Draw, Sketch, Take Notes in your Hand Writing: Bamboo Paper for iPad

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Bamboo Paper is a free iPad digital notebook app for taking down notes in your own hand writing. Yesterday we saw an app with the same purpose, Penultimate. Today we are talking about another notebook app. I guess I have become obessed with hand written notes apps. But apart from notes the app also lets you draw and sketch using various pens and colors given.

Once you download this app you will be asked to create a new notebook for taking down notes or drawing. The added advantage here over Penultimate is that you can choose a few options for your notebook. The options can be seen in the screenshot below.

bamboo paper new notebook options

Lets see what these options are:

  • Cover color: you can choose what color you want to have on the cover of your notebook.
  • Paper: you can choose a paper type from the given ones like plain paper, lined paper, bullet list paper, etc.
  • Passcode: you can also choose to have your notebook password protected through this option. Once you slect this option you will be asked to enter a passcode using the number pad given.
  • Read Only: you also get the option to make your notebook read only. So that people messing around would not be able to edit your notes or make any changes to them.

Once all that is selected, you can go ahead and also change the heading or title of your notebook. Now you will be taken to the page to take down notes.

Lets talk about the toolbar on the notes page:

bamboo paper page toolbar

If we look at the toolbar provided with the page, you have the regular pen type option. In pen selection option you will find the first two pens given to be free, rest of them can be bought with in app purchases. You also have the option to try or preview how the pens work before buying them. Then you have a color option from where you can change the color of your text. Eraser to erase any mistakes. A board icon with a cross sign is for clearing the page. The regular redo and undo options are present. Photo can also be inserted in your notes using the given icon. The regular options for that are camera roll or camera of iPad. Then you have a home button to take you to the home page of this app. Also a sharing option is present which lets you share the notes page via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Dropbox, Evernote, save it to camera roll photos, email it as an image or take a print out. The icon at the center of this toolbar is to clear or hide the toolbar for a distraction free writing experience.

bamboo paper home toolbar


The limitation that this free version has is that you can only create 20 free notebooks with 100 pages. In case you need more than you will have to upgrade to the paid version. The home screen also gives you the option of sharing the entire note book through Dropbox, Evernote, email as PDF or Bamboo Paper file. You can also take a print out of the entire notebook. You also get a delete notebook option on the homescreen in case you want to delete a particular notebook. The plus sign on the home page lets you add a new note book. There are 4 types of notebooks available with this app Thinker, Maker, Artist, Writer. Only Thinker is the one which is available free with this free version, rest of them you would need to buy.

The app also offers you the capability of attaching a stylus to take down notes. It would show you what kind of stylus is supported and where you can buy it from. For this info you can click the little “i” icon with a circle around it on the bottom of the home page.

The search glass lets you search for notes amongst your notebooks. The screenshot below shows you the search page.

bamboo paper search

When you click a particular notebook through search, all pages in the notebook will be listed below in thumbnail type view. From here you can select which notes were you looking for. You also get the option to add more pages to your notebook in the search option.

Bamboo Paper is a great app to take down hand written notes or even to draw or sketch. But in my personal opinion it was not able to take me away from Penultimate. I still like the hand writing recognition thing a lot.

Bamboo Paper is a close second to penultimate. It surely is a good app to try out and I would definitely recommend everyone to try it out once.

Get Bamboo Paper for iPad free.

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Works With: iPad
Free/Paid: Free

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