Note taking on your mobile device

Couple weeks ago I’ve attended WordCampIrl conference in Kilkenny. The event was dedicated to learning about blogging, social media and WordPress as publishing platform.It was a great event and I’ve got to talk to some great people also I’ve learned a lot new things about blogging, writing and using new media.
Note taking was one of the main activities during that weekend as some of the sessions were jam packed with useful information tips, software recommendations etc.
I was looking at other people and ways they were using to take notes and at least a third of people used an iPhone for that. Others were using various types of notepads and I stuck with my Filofax. What surprised me a little was there were not that many people taking notes on their laptops.

As I’m considering purchase of an iPhone or an Android based phone (my pick is HTC Desire to be released on 3 Apr.) I’m looking at various usage scenarios. One of them is note taking and idea capture. Currently this is handled by the inbox section in my Filofax and a stack of scrap paper if I’m not taking the Filofax with me.
Both phones or platforms as I should say have some native note taking clients which seem to do the job. Unfortunately with default clients your are quite limited as to what you can do with the notes, where can you sync them etc.

Decided to do some research and look for some popular note taking applications that caught my eye, and fit in to my current setup. NOTE: I have not tested these applications and below are my findings.

MobileNoter – gateway to Onenote, iPhone. This application allows you to synchronize your OneNote notebooks with your iphone. As this is a early release the functionality is not very broad but it’s good for jotting down some notes. Current version supports text notes with other features coming soon.  If you are a heavy user of MS OneNote this application is great for keeping copy of errands to run, some reference information etc.

Evernote – everywhere, anytime, platform agnostic. Evernote is a real powerhouse if you look at note taking space. They provide a great application that allows you to take text, pictures, recordings and drawing note anywhere and have it synced with the cloud. You can use any device you want because they have a client for every smartphone platform and when you can’t use the dedicated device there is always the web interface. This let’s you take notes, researched anywhere, regardless of available device.

Awesome Note lite – For starters this application has great interface. You start with a set of tabs that represent different categories of lists/notes then each note is represented by a small sheet with visible first couple words.  As for the note taking functionality you can use text, images. Notes can be catalogued into folders that are password protected and  full text search will let you find any note very quickly. You can transfer your notes by sending  them via email or to Evernote.

Note Everything – this is an Android application which provides usual set of features like text, audio and  photo notes, checklists. Once captured notes can be send via email or text message (SMS). Some additional features include reminders that can be assigned to each note, option to backup your notes to sd-card.  This looks like a solid replacement for the default client with all in one functionality.

Android applications look useful and provide comparable functionality, and the phone experience itself looks very compelling. However options available on iPhone are much more refined visually and from the user experience. iPhone had obviously some three year head start and that shows as the android apps are still rough around the edges.

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