Appigo Notebook: What Notes Should Have Been on the iPhone

notebookAs a writer, I find having a notebook on hand very useful. Long ago, that used to mean carrying around a bulky paper volume and a pen, which was somewhat awkward and not the most space conservative solution. I moved on to a Palm Pilot, which was marginally better, but that usually still meant dragging out the old IR wireless keyboard, too. Despite its amazing folding abilities, that keyboard still took up more space than the paper notebook.

Finally, after so many years of fumbling with any number of clumsy devices, both high and low tech, the iPhone came around and brought with it the prospect of ditching those cumbersome things once and for all. The built-in iPhone Notes app offered basic utility, but the iPhone 2.0 firmware brought with it the promise of better, more robust third party apps. Notebook ($4.99, App Store), from developer Appigo, is one such app.

photo1Appigo Notebook allows you to go well beyond the options available in Notes. Your notes are organized under Notebooks, hence the title, which you can create, edit, and delete. Above your list of notebooks are two permanent master categories, All and Unfiled. All give you access to any note, regardless of category, and Unfiled contains notes not attached to any specific notebook.

You can also change note formatting, including font type and size, which is good, because I absolutely hated the default Trebuchet option. Rotation is supported, as is landscape typing, which is a big plus in a note app, since the extra screen real estate it affords works well with my meaty thumbs.

photo-1Autotext entries come in handy, allowing you to insert things like the date, time, or bullets. Any note can also be marked as private, which, depending on which settings you select, could make it invisible, password protected, or masked. I don’t know what nefarious purposes you mights use this for, being far too virtuous to need this kind of thing.

I can already hear you all asking, “Yes, but does it sync?”. In fact, it does, and with, no less. A account is free, and I prefer it to desktop syncing, for the same reason I prefer Remember the Milk to Things: your synced information is available anywhere. It also supports searching the fulltext content of your notes for keywords, which is also useful once you start accumulating a ton of information. And if you have Appigo’s other iPhone app, Todo, you can create a new task from a note’s contents using the share button.

Really, Appigo Notebook is as fully featured a note-taking app as I could ask for on the iPhone/iPod touch, short of supporting text-to-speech dictation, which isn’t something I’d probably use that much anwyay. I can finally put the pad and pen to rest, hopefully for good this time.