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keep track of ideasRecently I’ve noticed that I’m beginning to forget things more than I ever have and so I’m starting to make more notes to keep track of ideas that are there one minute and gone the next. Being a tech writer I probably shouldn’t admit that my desk is covered in bits of paper with physical notes written on them, but I’ve not really explored too many note-taking apps until now.

Scatterbrain is a free app designed to help organise thoughts, ideas and anything else that demands quick, concise and orderly notes. The app has been on our Best Of iPhone Apps page for a short while now, so it’s time to take it for a spin and see why it comes so highly recommended.

Unfortunately Scatterbrain is just for the iPhone, so Android users and those with other smartphones will have to try alternatives like Simple Notepad Secure & Really Simple Note Taking With Simple Notepad [Android 2.2+] Secure & Really Simple Note Taking With Simple Notepad [Android 2.2+] The search for productivity in the easiest (or the laziest) way possible always makes us take a second look at any note taking app in the market. From my own personal experience I can tell... Read More or Catch Catch Notes: A Full-Featured App for Portable Note-Taking [Android] Catch Notes: A Full-Featured App for Portable Note-Taking [Android] 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... Read More .

More Than Just

You may find yourself wondering whether or not you really need a note-taking app on iOS, after all with the default and the recently iCloud-enabled included with iOS, the iPhone is fairly well-equipped for keeping track of thoughts and ideas. Add a slew of similar apps like Trello Trello - A Unique, Simple & Powerful Project Management System From A Good Home Trello - A Unique, Simple & Powerful Project Management System From A Good Home Does the name Joel Spolsky mean anything to you? If so, you’re going to want to read this post, because it showcases Spolsky’s latest and greatest project. And if not, you should know this is... Read More and Clear Clear For iPhone: Elegant & Simple List-Making For $1.99 [iPhone] Clear For iPhone: Elegant & Simple List-Making For $1.99 [iPhone] The Internet has been awash with hype about Clear since it was first announced and demoed by developers, Realmac Software. The app finally hit the App Store last week and is already proving itself a... Read More for list-taking and project management, and note-taking seems to be covered.

keep track of ideas is the “scrap paper” of the note taking world – if you need to write it down, it’ll do the job just fine but you might have trouble finding it again later. Scatterbrain feels more like a well-organised folder full of notes with concise descriptions, clear titles and colours to help separate ideas. Even the name appeals to me because I often feel like my ideas come from nowhere and disappear before long unless I write them down, and if you feel the same then you can answer with a resounding “yes” to the question of whether or not another iOS app is required.


keep track of your ideas

Clear and Trello are my two life-savers when it comes to remembering things, but Clear is a list-making app not suited to taking notes and Trello is a project management tool which feels big and empty when you use it for note taking. Scatterbrain steps up to the task perfectly, providing a clean interface that doesn’t bombard you with extras that you don’t need. When you first start the app the first thing you’ll see is the Thoughts tab which is empty. At the bottom of the screen is a big inviting “+” plus button which is used to add a new note.

keep track of your ideas

Tap it and you’ll be provided with two text boxes – a title and description – for jotting down your current thoughts. Below these are two boxes recording the date the note was created and the last time it was modified, as well as a colour box and option to set a reminder. iPhone 5 and 4S users can use Siri to dictate their notes, the rest of us on older or non-Siri enabled iDevices will have to make do with our thumbs.

keep track of your ideas

One thing I really like about Scatterbrain is the ability to create bulleted lists within one note by adding bullets using the “+._” button below the description box. If like me you’re salivating over the quantity of promising-looking Xbox 360 games coming out over the next few weeks but are having trouble keeping track, you can create a “Buy Xbox 360 Games” note and put each title under a bullet. This looks a lot better than separating items with commas, especially when your notes consist of long sentences and makes your notes much more readable at a glance.

software to keep track of ideas

Over on the other tab (there really are only two) are a few customisable settings and an option to register for a “ScatterSync” account in order to backup your notes to the cloud. This isn’t mandatory, and only handy if you’re worried you might lose your precious thoughts and the app works perfectly fine without this. This is also where you can manage colours, change their names to labels and drag to reorder how colour coordinated notes should display.

software to keep track of ideas

Once you’ve set everything up, it looks good and you can search or sort by colour, date, alphabetically or by notes that have reminders.

keep track of ideas


Scatterbrain is a well made, easy to use advert-free note-taking app that will help you organise your life. Additional features like bulleting, reminders and custom labels make your notes a little more dynamic and easy to read at a glance and the free price tag provides a great excuse to download it to see if it’s as useful for you as it seems.

If you’ve used Scatterbrain or would recommend another note-taking app for iPhone feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below. Is this the best free app for the job on iOS?

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  1. Charles Babb
    November 15, 2012 at 2:42 am

    I'm going to use it, but I'm not sure how it will measure up to Evernote.