Connect with us


Noterize Aims for OneNote Like Note Taking on iPad



After writing up a four month look back at some of the Apps I’ve been using on the iPad and another on the dreaded sytli I’ve been testing and using, GBM reader Jim, pointed me to a recently released App, called Noterize. I’ve been doing some initial testing of the App this morning, and depending on your Inking needs it might be worth you checking out as well.

Noterize, whether intentionally or not, is aiming to be a kind of a mix between OneNote and PDF Annotator for the iPad. Using the iPad and other Apps’ functionality, the App allows you to take digital notes, mark up PDFs, grab web clippings, record audio notes, and share all of the above with a variety of sources. Two of the most important things the developers offer, at least in my view, are the use of the Dropbox API and Palm Rejection.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts on my attempts to take digital notes in rehearsal, you know that at the moment I’ve settled on Penultimate as the App that offers the best experience for me, thanks to its Palm Rejection (they call it Wrist Protection) and the smooth way Ink hits the screen. Noterize isn’t quite there yet in terms of laying down Ink smoothly. It is a bit too jaggy for my tastes, but, add that to the Palm Rejection, and you can indeed lay down some Digital Ink. More importantly for southpaws, there is user selectable Palm Rejection for lefties as well as righties.

For PDF or Powerpoint markup, the Dropbox API works like a charm. Drop a PDF or Powerpoint into your Dropbox and you can then import it into Noterize with the tap of a button. You can then mark it up, or sign your signature. With another tap of a button, this time the Share Button, and your PDF is on the way to a variety of sources including email and a number of social services. You can also send these files to other Apps on your iPad that support PDF or Powerpoint viewing. I’d love to see this happen with .doc or .docx files, as well as spreadsheet files, but at the moment that’s not an option.

The web clipping option opens up a browser within the App that, well, you can browse with.  If you see something you want to clip, you highlight the area and and copy. The results ends up in Noterize. You can’t annotate directly on the web clipping but you can annotate on the margins of it.

While you can use the Pen, Highlighter and Eraser tools to do your work, you can also use text. There’s a box tool that allows you to create, resize, and edit text boxes. The audio notes function allows you to record notes and if you’re recording a long session while taking text or Ink notes, the recording stops when you reach the end of a page, so that the audio is synced after a fashion with any digital or text notes you’re taking as well. The recording picks up again on the next page.

I’ve really only taken a quick look at what Noterize has to offer. As I said, the developers look like they want to create a full fledged note taking and mark up App, with similar functionality to OneNote. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t OneNote by a long shot, and there are plenty of other PDF markup solutions available that offer more functionality. But Noterize shows some great promise for those of us who have used OneNote, and PDF Annotator on Tablet PCs and understand the power of those applications on Tablet PCs. Again, this is only from early testing, but I’d love to see the developers smooth out the Inking more, and make it possible to bring in documents beyond PDFs and Powerpoint files. This would seem to be the logical next step in my view.

I know there are quite a few Tableteers and others using iPads in ways similar to how I am doing so, and I’d love to hear from you on your thoughts on Noterize. Noterize costs $2.99.



  1. Drnkusv

    07/29/2010 at 8:04 am

    Warner — this looks interesting. Downloading now.

    Did you see that MobileNoter (the software that lets you sync OneNote notebooks to iPad and iPhone) now has been updated to allow inking on the iPad? Pretty cool.

  2. JoeC

    07/29/2010 at 8:22 am

    Warner – This looks promising. In your article you mention other PDF annotation apps for the iPad. I haven’t found a single one that gets close to inking in OneNote and then saving. Any ideas?

    • Warner Crocker

      07/29/2010 at 8:39 am

      I haven’t really tried any of those apps at all, JoeC, so I’m hesitant to comment one way or the other. I’ve just seen them available.

      • Drnkusv

        07/29/2010 at 10:08 am

        Noterize is actually really interesting. For me, palm rejection works better than either of the two other apps that support it on the ipad now.

        The ability to insert a page of notes in the middle of a PDF is also really cool — and may be unique on the ipad, though I have not checked.

        The gold standard for PDF annotation and handling in general on the ipad — in my opinion — is iAnnotate PDF. You can have multiple PDFs open at the same time in a tabbed interface, which is great. You can sync to a mac or PC and wirelessly import hundreds of PDFs at the same time — and sync them back.

        But Noterize may be worth some serious consideration.

