Sep 15, 2011
Information is constantly flowing all around us, and while many of us don’t always carry a pen and paper, most of us carry a phone everywhere. Equipped with cameras, keyboards and microphones, smart phones are the perfect devices for recording all those bits of important information. But to really take advantage of your phone’s note-taking capabilities, you need an app like Catch Notes.
To the best of my knowledge, there isn’t exactly a shortage of note-taking apps for Android — I’ve somehow managed to accumulate nearly half a dozen of them. Each one works very well, but each one does something just a little better than the others. In the case of Catch Notes, its light footprint allows it to load very quickly, eliminating much of the load time associated with other apps. From there, you can quickly record vital information while it’s still fresh, before you forget precious details. When time is of the essence, you don’t want to be messing around with organizing and categorizing your thoughts before you can get them down on the screen; Catch Notes is ready to go with a blank page in seconds.
Another great thing about Catch Notes is the use of hashtags to organize and filter notes. Just place a hashmark (#) in front of a word anywhere in your note and it becomes a tag accessible from outside the note. It’s much simpler than the system other apps use.
Like other note apps, Catch Notes features uploading to “the cloud.” The web interface at Catch.com allows you to edit, organize and export notes quickly and easily. With a free account, you get 70MBs/month while a pro account at $5/month, or $45/year, gets you 1GB/month plus PDF and productivity doc support with more features on the horizon.
One problem I had with Catch Notes was when attempting to take a photo note. When you want to take a photo note, the app loads the camera, but doesn’t bring you back into Catch Notes once the photo has been shot. Furthermore, it doesn’t seem to append the photo to the note very reliably. I saw a small, black square on the note, but no photo. I had to manually attach the photo to the note to get it to work correctly. At last, it synced with Catch Notes’ servers and uploaded my picture where I could privately view it online.
The interface is very attractive and easy to navigate. Interacting with your notes, editing and organizing them is a snap. However, some buttons, such as the “Export to external storage” buttons, could have used a more descriptive icon. If you’re used to seeing such icons, you’ll immediately know what they’re for. New users might be more easily confused, however.
It’s important to remember that Catch Notes, as it is currently, isn’t meant to be where you stuff all types of web-related, multimedia content or rich-text based information. It’s just a great way of keeping on top of daily reminders without a lot of extra hassle.