For any iPad users out there who want to take notes with a stylus...
I bought a stylus for my iPad, thinking I could find a quick and simple solution for note taking at work. I wanted to move off paper, because most of what I write down on paper is ephemeral. It's never quite as simple as it seems.
The main problem is that you can't lay your hand on the screen of the iPad. Think of how you write. You rest your hand on a pad, a desk, something, and then write. When you're at the top of the iPad, you need to rest your hand on the screen, but because the screen interprets that as touch, it makes writing extremely difficult. Some apps come with a "wrist" area. They claim that touch is ignored within this area, but in practice, it didn't work in any of the apps I tried.
And I tried quite a few.. Nine, to be exact.
Of the ones I tried, there are three that are notable. Penultimate is very highly reviewed, and did a lot of what I wanted, but I had the wrist problem. It claims to have the protection area, but I could never get it to work well enough to use the app. The second came much closer, and introduced me to a feature that I liked quite a bit. That app, 7notes, places a large writing area at the bottom of the screen. You write into that area, which is then shrunk and moved onto the page above. The apps is free, and if that's all you need a writing app to do, then it's a great app. The problem is that you can't draw directly onto the screen, so if you want to add arrows that cross lines and point to other places on the page, it's either difficult or impossible.
The final app is the one I'm sticking with. It's called "Notes Plus". It has the same feature of being able to write into an area on the screen and what you write is shrunk and moved onto the page. You can draw directly onto the page. Deleting is easier and can be done in several ways. For example, you can draw a circle around something onscreen. That selects the objects within the area. You can then move or delete them. A back and forth swipe will also delete objects on screen. Useful to some, worthless to others is shape recognition. Draw a bad square and it gets prettied up, and you get drag points to change the shape and size. Shape recognition works for rectangles, ovals, and triangles. I have two issues with the app. First the writing area always appears in the same place, about a third of the way up the screen. Every time I start writing, I have to reposition it. It doesn't take long, but I'd rather it saved the placement. Also, on my first gen iPad, it's a little slow. I can write faster than it can accept input. I suspect a second gen would not have the problem.
All in all, taking notes on the iPad takes some getting used to, but it's becoming much easier and feels more natural as I keep practicing. I'll have to keep looking, but what I miss now is the quickness of being able to grab a pen and take a quick note. Turning on the iPad and starting a notes app still takes longer, but for more detailed notes, it seems to work well.