There are these 2 productivity iPad apps I downloaded and explored just this weekend. I have always wanted some app with which I could doodle when ‘doodle time’ comes. And doodling, I found, is not necessarily something you just do when you want to make waiting in line at the bank or at any queue line seem not, like, forever. It actually is helpful in more ways than one. Maybe we can discuss that in a separate post about doodles.
Besides doodling, most iPad apps that allow you to doodle actually feature more useful functions. InkFlow’s basic edition (free), for instance, gives you the following awesome features:
- freehand writing (black only fountain pen)
- text input through virtual keypad
- unlimited undo
- picture importing
- selection tool
The fountain pen tool is remarkably responsive and smooth when I use my fingers to write freehand with it. It however doesn’t allow any other pen thickness option. But, with the help of the selection tool, you can still get around this limitation.
With the selection tool, you can select any element on the page, e.g. Picture, text, doodles, etc., and then choose the ‘resize’ option to shrink or enlarge it. Thus, your freehand can be shrunk and the pen’s thickness would be adjusted correspondingly to a fine thinness. Your friends will wonder how you were able to write that thin and small.
One thing I like best about the free version of InkFlow is that the imported images remain selectable (and thus editable e.g. resizable, movable) even if it overlaps or is overlapped by some other element, e.g. text. There’s also the ‘Noteworthy’ font that its creators were so kind to include in the free version.
With Inkflow, you could do brainstorming, on the spot or initial graphic design, mind maps, sketches, doodling, and everything else you can do with pen and paper. One thing you can’t do is crumple the paper and throw it at someone’s top.
With the free version, you can create an unlimited number of books, though each book is limited to only 20 pages. You can break these limitations by buying the pro version which offers additional features like eraser, pencil, paint brush, color palette, cut, copy, paste, rotate, more cool fonts, etc.
Here’s a quick note I drafted up just to make a visual of what the free version of inkflow can do.
The latest productivity app I stumbled upon is the GoodNotes app. It’s a lot like InkFlow especially since they both have the same selection tool with almost similar functions.
Between the free versions of both InkFlow and GoodNotes, I found the latter a lot more flexible and for my purposes, more complete.
While Inkflow’s free version offers a fixed black pen thickness, GoodNotes allows you to select your desired pen thickness and color. And the selection tool also allows shrinking or enlarging of elements. This is how I get to make super thin freehand pen writing.
You could also add text through the virtual keypad. I wish though that they’d add some freehand-like fonts like Inkflow’s ‘Noteworthy’.
Another feature that sets GoodNotes above Inkflow and a lot of other apps of this kind is the polygon tool. With it, you can draw perfect squares, circles, ovals, rectangles, perfect straight lines, etc. Even the paid version of Inkflow doesn’t have this. And these elements are selectable even when they’re overlapped by other elements. And I praised Inkflow earlier for its re-editable pictures. Turns out GoodNotes has that feature too. Now, all I need to wait is for GoodNotes to include the ‘Noteworthy’ font!
For me, GoodNotes is obviously the hands down winner. And its paid version is even cheaper than Inkflow’s.
And here’s a Goodnotes version of the first example I made above.
Note: The two apps mentioned are not necessarily the best apps there is in the App Store. They just happen to be the first ones that got my attention so far. So, if you have used some apps that are better than these two, please let me know as I’m seriously contemplating buying the paid version of at least one of these cool apps.