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I'm interested in note taking. At my new job, I'm taking in a lot of information and I need to get better at taking notes. I need to be able to freehand write, draw and record audio. My main note taking device is my Note 3 - it has a pen, although pen support isn't a requirement for me.

I've begun using Evernote, but it doesn't seem to be 100% what I want.

Main things I want:

  • Freehand writing/drawing. Text recognition after the fact would be nice, but I'm more concerned with drawing diagrams, work-flows, etc.
  • Recording audio - raw audio for later review.
  • Windows & Android
  • Online sync via Dropbox or OneDrive (Google as a third option)

Evernote:

I can do freehand drawing. I can record audio and use the keyboard. I can't freehand + record audio at the same time. I don't seem to see a limit to audio recording length (Did a ~2 hour recording last week). Does do "cloud", but not Dropbox/Onedrive (that I've seen) - not a dealbreaker, but not as open as I'd like.

OneNote:

I can do freehand drawing/writing. I can record audio, but can't do anything while recording audio. Audio recording seems to be limited to 3 minute chunks? Obvious OneDrive integration.

Google Keep:

Least flexible option I can see. I can take notes, but not freehand. I can do audio, but can't seem to record raw audio. The Audio seems limited to "translation to text" service. Obvious tie in to Google Drive.

Office 365 (Word/Excel):

Can do text, can't seem to record audio. OneDrive.

That leaves me...

Right now, Evernote seems the best fit. Audio recording while taking notes, but unable to freehand draw/write. Evernote also has a data limit I'll hit easily at this rate pushing me into a monthly fee. It's affordable, but I'd rather not pay for something that isn't meeting my wants even if it is better than the rest.

Are there any alternatives that I haven't seen, that might have what I'm looking for?

AE: Flexible Note-Taking Apps - I will be trying Skitch although I don't think it has audio
AE: Quick NOTETAKING with Android - I will be trying Note Everything

Edit: After looking around, I might have found something in my area: LectureNotes. Not sure if this is 100%, but it seems to have everything I want: Freehand, keypad, Audio, OneNote export (which might as well be OneDrive). There is an extension they have: LectureRecording - but I don't think it's needed. Will be testing this over the next couple days.

  • Would it be a lot of work to use the Voice Recorder app while writing on Evernote then attaching the audio file to the note later? – Tymric Feb 23 '15 at 16:31
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    @Timmy I hadn't thought to do that, and I'll have to try it. Audio recorder + OneNote seems like a solid option: two programs, extra steps - and more likely to forget to put in the audio, but i think I can get everything auto-backing up - but would allow me to do both and without a "fee". – WernerCD Feb 24 '15 at 0:36
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    @Timmy still poking around and it looks like that's the direction I'm going to be leaning - the direction I'll have to go. Looking at audio records that run in the background and can export to EverNote/OneNote or Dropbox/OneDrive/etc. I'll add some notes in a bit, but I think this is about as close as I'll get to audio+freehand. – WernerCD Feb 26 '15 at 17:28
  • I agree. Sadly it's difficult to find a single application that can do all your multitasking. Perhaps you could make use of automation apps such as IFTTT or Tasker to save some steps and make the two apps you're using play nicer together. Post your own answer when you find a solution that works. I'm also interested in the outcome. – Tymric Feb 26 '15 at 17:34
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    @Timmy Gaming is also important to me, but I don't carry around a 3DS even though I'd much rather game on it. More convenience (one device) and firm belief that there is no reason I shouldn't be able to record and take notes :) I'm fine with two applications, just haven't found the right two that work for me. – WernerCD Mar 16 '15 at 2:42

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