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mchollett

ios Penultimate vs. 53's Paper - Feel of pen on paper

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I think I have bought every note taking / writing application for the iPad. I intended to do a comparison of all and choose a favorite but I could never organize all the features. Apps continue to get updated, new ones come out, and less popular ones fade into the iTunes store rating sunset. It became more of a challenge to understand all the apps rather than just getting my notes down.

I'm glad to see Evernote purchase Penultimate. I think it is one of the best I tried and for a long time was the one I defaulted to for everyday use.

Penultimate has the great organization features and I want to use it. But I'm lured away by another..........

First, let me explain that I'm a computer / gadget nerd that's a closet pen and paper guy. I like the feel of pen on paper. I enjoy writing on real paper with a good quality pen. I want to feel this on an electronic device or at least have a good enough feel that I can break myself from dead trees and ink.

A month or so ago, I downloaded 53's Paper. At first, I was a little miffed that the app was free but you had to purchase pens and inks. Kind of a weird model but I guess developers will try anything on the app store. In retrospect, it's a good model because once you "feel" the writing, you have to have more.

53's paper is far and above the best feeling "writing" app on the iPad. It's very smooth and the ink follows your finger or sylus exactly. No lag or hesitations. The width of the stroke is well tied to the pressure applied. It just works and works really well. I actually feel like I'm writing with this application.

OK - so why am I writing about this in an Evernote forum. I'm asking the Evernote/Penultimate folks to take a look at 53's paper and try the writing experience. I'm hoping there is a closet pen and paper guy among the group that will appreciate the smoothness and want to improve Penultimates writing smoothness.

Thanks for reading

Mark

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Looks nice for drawing, but until it gets a zoom feature for writing text it can't replace my note taking app

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Yeah, it's certainly not aimed particularly at note taking -- it's more of a sketch/brainstorming/scratchpad sort of tool, but it's truly outstanding for that. So even though it doesn't really "compete" head to head with Penultimate, I agree with Mark that it would be really, really worth while for Evernote to take a look and get a feel for it (I guess I'd be surprised if they haven't!).

For me, I'm actually much less interested in using a pen to take notes in Evernote than I am being able to sketch and draw; and for that, the "feel" that Paper gets exactly right is extremely important. I would be absolutely thrilled if I could create notes in Evernote where I could seamlessly switch between typing text, writing it, and adding sketches. Evernote currently does the organization (and text), Penultimate does well for writing, and Paper does well for sketching. What I want is for the strengths of all three to be combined!

I know a lot of people rave about how Microsoft's OneNote allows for this kind of mixed-mode note making; I think Evernote's acquisition of Penultimate is setting them up to (finally) bring together the same kind of seamless experience. I don't just want to dump notes out to Evernote, I want to be able to go back and edit them with full text/pen richness. I think (hope) they'll get there, and I just want them to not forget the sketchers out there, and for them Paper is the current benchmark for "doing it right".

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Yeah, it's certainly not aimed particularly at note taking -- it's more of a sketch/brainstorming/scratchpad sort of tool, but it's truly outstanding for that. So even though it doesn't really "compete" head to head with Penultimate, I agree with Mark that it would be really, really worth while for Evernote to take a look and get a feel for it (I guess I'd be surprised if they haven't!).

For me, I'm actually much less interested in using a pen to take notes in Evernote than I am being able to sketch and draw; and for that, the "feel" that Paper gets exactly right is extremely important. I would be absolutely thrilled if I could create notes in Evernote where I could seamlessly switch between typing text, writing it, and adding sketches. Evernote currently does the organization (and text), Penultimate does well for writing, and Paper does well for sketching. What I was is for the strengths of all three to be combined!

I know a lot of people rave about how Microsoft's OneNote allows for this kind of mixed-mode note making; I think Evernote's acquisition of Penultimate is setting them up to (finally) bring together the same kind of seamless experience. I don't just want to dump notes out to Evernote, I want to be able to go back and edit them with full text/pen richness. I think (hope) they'll get there, and I just want them to not forget the sketchers out there, and for them Paper is the current benchmark for "doing it right".

