Kevin Ian Schmidt

Out of Office series: Note App: Onenote

onenote

So my love of post-it notes is slowly being replaced by note apps on my phone, tablet, and computer; yet I still find myself whipping out my trusty post-its, or grabbing a note book for notes still. So onward my search continues.
I went ahead an downloaded the Onenote app onto my phone and tablet, my laptop already had it installed as part of my Microsoft Office Suite.

Needs/Expectations:

Phone and tablet sync: This easily syncs across all platforms used, saving your information in the cloud, so you can also access it from any computer.

Homepage widget: The homepage widget options with Onenote are slightly limited, with a taskbar, single function buttons, or a list of most recently accessed notebook pages.

Ability to make notes, take pictures and record audio: This app allows you to make nnotebooks, with a chapter function and then broken down into pages. You can upload pictures easily into Onenote, or take pictures with the apps and then add notes, you also have the ability to draw and highlight on a picture. You can insert multiple audio notes within a single page, plus type notes attached to the audio file. On a single page it is easy to add pictures, notes, and an audio file.

Speech to text: this is not a feature on this program

Ability to organize notes: The ability to organize your notes with Onenote is amazing. Each notebook, has chapters, then pages. You can tag each page with key words, making them searchable. Each Notebook page can be color coded: really allowing for an organized book.

Other features I would like:

Video notes: this is not a feature with this program.

Ability to set note color: each page within a notebook is able to color coded.

Sync calendar with notes: This is not a feature on this program

Location marking ability: This is not a feature on the program

Handwriting notes: the handwriting feature on Onenote is amazing, you not only can easily handwrite, but add notebook paper or grid lines before doing it, so it allows for neater writing.

There are some additional features and functions of Onenote, that I felt the need to highlight.
Writing: I know, I know, all note apps can obviously write notes, but the note taking in Onenote is equal to a  word processor.
Task list: you can make a task list within a single note.

Onenote is powerful for organizing notes, it launches fast from the homepage app. The ability to organize your notes and tag with key words. The ability to blast off multiple types of notes on a single page is great for me, it allows me to really organize my notes, thoughts, and photos.

 

Download Onenote

Onenote Homepage

Download Onenote: Google Play

Download Onenote: iTunes for iphone

Download Onenote: iTunes for ipad

onenote 2 onenote 3 onenote 4

Out of Office Series: Note App: Evernote

evernote

So to continue along with my out of office series, I am reviewing Evernote. I downloaded this app to my phone and tablet, than downloaded it to my computer as a Chrome extension. Gave this a real try out.

Needs/Expectations:
Phone and tablet sync: This app quickly syncs across all platforms. The notes update as soon as you save. It clips websites easily on my computer and then easily display on my phone and tablet.

Homepage widget: The homepage widget for the phone and tablet are highly customizable, from size to options available. You can have the homepage widget display just a single action to the extensive taskbar (which you can then change the actions), to display notebooks (from specific notebooks to all).

Ability to make notes, take pictures and record audio: This app records audio, easily makes photo notes, and makes quick notes. The audio note feature can be quick launched from the home widget, and can be easily used to record meetings. The photo note feature is quickly launched from the home widget, and is enhanced if you include Skitch. Which allows you to make notes on the pictures, draw on them, add arrows, highlight, and type. This truly makes the photo note powerful. The quick note feature is great, it can be moved to any of your notebooks.

Speech to text: The text to speech option for this app, leaves a little to be desired, from my tests you have to speak slowly, or else it won’t keep up. I also tried to use this while I was congested, and it couldn’t recognize my words.

Ability to organize notes: You can’t change the color of the notebooks, but you can place notes under specific notebooks. You can tag notebooks and notes with tag words, which makes them searchable. This makes the notes organized well organized, but at the same time highly searchable.

Other features I would like:
Video notes: You can not make a true video note, but you can add a video to a note, and then do a handwriting note or type out additional notes.

Ability to set note color: not a feature with this program, but with the keywords function, it is easily searchable.

Sync calendar with notes: This is an easy feature to use, you can set a note for a future meeting or a presentation. It will sync to your calendar and add it. If you do not put in a title, it automatically pulls your last calendar task as the title.

