September 3, 2009
I thought Awesome Notes was, well, awesome. Then I heard about NoteMaster. It looked like it might be similar to Awesome Notes, so I emailed the nice people at Kabuki vision and requested a promo code. They were kind enough to supply one, so I’m passing on my findings.
The very first thing I discovered was that NoteMaster syncs with Google Docs, whereas Awesome Notes backs up there. Syncing is far preferable. I open up NoteMaster, hit the familiar sync icon, and any changes I made to my documents in NoteMaster are instantly applied to the document on Google, and any changes I (or someone with whom I share a document) made, are immediately applied to what I see on my iPhone.
From reading the comments and application description on Kabuki vision’s website, I expected a difficult process when I set up the sync. But it really was as simple as creating a sync folder inside my Google Documents, and moving those docs I want synchronized to that new folder. (Google makes it easy.)
You have the option to perform a full sync (my preferred method), or sync one way – either from Google to NoteMaster, or from NoteMaster to Google.
NoteMaster allows you to enter your SMTP information directly so that you can email one of your Google Documents right from the application. Very handy feature, and something I’ve always liked about my all time favorite note app, Evernote.
At this point, I feel compelled to point out that I use Google Docs and Evernote in very different ways. I use Google for large documents, and shownotes for both the msmobiles podcast and the ConvertCast podcasts. If you are not a big documents user (rather than short notes/memos), you may actually be better off with Evernote for all your notes. On the other hand, if you regularly reach for Quick Office or Documents to go for Word documents…you might really want to investigate Google Docs!
When you open up NoteMaster, you have the option of starting from All Notes, or your Category List. Since I typically don’t use categories, I go straight to All Notes.
The one and only thing I dislike about NoteMaster is that when you view your list of documents, the date that shows is the sync date, regardless of when something was last edited. I know part of t his is a limitation of Google, but for some reason I find it frustrating. NoteMaster gives you several sorting options including date…but that just seems pointless if that date is only the last time you did a sync after a document update.
You can also sort by Category, and alphabetically. Personally, I’m rather partial to the latter.
One of the features I really like with NoteMaster, is the ability to not only view pictures in pre-existing documents, but the ability to add them. You can add from your photo album, or you can take a new photo to insert into a note.
If you look at the bottom bar on the screenshot with the picture of the pig on the bbq (yes, it was quite delicious!), you’ll see three icons on the left. The farthest icon to the left brings up the keyboard where you can add to or edit a note. You can also add in headers (note the way "Photo" is in bold, and slightly larger than the previous text).
The second icon takes you to your photo library, where you can choose any photo you have. And the third icon opens up the camera so that you can take a new photo to insert into a document.
They results on Google via your computer are equally impressive. Frankly, it’s easier to insert the photo into the document on the iPhone than on your computer from inside Google!
Formatting you do inside Google appears, although it’s not quite as pretty. Not a big deal. It’s good enough that I’d rather use this than either Quick Office or Documents to Go. That’s saying something.
If NoteMaster would view Google’s spreadsheet and slideshow documents, it could be most impressive!