There are countless note taking apps in the App Store, making it nearly impossible to choose one with all of the features you’re interested in to replace traditional pen and paper notes.
Ghostwriter for iPad is a simple note taking app with an interface that is not overly crowded or difficult to figure out. It has a streamlined design that makes it easy to take quick and neat handwritten notes, and may be perfect if you’re looking for something uncomplicated. Ghostwriter has been available in the App Store, and you may have seen it before, but a brand new update has added some great new features and functionality so it’s worth a second look.
The app has an interesting way of organizing writing types: there are four kinds of pens, which each have a different function. Using the pencil will allow you to write on the screen without magnification for drawing diagrams, and using the pen opens a zoomed in area for more precise lettering. The marker works like the pencil with a much thicker line, and the highlighter can be used over any other text to make it stand out. There’s also a button to allow you to enter text with the keyboard, and an eraser available with the writing utensils lets you correct mistakes.
Writing with Ghostwriter is lag free, and when zoomed in, the lines automatically advance as you get to the end of the window for uninterrupted writing. Undo and redo buttons are available for fixing mistakes, erasing the last written letter or marking. A quick switch to the pencil allows you to add in a diagram or other drawing, and images can be imported from your photo album or your clipboard. Adding another page is as simple as tapping the insert button, and when you have many pages of notes you can switch between them using the table of contents. Ghostwriter is usable in both portrait and landscape modes.
There are nine different types of paper, from regular notebook sheets and graphing paper to music sheets and schedules. If the paper type you’re looking for isn’t available, Ghostwriter allows you to import custom made papers from the photo album. All of your various notes are organized into notebooks, which are then displayed in a bookshelf much like the one you see in iBooks. Ghostwriter is very organized and it’s always easy to find what you’re looking for.
Notes can be imported using Dropbox, iTunes, or a web address, and exported using Mail, Dropbox, Evernote, Photos, iTunes, or your printer, so sharing notes between various locations is a simple task. You can even import and annotate PDF documents, so if you want to try going paperless, Ghostwriter is an excellent choice.
What I liked: The writing was fairly smooth and lag free. Ghostwriter was able to keep up, even when I was writing quickly, and the pen and pencil function made it easy to switch between text and diagrams. I also enjoyed having so many paper functions and the ability to import my own, and the bookshelf feature was visually appealing and useful too.
What I didn’t like: When armed with a stylus and the Ghostwriter iPad app, I am able to write almost as quickly as I can with a pen and a piece of paper, but whenever I attempt to actually use my iPad as a note taking device, my handwriting takes a seriously dive in quality. This, of course, is not Ghostwriter’s fault, but without a wrist rest, the quality of my writing suffers. Some other note taking apps do offer the ability to rest your hand on the screen, and that is a feature that I simply can’t do without. I also would have liked a variable sized eraser and an eraser that could be accessed within the zoomed in window.
To buy or not to buy: Priced at just $2.99, Ghostwriter is fully featured and able to replace a pen and paper for note taking, making this app a solid choice if you’re looking for a new way to take notes.
- App Name: Ghostwriter
- Version Reviewed: 3.2
- Category: Productivity
- Developer: Majorspot, Inc.
- Price: $2.99