Location marking ability: it is easy to tag a note to a location. Which is nice if you are writing a note on where you are, or are location mapping with pictures.

Handwriting notes: This app has a great handwriting function. You can add sketches to notes and have notes typed in as well.

Along with the above features that I needed and those I wanted, Evernote has some other features worth noting.
Highlighter: this seems so basic, but is overlooked on some apps. You can highlight words or entire sections or notes. You can not highlight text from clipped websites.

Share: This feature allows you to easily share your notebooks, which is powerful for group projects. Each party can edit the project, and it updates for all to see.

Chat: this is a part of the share feature, but I felt it deserved it’s own section. This feature allows you to chat among all who are sharing a notebook. That is very powerful, so you can discuss updates, discuss changes, and share input.

Document camera: This is great, it essentially is a handheld scanner for documents. It makes the document searchable, along with being able to be kicked over to skitch, so you can highlight, add arrows, or draw notations.

Evernote is a powerhouse note taking app, with the notebook feature and the ability to tab notes and notebooks, this leaves your notes easily organized. I love all the different features, it let’s me make notes of whatever strikes me. The Chrome extension really adds another dimension, with quick website clips. It is also useful to review your notes from a computer.
I do love this app, it meets my needs, but I find myself just wanting a bit more sometimes.

I will be comparing this app against Google Keep soon, let’s see how they stack up.

 

Evernote Homepage

Download Evernote: Google Play

Download Evernote: iTunes store

Evernote 2  evernote 3evernote 4

Out of Office Series: Note App: Google Keep

google keep

I am a self professed post-it junkie, my office is littered with them, so as I am transitioning over to using my tablet and phone more while out of the office, I am seeking an app to fill this void. I downloaded Google Keep to my phone and tablet, and gave it a test run.

Needs/Expectations:
Phone and tablet sync: This device lets you sign in using your Google account, which allows for syncing between my phone and tablet.
*Extra: As this is run through Google, you can access it via computer, and if using Chrome, download it as an extension . *

Homepage widget: there are 2 widget options, one is a simple taskbar, which allows for quick access to the features; the other widget is a full widget, with a scrollable section with your notes visible, plus the full quick access task bar.

Ability to make notes, take pictures and record audio: With this app you can take notes, make quick checklists, and take pictures with notes. The only audio is text to speech, which is great for quick notes, not long recorded meeting/speeches.

Speech to text: This is a great option, works great, with saved audio to review later.

Ability to organize notes: You can drag and drop the notes in any order you want. Beyond the single main screen, you can archive notes to save them as reminders for later.

Other features I would like:
Video notes: this is not a feature with this app.

Ability to set note color: you have 8 different color choices for notes, this allows for bright visible differentiation of notes.

Sync calendar with notes: this is not a feature with this app.

Location marking ability: this is not a feature with this app.

Handwriting notes: this is not a feature with this app.

This app is a powerhouse for note taking, it launches quick from the widget, even the camera feature. There is also a handy feature for marking notes to issue a reminder on a certain date/time.
I will be integrating Google Keep into my workflow, as it meets my needs, I will review the app again after i have had some time to build it into my workflow.

 

Download the app here: Google play store

Download the Chrome web extension here: Chrome store

Google Keep Homepage

 

google keep 3  google keep 2

Out of Office Series: Note App: Color Notes list

color note 2

I am a post-it note junkie, my office is littered with them, I keep stacks of various sizes and colors in my briefcase. So as I am trying to transition my workflow more to my phone and tablet, I need an app that can fill that void left by not having post-it notes to stick to everything. I downloaded Color Notes to my phone, it appeared to be a virtual post-it note app, so I figured it was the best place to start.

Needs/Expectations:
Phone and tablet sync: this is not a feature with this app.

Homepage widget: there is not an actual homepage widget, you can add individual notes to the homepage, but it doesn’t allow access to the other notes you make.

Ability to make notes, take pictures and record audio: You can type out notes, no audio recording, no picture notes.

