Meernotes is a gorgeous note-taking for the iPhone app, designed to evoke the aesthetics and feel of writing in a paper notebook. While the iPhone’s pre-installed Notes app resembles a utilitarian top-bound writing pad, Meernotes looks like the expensive hardbound notebooks you see at the bookstore, and the difference between the two extends beyond aesthetics. If you’re happy with plain writing pads or the Notes app, feel free to give Meernotes a pass. But if you’re a sucker for good stationery, if you appreciate good design, or if you’d just like a more organized way to take notes, Meernotes was made for you.
I can’t say enough good things about the graphics. From the typography to the background textures, no detail is missed. The end result is visually stunning, without being distracting or over-designed.
Of course, looks aren’t everything, and a crucial part of app design is ensuring the app is useful and user-friendly. And Meernotes delivers. You can create and keep multiple notebooks, so you can keep your grocery list separate from your dream diary. Within each notebook, you can create multiple tabs for further organization. If you choose to add titles to individual pages, the titles are automatically stored in the book’s index for easy access. Everything is accessible with a swipe of the finger, and if you get lost, the app provides you with a tutorial notebook. If you’d like to share your notebook’s contents, Meernotes provides the option of emailing the notebook’s text or syncing it with Dropbox.
The one thing Meernotes is missing is the actual feel of handwriting; you still use the touch-screen keyboard. No doodling or writing in bubble letters here. But this results in a better user experience: relying on typed input makes the text easier to read and export, and avoids the complicated task of handwriting recognition.
If Meernotes were just a prettier version of the free Notes app, $2.99 would be a steep price. But in addition to its good looks, Meernotes allows for better organization and a better user experience. It’s as useful as it is beautiful, and I enthusiastically recommend it.
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