Price: $4.99    Score: 9/10    Category: Productivity

When spreadsheet inventor Dan Bricklin released Note Taker HD he solved an age old problem in the attempt to build a good program for handwritten notes on mobile devices.

Handwriting apps of yesteryear battled with the fact that you just couldn’t write very many words on a page. I remember writing reviews for notetaking apps for the iPad and being reasonably happy with being able to fit 30 words on the iPad screen. Now you can fit much, much more.

The secret lies in Dan Bricklin’s Edit 2 mode, an easy to use overlay window that magnifies a certain part of your piece of paper and let’s you write comfortably. You determine where you want your message to go by dragging the detail box to a different part of your overall paper and then write away.

The auto advance setting in the editing box allows you to continue writing beyond the box that’s highlighted, and a series of gray dots warn you when you’re approaching the right margin. This feature gets a little getting used to and my finger writing is far worse than my actual handwriting, but this works better than any handwriting tool I’ve used so far.

The toolbar lets you undo, redo, erase, and change ink thickness and modify font colors. This allows for basic sketching, highlighting, color coding and more. To organize your work, you can name, tag and favorite pages for easier retrieval.

When you’re finished editing a page you can click done to see a list of pages with titles, page numbers and visual thumbnails. Tapping the thumbnail brings you into edit mode while pressing and holding and then releasing again (which takes some getting used to) brings you to page tools.

Page tools lets you duplicate, delete, favorite, add tags, flag, change your thumbnail view, delete pages and much more. You can also change page settings like background colors and lining from the page settings.

In the end you can display pages live via a VGA adapter or email them out as a PDF. There are a ton of options that might take a little getting used to and the overall layout is extremely basic, but if you’re into handwriting notes on the iPad this app will let you create some advanced, and even charming handwritten documents.

Bottom Line: Note Taker HD is a dynamic app that lets you create full fledged handwritten pages on the iPad. Highly recommended for anyone who is really into writing notes on the app but not too concerned about fancy UI and design.