Depending on how your brain is wired, taking notes on your iPad via a traditional keyboard-based app may not cut it. Some people’s creativities thrive on the ability to scribble, which is why the paper and pencil industries are in no grave danger of extinction. But the advent of apps like Morpholio Journal are rapidly changing that.
Despite bearing a name that sounds like a spin on a fictional Beavis and Butt-head character, Morpholio has a lot going for it. Designed with multi-functionality in mind, it’s a touchscreen app that lets you use your fingertip to scribble down your mental ideas on your iPad screen. But beyond that, there are tools here that give you the ability to organize those scribbles into any hierarchal structure you desire.
Not only can you write with the app, you can also draw, and there are tools here that can be employed to either end. This includes a variety of brush options that you can unlock individually for 99 cents a pop, or for a full package upgrade that’ll run you $2.99. There are two brush options that come free and allow you to test the waters: a ballpoint pen tip and a slightly thicker marker. Both come with five settings that let you adjust the thickness of the tip.
The app is also conducive to adding superimposed text and other hand-scrawled notes onto photos and images. You can import images from your iPad gallery, Dropbox, or take snapshots and import them straight from the camera. Images can be tweaked to any orientation using pinch and zoom functionality. An always-present undo button allows you to back out of any changes or edits.
You can create and assign names to multiple journals for better organization. Each journal can contain an infinite number of pages, and additional in-app purchases give you the option of choosing between a variety of paper types and templates. These also cost 99 cents apiece, or you can buy the lot for $2.99. A page-turn interface lets you flip through existing journals for quick visual browsing. The app is also configured for email or social media sharing.
There is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to getting the most out of the app, mostly as a result of nonexistent documentation. There are a small handful of video tutorials that you can watch from within the app, but without accompanying audio these are pretty ineffective. That said, this is a highly versatile app housed within an eye-pleasing UI with immense potential once you figure it out.
Journal is just one of a suite of apps available from Morpholio that includes Trace, Exhibit, Board, Frame and Crit. It’s also the first of the bunch not specifically aimed at architects and artists, and is ultimately an app that can be used by anyone with the desire to squeeze a bit more productivity from their iPad. It’s available as a free download and requires iOS 7.0 or later. The app is compatible with iPad, iPhone and iPod touch devices.