Note Taker HD vs. UPAD: The Winner is…

13 Jun

Jeremy Dorn, a teacher in Tempe, AZ, recently wrote a comment on our post, UPAD: What You Need to Save Paper.  (To read all of Jeremy’s comments click here.) In his comment, Jeremy spoke of Note Taker HD as being, in many ways, a better note taking and paper saving app than UPAD. So, which app is truly the best app for you?

There are many features about UPAD and Note Taker HD that make both apps very attractive note taking tools. Features such as importing and exporting notes, functionality and convenience in creating notes, and organizing your notes for easy access later on. The true question is, which app has the most potential of replacing your old fashioned notebook and stopping you from pressing “print”?

For people who desire design over functionality, UPAD is your note taking tool. UPAD has a much cleaner and visually stimulating interface than Note Taker HD. Plus, UPAD’s low number of tools/features make learning how to use it quite easy. Practicing penmanship or completing a worksheet is a snap.  This makes UPAD the perfect note taking tool for elementary aged students and individuals who like to keep things simple.

Note Taker HD is more than just a note taking tool. With many different features that allow users to manipulate and design any number of creations, Note Taker HD goes beyond UPAD in several ways. Sharing multiple notes is as easy as selecting the notes you want to send to a peer and pressing send. The complex, but surprisingly easy to use, Note Taker HD is perfect for middle to high school aged students and people who want more from thier note taking app.

Below are screen shots and comparisons of the exporting abilities, note taking experience, and organizational features of UPAD and Note Taker HD. Hopefully this will help you decide which app is right for you. Enjoy!

Exporting Features

Both Note Taker HD and UPAD allow you to export any notes as a PDF to any app that reads PDFs such as Office2 HD, GoodReader, iBooks, etc.  However, Note Taker HD has the edge in this category since you can export not only one, but many notes simultaniously. With UPAD, you can only export one set of notes at a time and you must first open the notes you want to export to do so.

Creating Folders and Organizing Notes

UPad and Note Taker HD have very different methods of combining notes, organizing them and creating folders. With Note Taker HD, you can combine two separate sets of notes by “stapling” them together. Once you do this, a red number appears next to the notes signaling how many sets of notes are stapled together. Plus, the notes are literally attached causing you to open the stapled set of notes to view all that are attached.

A different method of organizing notes on Note Taker HD is by “tagging” each set of notes with whatever category your notes would fall under (Math Class, Wed. Meetings, etc.). When you want to view any category of notes, simply display all notes you have tagged as such, and Note Taker spearates them out for you. This is convenient if you are willing to take the time to tag your notes.

With UPAD, the only way you can combine notes is by creating a “memoPAD”. To do this, simply select the notes you want to combine, and tap “+ MemoPAD”. Once you do, you will find a view very similar in setup to what you see in iWorks. Little mini versions of each set of notes is displayed within what appear to be folders. In each folder, each set of notes is separate from one another, and can be located, exported, and printed separate from the other notes in the same folder attached. In Note Taker HD, you must first un-staple the notes to do this.

Even though UPAD is more visually helpful, Note Taker HD takes the cake in organizing your notes. The ability of tagging and stapling notes together for mass exporting is very convenient and gives users more options for organizing notes.

Note Taking Features

Note Taker HD and UPAD both have features that are convenient, easy to use, and make the note taking experience fun! However, Note Taker HD is loaded with doezens more features than UPAD. Features such as importing pictures to use both as a background for your notes, or to include within your notes. The list is practically endless for what you can do to manipulate text or drawings within your notes on Note Taker HD. However,  all of these features are nice to have, but complicated in nature. This makes Note Taker HD’s learning curve much higher than UPAD.

One great benefit to UPAD is that, unlike Note Taker HD, it comes pre-loaded with stationary templates at your touch. Plus, there is a weekly planner and calendar ready for you to use once you open UPAD for the first time. This is convenient and saves you a lot of time looking for templates that will work for whatever notes or creation you are working with. Jeremy Dorn tells me that, all templates for UPAD are compatible with Note Taker HD, but, like any desired template, you must first import them into Note Taker HD to use them.

Working Together

Actually, one of the coolest things about both UPAD and Note Taker HD is that they work well together! You can export any note, picture or PDF back and forth between the two.  As a 5th grade teacher with one iPad in my classroom, I plan on using Note Taker HD for most of my personal notes, and creating organizers that can be exported to UPAD where my students can take advantage of the simplicity of UPAD to complete them. UPAD and Note Taker HD can truely fuction hand-in-hand within the classroom.

 Screen Shots

Note Taker HD




Posted by on June 13, 2011 in Classroom App Ideas


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3 responses to “Note Taker HD vs. UPAD: The Winner is…

  1. Julie

    June 28, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Absolutely love this post! I was just thinking about comparing different note taking tools myself! Recently Bamboo made their note taking tool free so I downloaded and tried it. It is a nice note taking tool; however, much too simple for me. I like all of the features that UPAD offers. Thanks for detailing and explaining key tools and differences in apps!

  2. Mad-King

    August 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Great post, clear and very useful. I’ve been using UPAD for some time and I’ve been very happy with it, but recently I’ve discovered Note Taker and … yes, I’ve moved from UPAD to Note taker because the added features offered by the last one.

  3. Nicole Lakusta (@nlakusta)

    September 14, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    I am in the midst of searching for note taking apps for students (and myself) to use effectively. I really like Penutlimate where I can set up notebooks, use a finger/stylus, use different paper backgrounds, write in different colors and pen sizes, reorder any pages, email a single page or the whole notebook and add in images. Lately, I also have been playing with AudioNote lite which has finger/stylus writing, typing and audio capabilities. As well, if you buy the full version of AudioNote, one can email this information. With both of the above I can also erase parts of my text, whereas my limited work with UPAD lite doesn’t allow me that opportunity. It asks to clear the whole page! I think it would be great to present a few of these note-taking apps to students and see what they think…..hmmmmm, who can I bug to do this?

    Thanks for the info on both apps.


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