Hi. I think it is a high quality app, but I imagine there is a lot involved in purchasing a company, especially when it replicates functionality found in other products.

Your point about Evernote developing the product to address the needs of artists (who doesn't at least doodle?) is a good one. I think third-party app integration would work, but there is a lot of potential in Penultimate, so I am looking forward to seeing what they do with that app!

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Hi. I think it is a high quality app, but I imagine there is a lot involved in purchasing a company, especially when it replicates functionality found in other products.

Your point about Evernote developing the product to address the needs of artists (who doesn't at least doodle?) is a good one. I think third-party app integration would work, but there is a lot of potential in Penultimate, so I am looking forward to seeing what they do with that app!

Oh I agree with you completely. I did not mean to suggest that Evernote should go out and buy FiftyThree/Paper. I (and I think the OP) were just suggesting that Evernote (especially now having bought Penultimate) should look very closely at Paper as a benchmark because there are a lot of people who find its tool feel and UI to be transformative for non-writing tasks. I have full confidence that the Evernote and Penultimate guys could come up with something amazing in this regard, and I hope they do.

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Hi. I think it is a high quality app, but I imagine there is a lot involved in purchasing a company, especially when it replicates functionality found in other products.

Your point about Evernote developing the product to address the needs of artists (who doesn't at least doodle?) is a good one. I think third-party app integration would work, but there is a lot of potential in Penultimate, so I am looking forward to seeing what they do with that app!

Oh I agree with you completely. I did not mean to suggest that Evernote should go out and buy FiftyThree/Paper. I (and I think the OP) were just suggesting that Evernote (especially now having bought Penultimate) should look very closely at Paper as a benchmark because there are a lot of people who find its tool feel and UI to be transformative for non-writing tasks. I have full confidence that the Evernote and Penultimate guys could come up with something amazing in this regard, and I hope they do.

Makes sense to me! Although, I am hoping they can outdo it :)

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Sorry if I caused some confusion. I didn't mean to imply that paper is a good overall note taking solution. Penultimate is much better in many ways - almost all ways.

I was just hoping to draw some attention to the "feel" of sketching, annotating, and freehand writing in paper. They have really nailed the connection between the stylus (or finger) and the electronic paper.

Hoping the Penultimate team can improve the interface in this area.

Thanks,

Mark

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I am a heavy user of both apps Penultimate and Paper by 53 and I agree with the feeling and responsiveness of 53's app as well as some other features. One thing that Penultimate could learn from Paper is the different pens it comes with and how it still maintains its power of accuracy. I love the water color brush that is has and i haven't found any app that closely matches it.

No offense to Penultimate since I use this everytime I do my conceptual thinking. This is the app I run to if an idea pops into my mind. Its fast rendering, non segmented capabilities of the things I write prompted me to do this. Simple Pens and colors make 1st phase concepts flow quickly. Once I have it ready the i transfer my concepts to other sketching apps like Procreate.

What I am waiting for? Is to integrate Penultimate entirely with Evernote so all my doodles and sketches can actually get tagged, sorted and properly organized not just by notebooks.

Thanks.

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Hi poliks. You probably already know, but emailing a file to your account enables you to title, sort into a target notebook, and tag something. Hopefully, in the future, "open in" will work the same way.

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Hi. I think it is a high quality app, but I imagine there is a lot involved in purchasing a company, especially when it replicates functionality found in other products.

Your point about Evernote developing the product to address the needs of artists (who doesn't at least doodle?) is a good one. I think third-party app integration would work, but there is a lot of potential in Penultimate, so I am looking forward to seeing what they do with that app!

