Ironically, note-taking has evolved from scribbling on paper, to typing on your laptops, to typing on our handheld devices, and coming back full circle to “writing” on our smartphones and tablets using a capacitive stylus. That being said, we are so used to taking notes on handheld devices, or typing away on our PC keyboards, that picking up a pen and writing on paper has become a strange experience. When it comes to the work aspect of life, sending important e-mails, and creating and sharing presentations and memos has never been easier thanks to various applications.
There is no shortage of note-taking applications available on the Google Play Store (you can check out our Top 5 here). Each have their own selling point depending on your individual requirements. Some are free, some are packed with features, and some are optimized for tablets. Today we are going to take a look at another such note-taking application, BeNote.
What is BeNote?
I might have jumped the gun when I mentioned that we would be taking a look at another note-taking app because as the developer claims, BeNote is not “just another” note-taking app. The intelligent note-taking app, developed by Uobia LLC boasts features such as:
- Helps to efficiently capture and recall important information. Keeps notes organized and easily accessible.
- Structured approach for efficient note-taking. Helpful note entry tools let's you easily add information such as dates, time, participants, key points, actions, snapshots, and sketches, among others.
- For heavy users, note filtering is possible not only according to type, but also by specified keywords, which you can add in a summary section.
- Create “Topics” such as work, shopping, lectures, etc. You can also assign multiple Topics to one note.
- Powerful built-in search function to find notes instantly.
- Create, save and restore backups from various cloud storage options such as Google Drive, DropBox, etc.
There's a lot that the developer promises with their note-taking app. Let's take a look at whether it works as well as it sounds.
Right off the bat, I can say that BeNote is all that it promises to be. Here are some of my experiences:
- Starting up the app, leads you to a minimalistic UI, which might not be great to look at, but is efficient, and definitely serves its purpose. Just tap on “Add New Note” and you're ready to go.
- You start off by choosing various Topics according to your needs, and you can then assign notes to each topic as you go along. Every note includes a set of pre-selected fields such as date, time, participants, key points, question and answers, decisions, and actions. These “fill-in forms” are very convenient as most of the sections are information we would likely add to a note anyway.
- Efficiency is the key! Ever had those moments when you open up a note you've typed, and have absolutely NO idea what it was about? BeNote never let's that happen because of its above mentioned fields. While it may sound tedious, it was very helpful in the long run (well, over the last 2 weeks that I've used this app) to have the information in the notes organized perfectly, and sorted according to Topic. You can also people directly from your contact list to the “Participants” section.
- Another amazing feature is the image integration within a note (which comes in the Key Point section if you were wondering). You can not only add snapshots, but also sketch over them. You can also sketch anything on a blank canvas as well. This is the only note-taking app I can think of that integrates both text and images in a single note.
- Once you're done with taking notes, in comes the automatic organizational features. Notes are sorted according to topic, and each topic lists the notes with a small summary, so you're not left wondering which note you were looking for. If you have “Action” items, you can check them off once completed, helping you keep tracking of pending projects.
- As promised, you can create and then restore backups from various cloud storage services (I used DropBox).
To be honest, there's absolutely nothing wrong as far as the note-taking aspect of the app is concerned. Yes, being “forced” to use pre-determined fields (which, as far as I know, cannot be edited) can get a bit annoying, but it's a huge boon when you're usually left scratching your head trying to decode a note. You don't have to use all the fields, of course, so every note you make is suited to your requirements. Overall, it makes for a very efficient and organized experience.
I do have some minor gripes about this app though:
- The “Tablet-only” availability. BeNote can be downloaded only for your tablet. This does make sense as it's a lot easier to take notes on a tablet than on the smaller screen of a smartphone. But, I don't always carry my tablet around, so if I need to make a quick note or set an “Action” item, I can't use BeNote.
- The lack of a sync feature. I think this is partly because of the lack of smartphone support as well. Easy access to notes and presentations I create are a huge requirement for me, across ALL my devices, including my PC. Yes, backups can be created and stored, but at the least, I'll need another tablet (and possibly one with BeNote installed) to access that backup.
I would highly recommend BeNote for anyone looking to get organized and be more efficient. This comprehensive note-taking app is great for meetings, lectures, projects, and to-do lists, and the in-note image integration feature is one of the best I've seen. If the app eventually features a sync option, BeNote will be my go-to note-taking application.
BeNote is available for download from the Google Play Store. You can check out a free trial version here, which limits you to a maximum of 20 notes.
What are your thoughts? Will you be trying out BeNote? If yes, or if you are already using this app, let us know your experience in the comments section below.