Speech to text: not a feature with this app.

Ability to organize notes: you can not organize the order of the notes, you can only change the colors of the notes on the main screen.

Other features I would like:
Video notes: not a feature with this app.

Ability to set note color: this app allows you to change the color of the notes, both in the main menu and on the homepage widget.

Sync calendar with notes: not a feature with this app.

Location marking ability: not a feature with this app.

Handwriting notes: not a feature with this app.

This app, Color Notes, is very simple, it doesn’t sync between devices, which its an instant no for me, but even the homescreen widget is severely lacking. I am passing on this app, but if you have one device and want a simple note app, this might be for you.

 

Google Play

Amazon

Color Notes Homepage

 

color note

Out of Office Series: Task List App: Any.do

anydo (2) Any.Do

In my search for a task list managing app, I downloaded the app Any.do, to my phone and tablet, based upon  several reviews I read. Figuring so many reviews must mean a powerhouse product.
Signing on allowed me to link it to my Facebook, Google account or creating a freestanding account. This alows for strong cross device sharing.

Needs:
Phone and tablet sync: works great, easy to signup, which allows for quick setup and sync.

Home page widget for quick access: thehomepage widget allows for multiple configurations,  from a minimal 1 space widget to a large full page view. The widget allows for adding a quick note, or access to the notes you have setup.

Recurring task feature: Any.do is simple to set up a recurring task, be it daily, weekly or monthly. There is no feature for biweekly recurring tasks, or every 3 wks, but as the app is built around simplicity,  this isn’t a deal breaker.

Tasks and subtasks: you can make a task, no subtask feature. The task section is like more of a quick note than a checklist feature. Again, as the app is built as simplicity, this makes sense, but I don’t feel it meets my needs.

Notes section on tasks/subtasks: the primary task section has a note section, but as subfolders aren’t an option, obviously subnotes are out.

Alerts for priority tasks: You can set the task as priority, plus you can set an alert. Marking a task as priority keeps it at the top of the list.

Email capability of tasks and reminders: you can share your tasks with other Any.do users, but can’t email the tasksor have email reminders.

Extras:
Ability to change color of tasks: This is not an option, Any.do is builtaround simplicity.

Clean UI: Any.do is ALL about simplicity, the UI is clean and simple, almost too simple, I felt a little lost just playing around with the app.

So after careful review, I decided Any.do wasn’t what I was looking for, it is closer to a note app than a task list manager. The clean UI is nice, but like I said above, I kind of felt like I was stumbling around at first.
If you are looking for an app that is great for reminders, Any.do mightbe what you’re looking for, as for me, I feel it wasn’t enough of a task list manager and too much for basic note taking.

 

Download the app here: Any.Do site

Download the app here: Google Play Store

Download the app here: Google Chrome extension

Download the app here: iTunes

 

anydo (1)  anydo (1)

Out of Office Series: Task List App: Wunderlist

wunderlistWunderlist

In my quest for a task manager app, I downloaded Wunderlist to both my phone and tablet. After registering with my email address to create a profile on Wunderlist, I started playing around with it.
I started testing the app against my list of needs.
Needs:
Phone and tablet sync-the device were easily able to share task lists across device, seamlessly, with Wunderlist, you can also access your task lists via Wunderlist.com, giving you yet another avenue to manage and organize tasks and responsibilities.

Home page widget- the widget is nice, it gives a clean view of the primary task, clicking on the task brings up the app to view the subtasks and notes. The problem with the widget is if you have things broken up into seperate folders, you have to scroll through the folders to see all the tasks, no ‘view all’ feature.

Recurring task feature- this is not a feature, huge negative in my opinion

Tasks and subtasks- easily able to create tasks and subtasks, including the ability to create folders for different tasks. So if you want to keep work tasks separate from shopping lists it is simple to do.

Notes section on tasks/subtasks- there is a note feature under task, but it is like a memo pad, covering both task and subtask.

Alerts for priority tasks- able to set due date and reminders. The due date is visible on the homescreen widget view as a foot note. A reminder can be set for any time, you need to be reminded 2wks out, feel free to set it for then, but you only get 1 reminder so make sure it counts.

