This is a dilemma facing students and workers of the benefits of either using a laptop and typing notes in a meeting or lecture or whether to use (electronic) paper and pen. Here are a few links which report the research findings on the subject…
These articles report on a research project conducted by two professors (one from Princeton and one from UCLA). The findings show that handwritten notes are better than typed notes for better retention and understanding. Of course there are benefits of using a laptop in that you have access to the internet/WiFi and the possibility of participation in on-line activities and demonstrations.
A tablet with a stylus, such as an iPad and the Apple Pencil would appear to be the best of both worlds, quick internet access combined with the ability to take hand-written notes. Clearly we believe that ZoomNotes would be the best app to choose. Here’s why:
Electronic stylus support including Apple Pencil.
Super-smooth handwriting capture with 8 different ink styles.
Magnification window – an optimised way of handwriting onto a page of notes.
Many different page styles and support for custom pages.
Audio recording cross-referenced against your handwritten notes for later review and clarification.
Infinite pages allow you to make notes anywhere at any scale – so you can keep relevant things together.
Sub-documents to allow even more detail to be captured, but still be retained with the overview structure.
Then there are the added benefits of working electronically:
Symbol library allow for quick access to pre-drawn objects.
Documents, folders, sub-folders and tags help keep notes organised.
Auto-backup makes sure your notes are safely backed up to the cloud.
Fully-featured import and export functions let you work well with other apps, both on iPad and desktop.
The presentation system within ZoomNotes lets you quickly sketch-out presentations and present them via AirPlay or through export to video.
A major update to ZoomNotes will be released shortly with some important new features which help integrate the app further into iOS ecosystem. We don’t want to go into any detail now but we are sure that these features will be very welcome. In addition to the new features, there has been a re-structuring of the ZoomNotes codebase, which further improves its performance and stability.
We recently received an email which we really appreciated. It drew our attention to a user’s review of ZoomNotes in the App Store, which very succinctly summed up ZoomNotes in a couple of paragraphs. We felt it was worth sharing here too, as we feel it will be helpful to potential users interesting in finding a really good fully featured note-taking app.
To whom it may concern:
App Store posted review:
“AN APP WORTH REVIEWING
As a medical student, I have literally installed, learned, and exhausted, close to thirty (30) ‘note taking/annotate type apps.” While they all seemed to offer there own strong benefit, they all lacked certain features offered in other apps.
However with ZoomNotes, all these features are not just included in one non-glitchy app, it provides numerous features that are ‘outside the box’ not found ANYWHERE else. In giving a proper pro and con type review, I will advise you of this one needed headache saving caution: IF YOU PURCHASE THIS APP (worth more than its price in so many ways), BE PREPARED TO SPEND SOME TIME LEARNING ITS FEATURES WITH THE HELPFUL TUTORIALS PROVIDED BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO USE IT. While this ‘con’ is really the only downside, it is also only natural to do with an app that offers so much.
“I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS APP!” – E.J.”
Keep up the OUTSTANDING work, and thank you very much!
Out latest release of ZoomNotes (7.1) brings many enhancements and optimisations, but it also brings a new feature of ‘Workspaces’. As ZoomNotes has grown and become more sophisticated, a need arose to let users configure its functions and user interface to specific needs and tasks. What we have come up with are ‘Workspaces’. These let you configure the user interface to your needs, perhaps adjusting colour schemes and toolbar content or enabling which functions are available. You can setup as many of these workspaces as you need and easily switch between them (with the option of a password to protect this). Another great feature of Workspaces is that you can limit them to have access to a certain folder rather than all documents and folders. This helps keep your work organised and safe.
We finally got hold of the new iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil and we’ve been able to test with the latest version of ZoomNotes (7.0.6) and the combination is amazing. The accuracy of the pencil is phenomenal, and the palm rejection 100% reliable.
To turn on Apple Pencil – open the main app settings and choose the ‘Stylus’ section. Tap on ‘Apple Pencil’ and turn it on here.
Today we are excited to announce the release of Version 1 of ZoomNotesX for Mac. It is a fully featured version of ZoomNotes which lets you create, import and edit ZoomNotes documents from your iPad and iPhone. It includes all editing and writing tools available in the iPad version, as well as bookmarking, presentation and video generation tools.
