Take A Note in Review – One Note to bind them all

takeanote1If you’re like me and always on the lookout for new and worthwhile productivity apps, there’s a chance you may have already come across apps developed by Readdle. Among them are ReaddleDocs, One Disk and Write A Note. Take A Note is Readdle’s fully featured Note app that offers users four note types and even allows for easy transferring of notes to and from any Mac or PC. Not only is it loaded with options, its interface is also one of the best I have seen amongst memo/note apps.

Lets look at Take A Note’s impressive feature set:

  • Transfer your notes to any Mac or PC
  • Four note types: Text, Audio, Draw and Photo
  • Categorize the notes
  • Share your notes via email
  • Search notes
  • Create new notes from your computer

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Upon starting Take A Note, users will find an interface that is well designed and easy to use. The app is essentially divided into four sections or tabs:

  • Add Note – Choose the type of note you wish to create
  • Notes – Area where all your notes can be found via note types and categories (folders). Also where settings is located. Here you can change your font and font size, set a password to keep outsides from opening the app and turn volume boost on for your audio recordings.
  • Wifi Access – Mac OS X, Windows XP and Vista computers can connect while using Wi-Fi, where files can be backed up, deleted and edited. A password can also be randomly generated so other computers on the same network won’t have access to your files
  • Search – Users can search notes by content or title
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Since adding and typing out text notes isn’t much different than other similar apps, I will be skipping ahead to Audio Notes. Take A Note’s audio function is rather basic, with options to record, play, pause and skip to any part of a message. The quality of recordings is good for the most part, though you really need to be sure to speak fairly close to the mic. The volume boost option does more harm than good I find, as it seems to pick up more noise than I would have liked (not to mention a popping sound that is audible at the start of recordings). While it may not be as good as dedicated recorder apps, it can still do the job and be quite effective.

The Draw Note function allows for fairly simple sketches and visual notes. Users can erase with the eraser tool as well as change the pencil size, with 6 pts to choose from. In terms of real estate, the hand icon will allow you to scroll down on the page, thus giving you more space to doodle. Again, this is a a fairly simple drawing tool that will be sufficient for most sticky note type situations.

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When it comes to taking Photo notes, users have the option of choosing an existing image from camera roll or snapping a new shot altogether. Take A Note stores images in its full resolution, so you dont have to worry about highly compressed and resized images that can’t be zoomed into. Another great thing is that even if the same photo has been deleted from camera roll afterward, Take a Note will still have a full sized copy of this photo note.

As with all note types, you are able to send them to anyone via email. The most impressive aspect of this is that the entire process is performed within the app. Most if not all note or landscape email apps I have used needs to terminate and launch the native Mail app. Readdle’s approach definitely makes for a smoother and more seamless experience. All notes can also be categorized by utilizing the categories tab. Notes can be placed into or moved from folder to folder with ease.

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For file transfers to and from a personal computer, Take A Note uses the WebDAV protocol. This essentially allows for a mounted folder to appear on your Mac or Windows, and you can almost treat it like an external drive; just drag and drop notes between your Take A Note folder and your Mac/PC hard drive. Detailed instructions within the WiFi Access Help section will guide you through the whole process. Overall, I had no troubles connecting and backing up all my notes to my PC.

As with all apps, Take A Note does have several shortcomings, though none are considered deal breakers. For one, the quality of recordings from the Audio notes could still improve. Occassional popping and hissing noise did find its way into some recordings. Also, as it stands, note types cannot be mixed and matched. So if I wanted to leave an audio message within my text or photo note, two separate and corresponding notes would have to be made. One final minor detail; when in landscape mode for text notes, you can’t get rid of the keyboard that pops up, which in essence cuts your text screen in half. What if you just wanted to read the note and not edit any text? A toggle for the keyboard to hide and unhide would be useful in this case.

Minor issues aside, Take A Note is a comprehensive Note app that is loaded with features. All the bases are covered in terms of note taking and users will find an interface that is enjoyable to use. Of all the Note apps I have tried thus far, this is certainly the one with the most options and goodies. If taking notes in various forms and the ability to transfer files to and from your computer is important to you, you can’t go really wrong with Take A Note.

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App Summary
Title:Take A Note (v1.1)Developer:Readdle
Price:$4.99App Size:1.4 mb
  • 4 note types
  • Password Protection
  • All emails sent from within the app
  • WebDAV protocol for easy file transferes
  • Audio Recording could be better
  • Can’t mix and match note types
  • Can’t get rid of keyboard in landscape mode in text note

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