One thing there isn’t a shortage of on iOS is note taking applications. Some apps are built around simplicity, some are built around Markdown capabilities, and others around good-looks. Meernotes by Daniel Nicolae falls into the category of wonderful looks, combined with concise simplicity.
When searching for a note-taking app, there are many criteria upon which people make their decision on. If you want something that’s absolutely basic, with no frills, Pop might be your answer. However, if you’re looking for something a bit more substantial as far as “realism” goes, Meernotes is your answer. While there are many ways to describe it, Meernotes seems to be the Moleskine of note-taking apps. In fact, it’s much more beautiful and user-friendly than Moleskine’s own application.
For the past four years I’ve carried around a pocket Moleskine with me each and every day. After a week with Meernotes, I can honestly say it is a note-taking app very capable of – at least – accompanying it’s physical counterpart. Most Moleskine users are passionate about their notebooks and in that, I see the great marketing potential that is just one of many niches Meernotes fits into. While I can’t doodle in Meernotes, as I so often do in my Moleskines, it’s nice to have the ability to keep various text, such as stories, quotes, etc., in the app. Of course, Meernotes isn’t only for Moleskine lovers. Meernotes is for anyone who wants a very clean and intuitive way to keep track of text.
The interface is quite full of skeumorphism, albeit it’s done so in a very respectable manner. It’s more of an homage, rather than a sad excuse for the digitization of physical counterparts.
When you purchase Meernotes, you have four different notebook styles and one font option, which you can select to adorn your writing. There are an additional seven notebook styles and fonts, which are available as in-app purchases for $.99 a piece and come in three collections. I personally prefer the “Jane Austen” pack, which has two great notebook styles and two script-fonts which go hand in hand with the overall aesthetics I look for in such an app.
You can create and endless amount of different notebooks, depending on how you prefer to organize your material. All of your notebooks sit on a wooden shelf within your device, allowing you to swipe left and right to reveal them.
While writing, you are greeted by a ruled sheet of paper which allows for ten lines of writing before flowing onto the next page. The animations for the pages turning is flawless and looks much more realistic than other applications that try to utilize this digitally interpreted interaction. If you’re looking to add a new page or photograph, you drag up from the bottom of the notebook and are shown a bookmark for a new page or photograph, depending on how far you drag your finger up on the screen.
If you’re looking to go through the contents of your notebook, Meernote, simply swipe down, slightly, from the top of the notebook and you’re brought to the collection of your notes you’ve taken, organized chronologically.
Overall, I can’t get enough of this interface. Everything seems to just float along your screen when navigating the app. The notebook selection is a nice touch which allows for some great looking organization. As I mentioned above, this entire application is built around skeumorphism, but nothing about it feels cheesy, for lack of a better term. It feels very real, despite being nothing more than pixels on a display.
Of course, as with any note-taking app, you don’t your text stuck in only the application you’re using. You want to know its safe and archived for the future.
Meernotes takes care of that easily, allowing you to sync your notes to Evernote, iCloud, as well as Dropbox. With the dominance of these services, most individuals should have no problem making sure their notes are safe in the case of no longer having your device. For those who don’t want to use Dropbox, iCloud or Evernote, you can also email your notes for archival purposes.
There’s really no need for a long conclusion. I’ve given you my opinion throughout the article and I’m sure you’ve concluded I love the application. I use it everyday for my “Dream Journal.” I also managed to type out the first few paragraphs of this article while sitting on a bench waiting on a friend for lunch, then picked it up in iA Writer on my iMac, via the Dropbox sync.
For $.99 it’s a no-brainer to download from the App Store. If you’ve been using or have just purchased it, I’d love to hear your feedback on it. Is it taking skeumorphism too far or is this how the transition from parchment to pixels is supposed to be?