Take Handwritten Notes Online Or Offline With SuperNote For Android

usingstylus   Take Handwritten Notes Online Or Offline With SuperNote For AndroidRecently, I spent some time testing out different online note-taking apps. I hit all of the usual suspects, include Evernote of course, as well as Catch Notes and OneNote. I have nothing at all bad to say about any of these apps. They all have their pros and cons, not the least of which is the fact that all of the apps sync with an online storage account so that you can retrieve those notes from any other device where you can get Internet access.

This is a great advantage for a note-taking app, but what if you just want a simple notepad-like app for your Android smartphone or tablet that just stores the notes on the device itself and doesn’t need to sync anything? Some people who use Android tablets do so in an environment where Internet access isn’t available most of the time. These people typically try to find apps that don’t really require Wi-Fi or 3G Internet access. In my particular case, I just wanted a simple note-taking app that I could use in meetings to replace the old-school notepad.

I tested out a number of device-based Android note apps like this, and eventually settled on the one that I consider the best of the best, called SuperNote. Don’t bother checking Google Play for the app – it was originally rolled out with the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime as part of the Android 3.2.1 Honeycomb update. Other devices running the latest Honeycomb have the exclusive SuperNote app.

It is very cool, and in many ways it actually blows even Evernote out of the water when it comes to interpreting words drawn right onto the tablet and placing those words into the document as a clean sentence. It is surreal to use at first, but once you get into it, it just becomes second nature.

Using SuperNote to Take Notes on a Tablet

To be honest with you, SuperNote was one of those native apps that I saw on the Prime when I first started using it, launched it quickly once, figured it didn’t really look like anything special and then moved on.  I had no idea that I had just blown off one of the best tablet note-taking apps available today.

It wasn’t until months later, after I couldn’t really find a non-online note-taking app that I decided to take another, more thorough look at SuperNote. When you first launch SuperNote, it really doesn’t look amazing. You’ll see a blank notepage, a pace for “notebooks” on the left, similar to Evernote, and I figured that’s it. Boy was I wrong.

supernote1   Take Handwritten Notes Online Or Offline With SuperNote For Android

 

When you start up a new Notebook – which is used to contain all of the individual note pages that you create, you have the choice to make it a “Notebook” or a “Paintbook”. In both cases you can set up the page color, and in the case of the Notebook you can also set up the font size.

supernote2   Take Handwritten Notes Online Or Offline With SuperNote For Android

 

At first glance, note pages look pretty standard. I thought the lined page was kind of odd, considering that when you type your notes using the docked keyboard or the onscreen keyboard, you’ve just got your basic notepad-type text file.

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It wasn’t until I put my finger to the screen and started really trying to understand how the drawing feature worked that I realized just how wicked cool this app really is. I thought that the drawing feature was to sketch pictures into the note page, but every time I drew a shape, it got shrunk down and placed into the next text line. I thought to myself, “How annoying!”

A few moments later, I realized what was happening. Basically, the application lets you use your finger – or even better, a stylus – to hand-write each word in the sentence. Forget the on-screen keyboard or even needing an attached keyboard, just pick up your stylus and write up your notes by hand. Each word gets resized and aligned so that it fits right between the line width for the line your cursor is on.

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Once I realized what was going on, I really started flying with my note-taking. This is very cool. Not only can you quickly jot down notes just like you would with a regular sheet of paper, but if you feel like the notes aren’t quite clear enough, you can set the line width between three different darkness settings. Just adjust it to your liking.

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A nice feature is that you can adjust the “Scribble recognition speed”. This applies to how long the Supernote waits before it takes the word you wrote and applies it to the next spot in the line. If you take a long time to move on to the next letter in a word, you might want to slow down this wait time so that it doesn’t grab partial words before you’re done writing them. Once you adjust this speed to match your writing style, hand-writing notes using Supernote just becomes amazingly intuitive and fast.

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You can also quickly change the color of the text – typed or drawn – with the quick color-changer tool in the toolbar menu. The menu also has tools that let you adjust the line thickness and the line spacing.

supernote8   Take Handwritten Notes Online Or Offline With SuperNote For Android

Text not enough? You can also insert lots of other things into your  notes as well – including annotations, photos, images from your gallery, video captures, and even voice recordings.

supernote9   Take Handwritten Notes Online Or Offline With SuperNote For Android

 I thought it would be kind of cool to see if I could take a snapshot with my tablet camera from right inside the note-taking app, and then draw on the photo itself. That was surprisingly easy – you just choose “take photo” from the menu, snap your photo and it gets inserted right into your note. It brings you into the “paintbook” mode where you can edit your photo before it gets inserted into the note.  Set the paintbrush to whatever colors you like and start drawing!

supernote10   Take Handwritten Notes Online Or Offline With SuperNote For Android

I handed over the reigns to my daughter for a few minutes and let her draw on my face. She’s quite the Picasso.

