Developer: Appigo
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.2

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★★
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Appigo Notebook is a note taking app that lets you create multiple notebooks, each with as many notes as you wish. It integrates with task management app Todo, also by Appigo. It offers numerous formatting options, the ability to sync notes with a free online service, full text searching, and more.

Notebook differentiates itself from Notes, the app built into the iPhone’s OS, and other similar apps available in the iTunes app store, in a number of ways. One of them is by letting you format notes. You can create bulleted lists, insert the current date or time, and even insert HTML tags to do things like create headings or italicize text. When in edit mode you can see and edit the HTML, but once you leave edit mode it is rendered as you’d expect the formatting to be.

You can also sync notes to the free online service Toodledo, and if you have the author’s Todo app, you can send a note to it and it becomes a task item. Integration with Todo doesn’t end there since you can also send tasks to Notebook to turn them into notes. This tight integration lends itself well to the process of coming up with an idea, creating a task for it, and then moving that task to Notebook to realize it. Conversely, you may start tapping out a note in Notebook and realize you don’t have enough information to complete it, so you use it as a basis for a new task in Todo.

You can mark any note as private, and set a pass code to unlock them. You can hide private notes so they don’t appear in notebooks, or mask them so you can’t see their contents until they are unlocked. You can also do full-text searching of notes, and hidden notes show up in the results. You can easily move any note to a different notebook, and the app lets you change the sort order, how much text is previewed when looking at a list of notes, as well as the font type and size.

While its integration with Notebook and the Toodledo online service are welcome, there are a couple of minor problems with its implementation. For example, if you take a note formatted with HTML tags and create a task from it, those tags aren’t stripped out in the newly created task, and Todo is unable to render them. You are left with a task whose title or notes has meaningless tags in them. A similar problem exists in Toodledo, where the list of notes shows the raw tags, but at least when you select a note it does render the HTML properly.

There is one other issue with formatting and that’s simply the fact that when you choose to insert HTML tags, you are given only a few options. It’s clear that Notebook supports more tags, so you can enter them yourself and they will be rendered properly, but nowhere is there a list of what’s supported, and entering them by hand is painstaking. A more comprehensive list that can be inserted by the app itself would be appreciated, as well as some sort of documentation to let you know which tags are actually supported.

Notebook definitely offers an appealing set of features, and its user interface is streamlined and easy to use. While its HTML implementation seems somewhat incomplete, it at least attempts to offer formatting in a non-proprietary way, and it does a great job of rendering it. Its tight integration with Appigo Todo and with the online service Toodledo make it far more compelling then some of its competitors, and it is reasonably priced.

Posted in: iPhone Apps and Games, Productivity, Reviews

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