April 17, 2011

iPad Office Workflow - 2: Annotating documents
(Note Taker HD)

Deirdre Woods, CIO, Wharton, observed that students use an iPad as a “lean back device” as opposed to a PC which is a “lean forward” one. This makes iPads ideal devices to review and annotate documents.

iPad Office Workflow-1 described how to use the Dropbox cloud service to simplify transferring documents to your iPad. Now how do you annotate or mark up your documents?

Handwritten Annotation
I prefer using a stylus over typing on the iPad's touch screen, even though I type faster than I write. Unlike some others, I find that without the feedback of physical keys, I can't maintain the registration of my fingers necessary for touch-typing, on a touch-screen.

My go-to app for handwriting notation on PDFs is Note Taker HD. A similar app I've recently begun testing is Pockeysoft's uPad. And of course there are others apps such as iAnnotate PDF.

Below I've taken an example webpage from Apple's site and printed it as a PDF, transferred it to my iPad via DropBox, and then annotated it using Note Taker HD:

Sample PDF page generated from apple.com/ipad/specs
[click to zoom]

Sample PDF with annotation in varying pen widths and colours, using Note Taker HD app
[click to zoom]

  • Business schools test drive the iPad, GlobeandMail.com via WileyISUpdates.ca, Feb 16 2011 “Deirdre Woods, chief information officer at Wharton … when students use an iPad it is a ‘lean back device' rather than a PC which is a 'lean forward' one.”