Noteshelf (US$4.99) from FluidTouch.biz is a fresh new iPad notebook app for handwritten notes that addresses most of the issues I've had with similar apps in the past. In fact, Noteshelf is so usable that I just deleted a couple of other apps that I was using to capture handwritten notes. Here's what is so great about this app:
- A very responsive pen: With a Pogo Stylus and Noteshelf, I feel like I'm actually writing on paper. The pen "flows" more smoothly than in any other notebook app, and with the wide choice of tip widths and 17 different colors, it's like having a drawer full of pens and markers available.
- Wrist protection: One of my biggest complaints with other notebook apps is that to write naturally, I put my wrist onto the paper. With most other apps, that results in wrist-writing -- creating marks on the paper from where my wrist is touching the screen. Not with Noteshelf. The app has a special wrist protection mode. Turn it on, and you see a small red arrow on the right side of the paper. You can place your wrist on the screen anywhere below that arrow, and the screen won't register it as another pen.
- Useful paper types: With most of the other handwriting apps, there are a few types of ruled and non-ruled digital papers, and that's about it. Noteshelf has those, but it adds some very useful paper types to the mix. For business, there's a day planner paper on which you can scrawl out your appointments and tasks for the upcoming days, and since you can have multiple pages in each notebook, you can easily keep a history of what you've done and what's coming up. Now, if there was just a way to integrate this with the "real calendars" we use, I'd be in nerdvana. Other paper types include a task list, meeting notes, and shopping lists, in addition to personal journals, scrapbooks, and graph papers. If the developer can come up with a baseball scorebook paper type, he will have my undying gratitude forever (note: developer Rama Krishna of FluidTouch is actively seeking new notebook template requests).