We have kept the user interface similar on the two platforms to keep learning to a minimum. iCloud documents will be automatically synchronised between Mac, iPad and iPhone letting you work easily between devices. We have also integrated ZoomNotes into Finder on the Mac to enable quick previews of your ZoomNotes documents within Finder, and to enable drag and drop files (ZND, PDF, PNG, JPEG, ZIP, MOV) from Finder into ZoomNotesX.
ZoomNotesX works with Wacom Intuos Stylus as a basic drawing and writing tool, and we will be adding support for pressure and buttons shortly.
Whether you are an existing ZoomNotes user on iPad or a new user looking for an innovative note-taking and sketching app with unlimited zoom you will find ZoomNotesX an extremely useful app for your Mac.
We have started beta testing our OS X version of ZoomNotes which brings all of ZoomNotes’ great features to the Mac Desktop operating system. Documents sync via iCloud to the desktop version and vice versa. We’ve tried to keep the interface consistent and familiar for our iOS users whilst still capitalizing on the differences the desktop operating system offers. If you would like to help beta test please email support.
The latest updates of ZoomNotes and ZoomNotes Lite (6.3.1) have added support for the latest Wacom iPad pens – the Bamboo Fineline and the Intuos Creative 2. Here is a video of how to connect the pens. Once connected they re-connect automatically when you press the (connect) button on the pen.
Our first impression of these pens has been extremely favorable – pressure sensitive, rechargeable, configurable button(s) and palm protection.
This type of stylus is becoming more prevalent and popular (not just with ZoomNotes users but more generally). They are electronic styluses with a fine tip ranging from 1.9mm to 3mm. The advantage is that the tip of the stylus does not obscure the screen where it touches unlike using a finger or a non-electronic stylus which has a tip of upwards of 5mm.
However there are several drawbacks with this type of stylus
As you angle the pen from the perpendicular to the screen, the touch point registered on the iPad moves away from the tip. This gives the impression that the ink is coming from some point slightly away from the tip of the pen.
The fine tip interacts with the iPad touch sensors in such a way that if you draw slowly you can get a wavy line instead of an intended straight line. When handwriting this has the effect of some of the letters in a word being drawn either bigger or smaller than you intended. In effect your handwriting looks somewhat untidy. If sketching then sketches look untidy too due to shaky lines rather that smooth lines.
To date in ZoomNotes we have added 2 features to adjust for these problems. We have added a simple calibration step for active stylus which keeps ink aligned with the tip of the stylus. We have also added a ‘slow-smooth’ mode which detects when you are drawing a line slowly and then automatically smooths the line – effectively removing the wavy-ness from the drawn line.
Although these functions make ZoomNotes the best app available to use with an active stylus we have been working on a way of smoothing out the wavy lines in a seamless and transparent way concentrating on making hand-writing look as tidy as possible and we are pleased to announce that we have successfully added this new smoothing option for Adonit Jot Touch, Jot Script to our latest update of ZoomNotes (6.2.3). Below is a video showing the super smoothing in action; it compares it with the smoothing offered by Adonit which works effectively at smoothing wavy lines when drawing, but ‘over-smooths’ handwriting causing small letters to become illegible.
We are now refining our new smoothing technique for use with other fine point styluses and we will be adding this support in the near future.
The new Adonit Jot Touch has just been released and we are loving using it with ZoomNotes. The pen uses Adonit’s ‘Pixel Point’ technology, first introduced with their Jot Script pen. We have therefore enabled the specific features we added for the Jot Script, namely ‘tip calibration’ and ‘slow- smoothing’. In other respects the Jot Touch is similar to the Touch 4 in that it has 2 configurable buttons and is pressure sensitive.
Within ZoomNotes the pressure sensitivity gets used in two areas; firstly within Ink Capture to adjust the look of the captured ink, for example making the ‘Draft’ ink thicker in proportion to the amount of pressure detected. Secondly the pressure is used to aid the palm protection algorithm, so even if you are an ardent note-taker rather than an avid sketcher you can still get the benefit of the pen’s pressure sensitivity.
The last feature we love is the re-chargeability – in our experience pens tend to get through batteries quite quickly especially when connecting via blue-tooth – this cost soon adds up. So, for example, if you are considering a Jot Script or the new Jot Touch, then just this feature should make your decision easy.
Here is a short video showing off the pen’s features in ZoomNotes, including how to connect the pen for the first time, (once connected the connection happens automatically).