Remarks: An iOS PDF Mark-up App With Something Different

I usually save the mobile apps for my Mobile App of The Day blog, but this one seems particularly useful for attorneys and worth a mention here in the Studio. Remarks is a new PDF app designed for the iPad from the fine folks at Readdle who know a thing or two about annotation and PDFs on the mobile screen. It is a fully featured PDF annotating application, with a variety of tools to fine-tune your marks. You can highlight, underline, strikeout text, draw upon the documents – that means pretty much anything you can do with the document on paper. But what sets Remarks apart from other apps, like another fav of mine iAnnotate and the like, is the extremely simple view / interface. It drops the complex layers and just gives you the WYSIWYG experience. Combine that with an able note-taking interface and it seems Remarks might be a replacement for more than few apps on your iPad. Notes become PDFs, which can then be easily viewed, printed and edited on your computer. Share notes with others for their perusal and comments. From the iTunes description, here are a list of features:

★ Make notes

Write everything you think is important on a meeting, lecture or presentation.
★ Sketch new ideas
Draw the plan to take over the world. Maybe even two, just in case.

★ Type in text notes
Prefer typing text to handwriting? We have a tool for that.

★ Annotate PDFs
Mark important things in books, journals or documents that you need to review.

★ Draw with your finger
Use it to make remarks in scanned books or simply draw something beautiful.

★ Co-edit notes with friends
You can edit notes made by any other Remarks user and vice versa.

What else Remarks lets you do:

✓ Add Notes Quickly
Only one tap is needed to start new a note, no matter where in the application are you located at the moment.

✓ Exchange documents with your computer
Use a USB cable and iTunes File Sharing to transfer notes and PDFs between your iPad and your computer.

✓ Edit your notes on the Mac or PC
You can make changes into your notes using any PDF editing application like Preview on the Mac or Adobe Reader on the PC

✓ Annotate Email Attachments
Open PDF attachments directly from the Mail app to annotate them.

✓ Share Notes With Your Friends
Email your notes to any other person with Remarks and they will be able to edit it like their own.

✓ Import PDFs from Dropbox, Box.Net, Safari and other applications.
Use “Open In” to transfer documents for note-taking or annotation from any popular cloud storage or iPad app.

 

You can get Remarks for $4.99 in the app store – a small price to pay if it becomes your favorite note-taking, PDF annotating, document collaboration app on the go.

 

 

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OneNote To Be Microsoft's First Foray On To iPad!

I HEART ONENOTE! I have said it before here on the Studio and it is time to crow about it again. Why? Because OneNote will be the first of Microsoft’s Office products to hit the iPad and I think that is just perfect.

If you aren’t familiar with this fantastic note taking / note book application often found bundled in the Office suite, then check out my quick post about OneNote here. About a year ago, I was jumping for joy when OneNote first made it onto the iPhone, making OneNote all the more convenient and accessible. Now, just in time for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, OneNote becomes the newest note taking and organizing tool on the ubiquitous iPad.

Like the iPhone version, OneNote for iPad is not as full featured as the desktop. You can sync and view your desktop notes on your iPad while on the go. You can also create and mail notes while out and about. You will need to activate a Windows Live account to get the syncing feature – well worth the effort as it offers a few other cool goodies, like SkyDrive. 

Jot This Down: Springpad

Still looking for the perfect note taking tool? Have you tried Springpad (link here)?

Back a few months ago, I featured visual web snipping tool Zootool (link here) here in the Studio. In the comments to that post (since lost during my change over to Disqus), Jeff Janer of Springpad urged me to try their competing product. I immediately looked into it and, while I haven’t made a complete switch, I can see some very compelling reasons why this app has a privileged place in the somewhat overcrowded field of electronic notebooks and organizers.

First of all, Springpad is free. Second of all, it is web-based, but also is accessible from your Apple or Android-powered phone. You can access it from pretty much anywhere. Of course, you can make text notes. But you can also add events (syncs with Google Calendar), photos, voice notes, products by barcode or image, businesses, events, recipes — pretty much anything you can snip, copy, type, say, snap and paste. Of course, it syncs immediately across your devices / platforms. You can even email information to Springpad and the app will stow it away in the proper receptacle for you.