Email capability of tasks and reminders- not an available feature, another huge missing feature in my book.

Extras:
Ability to change color of tasks- not a feature
Clean UI- the control panel is clean in it’s setup, with a wood panel background like I am using a clipboard.

So right off the bat, Wunderlist didn’t meet my needs, making it an easy decision for me to move on.  I liked how easy it was to set up tasks and subtasks, and although I couldn’t leave notes on individual task/subtasks, I liked the ease of jotting a note about that section. This app would be great for organizing notes and jotting quick task reminders across devices, even among family members or coworkers, but in my opinion it lacks certain features I feel are a requirement.

Wunderlist does have the ability to add pictures and notes to tasks, but as I didn’t want to purchase the premium upgrade for a test, I can’t comment on those features.
Wunderlist is quite popular and if I needed to share information among coworkers,  this app would be useful.

 

Download Here – Wunderlist Homepage for Apple, Android, web access

 

wunderlist 2

Out of Office Series: Task List App: ListNote

ListNote ListNote

I welcome you to come read my Out of Office series, in which I bring you along in my quest for a nice task list app. This time I downloaded ListNote to my phone and tablet, to see if it meets my needs.

Needs:
Phone and tablet sync: No, can not sync my phone and tablet, this is an automatic no go for me, but I will continue with my review.

Home page widget for quick access: No home page widget, no simple viewer, nothing. This feature isn’t for everyone, but on my tablet, I find it essential.

Recurring task feature: not an available feature, this feature is nice for tasks that need to be completed regularly.

Tasks and subtasks: Sort of. You can make central lists, with tasks set underneath, nothing can be set beneath the general task.

Notes section on tasks/subtasks: Each task is set up as a note section, not a headet with note section. Without the feature of subtasks, there is no notes for them.

Alerts for priority tasks: not an available feature.

Email capability of tasks and reminders: not an available feature.

Extras:
Ability to change color of tasks: you can change the color next to the note in list view, so it allows you to differentiate tasks.

Clean UI: the UI is clean, with eases of setting up.

Overall this app has none of the features I need, it lacks any serious bang for devouring apps between my phone and tablet. Honestly, the app feels more like a note taking and organizing app, but it comes up when searching for a task list manager, so it gets reviewed as such.

**extra** I gave the voice app a real tryout, since I couldn’t find anything else I liked. The voice to note feature works very good, it kept up with regular speech, with only a few misinterpreted words. You also have the ability to revisit note sections and add additional notes via speech.

 

Download the app here: Google Play Store

Download the app here: Amazon app store

ListNote 2  ListNote 3

Out of Office Series: Task List App: Task List – To Do List

task list to do listTask List – To Do List

In my quest for a task manager app, I downloaded Task List- To Do List to both my phone and tablet, no registering of an email, uh oh this is off to a bad start I feel. So, I started testing this against my list of needs:

Needs:
Phone and tablet sync- not a feature. This is a deal breaker, but I will continue my review.

Home page widget-the homepage widget is clean, presentable, but only of primary folder, secondary folders aren’t viewable from homescreen widget.

Recurring task feature- this isn’t a feature, as the app is more for notes with headers.

Tasks and subtasks- this isn’t a feature.

Notes section on tasks/subtasks- the section under the task is just for notes, so plenty of room for detailed notes.

Alerts for priority tasks- you can set task deadlines, where it alerts you when it hits the set time/date, but I can’t set a reminder for priority tasks, just a basic alarm.

Email capability of tasks and reminders- not a feature.

Extras:
Ability to change color of tasks- you can select from 4 different radio button colors, they are small dots next to the task.

Clean UI- clean UI, simple to add tasks, switch tasks, easy to use.

In summary,  Task List – To Do List is lacking some serious features I need. The app is easy to use and simple to setup, so if you’re looking for something quick and feel it meets your needs, please download it.

