Tag Archives: Notebooks

Notebooks Icon

Notebooks

Notebooks Icon

Update 20 March 2011: As of Notebooks version 4.1.1 you can now print from directly inside the app. A EuroSmartz printing app isn’t required. The new version also has Markdown formatting, support for lists, additional editable file types, additional fonts and you can convert a plain text document to PDF.

Writers get their ideas from many places. A jotted down lyric, an image-heavy web page or a carefully researched PDF can be the inspiration for tomorrow’s article or next year’s novel.

But no matter how good the idea, if you don’t write it down, you’re sure to forget.

What writers need is a way of storing and organising their ideas, the files that inspired them, and the resulting notes and drafts.

On the Mac, Scrivener is the solution. It can store, play and organize anything: text, image files, web pages, PDFs, sound files, and even video files.

Now iPhone users have an app that can do nearly everything that Scrivener can do. If you have Dropbox installed, it can even exchange data with Scrivener.

The app is Notebooks and it’s the perfect digital scrapbook and word processor for your iPhone or iPad.

Is there anything Notebooks cannot do? You can use it to scribble down ideas, or write entire drafts. It saves as you go without having to be told and integrates with the TextExpander app for automatic spelling correction. For ease of screen reading, there’s a choice of seventy fonts and you can vary the font size with the slide of a bar. You can write in both landscape and portrait orientations, with a Bluetooth keyboard or the on-screen keyboard.

If you have one of EuroSmartz printing apps installed, you can print directly from Notebooks.

Notebooks can be your daily journal. It can list tasks and notify you when they are due. It can take and store photographs from the camera, and store audio files, PDFs, Microsoft Office files and iWork files (though you cannot as yet edit them.)

You can organise your files in Books, which are folders that can be nested inside each other.

Most importantly, Notebooks integrates seamlessly with Dropbox, so you can pick up or drop off any type of file. As Scrivener version 2.0 also integrates with Dropbox, you can keep text files on Scrivener that can also be accessed and edited from your iPhone using Notebooks.

Notebooks has far more features than I could mention. To give you an idea of how much this app can do, the PDF handbook is 42 pages long.

Notebooks is $7.99 on iTunes. If you want to write on your iPhone, get Notebooks now, you won’t regret it.

Gorilla iPhone Stand

iPod Touch Writing

This post is a response to an email sent by a reader.

Chronically ill, she spends a lot of time on a recliner writing and surfing the web, but her 17 inch laptop is too heavy to keep on her lap.

She’s thinking about getting an iPad to write on, but she also wants to know if she’d be just as happy writing on her iPod Touch instead.

I replied:

Sorry to hear that you’re sick. Writing is such a good way to be productive when you’re too unwell to do anything else.

I think you could be just as happy with a Bluetooth Keyboard and your iPod Touch. But first, I need to check a few things with you.

How old is your iPod Touch? If it can run iOS4 you’re good to go. It means you can use all the latest word processing apps and connect to a Bluetooth keyboard too.

Do you already own a Bluetooth keyboard? (You mention “the Bluetooth keyboard” in your email, so it sounds like you’ve already got one.)

If you don’t have a Bluetooth keyboard, I recommend the Apple Wireless Keyboard. It’s cheap (only $100 or so new) and extremely comfortable and light. It works beautifully with Mac devices running iOS4 and with laptops as well. This means even if you decide not to write on your iPod Touch, the keyboard isn’t wasted. You can put your heavy laptop onto a nearby table and write on it using the feather-light Apple Wireless Keyboard on your lap.

If you want to write on your iPod Touch, I recommend starting out with a free app. The Mail app is built into the iPod Touch. Just do your writing in an email and email it to your laptop when you’re finished.

If you enjoy that, get yourself a tripod for your iPod Touch so you can write more ergonomically. This extendable tripod only costs about $6 from eBay:

iPhone Tripod Stand

Tripod stand - try searching eBay for "iPhone tripod"

It will be useful if you want to put your iPod Touch on a nearby table at eye level. You can balance it on your recliner too (I use it on my bed) but you’ll have to hold it steady each time you move.

If you want to attach your iPod Touch to your recliner, you might want to try a Gorilla-style tripod such as this one:

Gorilla iPhone Stand

Gorilla iPhone stand - try searching eBay for "Gorilla iPhone stand"

The flexible legs can wrap around the arms of your recliner and hold your iPod Touch steady.

The next step in iPod Touch writing would be purchasing the TextExpander app for autocorrection as you type. You could also buy a word processing app. There are hundreds available. I recommend My Writing Spot or Notebooks if you don’t use formatting such as italics or bolding in your writing. If you use formatting, Doc2 is an inexpensive, but fully featured app.

So there you are. I hope that answered your questions. If you have any more, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Regards,

Charl

charl@iphonewriting.com

http://www.iphonewriting.com/

Twitter: iPhoneWriting

TextExpander

TextExpander


TextExpanderAre typing mistakes something you never make? Do you live for writing out long repetitive email signatures or web addresses? Is going back and capitalising words your hobby?

If so, TextExpander is not the app for you.

But if you’re one of the 99.9 percent of people who hate doing those things, TextExpander is an absolute must.

TextExpander works simply, but the end result is very powerful. The app monitors your keystrokes inside other apps that support it. Then it compares what you’re typing to the keystroke combinations stored in its database. These keystroke combinations are called Snippets. There are thousands of predefined Snippets and it’s easy to add your own.

When TextExpander recognises a keystroke combination you’ve typed, it replaces it with the relevant Snippet, which could be the correct spelling of a word you always misspell, an email signature, or an email or web address. Snippets can be only a letter long or go on for paragraphs. After making the substitution, TextExpander beeps to let you know. You can change or turn off this beep if you like.

TextExpander can save you literally hours of typing and editing. It’s an app that’s valuable the moment you choose to install the predefined Snippets and it only gets more valuable over time as you customise it to your writing style by adding Snippets of your own.

TextExpander works on the iPad, iPod touch, and there’s a version for the Mac as well. All these versions can sync wirelessly with each other, so if you add new Snippets to one of your devices, you can easily update the others.

If you’re at all serious about writing on your iPhone, you need TextExpander.

TextExpander app is US$4.99, and the Mac version is US$34.95.