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NoteSuite a powerful note-taking app for Mac and iPad

Brian Beam | July 19, 2013
Previously known as Projectbook for iPad, NoteSuite now has a Mac companion, making its powerful note-taking tools available on two platforms.


NoteSuite represents a major upgrade (as well as a name change) for Projectbook, an iPad-only note-taking app that released last year. Not only is the NoteSuite upgrade free for existing Projectbook owners, but it is also accompanied by a long-awaited desktop app of the same name in the Mac App Store.

Existing users of Projectbook should have no trouble making the transition to NoteSuite, but new users should be forewarned: Like its predecessor, NoteSuite is not your average note-taking app. It's designed to be your one-stop project-management tool, and therefore it has lots of advanced capabilities (and an associated learning curve) that you won't find in lesser note-taking apps.

For example, while you're taking notes, you might also be compiling a to-do list. Rather than stopping what you're doing and opening a separate task-management app (or, worse, writing the items down on paper), you can simply highlight some text in your note and select Make Task, which puts a checkbox on that note item and places the task in NoteSuite's master to-do list. The Mac app also provides a "quick note" feature that you can access via the menu bar from within any app. The iPad app offers a similar feature, but due to Apple's iOS restrictions, it's available only within the app.

You can divide complicated tasks into subtasks if necessary, delegate tasks to other people, assign due dates and, optionally, add tasks to the built-in Calendar app. You can view items that are due today, up next, and this week, but unfortunately NoteSuite doesn't integrate with the Reminders app. According to the developer, Apple is to blame, not NoteSuite. I'm hoping this limitation is something that can be rectified, because I rely on Reminders.

Unlike simpler note-taking apps, NoteSuite can contain more than text within notes. For starters, you can record audio, which scatters little speaker icons within your text; tapping an icon plays the audio from that particular point. You can incorporate graphics that you either create within the app or bring in from outside. You can also insert documents, such as Word files, PowerPoint slides, and PDFs. The iPad app gives you several ways to do so, while the desktop app lets you drag images and documents into the app.

You can bring outside data into your notes by emailing it to your notebook. NoteSuite requires that you set up your own dedicated email account for the app. (Some competing apps automatically provide each user with a special email account for this purpose.) Although at first glance this arrangement may seem a little kludgy, it actually fits into NoteSuite's "own-your-own-stuff" philosophy. (More about this later.)


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