The Internet makes researching most topics fast and easy, and when it comes to managing those documents, notes, and clippings, Summary Pro ($2.99) for iPad takes some beating.
Web annotation services like Diigo (one of my favorites) and the clipping features provided by Evernote are great for collecting, organizing, and reviewing research, but Summary Pro streamlines the note clipping process and helps keep your research organized.
How It Works
Summary Pro includes an in-built web browser which can clip anything on a webpage and save it to a folder with the swipe of your finger. So for example, you can do Google search for “climate change.” As you browse and read articles and documents, you can tap on one of three cutting tools (rectangle, circle, or free hand) and select content you want to clip and save.
Next, swipe the selection to the left and it gets saved in a folder. You can also simply copy text as you normally do on the iPad and it automatically gets saved to your summary folder. The browser also keeps a history of your downloaded pages, and also allows for bookmarking.
All of your collected clippings can be exported in a PDF document or printed directly from Summary Pro. Summary Pro also supports the import of Microsoft Office and iWork documents for source material.
Saving clippings in Summary Pro is easy enough, but how it saves clippings is also very handy. The user interface consists of three parts: a library of your projects, clipping folders (called Summaries), and a browser for web content and documents. You might decide to create one or more folders for your research project, depending on how you want to keep clippings organized.
All clippings are saved in the selected folder of the Summaries section, where they can be re-ordered. The source URL automatically gets attached to each saved clipping so you can quickly link back to original online content.
On top of that, you can add your own notes to the Summaries folder. Summary Pro includes a special keyboard for changing the font style, size, and alignment of text.
Summary Pro automatically saves and organizes your research, but what use would that be without a means of exporting? You can export materials in PDF format to iTunes file sharing, email, Dropbox and dead trees. You can also print or export a collection of clippings and notes by long-pressing a folder then selecting your preferred export destination.
I tested PDF export to Dropbox and the resulting file didn’t appear to be full resolution. I was also unable to select and copy text from the exported Summary Pro PDF, but these are all things that the developer can and should work on.
If you create professional reports/ or write research reports for school, and you want to better use your iPad to do so, Summary Pro may well be a very handy tool.
Navigating between the browser and the library might appear at first to be a little confusing (you need to tap and close the current clipping collections to get back to the library), but other than that, Summary Pro is powerful, straight forward and easy to use.
The ability to select, swipe and save makes researching topics infinitely faster than if you were to do the same with Safari and a secondary app like Evernote.
Download: Summary Pro ($2.99)
Let us know what you think of Summary Pro and how you use it.
Summary Pro Turns Your iPad Into a Unique Study and Research Tool
(Tim, the above title comes from the developer’s iTunes page)
Summary Pro for iPad Makes Research Easy and Manageable
Research, Extract and Organize Your Research With Summary Pro for iPad