      • JoeC

        07/30/2010 at 9:22 am

        Ok, thanks Warner. So far Noterize appears to be the only app that can allow one to mark up a PDF and then e-mail it as a PDF with your makeups intact. Thanks for posting this – it’s not OneNote but it’s getting closer!

        • Drnkusv

          08/01/2010 at 12:53 pm

          iAnnotate PDF can do that very well, also. In many ways, it is more robust than noterize, but the inking on Noterize is much better.

    • Bill

      08/02/2010 at 6:41 pm

      How do you annotate PDFs in OneNote? Can you open pdfs? Or do you print to OneNote?

  3. tivoboy

    07/29/2010 at 9:53 am

    I’m just bummed that msft still isn’t releasing some form of onenote for mac!

    • acerbic

      07/30/2010 at 12:45 am

      When I was looking for something like OneNote for a mac, “Circus Ponies NoteBook” seemed to come closest. When I tried to use it, it turned out to be not really close, but frustratingly limited and inflexible. Made me appreciate OneNote even more.

  4. HG

    07/29/2010 at 10:10 am

    I’m using MobileNoter as well, but might have to give this one a try.

  5. Jim

    07/30/2010 at 6:08 am

    Tablet pcs, GBM, and Warner have been a big part of my work life for years now so I got that little charge that you mentioned that alerted you to noterize. Thanks.

    I have used noterize for one two hour session reading one of my student’s dissertation chapters and marking up for feedback. Using a combo of very short feedback direct I ink, noting see next page and quickly adding a blank lined page as next page and writing on that, and using my little wireless apple keyboard and the sticky not thing with typed text— all together I am finally hopeful it might be as good as a tablet pc mark up. Time will tell.

    Warner please keep blogging on using ipad for I inking— the form factor is so ideal for inking.

  6. dstrauss

    07/30/2010 at 6:22 am

    I tired Noterize last night, and although it has more features, the inking experience is still subpar to me. Note Taker HD, despite having to learn to write in the boxed area, offers a far superior end product and storable/printable PDF output. It is the only inking program for iPad that I’ve tested that will result in normal size handwritten text on the screen and in the printout, instead of looking like drawing on a poster board with magic marker.

  7. Jim

    07/30/2010 at 8:23 pm

    Dstraus–I agree–but I can’ t write on PDF versions of my student papers w note taker HD. But for pure note taking it certainly looks the best and least like magic marker.

  8. Henri

    07/31/2010 at 6:26 am

    For pure note-taling with the stylus, notetaker HD is probably the best. But Notes+ is certainly another one to closely watch. In stead of a fixed writing area on THE bottom, it has à floating writing area. Also you can move blocks of text and it is possible to input blocks of text with the keyboard wich are resizeable and movable. The developer will shortly release a new version with a lot new and improved functionalities.

    • Warner Crocker

      07/31/2010 at 6:58 am

      I had tried Notes+ and moved on. I’ll give it another try when the update comes out.

  9. ChrisRS

    07/31/2010 at 9:25 pm

    This is all very interesting. It will be great is a workable combination can be found.

    This would be a natural for a Win7 tablet with wacom active digitizer.

    I think you are now trying to teach a couple of pigs to sing a duet. You want to emualte a major subset of OneNote on a limited OS and to Ink on a captive screen with a pseudo stylus. If you hoping to have text recognition as well that would be a trio!.

    You need different hardware to accomplish this for the non-geek user.

  10. Sharon

    08/02/2010 at 5:36 pm

    So is the the only palm rejection for iPad that will work for us lefties?

  11. Windowwiz

    01/31/2011 at 3:34 am

    I am using both Note taker and Noterize. I agree that NT HD has superior inking and i think i may Even get used to these capacitive styli. It is just a shame that we are stuck between a man who is convinced that we shoukd be taking notes with the tip of our index fingers and a mega-corp who uses an unstable operating system to sell fixes for its inferior product.

    I think both of these developers as well as the developers of noteshelf are heading in similar and usefull direction with these apps. Hopefully they are also planning on integrating into some of the native and more popular ipad apps like onenote.

  12. Lane

    03/09/2011 at 8:02 pm

    Do any of these (or other) annotatation apps support the insertion of audio notes/comments? that’s what I need. Preferably for the iPad.

    • Lane

      03/09/2011 at 8:03 pm

      Sorry – I guess that I missed that Noterize supports audio. I will check it out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.