Support SaysBrad
  • (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    Anker

    This thing, you need. Run your smartphone for days.

  • Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen

    I use this cleaner for my iPhone, iPad 3, iPad mini and MacBook Pro. It’s great all-around and won’t mess up the oleophobic coating on iOS device screens.

  • Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Artic Silver

    If you’re having problems with your Adonit Jot capacitive touch stylus or Hex3 Jaja, you can improve its performance and reliability with careful application of thermal paste! For more on this, check out my capacitive touch stylus how-to fix-it guide. Months later (Sep 2013), my styli are still performing great!

  • Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot with Pixelpoint, works with a lot of new drawing apps on iPad.

  • Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen

    The stuff I use to keep my iPad screen nice and clean!

  • Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Studio Neat

    Awesome capacitive touch stylus created by Studio Neat. Great guys, great product. I use mine every day! Bradtastic Approved.

  • Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot Pro is an awesome capacitive touch stylus for iPad & other tablets.

  • Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    FiftyThree

    Even if you consider yourself a casual doodler or note-taker, you’ll love this well designed stylus. Built for Paper by FiftyThree, the iPad app — however, many other apps support Pencil.

  • Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Sportsman Supply Inc.

    Playing Cards for your password creation or poker game!

My Amazon.com Wish List
If you’re looking for an app, need personal or corporate branding, marketing material, an illustration, logo, sketch or design — there’s a Brad for that!

Entries in organization (6)

Friday
Oct182013

Notes Plus Review - iPad Handwriting Apps

An inkblog Bluetooth pressure sensitive capacitive touch stylus written response to a comment!
 

Yesterday October 17, 2013 was a pretty big day here in America — our lackluster government has resumed spending ten billion dollars per day and the default crisis has been averted postponed until mid-January.

But I also got a comment on my blog entry iPad mini note taking problems. I decided to write a reply in atypical, inkblogging fashion. Here's the comment by Jeremy.

What did you think of the Notes Plus IOS App? I've used quite a few low and high end stylus' with the app and have not been disappointed with the results. www.notesplusapp.com

 

Here's my handwritten 'ink' reply, with text transcript.

Hey there! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! This is written in Notes Plus on my iPad3 (retina) w/ Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus. I've had the app for quite awhile, but never spent much time with it until recently. I really like the recent app enhancements and the close-up writing mode — its method for adjusting the writing box is probably the best I've used. [Note: referencing the app itself] I wish that it was either raster-based, or had cleaner line creation, more adjustability, more color options (or better colors), and finally, Bluetooth capacitive touch stylus support (for line thickness — pressure sensitivity). Jeremy, you've inspired me to work on a full Notes Plus review. Question: which stylus is your favorite, or what type of styli do you like, the soft tip, disc shaped [tip], Bluetooth, etc? Last, what iPad version are you using, and are you using iOS7? I prefer iOS6. I think that iOS7 slowed down my iPad mini substantially. I hope that you have a great weekend and I look forward to hearing from you!

 

It's difficult to simultaneously compose beautiful sentences and fiddle with legible handwriting, spacing and color, but it was an interesting exercise. I think that my quasi-cursive writing style looks pretty good; quality that I think would be impossible in either Penultimate or Bamboo Paper and probably many of the handwritten notes apps, with the exception of Noteshelf and Remarks.

The image at the top of this post was edited (just for fun) using Repix and Distressed FX — both apps downloaded free. I'm not very familiar with either yet, so I decided to combine the effects of each to gauge the results. Distressed FX is particularly cool; I think I'm going to use it more, likely in combination and conjunction with other apps such as Tangent and Over, for photos and designs.

If you're looking for a great app to use with a capacitive touch stylus and don't mind a vector-based app, check out Notes Plus. It has a great deal of features and a lot of options, but remains usable and straightforward.

 

Saturday
Aug102013

Taking Notes on the iPad & iPhone!

Well — the groosoft sale that I'd mentioned was certainly short lived. Hopefully you picked up both amazing apps! If you didn't, that's a bummer, but let me explain why they might be worth your money.

