A useful notes applications has been on my radar since I bought my first iPhone. There’s an earlier post on my blog on my initial thoughts on the various apps I tested.  However, the dormant search for a notes app collided with my need to plan out everything to pack for traveling.

The last time we took a long trip was to Italy. For lack of better options, I used Powerpoint to plan the outfits depending on what we were doing that day/night.  One thing I learned – take more shorts & short sleeve tops because they don’t use air conditioning like we do!My research post-trip led me to Stylebook, an app I tried to use to create a catalog of what’s in my closet which will help me plan what to pack. It was cumbersome to get pictures of your clothes into the app, file it appropriately, create a look, generate a packing list, etc.  Also, it only stayed on one device. It wouldn’t sync from my iPad to my iPhone, and I’m not going to manually copy the data over. I also don’t need to log what “look” I wore everyday on a calendar to get stats on my clothing.

I know Apple is coming out with a robust Notes revamp with iOS9, but in the meantime, I gave Notability another look.  I already had the JPG files of my clothes thanks to Stylebook. (Hint, if you buy online, find the picture there and save it to a pictures folder called “closet”. It will prove useful.)

Notability makes it easy to import the pictures of what’s in my closet, overlay the pictures to create the outfit, and you can add typewritten notes or handwritten notes.  It does have a sync feature, and the notes appear on my iPad and iPhone.  This app has come along way since I first used it.  It has a more “notebook” feel than Evernote.  Using some kind of system to track what your packing will also prove helpful if they lose your luggage & you have to provide records of what was in it.  The work is already done (if it all fit in one suitcase), and you can email them exactly what was in it right from the app.  Notability offers you the flexibility to plan your outfits, but it’s freeform so you can embed other lists of things to remember within the same note (prescriptions, camera, chargers, makeup, etc.).  I’m one person who appreciates a good checklist.
How I use other Notes apps:

  • Native Notes App: useful for notes that frequently change (like errands or what you need from the store) or items you need to access quickly.
  • DayOne: useful as a personal journal – still use it daily. 
  • Evernote: useful (for now) to house your archive notes in notebooks accessible from any device. I expect iOS9 will overtake Evernote and have more free features.
  • Paper by Fifty-Three: not useful for me, I’m not an artist & it lacks other tools to make it useful for notes.

(I’ve also tried DailyBook, NoteShelf, PhatPad, and Notes Plus but discontinued using as noted back in 2012.)