iPad Note Taking Apps Showdown

The ability to take handwritten notes on an iPad seems like a no-brainer. But, which app to choose? Here’s a showdown of the five most frequently mentioned apps for handwritten notes on the iPad, from least liked to best bet. [UPDATE: Vote for your favorite iPad handwritten note taking app.]


PaperDesk comes (unlike any of the other apps) in a free ‘lite’ version on the app store, so it may be worth a try to see if it fits your needs. Unfortunately, inking is not very smooth. There is a nice bookmarking feature, and a nice to-do feature including the ability to review all to-dos from multiple notebooks on the home screen. However, the to-do’s do not sync to a particular page in a notebook.

Exporting to PDF requires connecting to iTunes. There is no Evernote integration.

Paperdesk does have the ability to export directly to Google docs. It also includes the ability to use typewritten notes. Typewritten notes, unfortunately, do not wrap around hand written notes and ink almost seems to be a secondary input choice. The keyboard has a nice quick access toolbar for tabs, bullets and math symbols.

Palm protection, the ability to keep your wrist or palm from creating extraneous and unwanted marks on the paper, is weak. The icons and general layout are somewhat goofy and not at all iOS like. There are no discrete settings or preferences. Photos can be imported either from the photo library or the camera.

PaperDesk also includes the ability to record voice notes. However, the keyboard obscures the record button, making it difficult to begin and end recording. Sounds are actually linked to the typewritten words making it quick to jump to any particular point of the recording. For example if you typed out “four score and seven years ago” while recording, and then clicked on the word years, the audio would begin replaying whatever was spoken or recorded at that particular point when the word “years” was typed. This is similar to the functionality contained in other programs such as Soundnote for the iPad, and also replicates, to some extent, the functionality of having a LiveScribe pen. Unfortunately, the recording does not track handwritten notes and tracks only typewritten notes.

GhostWriter Notes.

Ghostwriter ($4.99) notes allows you to take notes either with pen or by typing on your iPad. The interface is much better than that of PaperDesk. There are a number of different papers which can be used and custom papers can be made from anything contained within the iPads photo album. PDFs can also be imported for annotation and markup, a great feature for filling out things such as standardized intake forms. Interface is relatively clean and straightforward, iOS like.

Export options are plentiful, including the ability to export through e-mail, Dropbox, Evernote, directly to a PDF viewer, by printing wirelessly to printers capable of communicating with iOS, as well as sending the note page to the iPad photos album. GhostWriter allows the user to insert blank pages into a notebook, and reorder the pages as you see fit. Each page is given the default description of the current date, but each page can also be renamed to a custom page name. There are, of course, a variety of pens, pencils and highlighters for use within the application. Unlike PaperDesk, there is no audio recording with GhostWriter. GhostWriter employs a zoomed handwriting feature. This allows the user to write with much greater detail than would normally be possible using a stylus or finger on a blank page. However, the ink contained within the zoom box is somewhat pixelated and difficult to read.


Penultimate ($1.99) is perhaps the most iOS like of any of the applications. It is brutal in its simplicity which, depending on your view, is either the highest selling point or the biggest drawback. Penultimate has outstanding pen to paper feel, with the ink flowing smoothly across the page. It incorporates very, very good palm protection. Photos can be imported from either the iPad’s photo album or directly from the camera. Paper is limited to 3 styles, although additional styles are available for both free and via in-app purchase.

The main drawbacks to Penultimate are limited export opportunities. Entire notebooks or individual pages can only be exported as PDF files or as native Penultimate files and only through e-mail. Individual pages can be saved into the iPad photo album or printed via iOS capable printers. Overall, Penultimate is a beautiful app, accurately recreating the simplicity and presentation of a pen and paper notebook.

Note Taker HD.

