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Can anyone recommend the best app for taking lecture

notes with stylus using good handwriting recognition?

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If Adam's Twitter account is any indication (twitter.com/maccast), he is going to be reviewing a bunch of apps that do exactly that on the next MacCast. If you can hold off for a few more days, he's bound to have some great recommendations - and he's likely to have tried most of them.

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one of the best note taking tools that I've used ever is a Live Scribe pen. the stalky pen takes a little time to get use to writing and you have to use special paper to make the audio sync to your notes. but the company released a way to print paper yourself if you don't like the notebooks they make. using it could not be more simple. turn the pen on and start writing. what you write and what you hear will get captured to the pen. afterwards you have a few ways you can interact. one is to start playing back the recording. from here you can skip to specific parts by clicking the pen where you wrote before. the audio will jump to there. another way is to sync the pen with your computer. you can scrub the audio and your notes will reveal for that specific place. or you can click on the note on the screen to jump to that audio.

 

the downside is there is no OCR or scribble to TXT. I'm sure it's the number four request they get after "can I print my own paper" (which they did.) another problem is that the pen is expensive. at $150 it's, well, expensive. using myself as an example I find that I go through pens like water until I find a pen I really like then I hang onto it until there is no ink in it. and I've managed to not lose my LiveScribe. I have however misplaced the charger. actually I know EXACTLY where it is, it's in a box labeled desk stuff that was s'posed to make it to the office instead of storage when I moved out of my flat last March.

 

I was using the pen to help me deal with producing podcasts last year. any time there was something that needed a note or a cut or whatever happened I would make a dot then jot a note. this saved me to having to pay attention to specific time code while the show was happening. during post production I would use my notes as the check list. playback mode on, click the dot, look at the time code, listen to the audio, pause the audio then do the edit or make the show note. call me lazy or too casual but it made post show work much easier. that said, I'm not using the LiveScribe during Know Tech shows for two reasons. the shows are short and they have lots of research going in. it's not winging it although we've winged it a few times. the other reason is that I packed the stupid charger/USB connector. [note: I just ordered a new cradle].

 

if I was "back to school" this would be my first line of note taking. second would be just a journal. and there are LiveScribe journals now with the cost per not that much more than regular dumb journals. so I'd get the best of both worlds.

 

sorry that this sounds like I'm a shill for this product. you have to know that I went into using the product with shields up and full of skepticism. I was convinced that it was just about the stupidest mesh of technology ever. and I was completely blown away by how useful it turned out to be.

Edited by johnfoster

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I wrote that LiveScribe post 4 days ago. today I got my replacement pen cradle. I'll post something specific for the MacCast after it charges.

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Hello,

 

I take notes for meetings and classes on my iPad and I use an app called Notes Plus and though it does not do OCR, it is the most usable note taking application I have used so for (and I have tried about 5 or 6 of them).

 

The app not only lets you write (I use a pogo stylus, but you can use a finger tip), but you can type and record audio.

 

If you want to try to do OCR, you could output from this app to a .PDF and have Evernote do the OCR on the .PDF. I have not tried this, but it was suggested to me.

 

LDJ

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