Pocket Note iP3 for iPad ($1.99) - by Y Lau
Pros: Easy combining of resizable photos & text notes with hand-drawing/writing on virtual corkboard; Quick access to multiple projects
Cons: Can't duplicate or "Save As" for easy multiple iterations of same project
Buying Advice: My favorite virtual whiteboard for iPad to date - Not perfect, but it's only two bucks
I'm really excited about the prospects of using iPad as a brainstorming/mind-mapping/whiteboarding tool. Often when I need to work out an organized strategy for something - be it a PhoneDog editorial project or some flight of creative fancy or another - I reach for a blank pad of paper and a pen to sketch out my ideas. What I really want, though, is a digital pad that will let me write, draw, arrange and rearrange, and attach photos and Web clippings … and then save my work and start in on a new iteration of the idea, often building off of some portion of what I've just done.
I'm hesitant to shell out fifty bucks for Omnigraffle, especially given all of the "this feels like Beta software" user reviews in the App Store. So instead I've been spending a few bucks and lots of time trying out some of the free and inexpensive apps that look like they might give me what I need to get my thoughts in order, iPad style. Two of the most intriguing options I've found so far are Pocket Note iP3 and Popplet Lite.
Pocket Note is a virtual corkboard, if there was such a thing as "dry erase corkboard." The app lets you take a blank board and attach photos and text notes to it, and draw on top of the board, photos, and notes. You can move and resize your photos and notes, and rotate the photos via multi-touch gestures. Saved boards are easily called up from within the app for later review and editing, and you can also save them to your iPad's photo library as images.
This is a great app for basic visualizing of information flow, and also is handy for mocking up edits to Web pages, photos, and other images, or general multimedia journaling. It's great to be able to take an image and write/draw on it and tape notes up next to it. Pocket Note is somewhat hampered by iPad's limited file system, as it'd be even better if I could Email a board to another Pocket Note user who could then make some edits/additions and send it back to me. As it is now, there is no native file export, only saving still images of your boards. Still, for two bucks, this is a nice-looking, easy to use app for pulling photos, text, and drawing/handwriting together onto virtual corkboards.
See Also: Popplet Lite (Free)