No More Note-taking Apps for Me

A friend of mine, who tells me that William Turkel is my doppelgänger (a more productive one at that) wrote to tell me that he has recently written about his use of an iPad note-taking app called [Noteshelf]( I responded that There are so many of those note applications running around that it’s hard not to imagine, were I interested more generally in application development, making one of my own. Folks obsessed with the perfect note-taking system buy them like popcorn at the movie theater. I bought a few of these when I first got an iPhone and then a few more when I first got an iPad.

None of them do quite what I want, and it is very tempting to keep perusing them, or to keep reading reviews of them on sites like [43folders]( or [Lifehacker]( or whatever new get organized site has sprung up recently for those, like me, dream of the perfect workflow / system that will bring order to their chaotic brains and channel all that energy into useful output. As Merlin Mann perhaps pioneered: there is a great deal of money to be made by simply being unproductive and searching out better means of being productive and chronicling your search. Thousands, or millions, feel similarly.

We live in an age of consultants. (Don’t get me started on the number of consultants that universities now rely upon.)

Myself, I simply decided to settle on [Evernote]( for note-taking. It’s far from perfect, but it syncs to all my devices and offers a number of abilities, including the ability to OCR notes I take in an actual notebook once I scan (take a photo) of the page with my phone or pad. I picked up a year’s worth of the Premium service with the purchase of a [Fujitsu ScanSnap][] for our home — amazing little device that. Now, Evernote has it right and is offering a [Moleskine notebook][] designed to be scanned. Sweet, but pricey at its current cost of $30.

[Moleskine notebook]:
[Fujitsu ScanSnap]: