The iPad comes with a perfectly good, albeit basic Notes app. Penultimate (App Store link) is one of a number of note taking apps for the iPad that expands upon the feature set found in Notes and might just make you more productive.

Penultimate for iPad review

When you first launch Penultimate, the app launches into a notebook that is already populated with information to get you started with the app. This is an excellent way to get your feet wet and lowers what is already a very low learning curve. The developers have done a great job in making Penultimate an app that immediately becomes familiar.

Penultimate notes iPad

Moving around in your virtual iPad notebook is done by tapping the lower margins. Tap the right to go right, left to go back. Four lines in the corner allow you to bring up all of the pages in your book, providing for a faster way to jump to pages that might be at the end of your notebook.

The interface to create content is aligned across the bottom in four nicely design icons. The pen tool transforms your finger (or perhaps a stylus) as a handwriting tool. Jot notes, draw images, sketch and more. You can adjust the size of the pen and select from ten different colors. Make a mistake, the eraser tool operates the same way. The scissors tool is used to select anything on the page, which can then be pasted on either the same page or even a different notebook. Clearing an entire page is accomplished with the ‘X’ option. All basic, all work very well.

Penultimate tools

With the image tool, you can add photos from Photos or take a picture with the camera. Once in your notebook, you can use the pen tool to add comments and notations. This is where it can really become a powerful tool with numerous applications. Working on a home project. Take a picture of your room and immediately start making notations on the photo. Email it to your contractor or print it for easy reference.


Depending on how you plan to use your notebook, the app offers a host of different paper options. Select from Graph Paper, Lined Paper or Plain Paper. The app also features the Paper Shop, which offers in-app purchases featuring an array of different papers. Choose from Music, Time and Tasks and Photos among others. These are all priced at $0.99.

The Paper Shop

Your notebooks are often used to collaborate or share. With built-in support for Dropbox, multiple users can work on a notebook if they are have the app. Notebooks can also be shared via email, printed or sent to Photos or Evernote. You can even send it to iBooks, making it readily available in your library.

The impeccable design, ease of use and expansive functionality makes Penultimate a joy to use. Keeping things simple helps Penultimate succeed as a note taking tool, one that can easily find a place on any iPad.

Penultimate is currently on sale in the App Store for $0.99.