How to take reliable notes with iPhone and iPad

On the day of my show I'm a business analyst for a large hospital. A significant amount of my week is taken up with meetings, and obviously I have to take notes for them. I also take notes for my freelance articles and research notes for my writing fiction. Also, I have little notes from day to day I'll make a note of the RGB color values ​​you may need, or size screws I need to get to Home Depot.

In the center of this workflow is my iPad and iPhone. Today, I'll tell you what useOneNote, Evernote, and the built-in Notes application to take my notes. As with most of my documentation requirements, I want a cross-platform solution, or at least something that you can access anywhere.

My ritual of taking notes


My approach to taking notes is very simple. I want to be able to capture the information accurately and can easily flag a note as an action item. At this point, I'm not too worried about typos and correct grammar. I can go clean them later.

I want to be able to store clippings and notes for when I'm working on my fiction. One of the stories I'm working on is set in Boston in the 1970s, therefore, I have a digital scrapbook of Chinatown, who were political leaders and notes documentaries about the era.

Finally, there are a lot of little notes that I take during the day. These notes can be adjusted into a guitar effects pedal that I want to try, I want to order parts, and some network passwords (I know, that must be OnePassword).

Using OneNote for my work notes


By far the best solution I've found to take notes in meetings is OneNote. Evernote is second, but a distant space between the two applications.

I have a OneNote notebook (labeled with the name of the company where I work) and each project becomes a page in the notebook. When I came to a meeting, I bring my iPad with me, opens the page for that project and use the keyboard to take notes. Again, I'm more concerned about getting the information below accurately and only fix a bug if my memory of an event is prevented. Therefore, I'm going to fix an error on a field name, but I do not care if I got the name wrong person (unless, of course, do not know how his name is spelled).

When OneNote is successful for me is the ability to quickly track action items. If I make a note, I can simply click the task icon on the treadmill and OneNote puts a checkbox in front of the prayer. I will then add a sentence that will follow. At the next meeting of state, I will scan the notes and mark the points of completed action. This is very important for me, because before would have to use some sort of shorthand to track an action item. I begin with the phrase, with three asterisks, highlight, or some other solution.

Also I have OneNote installed on my Mac so you can edit notes on a bigger screen if I need it. I can also access my notebooks in theOneDrive website.

Using Evernote for my personal notes


It is true that I could use OneNote for many of my personal notes. I do not for two reasons: I have years of research notes in the mood to migrate; and I like to have a clear separation of the working notes and personal notes. Thus, if someone asks to see my iPad to look over some notes and not have to worry that they can click in the wrong section and see a personal note.

How to take reliable notes with iPhone and iPad

Moreover, a large part of my personal notes taken by saturating a website is one and commented on it. I find it easier to do this with Evernote. I usually use the iOS extension to crop a page in my research notes. OneNote also has a clipper, but I needed to us. I'll try that when I have to cut a webpage to work.

Unlike OneNote where I have a notebook for work in Evernote I have a different book for each category. I have notebooks for workspaces I have admired, one for investigation of Apple items, notebooks for gaming and references to great long-form writing that I clipped into Evernote.

Using the Notes application


Finally, I have a lot of incidental notes that do not really belong in either OneNote or Evernote. These are the kinds of notes that could put in a small notebook of paper or post-it note. Looking through my notes while I'm writing this I see notes for a Terminal command I need to enter to use a gateway client on my Mac, the site ID that I need to use when I call for support, some adjustments to try on my Amp, and some musical notes need to reference during band practice.

So, why are not those in the other two applications? Usually a note is I do not want to be buried or worrying about a sync error, and are usually only one or two lines of text. At some point, I should go through and group some of them into Evernote, but not a big enough of a deal.

What I would do to improve this


I do not use my iPhone 6 Plus to take notes in meetings, but would like to. The main reason I do is perception. Writing on my iPad it seems that I'm working. Typing on my iPhone it seems that I'm texting. For now, while I'm at work the safest option is to use my iPad. I've thought about getting a small folding Bluetooth keyboard to use in these situations.

Occasionally, I weighed whether to keep my notes divided between OneNote and Evernote is a good decision. Part of me wants to keep most of most of my notes in one place. I'm not as thrilled with OneNote web clipper, though. I think the Evernote clipper does a better job of making the page. For now, however, I'm fine with the division as I am playing to the strengths of each application.

Apple pencil for iPad