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Once I got started building my “Notebooks” inside of SuperNote, it really started becoming a lot more apparent to me just how useful and valuable this note-taking app could be. I sorted out all my pics and drawings into a specific notebook just for those. I listed my home projects and to-do lists in its own folder, and so on. Now you can organize all of those notes that you used to just scribble on loose papers that ended up scattered all around your desk. Keep all those little scribbles and critical facts stashed right in your tablet or smartphone, set up so that you’ll be able to find them later.

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I have to say that after playing around with all of the other Android note apps on the Android Market, I was shocked to discover that my favorite note-taking app of all ended up being the native app right on the native Honeycomb OS. So, if you’re in the market for a new tablet and note-taking is a key feature, I propose that you may want to look for a tablet with Honeycomb Android 3.2.1 or later. You’ll be glad you did.

Have you ever used the Honeycomb SuperNote app? What’s your take on its features and ease-of-use? Do you take your digital notes by hand? Share your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below.

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21 Comments -

Robbie Pence

It’s not part of honeycomb. It’s an Asus thing. Honeycomb is like, three Android releases behind.

Ahmed Khalil

good tip thanks for sharing

Jeff Schallenberg

I tried SuperNote a year ago for a couple of days on my Acer tablet. I found it a PITA to use – very unintuitive. I uninstalled it then but I just installed it again to try. It hasn’t changed. Pass.

I use Catch, Pocket and SimpleNote to varying degrees. All have offline Android apps that sync with their website version (Notational Acceleration for SimpleNote).

Ryan Dube

Jeff – as I mentioned, I passed on it too. First try it felt odd, until I read a few articles on it and realized that you can adjust the recognition delay to make it far more intuitive with the rate that you write. After getting used to it, there’s honestly no other note-taking app that I’d download for the tablet.

kendall sencherey

when i get an android device i will be using it

Lisa Santika Onggrid

It’s like dream comes true. I’ve been hoping for such app to exist for some time now. While I don’t really pay attention to online sync, I do hope it can do offline sync (i.e exporting notes to your computer). I don’t want my data to be tied in one device in case something happens.

Saul Small

Wunderlist is my favourite for this sort of thing

suket dedhia

it should be made available for all android devices.

David

Another great app call IDpro Voice Caller Id and voice Caller Id while in waiting call makes you life better!!!

April Eum

thanks for this, i know the ipad has huge difficulties, well for me at least of getting notes down even with stylus. it’s irritating. maybe i shall switch to note tablet..

Peter Gils

I use Evernote, but gone try this!

Nikhil Chandak

I will download this app
and try in my android phone
;)

Art Hunt

I’m just getting a Google Nexus 7. Can you tell me where to download Asus Supernote?

Steve Nash

Can you identify the app better? I can find several “Supernote” and “Super Note” apps but none seem to look like your descriptions. What is the support website?

G Walz

This is for Honeycomb tablets like the Asus Transformer Prime. Cannot be found on Google Play. See the third paragraph.

wayne

I have been using Supernote for my business for several years now & love it. I use it to take notes on the service I’m providing for my clients for billing & history. The one thing I have not been able to figure out is searching. Has anyone discovered how to do a search for words inside a notes?

joni raafat

I want to ask how can I hide a super note I had made a password for the supernote app. But I can’t hide particular notes and make the other appear normally the password didn’t work for that plz could you help me
Unless this app. appeals to me it is so good :)

Ryan Dube

Hi Joni – not sure I follow. You are looking to hide specific notes with the password feature and you’re saying the password feature isn’t working for you?

joni raafat

In settings there is a button for password hide/ unhide the notes
I made this password and after that all the notes appear normally
I want to hide some notes .
I can’t do this

Lucia Paul

I also just rediscovered Super Note and love it for hand written notes which are great for on the spot note taking.

I also use it for my to do lists. The only negative about this usage is that you can’t draw a line through your “dones” or erase them. Am I missing this ability?