You can set up alerts to be sent to you via email or SMS. Anything you might want to know about can be arranged to alert you, whether it is an event or a price drop on a product you are interested in buying. And for the buying alerts, Springpad is working with some retailers and you might even get a Springpad-only coupon for the desired item.

With the web clipper button in your browser, if you can find it, you can clip it. The tool will suggest different categories or filters, so that the information gets appropriately slotted. But what makes Springpad special here is that the clipper is smart. It uses semantic technology to figure out what you are clipping and, therefore, interested in and makes related suggestions. Same goes for adding content via the mobile apps. Clip a movie and get local movie times. Clip a recipe and get prompted to add a shopping list. If Evernote is a filing cabinet, Springpad is a virtual assistant presenting added info you may not have thought of or were going to do next yourself. And this is where Springpad shines – it does some of the “thinking” for you. Springpad does more than simply hold your vast collection of information only accessible via rudimentary organization or search. Springpad is the perfect tool for people who want to get organized but can’t handle the process or can’t be bothered to set up their own organizational system.

I like the OneNote-like aspect of creating notebooks with tabbed pages. Springpad notebooks also offer templates, or apps as they call them in Springpad-land.  The apps help you actually accomplish goals with the information you save. You can add a wine notebook (sponsored by social wunderkind Gary Vee), a meal planner, a movie tracker, a travel checklist, a blog post planner, even a cleaning supply inventory. Again, Springpad works in conjunction with other “experts”, so, for example, the meal planner template or app results in a recipe list created with the help of Epicurious and Allrecipes.

In many ways, Springpad obviates the need for several separate apps. Springpad can: save notes a la Evernote; save bookmarks a la Delicious; save tasks a la Remember The Milk; and, create grocery checklists a la Grocery IQ. So, put a checkmark in Springpad’s plus column next to its ability to simplify and shorten your retinue of day to day applications necessary for staying on top of your game.

While I am not sure of the particular utility of this feature, you can integrate your Springpad information with your social networks. In other words, if you clipped something particularly interesting to a demographic broader than yourself, you can put your saved info into your Facebook or Twitter stream and “alert the media” so to speak. You also can tap the community built right into Springpad itself – yet another on-line venue to get social over information sharing.

Check out the quick overview of Springpad here, and see if you like its outline:

Springpad has been busy. It recently released an Android app and now, to my great joy, it has released a shiny new iPad app! There are lots of enhancements in the iPad and new iPhone app – hit the jump (link here) to read more on the details.

There is always some bad news, isn’t there? If you use Windows Mobile, Blackberry or Palm’s WebOS, you are out of luck. But with the rapid development Springpad has been pouring into its product over the past several months, I fully anticipate seeing an option on all viable platforms in the near future.

Facebook for Bloggers

Twitter tends to be touted as the number one place to promote a blog. But what about Facebook? Wouldn’t your friends and any number of the over 400 million users be interested in your content? Why not leverage Facebook to get your blog noticed?

There are plenty of applications within Facebook to help you toward this end. My personal favorite is Networked Blogs (link here)  – you can see my widget in the right-hand sidebar on this blog. My Networked Blogs app is also promoted on my Facebook Profile and on the AdvantageAdvocates’ business page. You can list your own blog within the application, people can subscribe to your blog and receive news feed updates when new posts are generated and you can subscribe to other interesting blogs. Comment, like and share using Facebook functionality. Easy way to stay up to date on your favorite feeds right within the Facebook environment.

But there are other applications. Facebook Notes (link here) was my original tool for feeding my blog into Facebook. You can set up Notes to accept your RSS feed from your blog and every time a new post is generated, it will create a new Note within Facebook for all of your friends to see. Downside is that it is limited to your friends, while Networked Blogs allows subscription by anyone. But, Notes is indeed a quick, simple method for showcasing your blog posts.

If you are already feeding your blog entries into Twitter and Friendfeed, you can take advantage of Facebook’s Twitter (link here) and Friendfeed (link here) applications to auto-update your feed or status with the new entries.  The upside is that these syncs are great tools for automating and streamlining your content publication. Downside is the potential for annoying your Facebook friends with excessive entries if you are a heavy-duty Twitter or Friendfeed user.