Note Taker HD ($4.99) is perhaps the deepest of all these applications. The best of these features include the ability to select, cut and paste handwritten text, the ability to tag, flag and mark favorites for individual notes. Also, Note Taker HD can directly import PDFs and then mark them up. As with GhostWriter, this can be very handy for creating forms you want to fill out. Of course, to some extent, this inevitably results in duplicate data entry, the bane of the computing world. Note Taker HD also incorporates a zoom feature for creating handwritten notes. Again, this allows a great deal of detail and precision when writing in the Zoom box that is reflected on the full page.

The handwriting this passable, but not quite as smooth as Penultimate. Additionally, Note Taker HD lacks the ability to directly connect to Evernote. Finally, note taker HD is a somewhat complex piece of software is a trade-off for the depth of features. Although the layout is nice and presentable, it can be a bit offputting and somewhat counterintuitive at times as it diverges from standard IOS interface.


Noteshelf ($4.99) has truly amazing handwriting/pen and ink response. It also incorporates a zoom feature which allows, again, precision handwriting. The ink on the page is comparable to Penultimate. Noteshelf allows for palm protection to avoid inadvertent inking on the paper. The interface and layout is very iOS like, very intuitive, and customizable for lefty versus righty. There is a direct Evernote export. As well as Dropbox, iTunes, e-mail, iPad photo album, and print to iOS capable printers. Export format can be set to go as either individual images for each note page (which is the best way to export to Evernote as the handwriting will be recognized and then searchable) or as multipage PDFs. Page navigation is very nice and intuitive with a thumbnail drop-down for each page. Individual pages can be rearranged and reordered and individual pages can be moved/copied between different notebooks. Downsides to Noteshelf include the inability to import PDFs for annotating. Also, custom papers are, as with Ghostwriter and Penultimate, a separate in-app purchase for additional money. Photos can be imported directly from either the camera or the iPad’s photo album.

The big winner.

It’s a close call between Noteshelf and Note Taker HD. Note Taker HD has some superb features and is well worth considering if you need to fill out for right on top of an markup individual PDFs. However, if you want great inking ability, excellent export options, and ease-of-use note shelf is the way to go. If, on the other hand, you want to recreate as closely as possible plain ole’ pen and paper, go with Penultimate.

This is not an all inclusive list of note taking apps which use ink, just a review of those most frequently mentioned. Noterize sorta gets you there, and is free, but the inking isn’t that great although the app does do audio recording. Notes Plus is a nice effort, allows mixed typing and handwriting, as well as recording audio. But, the ink feel is a bit jerky, the export options and paper are both very limited as well.

A word about styluses (styli?).

Writing on the iPad with your finger will quickly become unbearable and unworkable. If you want to take handwritten notes, you will need a stylus. The Pogo ($10.98 Amazon) is workable, but has a spongy tip on it. The Kuel H10 ($12.99 Amazon) has an excellent tip which is nice and as precise as can be with a capacitive touchscreen such as the iPad has. Unfortunately, the Kuel 10 is also a stubby little bugger. I resorted to modeling mine by pulling the rubber grip off a regular pen and also extending the length by sticking an extension on the Kuel 10. Update: Received a Jot stylus from Adonit ($19.99) last night… by far and away the best stylus out there due to the length. Because it has a ‘hard’ tip, as opposed to the rubber and sponge of others, it does tend to make a tapping sound on the glass as you write. But, the Jot is a full-length, well balanced device. You ‘can’ make your own free Jot disc-style stylus if you have the time and DIY attitude (web page link, YouTube link). Why would you want to make your own? Because these things (stylii) get lost, because you want to use an old-well balanced pen you have lying around, because you’re cheap, because you’re a tech-head pioneer and slide rulers, pocket protectors and thick rimmed glasses have all gone out of style.

On the Bleeding Edge

Back in the dark ages (prior to the widespread availability of the ‘personal’ computer), my father worked in a corporate environment. There was always a push for the most up-to-date technology as a tool which could speed work, improve accuracy and even take out the garbage if you were willing to just spend the time writing code. Unfortunately, due to limitations of hardware at the time, that kind of coding eventually only produced a program that would flash “take out the garbage”on the screen at a given time and day.

