Academic Technology - Florida State College at Jacksonville

Academic Technology

Taking Notes with your Mobile Device

EdTech, AppsRobyn Reese

When I got my first iPad five years ago, I had grand dreams of how it would allow me to streamline my life by allowing me to have all of my work, play, and family resources in my tote bag whenever and wherever. My original iPad (and the iPad mini that replaced it), went a long way towards meeting this goal, but over the years I found that there was perpetually one specific functionality that was never quite perfect: notetaking.

I could, of course, take detailed notes and draw complex pictures on my iPad relatively easily. There have been a number of great styluses on the market over the years, some of which have the ability to write on the screen like a pen (we recommend the Adonit Jot Pro for writing) and draw like a pencil (we use 53's Pencil for drawing with touch sensitivity). The problem was always the app--I was never able to find one that allowed me to use the notes in another format.

The ideal note taking app should integrate with the other tools that you use for productivity, and allow you to share your notes with others who may not have access to the same apps or equipment that you have. In order to do that, the app needs to be able to translate your handwriting into text. Enter: NEBO! 

As shown in the video above, MyScript's Nebo app uses a technology that they have dubbed "interactive ink" that allows you to easily manipulate notes and text by using intuitive gestures on your tablet. You can mark up text to create headings, bulleted lists, diagrams, and mathematical notation. Double tapping on the content turns it into standard text and illustrations that can be exported as a .pdf, word document, or html! 

Nebo is the note taking app that I have always wanted, but it does have one drawback: at this time, it is only available for iOS and Windows devices. MyScript currently offers a beta version of its Stylus app, which offers more a more limited interface that also utilizes the interactive ink technology. 

For those lucky notetakers who have an Apple or Microsoft mobile device, click here to learn more and download the app for free!