Back To School With Macgasm: Homework Sucks But Your Class Notes Don’t Have To!

Going back to school is always an exciting time of year. You get to see friends you haven’t seen all summer, meet new ones and then, my favorite part, you get to shop for awesome new school supplies. Oh, those glorious school supplies!

I don’t know what it is about going into a Staples or Business Depot, but I get excited. The shelves of brand new notebooks that have yet to be tarnished with messy handwriting, symbol of a fresh start perhaps?

In this back-to-school special, we take a look at different types of note-takers and offer up some tools to help them with their trade. Ding-ding! Class is in session.

For The Hardcore Note Expert: Outline+

Does the excitement of creating custom, highly personalized study guides from class notes really get you going in the morning? First of all, why? Second of all, I have the perfect app for you. Outline+ by Gorillized is a back to school dream come true if you’re a Microsoft OneNote lover. Now you can view and edit your files on an iPad right in the classroom. Then, sync them in real time via Dropbox.

Quickly capture new ideas, build a concept map and create to-do lists, all with the flexibility of arranging them on your pages as you like. The app allows you to type anywhere on a page, format text, stamp styles, add images, create sections and subsections. Sounds like organizational overload if you ask me, in a good way of course.

For $14.99, you can add this to your note-taking arsenal. I pity the fool who messes with your skills.

Download links below

For The Artistic Note Creator: SoundNote

You’re sitting in your early morning lecture, pining for your pillow and your seat neighbor is creating a masterpiece with their Papermate. It’s common knowledge that people all learn differently; some tend to be more visual learners and other more inclined to learn from listening. SoundNote is a great hybrid solution to satisfy that desire to draw while still making sure you get the most out of that big tuition payment.

Created by Nexscience and yours for a cool $2.99, SoundNote lets you take notes by recording sound, handwriting or typing text, drawing sketches or taking camera pictures. Easily convert your notes to PDF, store them on you iPad or iPhone, or share them with your friends via email or Facebook. Talk about social learning this back to school season.

With the easy-to-use interface, SoundNote promises anyone can use it with no learning curve. I’m personally looking forward to trying this one out.

Download links below

For The Note Stealing Slacker: FineScanner

You have much more important things to work on during lectures, like catching up on your texting and scoping out cute classmates. Menial tasks like taking notes just isn’t your style. You’re an entrepreneur at heart and see the opportunity to outsource.

That’s when an app like FineScanner by ABBYY for $2.99 comes in handy. Take your note stealing time down to zero with this all-purpose mobile scanner that can capture text from anywhere. Using your iPhone camera you can scan notes, take pictures of presentation slides or even whiteboards, and then save them as a PDF or JPEG. Export to multiple destinations including email, Dropbox, Google Docs and Facebook.

The only question you need to ask yourself now is whether you’re going to get permission from the person sitting next to you to “borrow” their notes or go for it over-the-shoulder MacGyver style. Good luck.

Download links below

For The Hybrid Note Architect: LUNATIK Touch Pen

It’s a love triangle between you, your pen and paper and your iPad. You’re addicted to the functionality of your tablet but find comfort in that notepad and pen, chewed cap and all. Now you don’t have to choose thanks to a hugely successful Kickstarter project.

The LUNATIK Touch Pen was born from a desire to marry a simple pen with a digital stylus. According to its creator, Scott Wilson, the patent pending dual-mode tip allows for a seamless transition from analog to digital with the click of a button.

To get in on the action, get your $39.95 ready and head on over to They are starting to ship pre-orders this month.

A dedicated Apple enthusiast since 2007, Suzy is the co-host of Macgasm TV and features editor for Macgasm. Got a cool story idea, hot news tip or just want a stay up-to-date with the latest tech gossip? You can find… Full Bio