If you're looking for text-only notes, check out my ThinkBook review.

 

Scrapnote Handwriting Scrapbook (iPad 2 & newer, $4.99)

Scrapnote is an amazing consolidation of productivity tools presented in an elegant package. It isn't the most visually stunning app, but it is powerful and straightforward — perfect for quick and dirty note-taking. Imagine Evernote, Skitch, Penultimate, Noteshelf, Pages and Adobe Reader features all in one app.

You say "scraping," I say "scrapping."

The main feature is its Scrap tool (a process misspelled as "scraping" in their materials). It's basically a clipper; take images, or even a stack of images, videos, text, (no audio, though) and insert them right onto editable pages. These objects can be drawn over and snap-aligned with guides (just like in Apple's Pages).

There are many practical note-taking uses for Scrapnote, but it can also be used as a presentation tool. Each notebook can be set as read-only — the app even comes with an example in the form of a detailed how-to guide. Scrapnote has several different handwriting tools (eraser, highlighter, pencil, pen) each with its own settings and properties, as well as a decent color palette (but no option to choose your own colors). Images can have custom borders (or not) and can be rotated and cropped (clipped, rather, as if set inside a frame) in-app, and text can be presented in various styles and fonts, with optional boxes and drop shadows.

There are some missing features. The major ones:

No zoom. It's a shame, because I could ditch my other handwriting notes apps if it had the ability to zoom into areas for more control. Well, almost, except...

No backup. This is so strange to me, because groosoft's $0.99 Jotter has iCloud sync. No backup makes this app somewhat limited in longevity, so hopefully they'll rectify that. iCloud and Dropbox backup would be preferred. Also...

No PDF export. Single pages can be emailed or sent to images, but the entire notebook cannot be easily presented together in a single file. Each page could be exported and backed up, but those documents would no longer be editable in-app.

Limited colors. The selection isn't bad or that small, it's just not ideal for me. This won't be an issue for everyone, and I'm sure someone out there prefers the simplicity of a set palette.

At the wonderful price of free, I couldn't complain much about these omissions, but for $4.99 — I expect more. If you're on the fence about this app, check out the "trial" version, Scrapnote Lite.

 

Jotter Handwriting Notebook (universal, $0.99)

I have no idea what "real tactile note app" means to groosoft, but I do know that the poor typesetting (look at "app" — "a pp") and misspelling scrapping (in Scrapnote) is indicative of oversight and carelessness... and that is concerning...

But for 99 cents, Jotter is pretty cool.

Especially as it's an iCloud-synced, universal app. Many of my favorite handwritten notes apps are iPad-only, limiting my ability to view and modify these notes on-the-go with my iPhone. The mobile-friendly feature makes it worthy of mention, and perhaps, a download.

Jotter has the same drawing tools and color palette as Scrapnote and has various background options (paper types) including lined/ruled, graphing paper, white, black, etc. — but the pages aren't arranged into notebooks, and images cannot be added into the documents.

However, you can use an image as a background.

For FREE, there's no debate about downloading Jotter. For a buck, it's still probably worth a try. There are other handwriting apps for iPhone, but most have similar issues and cost the same as or more than Jotter. The iCloud sync is a great bonus, and until Evernote makes Penultimate for iPhone (they really should), this is basically the only choice.

But still — no zoom. :-(

 

For iPhone handwritten notes, you could try Draw Pad Pro or Muji Notebook for iPhone — both offer zoom, and Draw Pad Pro is universal and has backup!

Draw Pad Pro is feature-rich and supported, but for some reason, it just doesn't feel right; it also isn't visually attractive, but there's something about the drawing tools and interface that doesn't work for me... so at $2.99, it's difficult for me to recommend (there are occasional discounts on it and it is free from time to time, however).