Oh I agree with you completely. I did not mean to suggest that Evernote should go out and buy FiftyThree/Paper. I (and I think the OP) were just suggesting that Evernote (especially now having bought Penultimate) should look very closely at Paper as a benchmark because there are a lot of people who find its tool feel and UI to be transformative for non-writing tasks. I have full confidence that the Evernote and Penultimate guys could come up with something amazing in this regard, and I hope they do.

i was excited that Evernote bought Penultimate for this reason exactly. i use FiftyThree/Paper as well (for my sketching purposes - penultimate for notes) and love the feel of that app. i also love the different covers to the notebooks, as i find it hard to search through the several brown covered penultimate ones. i'm hoping Evernote can take this app to the next level.

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I just wanted to jump back into this thread again briefly to add some more personal experience.

Ive been using my iPad quite a lot at work since we first started discussing this. My main usage is still sketching and drawing; I'm a mechanical engineer and I find it very useful to be able to get ideas down digitally in my iPad. I keep bouncing back and forth between Paper and Penultimate however. I still find the feel and appearance on the page of the tools in Paper to be miles beyond anything else; for example, if I lay a line down with the pen tool and then come back with the marker over it, it doesn't erase the pen line, just as it would be with real tools. All of their tools have this sort of intuitive correctness that I find invaluable.

However, Penultimate blows it away for everything else. The way Penulatimate does organization, export, cut/paste, pulling in photos, undo/redo -- basically everything about the UI I find that Penultimate does it simply, efficiently, and correctly. I love it. But then I'm still left with just this one pen tool that Is very limiting. Highlight something in a drawing I've made? Sorry, a fat yellow pen just overwrites anything it crosses.

I guess what I'm saying is again: if Penultimate added even just a little bit of the tool behavior and feel from Paper, I'd never look back.

And beyond that, if Penultimate were to get really tied directly into Evernote -- I mean to the point where it's just an optional tool palette within the Evernote application -- then perfection will have been achieved.

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Just to chime in with my two cents. I use Paper by FiftyThree quite a bit, and also Penultimate, though I mainly use Paper to sketch and draw, and I use Penultimate for taking notes. I've tried it the other way around, and I didn't like doodling on Penultimate too much, nor did I like note taking on Paper.

In the end, I'm pretty glad to have both on my iPad. :)

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I like penultimate but would love for them to incorporate 53's additional pens and colors plus the smooth artful flow. Do this and I will never use paper again. I would love to draw and take notes all in one place.

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I'd like to second the suggestion for a zoom area at the bottom for handwriting. It's an essential for me for note-taking and the only reason I don't use Penultimate.

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I also have both Paper and Penultimate - but I'm using Notability for note taking at the moment, until Evernote get the whole syncing thing sorted out with Penultimate.

 

Just in case you may be one of the three people who may have missed other posts of mine (!), I have a real problem with Penultimate syncing EVERYTHING to Evernote.  Lots of scribbles, notes, doodles I do in Penultimate I do NOT want in Evernote.  And if I delete them from Evernote, they sync and delete from Penultimate too.  I need the ability to sync selected notes from Penultimate to Evernote, and I also need the ability to determine which notebook they go to, and also to tag them before syncing if necessary.

 

Until I get selective and targeted syncing in Penultimate, I'm sticking with Notability.  Although I may give Notes Plus a try, since many people have recommended it.  And I may try to use Paper more for general scribbles and scrawls as well as more finished drawings. 

 

Just to explain why I need selective syncing - I'm a surgeon, and being a tech geek, I like to draw diagrams for patients to explain things to them, having always used pen and paper before.  So I draw this diagram of what I'm going to do, complete with erasings of the bits I'm planning on removing, or replumbing, etc, and use yet more scribblings to answer their questions.  But once I've done all that, and the patient has left my office, I delete that mess of scribblings.  I do NOT want the whole thing to go to Evernote.

 

So until then, it's Notability (or Notes Plus if I like it) and Paper by 53.

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I used to use Penultimate. Pretty good. I simply use Evernote now, with my CamNote notebooks and app.

 

I recommend it - you write in a CamNote notebook, digitise using CamNote app, it automatically syncs to your Evernote :)


This way - I don't lose my notes and they all get stored safe online :)

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