One particularly impressive piece of technology available to staff: a “presentation” device. This device consisted of a series of rackmounted slide projectors which could be operated so as to give the effect of “transitions” between slides.

This amazing slide projector had cutting edge features such as a 1300 lm lamp; forward and reverse control of slides; an RS-232 serial connector; random slide access via remote control or computer; a built-in dissolve feature (0 to 10 seconds); and it weighed in at a feathery light 26 pounds. All this for a paltry $1,560 (lens not included). Surprisingly, the manufacturer did not include the most important feature in the press release materials: an amazing capacity to consistently overheat and crap out 5 min. into a 20 min. presentation.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Recently, in the middle of trial, about to begin a cross exam of a witness, the TrialPad app, when reconnected to the cable at the podium, refused to display anything other than mirror mode.

The revolutionary software, this secret weapon, this huge advantage over my worthy but technologically handicapped adversary, was now not only worthless, but also a potential scuttling of my whole boat. Technology rigorously follows Murphy’s law: anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

Belt and Suspenders

In addition to having spare batteries for the remote, a spare bulb for the projector, a spare laptop/iPad in case it craps out, and your presentation on a spare USB drive you must have, more than any of these, a plan ‘B.’

Plan ‘B.’ The cross exam depended on a few key documents and prior testimony. Time to go old school. At every trial, the important exhibits (there should usually only be five and absolutely no more than ten of these) should be blown up and placed on foam board. Now, here’s the trick: get those blow ups laminated. This allows you to draw, write and highlight directly on the blow up with dry erase markers which can then be later erased. Next, always have a hardcopy of your exam outlines contained in your trial notebook. Last, always have hardcopies of the depositions. With these items in hand, you never need to worry that technology will fail you. You only need to question whether the time and money involved in technology are worth the the effort.

Note: The fatal bug in TrialPad appeared in a previous version and has since been corrected.

TrialPad 2.0 – BAMF

We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Blog Posts… With a Bang.

Our firm tried three cases in the last five weeks. MacLitigator has been too busy over the past two or so months to post anything. The last case finished with a jury verdict coming in after 9:30 p.m. yesterday evening. But, news that TrialPad 2.0 was in the App Store made me pop open the iPad for a look.

The short review. Wow.

Summary: TrialPad 2.0 offers the best parts of a full blown laptop/desktop trial presentation system in a simple-to-use package at a fraction of the cost.

The Long Review

For anybody doing any amount of trial work, and yes that means even if you only have one trial, TrialPad is a must have application. TrialPad provides an amazing array of powerful presentation features in the small and unobtrusive package that is the iPad. Notably, MacLitigator was previously critical of the limited feature set and high price of $89. While $89 is still in the high end territory for the App Store/iOS ecosystem, the 2.0 version is easily justified.

What can TrialPad do with a displayed document? It can: highlight or annotate with multiple colored pens; display a red, blue or green ‘laser point’ which follows your finger on the projected image; display two documents side by side; create on the fly call outs; zoom with the pinch and zoom ease of the iPad; redact on the fly; and, rotate an improperly displayed image or image set.

Finally, TrialPad can save a marked up image or document to be used and/or admitted as evidence. So, a witness can mark up a document and, hitting the ‘Fire’ button, will save a copy of the document/image to a special folder. The marked up version can then be used as needed later on with other witnesses or admission can be sought. TrialPad includes support for AirPrint which also means that a hardcopy could be printed right there in court if an AirPrint compatible printer is available.

TrialPad offers the ability to display on a projector or other screen any a huge number of file formats including everything from the ubiquitous PDF, to video files (and the ability to edit clips inside the app), to even Pages and Keynote plain .txt files (think raw court reporter transcripts). Of course, for best results, sticking with more common place file types, such as PDF, jpg etc., will work best for unaltered formatting when displayed.