Muji Notebook is a text and handwriting notes app with a distinct Japanese esthetic and Japanese paper styles. So naturally, I like it (In general, I like Japanese design); but it is limited, and though there are iPad and iPhone versions, the two don't sync with one another. Muji is based on less is more; and with fewer color options, paper styles, and export options, it is a single-purpose tool with more style than substance — aimed at a niche audience. Still, the iPhone version ($3.99) is worth trying because the Muji zoom tool makes writing small, detailed notes a breeze. Developer/publisher Ryohin Keikaku offers trial versions: iPad Lite and iPhone Lite.

 

Final thoughts on note-taking tools for iOS

If I had to score these apps based on my needs, Scrapnote would earn 7/10 and Jotter a 3/5. Both are good, but need improvements to replace my go-to, everyday notes apps. If you've got a back-to-school iPad mini and automatic online backup isn't critical, Scrapnote is probably a worthwhile investment. If groosoft ever adds zoom and backup, Scrapnote would be an 8.5 or 9 out of 10.

If you have a favorite handwriting app for iOS that I haven't mentioned before, please let me know about it!

Also, if you're an app developer or publisher and would like an honest review and feedback, please get in touch. I'm easy to reach online! :-)

 


I've written about the wondrous — yes, magical — iPad, time and time again. I had had concerns that the device was just an overgrown iPod touch, but those fears were quickly dismissed by just using the original iPad for about two minutes. Since that life-changing day, I've dedicated a significant portion of my life and blog to it, and have written before about note-taking on the iPad.

Also, I let the superfloo.us domain expire, but nothing else has changed. Same content, says Brad.

 

Friday
Nov162012

3 Best iPad Notes Apps

I forgot that I wrote this last month for Halloween. I guess the colors are appropriate for Thanksgiving, too. Anyway, the information is still valid.

The three best note taking apps for iPad

  1. Noteshelf – Ramki
  2. Remarks - Write notes and Annotate PDFs – Readdle
  3. Infinite Sketchpad – AllTom

Noteshelf and Remarks are similar, but there are notable differences. Remarks uses some kind of vector line technology for its ink, while Noteshelf is raster. Both can export and notes in multiple formats (image and PDF) and both can backup to Evernote and Dropbox, albeit in different ways. Both Noteshelf and Remarks have a selection of paper types (grid, lined, dot grid, blank, etc) and zoom. Many users will likely choose one over the other, but there are distinct uses for both.

  • Noteshelf can send individual pages and export them, and has pressure sensitivity support — Adonit Jot Touch, HEX3 Jaja and Pogo Connect. Noteshelf has extensive color and line shape options (pencil, pen and calligraphy lines) as well as highlighter colors.
  • Remarks can automatically backup pages in a specific Dropbox notebook, a very handy feature. Documents can also be saved as annotated or flattened PDFs and opened in a myriad of other iOS apps, including Evernote, iBooks, Kindle reader, GoodReader and other backup services such as SkyDrive and Box.

If you're mostly drawing, sketching, and note taking by hand, pick Noteshelf. If you work with PDFs and want to insert images and audio recordings, choose Remarks.

Saving (perhaps) the best for last...

Infinite Sketchpad is a creative's dream canvas. This unique app is a must-have for sketchers, doodlers and planners; as its name implies, with Infinite Sketchpad, you can draw and write on a near infinite workspace with single-color vector pen tools. Incredibly simple, straightforward and intuitive, the incredible zoom levels, undo/redo, and lightning fast UI make Infinite Sketchpad the ultimate blank sheet for ideas. Files can be sent as images or published on the web as a scalable format that allows viewers to zoom in and out, exploring the document they would from the iPad itself.

If you do any kind of work on the iPad, consider these apps if you haven't already. These three are amongst the best notes and planning software for any platform, and should work wonderfully on the new iPad mini. Let me know if you have a different favorite note-taking tool!

Friday
Nov042011

Is the iPad 2 a toy?

Is the iPad just a big, expensive toy?

I suppose that it could be. However, with hundreds of useful productivity and design apps and new iOS5 features, the iPad 2 is certainly much more than a toy.

