MetaMoJi has released an innovative app called “Note Anytime”. We were impressed with its simplicity and convenience and would urge readers to give it a try. Although it is a described as a handwriting memo application, it includes easy to use tools for managing sketching, images, web-pages, and PDF files. It also includes cloud storage. All of this plus a slick user experience means that Note Anytime delivers much more!
The most important thing we found is that entering handwriting into the app feels right; Comfortable. When you hear the story of it’s creators you begin to realize that there is a reason. The company has many developers who have been responsible for creating word processing and other applications for many years. Note Anytime has been programmed at a low-level (close to the machine), meaning that the response from the app is high, and it has a user interface that delivers an efficient experience.
The only learning curve involved is that the UI is unique and takes a little time to get used to, but once you are used to it you would not part with it. In addition there are Windows 8 and Android versions that also use the same interface, giving a universal experience. To keep notes synchronized between these different platforms, Note Anytime provides its own cloud service with an automatic backup and synchronization service.
It feels really easy to enter letters with Note Anytime. Because of its huge paper magnification capability (up to 729 times), if you expand the page to its maximum and write with a fine pen, it feels as though you can write endlessly. You can also easily write at a larger scale but then select using the lasso tool and shrink down the content and reposition it. Once you master this use you will not to be able to take Note Anytime off your home screen as your preferred note-taking application.
Note Anytime provides a convenient way to open a new document quickly and then capture rough handwritten or sketched notes. It is fast and simple to take your note and then send it via e-mail as a PDF, to another application such as Evernote, or just save it locally in the Digital Cabinet.
One of the reasons that Note Anytime made us enjoy the "pleasure of handwriting" again is its calligraphy feature. With a real calligraphic pen you need to understand the technique of applying the pen tip at the right angle. This is preset in Note Anytime, allowing you to create great looking calligraphic letters with ease. Two different preset calligraphy pens are provided in the standard free product, although a paid add-on is available that allows you to really customize the calligraphy nib width and angles to get the line shapes you want. Other optional items include a fancy gradient ink that can be used to create greater emphasis on lines.
Most word-processing software is restricted in the ways you can arrange your text and images within the document. With Note Anytime you can arrange everything including text, photos, handwriting, and drawn pictures freely. This freedom let’s both children and adults express their designs more openly.
You can edit your ideas at any time after capturing them
A proportion of people find that the action of handwriting helps to stimulate their brain during the creative process. Note Anytime is very suitable for capturing new ideas. The ability to move and reprocess even handwriting after creating it helps to refine and change ideas as you go. You can change the colors and thickness of any line strokes entered into the application, change the ordering of layers of content, rotate to any angle, and scale any content and re-set its position with complete ease. Note Anytime can also be used as a flowcharting and mind-mapping (spider mapping) solution due to these features.
In addition to its other cool features, you can import a PDF document into Note Anytime. We found this extremely useful when reviewing content from others. You can seamlessly open the PDF document, mark any required corrections, and then send it back as a new PDF via email. The zoom features mean that you can add very fine corrections without losing definition.
When you are taking notes in response to an explanation from someone they may describe something in front of you. In such a case you can quickly take a photo and then write a note on it. Alternatively you can take a photograph and annotate it to show to others to help explain yourself.
Note Anytime includes features that allow a different way of presenting information to others. Utilizing the content scaling features you can create a new style of presentation that cannot be achieved with tools such as PowerPoint. Note Anytime lets you add all of the information that would usually be split into slides onto one page of ‘paper’. This can then be shown from a “bird's-eye” view initially, but then zoomed into to expose more detail. The advantage here is that all information can be related - you do not need to break it up into separate pages just to present it. Presentations do not need to take a fixed path. There is also a feature that lets you capture specific zoom levels and positions on the page and store these as thumbnails. Clicking on the thumbnail allows you to instantly jump to that position in the document.
If you display Note Anytime on a monitor using AirPlay via a cable or Apple TV, you can create a virtual whiteboard for use in meetings. You can write into Note Anytime without needing to stand, but still share the information with the rest of the room. You can also import documents as PDF, write shared notes onto them during the meeting, and the distribute the annotated versions later. MetaMoJi are also working on a number of exciting presentation features for the future that sound worth waiting for!
We used Note Anytime instead of a welcome board at a recent book launch party. It was useful to display photos, to use as a bulletin board, and we even used it to announce the Wi-Fi details to everyone in the hall. The handwriting features also become useful for passing real-time notes to an audience, such as announcing instructions such as “Dinner will be ready in 5 minutes”. Recently we were at an event and wanted to display new information to the venues audience. We connected to the venues main monitor with the iPad and then used Note Anytime to create the urgent message and display to everyone immediately in real-time.
Various papers and items are provided as preset options, but there are also other types of paper and layouts such as calendar and music sheets, and items such as arrows and icons that can be downloaded and reused via the built-in item library.
We were shown the amazing handwriting recognition engine “Mazec” which will be available as a paid Note Anytime add-on. This feature is certainly the most useful add-on for Note Anytime. The accuracy with which the feature can recognize scribbled letters is surprising. You can also insert the handwriting without conversion and then convert into text at a later time!
One of the advantages of using Note Anytime is the presence of its "Digital Cabinet". This is a cloud synchronization service of its own. This makes it possible to synchronize notes between different platforms, as well as taking backups easily and automatically.
MetaMoJi also produces a stylus called Su-Pen. This was created when Note Anytime developers found that the available stylus pens in the market did not give a smooth, uninterrupted line when handwriting. This was partly due to the reliance on rubbery nibs that had no feeling of quality. The Su-Pen uses a specially design cloth-like nib that gives a great writing experience, is built to last, and looks great.
He works with Note Anytime to capture ideas, proposals and to take notes. He is the final person in our editorial department to use the iPad instead of pen and paper to take notes. This is because of Note Anytime!