Review of Noteshelf App (v5.0) on iPad

| 2 min read

The best note taking application for iPad, let me tell you why.

After having purchased 6 other note taking apps including penultimate, notes plus, note taker hd, upad and notability, I have given up and started using notability since it was the best of what is available. It was, however, never a very comfortable experience having to always use the zoom feature since writing directly didn't always work or wouldn't keep up with my stylus. Notability had some very well implemented features like PDF Import and export to and from Dropbox. But the handwriting deficiencies still bugged me (e.g. loss of zoom setting between notes).

I stumbled yesterday by accident into the update notice of noteshelf v5 which I have previously dismissed due to the lack of text input announcing the addition of text input. I figured what's another 5$. So imagine my surprise after trying it for the first time. It only took five minutes to win me over. I was amazed at the level of refinement that the application has. I will give concrete examples:

  • each page remembers its settings including zoom, palm rest position, etc.
  • the palm rest works great and advances automatically as you write down.
  • The ink is beautiful and flows smoothly even when I am writiquick fast fast
  • interface is very iOS centric and is clean and easy
  • easy management of books and pages
  • 17 pages user manual (not really needed but it's there)
  • lots of page templates with matching line spacing when using the zoom feature
  • new page layout can be set for one, all or current and future new pages
  • many many other small things that make using this app a pleasure instead of a chore.

I was so comfortable using noteshelf that I copied over the few notes I already entered in notability and kept going. Compared to notability, i do not find myself think about using the app, i just use it. I set the wide spaced lines as my standard page and I rarely need to zoom and my note taking is effortless. Please forgive the repetition of praises, I simply can't help it.

Now, since it does not do PDF imports, I will have to keep some other app just for such feature so there is room for improvement. Other ideas and suggestions that I can pass to the developer:

  • PDF background via import from Dropbox or Open in
  • add ability to move the zoom area up so that my hand can lay on iPad
  • add ability to quickly jump between favorite notebooks (implies adding favorites)
  • add shortcut to the cut paste move paste sequence to move a selected area around.
  • allow text formatting inside a block instead of the entire block.
  • reposition of pages does not work when you only have two pages
  • reposition of notebooks is also problematic with only two
  • group of notebooks should allow to pick which notebook to show (or at least show the first one instead of most recent, it just weird for me)

Keep up the great work and please don't lose the refinement and attention to details that won me over

I am posting the review i submited on noteshelf here in case anyone wants to comment.