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A Quick Look at OneNote for iPad

Handwriting in OneNote for iPadBack on February 19, Microsoft brought handwriting to the iPad.

I’d been waiting for that for a long time. I love Evernote (as do several of my colleagues here at ProfHacker, as is clear from the number of posts in which it gets a mention). I’m so fond of it, in fact, that I’m a premium subscriber, so I’m not about to walk away from it anytime soon. It’s fantastic for keeping track of information I want to access later.

But for creating notes that are free-form, or for quickly jotting down ideas, it’s not ideal. For that purpose, I’ve always been envious of OneNote users. The problem has always been that there weren’t options for handwriting in OneNote for iPad; for that, it was necessary to be using a Windows or Android device.

Until now. As soon as I heard about the new release, I installed the app on my iPad. I’ve been using it a little over a week, and I’ve been impressed thus far. There are a couple of things I really like about it:

  • I find the notebook metaphor more intuitive than Evernote’s when I’m trying to capture ideas quickly.
  • I’m very impressed with its palm rejection. It’s not perfect, to be sure, but it’s every bit as good as I’ve experienced with an expensive bluetooth stylus, in apps that were supposed to support said stylus — and I was using an ordinary Adonit Jot Pro when testing OneNote.

That’s not to say that the app is perfect. I’m not crazy about the fact that I have to go online to OneDrive to delete a notebook, and I really wish it were possible to add lined “paper” for my notes. (I’m aware that it is possible on some platforms, but not on the iPad or Mac, unfortunately.)

Still, I expect I’ll find myself using it a lot, likely writing day-to-day notes in OneNote, and exporting the ones I need to keep to Evernote for long-term storage, indexing, and retrieval.

Do you have a favorite note-taking application? Do you use more than one, and for different purposes? Let us know in the comments.

Creative Commons licensed image by the author.

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