Although it appears not to be a fully active feature, just Tuesday the tech pundits were all a-Buzz (or a-Twitter depending upon your soc-med of choice) about a new feature on Facebook called “Promote This Post.” It appears to be a spot advertising option whereby you can pay to have a particular post promoted within the Facebook ad scheme.

Clicks are measured and payments are based on clicks. It appears to have been directed at Facebook Page admins and was not universally rolled out. If it ever does roll out, however, it could serve as a very effective means of targeting your message to a potentially interested audience. You can find out more about this feature over at WebProNews (link here).

iPhone Apps for Writers

PenA couple weeks ago, a writer friend who also has an iPhone asked me about apps for writers. I explained that, with more than 85,000 apps in the App Store, there are more than a few that fit the bill. Thought I would share with you the list I sent to her. These apps are not lawyer-specific, but certainly would help a writer of any ilk.

Wikipedia – encyclopedia by crowd consensus. Free. Or its more readable counterpart, Wikiamo.

Dictionary – word resource that includes both a dictionary and a thesaurus. Free.

Quickword – word processing app, Microsoft Word-friendly. $12.99

Evernote – note-taking app that works well for collecting research. Syncs with software on your desktop (free download) and on the Web (also free) so you can take your notes anywhere and add them into virtual notebooks. Can store notes in many forms, including pictures, digital drawings and voice recordings. Can’t say enough about how great this app is. Free.

Stanza – free ebook reader, with access to paid ebooks but better yet, access to Project Gutenburg online database of free ebooks of the classics. Free.

Goal Tender – simple goal setting and task app for organizing and getting things done. $2.99

Story Tracker Lite – tracks your writing submissions to various publications. Free.

SimpleMind – mindmapping (brainstorming) app. Free.

WriteRoom – a notetaking app that works much better than the one of the iPhone for writing. Can sync with a version that stays on your computer, so you can write while out and then sync it back into your computer. Loads of special features that make it great for writers. $4.99

Happy writing!

‘Notes On The Ropes: OneNote versus Evernote

Lifehacker’s been dancing around it and so have I: which desktop notetaking app should win the big prize? OneNote and Evernote are the clear contenders here and I personally use both. Lifehacker has a poll going on over there and I am finding the results very interesting.

Lifehacker prefaces its poll with a quick little synopsis of the differences and similarities. To quote Adam Pash:

OneNote integrates like a dream with every corner of your Windows desktop…. Both apps are serious about syncing your notes with the web and other computers with the software installed. Evernote wins the mobile war with support for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Palm Pre; OneNote, on the other hand supports only Windows Mobile devices. Both can perform optical character recognition (or OCR) for translating your handwriting into searchable notes…. We could go on, but ultimately both tools have a lot in common with subtle differences (the tablet PC-owner niche loves OneNote).

I have always thought this particular war is the victim of price-bias: advantage to Evernote available at the unbeatable price – free. Evernote premium is a paid application but costs only about 1/2 of OneNote’s retail price. Consequently the results, at the time I looked, were a bit surprising to me in spread rather than lead, and that was even BEFORE I voted.

So, which application do you think I favor? Which application do you favor? Enquiring minds want to know.

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'Notes On The Ropes: OneNote versus Evernote

Lifehacker’s been dancing around it and so have I: which desktop notetaking app should win the big prize? OneNote and Evernote are the clear contenders here and I personally use both. Lifehacker has a poll going on over there and I am finding the results very interesting.

Lifehacker prefaces its poll with a quick little synopsis of the differences and similarities. To quote Adam Pash:

OneNote integrates like a dream with every corner of your Windows desktop…. Both apps are serious about syncing your notes with the web and other computers with the software installed. Evernote wins the mobile war with support for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Palm Pre; OneNote, on the other hand supports only Windows Mobile devices. Both can perform optical character recognition (or OCR) for translating your handwriting into searchable notes…. We could go on, but ultimately both tools have a lot in common with subtle differences (the tablet PC-owner niche loves OneNote).

I have always thought this particular war is the victim of price-bias: advantage to Evernote available at the unbeatable price – free. Evernote premium is a paid application but costs only about 1/2 of OneNote’s retail price. Consequently the results, at the time I looked, were a bit surprising to me in spread rather than lead, and that was even BEFORE I voted.

So, which application do you think I favor? Which application do you favor? Enquiring minds want to know.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]