A Note about Note Taking Apps

Ever since I’ve had access to an iPad, I’ve been on the search for the best note taking app out there. I’ve used several, ranging from free to pay versions. I had some great experiences, and some annoying ones. It came down to the basic note taking app that come standard, Awesome Note, and Evernote. Here’s what I wanted: Ability to sync between multiple devices, multimedia capability, and security.

The only one of those three that has any security is Awesome Note. I almost settled on this one. It looks great, can handle images, can sync (sort of) and has the ability to passcode folders and entries. I tried the Lite version for a while and got the “pro” version, ready to move forward. Then I started to run into problems.

First, there is no iPad version yet. So the iPhone version on the iPad is syncing to Google Docs, and the one on your iPhone is doing the same. The program cannot handle that. I always had multiple versions of notes. File management was a real problem between multiple devices. I tried to fix this by altering the Google Docs, and re syncing, just to find that I lost all of my folders, and some of my latest notes. If I hadn’t had the files on my other device I would have lost some very important data. All the folders and settings were wiped out.

Until Awesome Note comes out with an iPad version and a way to handle multi device sync, I won’t be settling for that app. So I was back to the included note app, with it’s limitations. It synced just fine, but no pics and no security.

Then I found Evernote. Free unless you need a lot of data transfer, the app has versions for the desktop, iPad and iPhone. The “cloud” is the master, so changing an entry and syncing means that the next time the other apps open, the latest version downloads. You can do all kinds of media, and there is a huge community surrounding this program. I have the Safari plugin where I can “clip” websites and save them as notes. I can edit on my laptop, phone, or tablet device and never worry about which is up to date. Then there’s the Trunk, with all kinds of free content.

The interface isn’t as fun as Awesome Note, but it works. And, if I really want to use the Awesome Note app, I can sync from it to Evernote. And I can use Seesmic to save twitter or facebook content.

The one thing it lacks is security. Sometimes I need confidential information, and carrying it around on an open program makes me nervous. I know, it’s no different than writing it on paper, but it feels less secure. The only option is to use the passcode function on your device. Probably something you should do anyway, so that is how I am securing my data.

There is still a ton that Evernote does that I have not tried. And it seems that the community wants to make it better and more useful. There are probably a lot of other programs out that that work great, but for now I have settled on Evernote. if Awesome Note updates with an iPad app and fixes the sync issues, I may switch back. But I will still sync with the Evernote servers.