Pear Note.

Applications, Mac, Useful Things by Richard

I absolutely love Pear Note. Wow. I really wish that I could go back in time to when I was in college and hand myself a laptop with this app on it. It would have saved me so much time and frustration that it would almost have immediately paid for itself. I literally do not attend any meetings without my laptop/Pear Note now. It’s made my notes useful, where previously I’d feel really good about the notes I was taking, then I’d go back and try to use them to review and not be able to figure out what they meant.

So why is it so amazing? Just about everyone who wants to remember important information takes notes in class or meetings. Those of us who’ve realized that we can’t possibly remember everything that was said have probably added audio recording to the equation. That way, we can go back and listen to a conference/meeting/class and have all of the information we need because we have every word that was said. The problem with simple audio recording is that you have to skip around or waste time listening to parts of the recording that aren’t pertinent to what you’re looking up at a given moment.

Pear Note takes audio recording a few steps further, and it makes all of the difference. It synchronizes every keystroke of your typed notes with the audio recording, and completely changes the game. By doing this, it turns note-taking into a much less nerve wracking experience. Where normally you’d be trying to type as much as possible to make sure you don’t miss anything, by using Pear Note you only have to annotate the recording. This allows you to pay more attention to the subject at hand, only pausing to type the most important points so that you can review them easily later. When you’re reviewing your notes later, you can literally just click on words that you’ve typed, and Pear Note will play back the audio at that point, starting from 10 seconds back. Awesome. Also, as your recording plays, Pear Note highlights the letters/words as you type them.

Pear Note also gives you full control over fonts, sizes, colors, easy shortcuts for bolding, italics, underlining and more. You can copy and paste hyperlinks directly into it and they remain clickable, and gives you easy highlighting ability in whatever color you wish.

And that’s just scratching the surface of what Pear Note can do. It can record video, import slides (Powerpoint, Keynote, and PDF) from a presentation and sync itself up with those as well. It has searching built in, so you can search through all of the notes you’ve previously taken. Imagine going to a meeting and taking notes with Pear Note. Then, 2 weeks later when a co-worker is asking asks you how many sprockets were supposed to go on that new widget, you can just open Pear Note, search through your notes for “sprockets”, open the right set of notes, then click on the phrase “number of sprockets” and it’ll play the audio from that point. So awesome.

If you have a regular need to take notes and you own a portable Mac, I can’t recommend Pear Note enough. It’s $39.99 and is well worth the money, due to the time and aggravation you’ll save yourself when you go back to review your notes. It’ll truly make your notes useful.


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