Note-taking apps for Windows 10

Discussion in 'Software' started by Tinkerer, Jul 24, 2016.

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  1. Tinkerer

    Tinkerer Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Is there a good note-taking app besides the free OneNote?

    I would like an app with the capabilities of Lecture Notes which is unfortunately only available in Android.

    In my opinion the free OneNote app is not ideal for taking notes in lectures. It crashes when importing larger print out PDFs, It lacks an indexing feature like Lecture Notes etc.
     
  2. jjsa1985

    jjsa1985 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    You can get the full desktop onenote app for free. I think this is the link. https://www.onenote.com/download

    It should give you all the functionality you could need, including indexing and importing PDF files.
     
  3. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    I thought this too, because I've always thought of lecture notes as a Onenote Clone...

    was wondering what version of Onenote he was referring to, but assumed it couldn't be Onenote Modern UI b/c not aware of the ability to import PDF's into that version.

    Otherwise all the other functionality should be available in Onenote Desktop.
     
  4. jjsa1985

    jjsa1985 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    The modern onenote can import PDFs. I think it is under the insert tab, or there is something that looks like a paper clip attach sign. It inserts and provides a link to the file.
     
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  5. neonnoodle

    neonnoodle Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I've had good results with Xournal. It's my go-to for annotating PDF's. It is simple software, but open-source and doesn't require an e-mail login, cloud account, or any other "lock in" to a 3rd-party ecosystem.
     
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  6. Tinkerer

    Tinkerer Pen Pal - Newbie

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    thank you for all the helpful hints!

    I downloaded OneNote 2016.I could import all my PDFs without problems as print-out.

    I still think that Lecture Notes for Android is a superior app for note-taking in courses.

    1. It let's you index pages with keywords. You can index across several notebooks- so when you are ready to review your notes you can quickly find what you want.

    2. Adding pages when you write is much easier (when you follow a lecture speed is important).

    3. Copying and pasting across pages or notebooks is simple. I am not sure if this is possible at all in OneNote.

    4. The App is just a few bucks. OneNote is free but if you want to save your notes on a device you have to buy or subscribe to Office.

    I don't think that there is an App like this available in Windows. I hope the developers will port the app to Windows one day.
     
  7. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    @Tinkerer

    1.you don't need to index, even in ink/handwriting words are searchable across notebooks in Onenote Desktop

    2. Pages are endless, unless you specify a particular page size

    3. Copy & Pasting pages is easy, right click the page and copy it to whichever notebook you like

    4. There is a free Onenote App for iOS and Android, both are free..
     
  8. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    I used LectureNotes on Android a lot, before OneNote for Android was released. Nowadays I have uninstalled it. The developer is super friendly and very attuned to user needs, something you can't say about the OneNote team (one man vs a team). However, he has clearly stated that he will not develop a Windows version, so if you need something over several platforms you are basically screwed, something I normally don't complain about.
    As for indexing, in OneNote you use the tag feature, customized tags if need be, to accomplish the same thing.
    OneNote has a subpage feature that LectureNotes lack that will get you a fast overview if you use that feature.
    The important thing to remember about OneNote is that the iOS and Android versions are note taking tools, but the Windows desktop version is a note management tool. That distinction makes it exponentially more powerful than LectureNotes. But if you don't require that kind of power to structure and arrange your notes the LectureNotes is a very fine app with a conscientious developer behind it.

    Twitter is to communications as haiku is to literature.
     
  9. Tinkerer

    Tinkerer Pen Pal - Newbie

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    One major gripe I have about OneNote is that it doesn't allow you to define an infinite paper size with a defined width. This could also implemented by allowing a continuous page feature similar to the Adobe Reader only that new pages are created every time you scroll down until you stop it. Something like this has been on the wish list of many users for some time. The Autopage feature is not ideal because you don't know where to stop at the right margin. So when you format your notes for printing in retrospect you end up with cut off text on the right side. Even for screen use it would be better to have a defined right margin so that you don't have to scroll horizontally.

    Tagging is not a good tool for indexing. It would be much better if you could assign keywords for every page and the program will then construct an alphabetical index like it is done by Lecture Notes. Being able to search for text doesn't help you much because handwriting recognition isn't good enough for that especially if your handwriting is not very legible. While keyboarding your notes is an additional effort it pays off immensely when you review your notes. You can use then your notes almost like a textbook.

    I am not sure whether the OneNote team at Microsoft follows this forum. But quite a few posts on the Internet complain that the Microsoft developers don't listen.

    One sign that Microsoft might be concerned about the in someway clunky user interface of OneNote for handwritten notes is a new software developed by Microsoft Garage called Plumbago.
     
  10. jhoff80

    jhoff80 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    That's interesting, I find that it always is good enough, and my handwriting is absolute garbage. I'm shocked every time it recognizes my writing and finds exactly what I'm searching for.
     
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