Category Archives: Notes

Mixing Notes with Pen and Computer

John Gordon linked to an interesting post about note taking using both pen/paper and computer. Their example was using Evernote Pro that lets you do OCR on handwriting. So you scan in you notebooks and then search for it. I’m sure that works if you have good penmanship. My penmanship was horrible in college and has gotten much worse the years I’ve largely been typing only. So this isn’t really a good option for me. Scanning in drawings can be useful though. (One of my constant whiteboard habits is to take a picture with my iPhone and import it into Evernote before erasing it – just in case) 

While I use Evernote a lot for quick notes – primarily because everything ends upon the cloud – for longer notes and actual note taking I always use Circus Ponies Notebook. Admittedly I’m a long time user, however I’ve tried a lot of other apps over the years and keep coming back to it for anything long form. I know a lot of people are fans of DevonThink but that seems still oriented around shorter notes or more of a full document management system. That is to my eyes it seemed more about storing stuff than long note taking. For that sort of thing honestly I just use the Finder, tags, and occasionally a tag oriented app like Yep & Leap1

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  1. The two apps are more or less paired and used to be sold together. Leap is more akin to the Finder while Yep is more visual and oriented around PDFs. Since 90% of my document management is PDFs I tend to use Leap most however if you want to access Finder folders more then it’s nice to switch over to Leap. As a tip, the versions on the app store are much more expensive than buying off the web site

Circus Ponies Notebook

Circus Ponies Notebook

One of my must have apps is Circus Ponies Notebook. For long form notes such as from a lecture or for taking notes on a book or paper nothing is better. I just found out they newly released version 4 for OSX. It’s only $19.95 for an upgrade for version 3 users or $49.95 if you are a new user. A version is also available on the Mac App Store for $59.99. It looks like the main limit on the MAS is that clipping features are not supported nor voice annotation due to sandboxing issues. So get the non-MAS version. Especially since even the MAS doesn’t support iCloud it seems. (Both the iOS and OSX version support Dropbox sharing though) 

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