 

Download Here- Google Play Store

task list to do list 2

Out of Office Series: Task List App: Tasks Free

tasks-freeTasks Free

I am still looking for a perfect for me task list manager, which has taken me to downloading Tasks Free to my phone and tablet. Let’s go through my review:

Needs:
Phone and tablet sync: you sign in with Gmail account, on both platforms and this allowed for quick seamless syncing between phone and tablet.

Home page widget for quick access: the home page widget comes in several configurations,  which is nice for a personalized experience. I chose the 2×3 setup, then pulled it to 2×6, which allowed me more tasks visible, with easy scrolling for lower tasks.

Recurring task feature: easy setup for recurring tasks, with alerts on preset time.

-This review is going good so far, I am pleased-

Tasks and subtasks: tasks are easy to setup, but no availability for subtasks.

-Guess I spoke too soon.-

Notes section on tasks/subtasks: No subtasks, so that is null, as for notes on the tasks, you can, sort of. Each tasks is a single check box, where you can add descriptions or notes.

Alerts for priority tasks: yes, this feature is available. It is easy to setup reminders and mark tasks as higher priority. This is nice when needed, and otherwise isn’t even moderately confusing to setup or review alerts.

Email capability of tasks and reminders: Not an option, you can set reminders to alert you, but they aren’t emailed to you, nor is a summary of due tasks.

Extras:
Ability to change color of tasks: you can pick light or dark for the home screen widget, but the note themselves aren’t able to be color coded.

Clean UI: The interface is simple, clean and easy to operate. I actually enjoy the ease with which I can add tasks.

In summary, while I like the overall ease of use, the inability of subtasks is a true deal breaker. If you are looking for a basic task list this is certainly for you, but it just falls short of my overall needs.

*extras* although not on my list of needs, I do like how it syncs with Google tasks, which is nice because it allows me to view my tasks from any computer as well. Nice little hidden extra.

 

Download Here – Google Play Store

tasks-free 2

 

Out of Office Series: Task List App: Todoist

todoistTodoist

Again, we are off on this journey to find me the perfect task list manager. This time, I downloaded to my phone and tablet, Todoist. The initial setup was simple, which involved logging onto Todoist’s website, which allows for a desktop client to give you another way to access your task lists.
As I laid out at the beginning of this journey, I have specific needs, let’s see how Todoist matches up.

Needs:
Phone and tablet sync: yes, this is easily accomplished, just signup with Todoist using your preferred email account and you’re off and running.

Home page widget for quick access: the home page widget comes in ‘alerts only’ or a sizeable home page widget, to see your tasks and to quickly add additional ones.

Recurring task feature: while you can set due dates, the set tasks can not be recurring. This feature is important to me, to remind me of those occasional tasks, that might be due every 3wks, and could be overlooked.

Tasks and subtasks: kind of, I’ll give half credit here. You can set tasks as main or up to 4 levels subtask, but that doesn’t mean anything. The subtasks aren’t linked to a primary task, so it really just offers indenting of tasks.

Notes section on tasks/subtasks: for premium. I have no issue with paying for apps, I have no issue paying for extended features for apps. I view notes to tasks as kind of a basic feature, this is a huge strike.

Alerts for priority tasks: the alerts come via email, read more on this whole feature below.

Email capability of tasks and reminders: Todoist kind of does it right with their emails, the send you a breakdown of tasks,  clearing showing when due or hopefully not overdue. In the email also, is a graph, showing your productivity based upon your usage of Todoist, this is kind of neat, as it could allow you to track what all you have accomplished,  if you wanted to spend the time tracking yourself.

Extras:
Ability to change color of tasks: not a deal breaker, but I think this would be a nice feature.
Clean UI: Very clean, simple. Not as minimalistic as Any.do, but nonethe less, a clean simple UI.

Overall, I started out with high hopes for this app, it was checking some major boxes on my ‘needs’ list, but lacking notes, without having to upgrade, and having an essentially pointless task/subtask feature were just glaring issues I couldn’t get past. The website access is nice, but it is also another step, I like being tied to a calendar function as well, so I can tie multiple apps together with less steps.

Download Here – iTunes

Download Here – Google Play Store

Download Here – Todoist website

Phone View

todoist_iphone_screens

Computer view

todoist_web