There are a lot of games for iOS, but they represent only a fraction of what iDevices can do. The iPhone 4, for instance, is a powerful point-and-click camera in addition to being the best 3G smartphone. There are tools to keep in touch with friends and family, find the best restaurants and the lowest gas prices. Notification Center keeps tasks, weather, stocks and calendars one convenient, downward swipe away from whatever you're doing. And the iPhone 4S? Well, there's an 8 megapixel camera, and most importantly, Siri.

But about the iPad itself, specifically the iPad 2...

The iPad 2 is much more than a "big iPhone."

When the first iPad was announced, I bought the hype — I thought of the iPad as a big iPod touch, nothing more. Of course, everything changed when I actually used one. If you're thinking about buying one (and can afford it), do it. If you're skeptical, try to get to an Apple store to spend a few minutes to test an iPad.

There are features and apps that just wouldn't work well on the smaller screen of the iPhone, even with the retina display. There may be a lot of small pixels on the iPhone 4, but that doesn't just change the size of your fingers. Organization and writing tools are much more natural on the iPad, and there are apps that allow you to draw and write as you could on paper that just aren't practical on a small screen — you'd either have to write/draw smaller, or constantly zoom in/out and scroll. Typing is much nicer and quicker on the iPad, and iOS5 has a new split keyboard feature.

Popplet is a good example of the iPad's wonderful abilities. This organization app, a mind mapping tool, has been around since the first iPad, and I still use it to organize thoughts quickly and to share ideas. Popplet takes advantage of the large screen; you can drop text, images and drawings into the popples (the boxes), resize them, connect them, and move them around, while still seeing the bigger picture. There are mind mapping tools for the iPhone, but I haven't found one as useful. And I do constantly keep an eye out for new apps.

Bringing me to something else, worth mentioning...

You don't need to empty your wallet on apps.

Check out AppShopper, a universal app that keeps track of new and popular apps, as well as your favorites, and notifies you of price changes and updates. I've snagged hundreds of apps, usually in the $1.99-9.99 price range, for free — many of them I wouldn't have known about in time if not for AppShopper. This tool keeps track of the many holiday sales and discounts, so you can get that $4.99 app you've been eyeing for $0.99 when the developers decide to have a special 24 hour sale.

There may be over one million reasons to get an iPad or use it for more than gaming. I could go on for hours about it. I love my iPad 2. But here is what you really need to know: as Steve Jobs said, it's magical. The iPad is revolutionary, and the device can change your life if you let it. (Also, for the disabled/handicapped, the iPad is the greatest computer, ever. Essential.)

This review of sorts may sound like a sales pitch, but it's not... Apple doesn't need my help to sell iPads. I'm sharing, because I've gained so much from this device, the one I'm writing this blog entry from, and I hope to encourage others to give the iPad a chance. I'll try to share more tips, tricks, and reviews... and hopefully, Apple will release Siri for the iPad 2. That'd be a wonderful treat for me. And hey, I'm helping them sell iPads! Apple should do something nice for me.

:-)

Thursday
Jul212011

ThinkBook app for iPad Review

ThinkBook - Write, Plan, Outline and Take Notes ($4.99) is an iPad app by bitolithic that I’ve recently spent some time using, and I must say, ThinkBook IS AWESOME. I will get into app specifics, but first, I want to comment on the wonderful developer, @bitolithic. Emiliano Molina’s responsiveness, support, and attitude has been exemplary, and he is a developer that should be supported. bitolithic is also responsible for Comic Zeal, a universal comic app with great reviews.

Now, to the meat of the ThinkBook quick review!

 

ThinkBook has custom keys that are extremely usable; adding notes and navigating the app is a breeze.

ThinkBook is productivity application designed to organize large amounts of information (text) into usable chunks. The beauty of this software is that, by design, it’s as simple or as complex as you’d like it to be. You could use this app to organize classes, schoolwork, research, or your entire life.

