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The iPad certainly does a first-rate job at organizing our photos, videos, and music, but it struggles when it comes to keeping our thoughts in order. Apple's Notes and Reminders tandem works in a pinch -- and there are more than a few top-notch notebook replacements in the App Store -- but serious brainstormers need more than just a place to jot down their ideas.
Projectbook: Notes and To-Dos just might be that place. While it won't win any design awards, its understated interface puts the emphasis squarely where it belongs: your work. Note creation is simple and straightforward, offering a variety of font choices along with the requisite support for photos, audio recordings, and sketches, with a fantastic magnifying panel for fine print.
This is more than a digital notebook, however. Projectbook excels at organization, offering a powerful set of tools to keep things orderly. As notes are created, they aren’t simply added to a chronological list; handy tags allow you to group related material with keywords, and desktop-style folders help keep everything nice and tidy. To-dos aren't added to folders, but tags and note attachments still keep like items grouped. Files and folders might seem a bit foreign on the iPad, but you won't need to spend too much time with them. A live search bar cuts down on excessive typing, and active folders, the real gem of the app, automatically file related notes.
Projectbook clearly wants to keep you focused on the task at hand, but a clunky email "receiver" was too frustrating to be useful. Incoming messages are imported as plain-text notes, and I couldn't find a way to see unread correspondences -- even ones in my inbox. I didn't experience many crashes, but loading lagged some after periods of downtime.
The bottom line. Projectbook: Notes and To-Dos isn't the best-looking app in the pageant, but it's organizational talents can't be beat.
iPad 2 or new iPad running iOS 5.0 or later
Fantastic organization. Intuitive folder-based storage system. Good writing tools.
Clunky email interface. Somewhat slow to load. Plain interface.