Take A Note for the iPhone

Not too long ago, I had lunch with a graphic designer acquaintance and fellow Mac cultist who bemoaned the mediocrity of so many iPhone apps. "They don't look like they're Apple quality," he complained. "They're so dull and drab. They're boring!"

Notable Appearance: Readdle's Take A Note uses a brown and light yellow color scheme that creates an aesthetically pleasing app for the iPhone or iPod touch.Now, it isn't exactly fair to hold every third-party app developer to a lofty Cupertino standard. But it may be fairer to say that a healthy majority of apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch deliver on form or function, but rarely deliver both. Oh, sure, there are quite a few apps that are as stylistic as they are functional. () and () spring instantly to mind. Many developers, however, have the programming skills but lack the design savvy to effectively meld style with substance.

That thought occurred to me again as I was using Take A Note app. I had already reviewed and adopted (), which is an excellent, free note-taking organizational tool for the iPhone and iPod Touch. YouNote is functional, but not at all beautiful. Take A Note is drop-dead gorgeous. But is it also functional?

The answer is an emphatic yes. Although Take A Note lacks some of the features that makes YouNote a powerful tool, the app makes up for it with a brilliant design, a clean interface, excellent audio functionality and easy Wi-Fi backup.

Developer Igor Zhadanov obviously has a keen aesthetic eye. When you launch Take A Note, the title screen is a weathered, brown leather spiral notebook cover. The tasteful brown and light yellow color scheme evokes an old drawing room or a private detective's office. All that's missing, alas, is the smell of the leather and cigar smoke, and the silky smooth texture of the pages.

Take A Note organizes your notes by text, audio, drawing or photo. The app also lets you set up your own categories, such as "home" or "work" or any esoteric label you wish. Although I miss YouNote's color-coding scheme, Take A Note's simple checklist-style categorization is a nice feature for keeping notes orderly. You can also add text comments to audio, photo or drawing notes.