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Back to School: Photo Apps for Taking Notes
by Laura Hicks -  8/2/2013

Everyone knows going back to school means taking a ton of notes. So what apps work best for those of us that enjoy a visually intriguing note taking process? Read on to find out!

All note-taking apps are not created equal. Some have a minimal design with a strategic purpose of note-taking, while others are more elaborately designed with a multitude of uses. Figuring out which app best suits your needs will insure a happier note-taking experience.

SpringPad: Imagine this--Pinterest meets Evernote. For those of us who love to be visually stimulated no matter how boring or tedious the task, SpringPad might just be the perfect note-taking app for you. But SpringPad is more than just a note-taking app. It also allows you to organize your life in a way that is pretty and intuitive. SpringPad does a great job of organizing work, school and personal life in one attractive app. Write a note, make a list, chart your favorite movies, or figure out what to make for dinner. Take photos with your phone and archive them in SpringPad. You can pretty much do it all with SpringPad.

Evernote: Of course Evernote is on the tops of our list. It's a great app with lots of functionality. It can capture and organize anything. Well, almost anything. Don't ask it to capture a running bull, but it can capture a picture you took of a running bull or capture a story about a Bull named Ferdinand or capture a Wiki article about the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Then, after it's done capturing this information, it allows you to save the captures when you need them later. Evernote gives you reminders of upcoming events, tags articles for future viewing or maps places you've been. Evernote's goal is to be the only organizational app you'll ever need. Although it's not as attractive as SpringPad (that being said, the green background and elephant icon are really growing on me), Evernote really does follow through on its promise to remember everything.

CamNote: CamNote is much more utilitarian in its design. It has a simple user interface with a simple purpose--to be a great note-taking app. It does a good job at tagging notes for future recall. The app also allows users to take pictures and tag those, too. After you are finished with the note, it can be uploaded to Dropbox, Evernote or Google Drive. Also, taking photos of handwritten notes or other things is a breeze with CamNote. As you can see in the images above, a camera icon sits at the bottom, middle screen just begging you to use your camera with this app. 

Google Keep: Google Keep was recently released in March 2013. Google Keep is designed to be more than just a note-taking app. It is really meant to sync your work and home life through Google Drive by way of collaboration between the web and mobile apps. Google Keep does a great job with voice notes and archiving old information. It is also good at searcing for keywords in titles and in the note itself. Its funky, modern design is sure to attract users. 

 

SimpleNote: If we thought CamNote was simplistic, then Simplenote looks simply basic. It resembles a text message or email on my iPhone. If you want an app with few bells then this is the one. But Simplenote does a great job of getting straight to the point. This is the kind of app that you can pick up and use without having to watch or read a tutorial. So why use this app instead of the notepad on your phone or tablet? Tagging. This app does a good job of allowing you to tag your articles for future recall. Add as many tags as you want and the app can easily find your note later.

Awesome Note: Awesome Note is the only note-taking app in this article that requires payment--$3.99 to be exact. So what does this app offer that the others don't? Awesome Note is an excellent app with highly customizable options. It is very visual with folders that are color coded to your specifications. The app lets you sort notes by creation date, due date, date modified, name or priority. It also syncs to Google and Evernote. Awesome Note has both audio and visual reminders. But, the app is only available on iOS devices 3.0 or later. Android users are out of luck at the moment. It's only $4 (and I've dropped more than that on a frappuchino at Starbucks), but in a world where so many apps in this category are free I'm not sure it's worth the cost.

Important note: If you are a Catch user, you only have until the end of August 2013 before the app is shutting down totally. Make sure to transfer your information to another device before you lose it.