Developer: theory.io
Price: $1.99 (Limited Time; Normally $6.99)
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

iPad Integration Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Users who are scatter-brained and disorganized like myself will appreciate Projectbook: Notes and To-dos. The iPad app combines all the features from popular productivity gems like Evernote and Notability, and adds some new ones to the mix. It’s a solid idea with a promising outlook, but it’s not quite polished enough to make it noteworthy.

As the name implies. Projectbook combines a notebook and a to-do task manager into one location. It includes an extensive list of features like a wide range of text formats, the ability to add bullets and check boxes into notes to create outlines, sketching tools complete with brush and pen options, finger note-taking, audio recording, folder and tag organization and support for Word and PDF documents. I could go on for days listing all the features, but they are all available in the iTune’s description for those who are curious.

There are two unique features that I particularly enjoyed about Projectbook. One is that it’s easy to find previous documents as it highlights keywords in notes. When a highlighted word is touched, a window pops up that displays other files that contain that same word. Projectbook also shows similar notes based off keywords that are entered when a note or active folder is saved. The next is that information can be pulled from Instapaper, Pocket and email accounts.

While I wanted to fall in love with Projectbook, there were a few disappointments that prevented me from doing so. The first is that the interface isn’t as intuitive as I’d prefer and it’s often not very responsive. A quick tutorial runs users through the app, but I found myself feeling confused on more than one occasion. The interface seemed to lag at times (especially when writing with the pen tool) and the menus took up a lot of screen real estate in landscape mode. Secondly, I didn’t see a full DropBox import option. It’s possible to add Word and PDF files, but I wasn’t able to import photos or audio into my notes. Lastly, there is no way to zoom or scale—which would be a nice addition to the coincide with the sketching ability.

Projectbook is off to a nice start in terms of helping users stay more organized, but I’m not quite sure if it’s an actual replacement for Evernote. Sure, it’s packed with a lot of neat features and it makes finding other documents and notes a breeze. However, it just doesn’t feel quite polished enough yet. If you’re looking for a new note taking or to-do task management app, I recommend picking this one up while it’s on sale. Otherwise, it’s best to wait for an update along with the release of the iPhone and Mac versions for those who are looking for a way to sync up across platforms.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Productivity, Reviews

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