AudioNote is a fantastic note taking app. AudioNote combines the functionality of note-taking and voice recording apps to create a powerful tool that will save you time while improving the quality of your notes.

By synchronizing notes and audio, AudioNote automatically indexes your meetings, lectures, classes and interviews. Your text and drawings highlight during playback, helping you to remember the context in which they were taken. You can tap notes to search in the audio, taking you instantly to what you want to hear.

The official description from the app store shows how you can synchronise notes and audio with each key point being linked to the moment when the lecturer talks about that subject, and because it works on a tablet or phone there is no need to wait for a laptop to boot up.

Bookmarks can be created throughout the audio recording to highlight important points for easy referencing.  It allows you to take pictures and insert them into your notes and AudioNotes can be exported to Evernote, saved and organised there. A yellow background can be used instead of white for those with visual stress/sensitivity.

Many a student or academic has suffered for their flawed note taking. You accidentally get a name or a year wrong. You botch the transcription of a quote because you can’t type fast enough. You completely misunderstand the gist of a meeting, class, or speech because you cannot read your own handwriting.

A spate of products endeavors to make sure that never happens. There are applications for your laptop, like OneNote. There are Web-based and smartphone products, like Evernote. There are awesome, newfangled tools, like the Livescribe pen, which lets you write like normal on a piece of paper but records audio and transfers your notes to your computer. And the most recent wave of sleek tools aims to make your iPad or your iPhone as good as your computer or a pencil for jotting things down in the boardroom or classroom.

AudioNote lets you create, title, and organize notes. It lets you record audio. It lets you add drawings, so that you can sketch as well as type. It lets you email your notes, so that you can expand on them, edit them, or share them when you are done.

It also offers one awesome technical advance: syncing your notes to your audio recordings. Imagine you were halfway through a lecture or seminar, using one of the programs to record it and to type out ideas. A colleague elaborates on a particular theme about, for example, John Maynard Keynes. You write, “Keynes. economist. book title” Later, when you open up the note, you can just click on those words to hear that exact part of the conversation.

That means no more searching for a specific passage in a lecture. It means never again fudging a quote you cannot get down. And, for students, if not for budding academics, it makes writing notes much easier. Rather than spelling something out, you need only write enough to remind yourself of it. Phrases like “explanation of 2010 economic strategy in Bundestag under Angela Merkel” and “funny quote about colleague” and “this guy is such a bore” become useful shorthand rather than useless glyphs.

The AudioNote screen looks like a real notepad. Whenever you press Enter and start a new line, it adds a tiny timestamp. It also has some useful text formatting, like a handy highlighter function. It has much to recommend it and offers a vast leap over traditional methods of note taking— at least for those of us with woeful handwriting and the need to get down lots of quotes!

It costs £2.99 and is available from the iTunes store.

This YouTube video is a good introduction to AudioNote

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