If you’re looking for a simple, straightforward to-do list application, this app is probably overkill. It could be used to keep track of tasks, but task management isn’t its main strength. (Information on “Wunderlist” at the end of entry)

However, if you are working on a complex project, ThinkBook is perfect.

From the onset, ThinkBook can seem daunting. The learning curve seems steep. Fortunately, after spending about ten minutes with the app, I realized that it is a lot more intuitive than I’d first thought, and quickly fell into a productive rhythm with the program. Still, I recommend reading the built-in manual — to get the most out of the app. 

ThinkBook has a simple, powerful structure, built around a homepage called “Contents.” This overview page is just like the table of contents in an ebook — from here, you can jump to various pages and books within the app. ThinkBook organizes text on individual pages, and books are simply collections of pages. 

All of your text inside of the application can be found using the search tool on the sidebar. Further, ease of use is provided by a cursor on the righthand side of the screen; this tool allows notes to be moved around freely, and can be used to move entire pages as well.

 

ThinkBook is only going to get better. I have no doubt that Emiliano will continue to support his apps; bitolithic won’t disappear. Also, if you do end up getting this app, don’t hesitate to give your honest feedback — your concerns or criticisms will only help to make the app better!

You could also let bitolithic know that you read this blog entry ^_^

(For a wonderful FREE task manager, check out Wunderlist — available on all iOS devices, iPhone, iPad, as well as Android, Mac OS X and Windows PC. 6 Wunderkinder GmbH has also released a web app version. Wunderlist stays synced across all devices. Definitely Bradtastic Approved!)

Monday
Oct052009

Action Writing (a quick post), and Canteo

Canteo A5 Notebook.I’ve been working hard (through a lot of pain, too) to create a great — and great looking — blog and website.

I really hope that you’re liking the results. So far, I’ve received a lot of positive feedback — I appreciate all of it — it lets me know that I’m headed in the right direction.

Many ink-lovers were pleased to see my work back up; I hope that they like my new style, and I hope that my work inspires some ink comments (handwritten, however you want to!) and new inkbloggers and Tablet PC contributors. Technology is enabling and exciting — changing the world… and we get to decide if that’s for better or worse.

I’ve been working on new artwork and designs… I’ve created a few marketing pieces and I’m currently working with several people to turn ideas into actions.

The results of my work can be seen here, along with some of my inspirations. Over the next few days, I’ll add books, materials and products to this site with my Amazon Associates ID. If you’re planning on buying something from Amazon anyway, please help this site stay afloat and keep the content coming by giving me some credit. Hopefully, I can pay it forward — hopefully, you think I’m worth it.

Design needs a designer.

If you’re looking to get a product marketed or a project off of the ground, let me know. I might be able to personally help — I can certainly point you in the right direction. If you’re looking for graphic design or typography, look no further.

If you’re looking to jump-start a project on your own, you may want to try BackpackIT by 37signals or the more creativity-focussed Action Method by Behance. I’ve used Backpack for several years now, and I actively use Action Method paper products… both are great for organization… both can be free, and have very reasonably priced paid upgrades.

Writing offline — paper, paper!

Today I received two packages in the mail: one from Canada containing Canteo Classeur notebooks (Swiss made — more photos at my “gallery”) and a Rhodia webnotebook, the other from Behance’s Creatives Outfitter containing an assortment of Action Method offline GTD organization tools. No more Moleskine notebooks for me; I’ve found reasonably-priced alternatives superior to Moleskine in every-way, and I can’t hardly wait to share my findings. I’m likely going to review all of these… most particularly, the Canteo notebooks — extremely difficult to find, previously unavailable in the US.

 


 

The excitement has just begun. For the past few years, I’ve tried to create things — do things — that help people. I’ve struggled through some difficult things and found happiness in words, the art of communication. I hope that these posts can inspire and inform. In addition to writing about paper products and GTD tools, I’m going to interview a hypnotist and therapists to discuss serious issues in hopes that I can offer solid advice and help to those in-need.