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drbeth20

ios Searchable alternative to Penultimate?

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One of my favorite features in Penultimate v5 was the ability to search your handwritten notes right within the app.

 

Do Notability, Goodnotes, Bamboo Paper or others have this same ability? Suggestions?

 

I'm really sad to say this, but after a few weeks of trying to stick it out and give Evernote a chance to fix this, I have to bail on Penultimate v6. It's just killing my productivity. :(

 

Any handwriting searchable apps out there that anyone has used?

 

 

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This thread has a thorough discussion about general alternatives:

     please anyone suggest a new note-taking app?    

 

For your specific request of being able to search your hand writing, I am not sure that any of the other common recommendations have that capacity. I haven't had experience with all of them so I can't say for sure, but of the ones that I have tried, they do not. That being said, many of those applications can export to Evernote, and if it is exported as an image, Evernote will OCR it and it will be searchable. 

 

To elaborate, the major issue is that detecting text in handwriting is a very resource intensive process. All of the OCR (optical character recognition) and handwriting recognition that happens in Evernote/penultimate, actually occurs on Evernote's servers. Any note taking application that does not offer sync of any kind, or relies on a third-party sync service (iCloud, Dropbox, etc) will not likely offer handwriting recognition because it is stored on servers that do not have this capability. That means you can rule out applications like Notability, not the least because my first hand experience confirms the absence of handwriting recognition, but because if you choose to sync, sync relies on iCloud, which does not perform handwriting detection. 

 

So this handwriting side of things is a pretty hard to find feature outside of the Evernote ecosystem. I think LiveScribe is the only other company I can think of right off the top of my head that might offer something remotely similar. They might be worth looking into. 

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Thanks a lot, now I know what I'm facing at least. I'll take a look at livescribe.

 

I'm hoping another company will dive into this search technology soon. I'm sure there are many situations where one might need to search in-app handwriting. For me, when a client calls and I'm taking notes as they talk, I can also quickly search model numbers, parts, keywords, etc from our previous conversations and pull up all of those notes (referring to Penultimate v5...v6 can, but not as user-friendly). It is such a powerful feature. But now that I can't use Penultimate anymore due to handwriting lag, I don't want to be flipping between Evernote and some other note app trying to get to my info.

 

Developers ~ I'd pay $20 for an app that can do in-app handwriting search well along with solid handwriting UX, and I bet others would, too. An opportunity is out there. :)

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I've been using Goodnotes for the last 10 days- it does include hand righting recognition and search. It can even convert handwrifhting into typed text. Sees like my handwriting needs to be a little better than in Penultimate 5.3 to find words, but it's pretty good. Goodnotes syncs as PDFs to Dropbox and has a notebook structure like Penultimate 5.3 so I'm content with the change. Now I just have to convert 250+ Penultimate notebooks to PDF archive before accidentally letting Penultimate update to 6.1. I keep checking back here because I'd love to avoid that process...but now it looks like I'll delete Penultimate and Evernote once I'm done archiving so I can go back to auto update on my other apps.

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I've been using Goodnotes for the last 10 days- it does include hand righting recognition and search. It can even convert handwrifhting into typed text. Sees like my handwriting needs to be a little better than in Penultimate 5.3 to find words, but it's pretty good. Goodnotes syncs as PDFs to Dropbox and has a notebook structure like Penultimate 5.3 so I'm content with the change. Now I just have to convert 250+ Penultimate notebooks to PDF archive before accidentally letting Penultimate update to 6.1. I keep checking back here because I'd love to avoid that process...but now it looks like I'll delete Penultimate and Evernote once I'm done archiving so I can go back to auto update on my other apps.

 

That's awesome info, thanks!! The funny thing is that although in PEN v5.3 my handwriting didn't have to be perfect for the search to work, in PEN v6 the responsiveness to my handwriting is so bad that it isn't searchable anyways. It sounds like Goodnotes is a good deal. I wish it could sync with Evernote so I, too, don't have to try and convert all of my PEN notes to pdf.

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Update - I purchased GoodNotes yesterday. The search capability is AMAZING. In Penultimate (both v5 and v6) you have to wait for a while (between minutes and a few hours) before your handwriting is searchable within the app OR in Evernote. But in GoodNotes, there is NO WAITING. I don't know how they do it, but their handwriting recognition and search are by far superior than any others I've seen.

 

Conclusion - Use GoodNotes if being able to search for and recall your handwritten notes is important to you.

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