PC. Inking on an iPad is not going to outdo that regardless of how talented the developers are. That said, Noteshelf and Penultimate have come the closest as long as you’re just looking to lay down some ink on a page.

      • JOE Houde

        11/25/2010 at 2:26 pm

        Thanks. I’m not willing to give up my searchable digital ink. Looks like I’ll need to wait and se how the HP 500 fares when my Lenovo x61 needs replacing.

  3. roberto

    11/25/2010 at 6:16 am

    wish it could use the built in keyboard also, not just ink.

  4. Alan

    11/28/2010 at 9:09 pm

    “Some say Apple should buy Dropbox” – I for one really really hope this never happens. Dropbox is wonderful, works brilliantly and gives you 2GB free (with 250MB increments for referrals) – I can only see Apple making it worse!

  5. Lorie Ghamy

    11/28/2010 at 9:21 pm

    One big lack :

    No Tags for quick navigation in Notes..

    Could be best with a way to reconize hand-writing like Windows Journal…

  6. USB 3G

    12/07/2010 at 3:11 am

    Ok, i will try then.

  7. John

    02/09/2011 at 4:58 pm

    Hi Warner: I am a college teacher. Every friday I receive 25 essays in MS word format. I grade them using the stylus and ink function of my HP tablet and email them back to students over the weekend –often asking for rewrites by monday morning. I also have all my course lectures (dozens of them) hand written/drawn stored as MS journal documents. I never use handwriting recognition– Iprefer my own writing to type. I’m sitting on the side of the Ipad/slate movement right now, but would like to kump in. Can any app allow me to handwrite ink comment on MS word documents and easily email them out? Is there a Journal-compatible app that would allow me to use/update my handwritten lectures? The kids at my local apple store are clueless.

  8. VuLN

    02/28/2011 at 2:16 pm

    Well, good news for me, thanks!

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