The only thing missing at this point, and the killer feature that would take this app over the top of all other trial presentation software, is the ability to leverage Apple’s AirPlay so that the wires could be dumped. It really sucks dragging a VGA or HDMI cable around the podium or stringing it to counsel’s table. On a side note, TrialPad 1.5’s screen/display had a nasty habit of hanging when rapidly removing and replacing the video adapter, as in when you leave the podium and return to the table. At this point, the issue ‘seems’ to be cleared up in TrialPad 2.0.

If you’ve read this far…. thanks. Also, Lit Software and Ian provided me with an early demo license to TrialPad which included an update. MacLitigator feels obligated to ‘pass that license on’ and not keep it for personal use both for journalistic integrity and other reasons. So, keep an eye out here as there will soon be a give away to one lucky reader for a free TrialPad license. Also, the next few posts will detail ALL the tech used at trial, from hardware to ‘alternative’ trial presentation apps. Stay tuned.

July 10, 2011: Update Reader Stan Mortensen has highlighted some fairly serious bugs in TrialPad 2.0. I have not been able to replicate these bugs. As with any software or hardware, extensive testing and working with it prior to going into an actual trial is a must. You can see Stan’s video by following the YouTube link in the comments.

July 14, 2011: Update MacLitigator attempted to verify the identity of ‘Stan Mortensen.’ Despite repeated email requests, Mr. Mortensen did not provide a physical address or phone number or any other information which might verify his identity as being apart and separate from a competing product available on the iPad. Unfortunately, at least some of his bug reporting is accurate.

Exhibit A – iPad Trial Presentation App

A commentor on the TrialPad review mentioned Exhibit A as an alternative. When initially released, Exhibit A was such a horrible program that it wasn’t worth discussing. After updates, the program has improved dramatically. When first out, the program would choke on any PDF, the secondary display would pixelate, freeze and the program would crash. Awful. The updates appear to have cured these problems and Exhibit A looks like it is becoming a genuine contender. What is missing from both of these apps at this point is the ability to leverage AirPlay so that, using an AppleTV hooked to a projector, wireless presentation becomes possible. Read on for the full details.


File Management: Exhibit A, supports file transfer via iTunes, Dropbox Wifi, Email and FTP. Whole folders or single files can be imported. Supported file formats are claimed as PDF, image files and video (.mov). In testing, large image files lagged a little bit during display, though not so much as to cause difficulty. Video files downloaded via Dropbox refused to play and were listed as an unsupported file format. More work needed there.

Files can be sorted by folder, A-Z, or by Filetype. Once a file is in, a tap and hold offers the options of Renaming, Moving, or Deleting. A toolbar along the bottom allows a quick jump to other files, folders, imports and even any photos saved in the iPad’s photo app.

Displaying/Projecting: Exhibit A uses the external vga adapter for projecting documents. The refresh on an external display is near instantaneous, depending on the file size and level of detail/color in the file. Layout for presentation is straightforward with annotation tools on the left, a slider for quickly navigating to a specific page on the right and “Rotate” “Undo” “Redo” “Clear” “Save” and “Show” buttons across the top right. The tool bars can be hidden and do not display on the projected image.

Annotation tools are very well thought out. The felt marker offers a variety of colors and widths, there is an eraser tool, a standard yellow highlighter with adjustable widths and, a nice touch, a laser pointer which displays a temporary red dot where the user’s finger traces on the image. TrialPad, the only other competitor at present, offers only a single color pen with a static width.

After marking up a document, tapping the “Save” button saves a copy of the document to the Import folder on the home screen.

A final nice touch is the inclusion of a whiteboard with all of the annotation tools available for drawing freehand while displaying (or drawing it up and then displaying). The whiteboard drawing can also be saved as a file to the imports folder.


