Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Take Notes and Find Them Later

Do you take notes on a legal pad at workshops and conferences and a variety of other places then come home, throw them and the accompanying handout in a pile in the office never to be seen again? (I can't be the only one.) Sometimes, I file them in a notebook but that doesn't make them much easier to find later. At one point, I started taking notes on the handout so that at least they would be together when they were lost forever.

I think I've found the solution to my problem - Antipaper Notes in combination with Evernote

In my effort to find more uses for my Android tablet, I found a handwriting app that turns my tablet into a legal pad. Granted, I could type notes during presentations but I can still write faster than I can type on a small virtual keyboard so I put it to the test at RootsTech. I'm happy with the results but it does take a few tries to get the right feel for it.

Here are a few tips:
  • You can write with your finger but it works much better with a stylus. 
  • Do not rest your wrist on the screen because it may close your notebook or make unwanted marks on the page.
  • Use the zoom function for writing (see photo). It allows you to write bigger without taking up a full line with just two or three words.
  • Lock your screen in portrait mode. The page doesn't rotate but the zoom splits down the middle of the page in landscape mode. 
  • You can send each page of Antipaper Notes as a jpg or png file to Evernote, Dropbox, email and a number of other apps on your device that work with sharing a file.
  • To share your note with another program, select menu > email page. Even though it says email, it will display the list of apps you can use.
  • A stylus does NOT like a squeaky clean screen.

My handwritten RootsTech session notes along with the related handout are now in Evernote. Next time I want to refer to them, I'll be able to find them in a few seconds from any device I own or any random computer. 

I'm starting to like my tablet much better. We got along pretty well for a week in Salt Lake City. Apparently, the key to liking it is to use it more. 

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Antipaper Notes. All opinions are my own based on my use of the app. There is a different version of this app called "Antipaper Notes HD" but according to the Android Market it is no longer updated and "Antipaper Notes" should be used instead. Antipaper Notes is for Android but there are handwriting apps available for iPad - I just don't know anything about them.

The apps for both Antipaper Notes and Evernote are free. 


  1. Pleased you and the Tablet are getting along especially on Valentine's Day.

    I'll share the link to this article on Android Genealogy.

    1. Thanks, Jill. Shouldn't you be enjoying your cruise instead of reading blogs? :)

  2. Thanks for this post, Linda. I've been eager to hear how your paperless trip went. Rest assured, you're not the only one who comes home from a conference with stacks of notes that have no home! My notes from FGS are still in a pile on my dining room buffet. I'll have to look into Antipaper. Do you know if it works on the iPad?

    1. Shelly, it's just for Android but I'm sure there's something similar for iPad. I found several for Android by just searching then decided on this one after trying out several.

  3. Hi Linda, can you search your handwritten notes with this app?

    1. Ginger, I don't believe you can from within the app but Evernote will OCR handwriting for searching. I tried several words that were in my notes but were not in the title or tags and Evernote found the notes that had them. Considering how bad my handwriting is, that's remarkable. That's probably no guarantee they will find every word.

  4. Cool beans! Will have to investigate possibilities for iPod/iPad.

  5. Cool beans! Will have to investigate possibilities for iPod/iPad.