There are plenty of apps that let you jot down notes on the iPad, but we haven’t come across many that offer the range provided by CaptureNotes 2. Designed with lectures and business meetings in mind, it’s a good-looking app with some advanced features that make it easy to quickly capture all the detail you need.
CaptureNotes allows you to type and sketch, and you can also take audio recordings. By connecting it to a Dropbox account you can import PDFs, which means you can mark up a set of slides at the same time as capturing the audio. You can even use themed, customisable tags, called Flags, to link a particular section of the audio to the relevant point in your notes.
Using your fingertip to write isn’t quite as smooth or intuitive as you might think, and it takes a little practice to combine a PDF, Flags and audio efficiently, but if you’re after a powerful and highly versatile note-taking app, CaptureNotes 2 is well worth a try.
Time required: 10 minutes
What you need
iOS 4.0 or later
CaptureNotes 2 app (69p)
Step 1: Bound together
In CaptureNotes you work in notebooks, which are then grouped into Binders. Tap New Binder, give it a name and add a subtitle to help keep your files organised. You can then opt to change the colour – all notebooks inside the Binder will be the same hue. Tap the cog in the top-right corner to alter your preferences.
Step 2: Tweak the settings
In the Settings and Defaults menu, you can change the font, text size, paper, and audio recording quality and playback options. You can also link CaptureNotes to Dropbox – the app will create a dedicated folder in your Dropbox, into which you can put any documents you’re planning to annotate.
Step 3: A glowing report
CaptureNotes 2 is the best app we’ve come across for reading and annotating reports and other documents. You can import a PDF from your Dropbox by tapping the Paper icon, and then write, highlight and annotate to your heart’s content. We found landscape orientation best for big documents.
Step 4: Flag it up
Flags are great for grouping information. There are ready-made sets for business and education, or you can create your own. Drag a Flag off the sidebar and position it in your text. If you’re recording, any Flag you post is linked to that moment in the audio. To listen back, tap and hold it until the options appear.
Step 5: All the highlights
To quickly sift through the information you’ve marked up, tap Filter Flags, and then on a particular category. You can then surf through each point in the PDF you’ve tagged with a Flag. Tap on any of the text to go straight to that point. Flags are a brilliant option for dealing with large documents.
Step 6: Digital pencil case
When drawing or writing, press and hold the pen, eraser or keyboard icons to change colour, line thickness, font and text size. You can also choose Highlighters for slightly transparent pen lines for marking key points. Unfortunately, there’s only one undo – to fix older mistakes, you have to use the eraser.