The developers made a mistake of an early release which was very buggy. Any experienced attorney would not have relied upon the 1st version. The latest updates, however, cure all of the early problems. The only bug observed during testing was the inability to display video files in the .mov format. Exhibit A is also competitively priced at $9.99. TrialPad remains an astounding $89 while offer fewer features.

Google, Apple and MobileMe

Many, many, many people rely on Google not only for Gmail, but also for contact management, Gcal and Google Docs. Both Gcal and Gmail contacts sync very well with iPhones, iCal and Mac OS X’s Address Book. Gcal also offers the ability to painlessly share calendars in a workgroup, with a very low friction set up and virtually no administrative overhead. Similarly, if a workgroup so desired, they could also set up a centralized Address Book by requiring everyone to sync Address Book to a single Google account.

In the past, Apple users could simultaneously sync to MobileMe and to Google services. Products such as SpanningSync and BusyCal/BusySync as well as built in Google sync made it easy to play in both worlds.

Now, Apple has drawn a line in the sand by requiring the MobileMe user to designate their MobileMe account as the de facto dictator over calendar data. There are some work arounds, such as BusyCal’s setup. But that work around is difficult, error prone and not nearly as low friction as a plain vanilla Google to Google sync.

So, for those who used both MobileMe and Google services, and allowed others to edit calendar data via Gcal, a choice must be made: (1) move over entirely to Google services; (2) risk a difficult high friction and error prone work around; or, (3) force other users to adopt MobileMe at $99/year.

Given the sketchy work around, and potential loss of data through sharing, all of this is by way of an unfortunately long lead in for a product called SpanningBackup. From the developers of SpanningSync, SpanningBackup allows you to share your calendar and/or delegate email to staff or colleagues without worrying that they will delete or somehow otherwise bork your entire calendar/gmail/contact setup.

SpanningBackup does just what you might think: it backs up ALL of your Google data. All emails? Check. All contact data? Check. All calendars? Check. All Google documents? Check.

There are two drawbacks to SpanningBackup at this time. First, data is backed up only once per 24 hour period. Second, with the exception of Google Documents, discrete pieces of data cannot be restored. For example, SpanningBackup will restore a calendar to its earlier state for a previously backed up day. If a shared user somehow deleted your calendar data on Friday, you could then roll the calendar back to the previous state in place on Thursday. In this sense, SpanningBackup is more of a wholesale ‘revert’ than a back up and restore plan. SpanningBackup is cloud based and costs $39.95/year, a cheap price for peace of mind. If you are using Google Apps or just Google to share data, SpanningBackup is well worth a look.

TrialPad – Dedicated Presentation App for the iPad

The recently released TrialPad for iPad is a good start on what trial presentation for the iPad can be, but doesn’t yet meet expectations associated with its high price.

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do …

At its heart, TrialPad is a PDF viewer and organization tool. There are many PDF tools for the iPad, including iAnnotate. Both TrialPad and iAnnotate allow presentation of a PDF through a projector. Both TrialPad and iAnnotate allow markups to be displayed on the screen. Both TrialPad and iAnnotate allow the user to pinch-to-zoom the onscreen document. Both TrialPad and iAnnotate allow the presentation screen to be turned on and off.

iAnnotate, however, has quite a few more tricks than TrialPad. iAnnotate will search through an entire PDF file or group of files for any word. TrialPad only searches the ‘name’ of a document.

iAnnotate will pull in documents from Dropbox. Trial pad relies on the ‘seven easy steps’ kludge iTunes file transfer feature. The developers note that Dropbox support is ‘in the works.’

iAnnotate allows a ‘tabbed’ interface wherein you can project an exhibit or impeachment testimony while privately viewing your direct/cross examination outline on the iPad. TrialPad eschews tabs limiting the display to a single item. iAnnotate includes a large number of built in ‘stamps,’ such as arrows and callouts, and allows you to pick different highlighter and annotation colors. TrialPad sticks to a red pen and yellow highlighter.

TrialPad costs $89. iAnnotate costs $9.99.

