Evernote is a note taker, a Web clipper, and most recently, a collaboration tool. Evernote also offers a handful of apps that tack extra talents onto the cloud service. We'll delve into the raft of third-party Evernote apps in future columns, but for now, let's look at the home-grown offerings, starting with one that's just for photos.
Evernote's Skitch is similar to Evernote's Web clipper, which lets you clip and comment on pieces of the Web, except that it works with photos.
Skitch lets you snap a new photo or work on one you already have. It also lets you annotate maps (which you can create within the app itself), PDFs, and Web pages, and lets you create drawings on blank pages.
Once you open the image or document you'd like to mark up, you can use Skitch's neatly organized tools to add text, arrows, icons, pixellation, and handwritten comments. All of tools are easily identifiable and easy to use, but producing legible text with the handwriting tool can be a challenge when you're using it on a smartphone screen.
Once your photo or document is marked up, you can share it via email, MMS, Twitter, Evernote, Facebook, and more. And if you have more you'd like to say about it, you can add a caption to it as its shared.
Skitch is free and works on Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows devices.
Evernote seems to have acknowledged the challenges of writing by hand on a small smartphone screen with Penultimate. This free digital handwriting app is available for the iPad only. And that's a good thing: Even on the larger tablet screen, it can still be a challenge to write legibly.
Penultimate comes pretty darn close to replicating the experience of writing in an actual notebook, but it adds some handy high-tech touches. You can choose from blank, lined, dotted, or graph paper, and can purchase specialty papers (such as music paper, memo templates, and more) within the app. All of these templates are free for Evernote's Premium users. Once you open the paper, you begin to write — or draw, if you're so inclined.
Penultimate was much more useful to me when I relied on a stylus. When I used my fingertip to write, my handwriting was messy and too big to make my notes truly useful.
Penultimate is now in version 6, which displays multiple pages in a column that you can access on the side of the screen. I preferred how version 5.x handled this, letting you swipe through multiple pages, as if you were using an actual paper notebook. That's a minor quibble, though.
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