Apps to Use iOS Devices In Place of Notetakers?

iOS & iPadOS

Hello all, I'm sorry if a post similar to this one exists but I searched and could not find anything.
I use an iPhone six and a BrailleNote Apex.
Soon the BrailleNote will be taken away for fixing. That is the only device I use for school, and I will not get a temporary replacement. I will get a computer but that will not happen until next year if all goes according to plan.
So I figured I have to work with whatever is available to me at the moment. In this case it's the iPhone.
Is there a way, or are there apps that would allow me to use the iPhone in place of a notetaker? I am mainly concerned with word-processing, saving attachments from email, and transferring files to and from Dropbox for example. Also anything that you think of that might be useful I did not mention is also appreciated.
Thanks for the help in advance



Submitted by Jakob Rosin on Saturday, November 7, 2015

Yes. Its possible.
You'll need bluetooth keyboard though to type faster.
There are several apps for taking notes, such as drafts, microsoft office, pages etc. Personally for managing attachments, the best app I've found is Microsoft outlook, which allows you to save and add attachments from google drive, microsoft one drive and dropbox.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Saturday, November 7, 2015

The above poster is correct in recommending a keyboard for much faster notetaking. In my research, I think the Logitech K810 keyboard wins hands down. This one has an actual on/off switch instead of a single toggle switch to turn the keyboard on or off. This is important because if the keyboard power is accidentally left on for a long period of time, when you need to take notes, it's very possibly dead. The switch in this keyboard prevents that disaster. Also, you can completely disable the backlit feature of the keyboard. If you have no need for the keyboard to be backlit then you can save battery life. It's also rechargeable. In my book, this is a fabulous keyboard to pare with the notetaking capabilities of the iPhone.

Since you will be on the go with your keyboard, a good case is also recommended. The JAVOedge series look very nice, too.

From JAVOedge keyboard case is selling for $23.99. The Logitech K810 is selling for $74.43 today.


Submitted by Morgan Watkins on Saturday, November 7, 2015

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Great question.

I use my iPhone 6S Plus for all of my writing and note taking. Currently, I prefer the Logitech Keys-To-Go Bluetooth keyboard for a number of reasons. It comes in an iPhone/iPad model, which is the one you would want to buy. Apple also sells this gem. It is very, very thin, has great battery life, and is almost full-size. For text processing, I prefer Nebulous Notes for its wonderful integration with DropBox and I use Voice Dream Writer nowadays because it has some really handy tools such as built-in spell checking and proof reading. Voice Dream Writer also works very well with iCloud Drive and can also interact with DropBox.

Submitted by a12608 (not verified) on Saturday, November 7, 2015

I would recommend a KeyToGo Bluetooth Keyboard.

Submitted by Tina on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

As other posts have said, I strongly recommend a wireless keyboard. I happen to have the Amazon Basics bluetooth keyboard. This keyboard also happens to have a physical on/off control, and it needs 2 AAA batteries to operate. It's around $25 plus shipping and handling.

Another really good app for notes is Access Note from AFB. I'm not sure if it supports attachments, but it can work with Drop Box.

If you're using an iPhone 6 or later, you may already also have Pages. Try that.

As others have said, one drawback to relying only on a Braille note taker is exactly what the original poster has described. If that's all you have, and it needs to be repaired, you're stuck. Since you do have an iPhone, you can use that along with a bluetooth keyboard, and you've got yourself a good note taking tool. So while your BrailleNote is out of commission, I'd make use of the iPhone.

By the way, if you're using any of the major accessibility suppliers, I'd also get their apps.

I'd also suggest that the original poster read the excellent post on the pros and cons of iOS devices versus note takers. This post can help you see what's good about each of them alone and how they can work together.

For what it's worth, these are my thoughts.

Submitted by jrjolley (not verified) on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

For my own use I use both Editorial and Drafts for serious writing projects. Both those applications have very good text processing actions and both integrate with dropbox. I use braille exclusively and refuse to use a bluetooth keyboard as it's another thing to carry. This solution's done me fine and i've written over 40000 words using these solutions.

Submitted by Nina on Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hello all,
Thanks so much for all suggestions! They are great and I agree with all of them. I'm considering all the points and options you all brought up.
I was not happy about having the Apex gone but thanks to all of you I know I will manage.
I also wanted to say this thread will always be open for dialogue.
Thanks again!

Submitted by Brian Giles on Wednesday, November 11, 2015

There's also Apple's new magic keyboard. I'm looking into that...I may also have to look into voice dream writer if it does indeed have a spell checker. There seriously needs to be a good way to spell check system wide, as there is in OS X.