Exploring the iPad as a note taking device

I bought my iPad at the end of last semester so I didn’t really get a chance to use it in the classroom. Normally I use a laptop to take note in class, because I can type much faster than I write. I’m so out of practice with writing, that my hand tends to cramp if I must write for long periods of time.

Last semester, in statistics class I struggled a little with just the laptop, as I was unable to write symbols quickly. In the end, I ended up using both my laptop and a notebook. I took most of the descriptive notes on the laptop and then used the notebook when I needed to write down formulas.

Over the next six weeks, I’ll be taking a face-to-face class where I plan to experiment with using the iPad instead of a laptop and notebook. Hopefully I’ll be able to successfully capture notes such that my marks don’t suffer! During the course, I’ll experiment with two note taking applications: UPAD and Notes Plus. In addition, I like to keep all my notes organized using Evernote; however, I’ll need to do some more exploration to see if there is a way to integrate either UPAD or Notes Plus with Evernote. I’ve been using Evernote for years, and love how it automatically synchronizes my notes across devices, so my notes are available on my Mac, iPod Touch, iPad, and Android phone.

To help with taking notes, I have two types of stylus: the Pogo sketch and two different Shapedad’s Stylus Socks. I plan to take notes using a combination of handwriting and typing using the onscreen keyboard.

Initially, I plan to stick with the onscreen keyboard; however, I’m not that fast with it and I’m concerned that my forearms won’t be happy with it. I started this blog post using the WordPress app on my iPad, but found that typing caused my forearm to cramp, so alas, I am using my computer keyboard to type. I’m seriously thinking about picking up an iPad case with built-in keyboard, such as the Logitec Zagg or the ThinkGeek case, which will make it much easier for me to use the iPad for writing. I just wish the cases had a place to store the stylus but that’s a topic for another post.

So tonight it all begins – I’ll keep you posted. If you have any recommendations for apps, please post a comment. Thank-you to the following blog posts for helping me decide on my current iPad configuration:

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