Portable notes have saved my life on more than one occasion. Not in the literal sense – thank God! – but in this day and age, when information is being thrown around at such high speeds, it’s hard to keep track of everything without forgetting bits here and there. Once I decided to start taking notes, it all became easier. But one question still burns: where should I jot my notes?
For a long time, I carried around a Moleskine notebook and wrote down my notes by hand. Nothing beats the feeling of pen on paper, but sometimes it can be cumbersome. That’s why I gave my hand at typing notes directly onto my phone, and I’m glad I did. I’ve tried Flick Note in the past, but is still my favorite portable note-taking app.
We’ve covered Catch Notes in the past, but it has changed and evolved a lot over the past year, so let’s take a look at what new features you can expect to see.
I always thought that the Catch Notes interface was pretty simple, but their latest graphics update has been killer. The colors are flat yet vibrant, giving it a Web-like feel that doesn’t reek of amateur design. Everything fits together like a well-pieced puzzle: the typography, the padding, the color palette, the layout.
One feature that I always felt that Catch Notes was missing was the bolding of a note’s title. Now, they have it, and it looks fantastic. I have a lot of notes and the bolding really makes it easier to quickly find that one note you’re looking for.
Keep in mind that Catch Notes is an online service. All of your notes are stored on their servers and can be accessed at any time through their website. The Android app is just a way for you to access those notes through your mobile device. This distinction will become important later.
I’m not sure if the latest update gave more room to the text area, but it sure feels more spacious. The size of the font can be changed in the settings, so if you need to fit more text into a smaller area, there are ways to do it. With that said, I like it.
Some mobile text editors have a tendency to make the keyboard take up an inordinate amount of screen estate. Yes, it’s nice to have larger keys so that you are less likely to make typos, but it’s also inconvenient to have only 3 lines of visible text while jotting down notes. With Catch Notes, I can see a ton of text – with a small phone like mine, it’s a godsend.
There are a lot of extra features in Catch Notes that work to make your life easier. For example, the Search. As you type your search query into the field, Catch Notes will dynamically update the list of notes to only include those that match your search. Very useful for finding that note you wrote 8 months ago but forgot where you put it.
Remember how Catch Notes is a Web-based service? All of your notes are divided into categories called “Spaces.” The cool thing about Spaces is that you can invite other people to participate in one or more of your Spaces. The participants can add, edit, and delete notes within that Space, making it a useful way to collaborate on projects.
Also, since Catch Notes is Web-based, all of the changes you make to your notes will automatically be synced with the servers unless you turn off the syncing option. Vice versa, when you make note changes through your web browser, the changes will be reflected the next time your phone syncs.
Notes can be assigned to multiple Spaces if necessary. The whole process is quite easy, actually, and I was surprised by how intuitive it all was.
Notes can also be shared on a note-by-note basis using the sharing function. Send your notes to other devices through Bluetooth. Depending on your Catch Notes settings, you can also share notes through email, text message, and sending to other portable apps on your device (like Any.DO).
At the bottom of Catch Notes, there is a big button that just beckons to be tapped. I don’t know what this button is actually called; I like to call it the Quick Select. Tapping the Quick Select will present you with 5 choices:
- Reminders: A Reminder is like a one-time alarm where you can set the date, time, and a message. When that date and time arrives, you’ll receive a notification with the message that you set.
- Camera: Take a picture with your device’s camera and insert it into a note with a caption. Or, pick an image from your device’s gallery and insert it with a caption. Either way, it’s a quick and easy method of putting photos into a note–for those times when text just doesn’t cut it.
- New Note: Need a new note? Here’s a quick shortcut for creating one. Done.
- Voice Note: A voice note is a recording that can be filed away as an audio note. Voice notes can be captioned with text that acts like a commentary of the audio. Could be useful when recording a lecture, for example.
- Checklist: Creates a new checklist. A checklist is a special type of note that only has a title and individual entries that can be checked on or off. You can create multiple checklists that can be categorized into multiple Spaces.
Settings & Options
Catch Notes has a lot of options for you to fiddle with. In particular, there are a bunch of ways that you can customize your syncing – how often you want to sync, when to sync, if you want automatic syncing, and more. Plus, you can secure your notes by using the built-in security features of Catch Notes: password locking.
If you want to change fonts or sorting methods, you can do that, too. You can enable or disable certain features, like location tagging or the tag picker (for quickly tagging your notes). And if you ever want to move away from Catch Notes, you can export your notes to text.
Catch Notes has always been my favorite portable note-taking app and with this last update, it has really proven its worth. Hopefully you can see why, too. Give it a try and see if you like it. I am willing to bet money that you will.
Let us know how it goes in the comments!