Not A Replacement for Sanction, Trial Director etc.

Responding to these criticisms the developers claim that, rather than iAnnotate, a “fair comparison would be TrialPad against full featured desktop presentation software such as Sanction or TrialDirector.” Not entirely accurate. First, TrialPad has nowhere near the features of dedicated laptop trial presentation software. Second, by that standard, we could also compare iAnnotate against dedicated laptop presentation software. TrialPad would still lose in that comparison.

A Little Bit Buggy

TrialPad is also still very much a 1.0 release. TrialPad can annotate a document on the iPad while the projector remains blanked. During testing, the annotation appeared on the projector despite the screen being blanked. Additionally, PDFs sometimes appeared extremely pixelated on the iPad while rendering crisply on a projector. This made it very difficult to annotate with any degree of precision.

A Few Nice Standout Features

There are some nice aspects to TrialPad. First, it is fairly straightforward and easy to use, once one gets beyond the iTunes sync. Once loaded, it could be handed to a lawyer who lacks much technical know how and they could use it without difficulty. Second, TrialPad allows an exhibit or single page of an exhibit to be marked up ‘saved’ for later use. This feature, with nothing comparable in iAnnotate, could be very handy for having witnesses markup a document using the annotation tools, then saving it as a separate exhibit to be admitted later. Finally, TrialPad also allows the user to rotate an image on the iPad itself, another feature unavailable in iAnnotate. If, for some reason, an image were scanned or loaded incorrectly, simply tapping the rotate button would bring it into the correct alignment for presentation.
Final Verdict

Simply put, by setting the price at a steep $89 the developers ignore the Apps ecosystem and economy. Not even Omni Group charge more than $39 for their highly polished, feature rich iPad app OmniFocus which syncs to the iPad without any iTunes kludge needed. Further, Filemaker’s Bento is only $9.99, Pages, Numbers and Keynote are also only $9.99. In short, TrialPad is a solid start and a potential winner, but in the end offers too little for too much money.

Holiday Gift: Bento Template For Jury Selection

Happy Holidays from MacLitigator… Here’s your gift, a Bento template for jury selection.

While prepping for a jury trial recently, it became apparent that we needed a better way to track responses, information, decisions to strike, strikes for cause, peremptories etc. during jury selction, a.k.a. voir dire. Bento seemed a perfect fit for this task.

The template is designed to work on an iPad and, accordingly, incorporates as many checkboxes and choice lists as possible so that there is minimal distraction during jury selection.  Jurors are sorted by juror number, and there are smart collections which filter as follows: Challenge for Cause; Plaintiff’s Peremptory (exercised); Defendant’s Peremptory (exercised); Remaining; Selected.  Several of the fields do allow text entry, such as the Notes, but other fields are intended to give you a quick fill such as ‘gut check,’ and ‘tort reformer’ drop down choice lists which allow a quick ranking of the potential juror.

The template works great on the iPad version of Bento with one exception, smart collections based on a ‘choice list’ field do not transfer over.  Accordingly, none of the smart collections in this template use the choice field to preserve functionality on the iPad. Enjoy and, if you come up with suggestions or modifications, please post in the comments.

Bento on the iPad is $4.99, although having the desktop version certainly is worth the cost and syncs with the iPad wirelessly.

Speaking of ‘jury work,’ there is an interesting iPad app out there that allows you to track the reactions of people who get seated as jurors during the course of the trial.  It is called JuryTracker and, if you were so inclined, you could track juror reactions as the trial progresses.  JuryTracker costs $9.99.  Also available as a commercial iPad only app is iJuror, a stand alone app for the iPad that assists in the jury selection process. iJuror is also $9.99.

CP Notebook for iPad Available – Christmas Came Early

Long on the wish list and one ‘killer app’ missing from the iPad was a decent outliner. Circus Ponies Notebook, an outliner and much, much more,  is now available as an iPad app.

