An unnoteworthy Notebooks app
Free (IAPs) From Astron Labs, astronlabs.com Made for iPhone, iPad Needs iOS 11.4 or later
The first question any iOS Notes app must answer is: does it offer enough beyond the features in Apple’s own Notes app?
That hurdle got much higher when the Notes app was overhauled in iOS 11. Jottit does offer several features that are not seen in Notes. It uses the notebook and shelf metaphor that has popped up in apps like Noteshelf and Paper. Like Paper, you can change the color of notebook covers and, in the Pro version, add your own images as covers. Shelves are used to house notebooks but can also hold drawings, text pages, and lists of tasks. Notebooks themselves can accommodate three different types of page: text, bulleted list, and drawing. However, you can’t combine, say, text and drawing on the same page, which seems like a very odd omission.
You can format text using a ‘lite’ version of Markdown, as well as choose from seven fonts, three font sizes, and four paper colors. And that’s pretty much it for the free version. Additional features such as a task manager, bookmarks, the ability to add photos to sketches, and exporting notes are all exclusive to the Pro version.
There are, sadly, a number of problems with Jottit. The notebooks and shelves analogy doesn’t really work. Shelves are, effectively, folders that look rectangular on the Projects page that otherwise don’t resemble or function like a shelf at all. Notebooks lose any resemblance to an actual notebook unlike, say, Paper where you can flick through pages. Swiping across the screen in a Jottit notebook does nothing. There are other interface problems too: Tap ‘+’ on the Projects screen and tap ‘notebook’ to add a new notebook and it’s impossible to back out or cancel — you must create and save a new notebook. On a drawing page, there are three tools available (paint brush, pencil, and eraser) but there’s no indication of which is in use or whether tapping one to choose it has been successful. And while Markdown is fine for formatting text, the formatting tools in the iOS Notes app are much easier to use for most people.
There are so many better note app options available for iOS, even if you’re strongly wedded to the notes and shelves metaphor.
the bottom line. If you want to use one app for notes, sketches and to–do lists, Jottit is okay, but there are better options.
Jottit to–do lists make good use of color to show which tasks have yet to be completed.