Using the stock note-taking apps that come with your Android smartphone or tablet is fine for jotting down quick notes. But they were not designed with student needs in mind. The focus on catering to students is what separates LectureNotes from the rest of the class.

lecturenotesLectureNotes is much like using an electronic pad and pencil. You take notes by handwriting on the screen with a stylus. But it does much more than old-school notesbooks and pencils. Besides taking handwritten notes in class, you can use it to make presentations. You can project the content to a larger screen in the room.

I would often do the same when giving presentations at meetings and when teaching. But I had to rely on much more cumbersome equipment, such as overhead projectors connected to my laptop. LectureNotes lets me accomplish the same tasks from the palm of my hand.

This app comes in two versions. Start out with the limited-feature trial version. You can use this free version to take notes and add images, graphs and typed text. You can also sync your notes across all of your devices The main limitation is that you can only create two notebooks. Each notebook is limited to eight pages.

If you find that the LectureNotes free version really does what you need, spring for the paid version. It costs $3.59 and has no limitations on either the number of notebooks you can create or how many pages you make in any notebook.

lecturenotes2The extensive handwriting feature is a bonus if you have a stylus. LectureNotes’ basic functionality works on all devices with Android 3.0 or later. But some features are hardware-dependent, such as pressure sensitivity.

Your best bet are devices running Android 3.0 or later on a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 with an S-pen, an Asus Nexus 7, a Samsung Nexus 10 or an Amazon Kindle Fire HD with an Adonit Jot Pro and a Wacom Bamboo stylus.

LectureNotes has extensive functionality. But for some of higher-level features, you will need to install other apps.

For example:

  • Notebook and folder import, notebooks board restore, PDF import, and image set import require a file manager app
  • Single- and multi-page PDF import requires PDFView
  • Image import directly from camera requires a camera app
  • Export to Evernote requires the Evernote app
  • Export to OneNote requires the OneNote app

One of the main selling points is that LectureNotes only needs minimal permissions and no Internet connection. This is hugely important if you do not want to worry about the app phoning home with all sorts of personal information about you.

Other advanced features include:

  • Multiple pages can be simultaneously visible on the screen
  • Smooth writing, typing, scrolling and zooming performance
  • Multiple layers in notebook pages
  • Notebook export as compressed PDF
  • sharing and import of notebook pages
  • Keyword attachment to notebook pages and automatic indexing
  • Organizing notebooks in folders

LectureNotes has an extensive options setting panel. You may have to spend some time adjusting how the app performs based on your preferences. It is available from the Google Play Store.