For those unfamiliar with the product, Circus Ponies Notebook is a kind of outliner onsteroids. Specifically, the application operates on a “traditional paper notebook” paradigm while incorporating the benefits of an electronic medium such as a word index of all words contained in the notebook.

Notebook for iPad carries over from the Mac platform beautifully. Notebook itself begged for the existence of a tablet before the iPad came into existence. Now that the iPad is here, Notebook can really shine.

Notebook allows the user to take notes on a page in an outline format. Additionally, other electronic media can be incorporated onto the page. For example, an exhibit or pleading which exists in a PDF format can be dropped onto the page and either annotated/marked up using Notebooks annotation tools, or saved as a multipage PDF which will open for viewing. From a lawyer’s perspective, this allows building of a trial notebook, a notebook for oral arguments or hearings, or, a notebook containing all pertinent client/case matter information in one place. Ideally, the bulk of the heavy lifting would be done on a MacBook and then the individual Notebook would be synchronized to the iPad via iTunes.

Thus, while an amazing leap forward for lawyers generally, Circus Ponies Notebook still does have some limitations, quirks and bugs at this time. For example, the need to synchronize Notebooks via iTunes is a kludge.  Hopefully, the ability to synchronize via the ubiquitous Dropbox will come in a future release.

Additionally, synchronizing back and forth between iPad and Desktop Notebook resulted in all tabs on the MacBook side being changed to a solid black color. A few other quirks are that the spiral bound notebook paradigm as a graphical user interface can sometimes be difficult to understand if you are accustomed to working with the standard menu/icon paradigm of computers. Also, some of the display features such as the dual page display became stuck during testing, requiring a power down and restart of the iPad to clear the graphical display.

Some limitations also involve using Notebook while simultaneously using the iPad to present exhibits for a jury or bench trial. Right now, it does not appear that Notebook supports external displays. Accordingly, if during direct or cross-examination, the need arises to use the iPad to present a particular photo or PDF file, that file will need to be opened in another application such as iAnnotate, GoodReader or some other application. This has the downside of taking the lawyer away from the examination process, into another application to present the exhibit and away from the notes/examination outline. Hopefully, future versions will incorporate the ability to leverage an external display for exhibits, jpgs and the like.

Finally, Notebook seems at times a bit sluggish while running on the iPad. However, despite these initial small first-generation hiccups, Notebook by Circus Ponies is definitely worth the $29 and goes a long way toward filling a much-needed slot in any litigator’s toolkit.

DEVONthink To Go Review, DEVONthink Pro On Sale

The DEVONthink To Go app for iPad has been out for a while now.  The app ‘syncs’ a selected set of data from any DEVONthink database over to iPad.  After testing for a week or so now, the app is less than useful. The worst part: after adding some entries to the ‘sync’ folder, text data goes missing.  Even if the app weren’t corrupting some of the data, it is still not ready for prime time.  Notably, only a partial set of meta-data (labels, tags, keywords etc.) is usable on the iPad app.  For example, tags will sync from the desktop DEVONthink but are not editable on the iPad app. Further, the iPad app does not allow adding tags. In short, DEVONthink To Go is at best a work in progress and the recommendation is to wait before purchase.

On the other hand DEVONthink Pro desktop still remains a very powerful tool and, right now, is a huge bargain at 50% off at MacUpdate. If you haven’t bought a copy, $39.98 is a really good opportunity.

DEVONthink To Go

A new update for DEVONthink Pro just released with…. support for syncing to an iPad or iPhone. The new product DEVONthink To Go uses a wireless sync function, allowing you to selectively pick which parts of any particular database get moved to your iPad/iPhone. It also appears that data can be brought back from the iPad to the main database on your Mac. This really does change everything. Work up your case analysis (as posted here) and then take the necessary parts (or all of it) with you to the deposition, hearing or meeting. The app for iPad/iPhone has not yet hit the app store, but should be coming soon and will cost $14.99, a paltry fee for the ability to take your case analysis data on the go.