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Surface Pro handwritten note taker

piquet00

New Member
Hi,

I have for many, many years worked in an IT role which requires me to make copious notes to document my to do list and how and when I completed each task. I have always written several A4 pages per day and over the years have probably got through my own height of A4 notebooks!

The advantage of keeping a dated journal is that I can cross-reference jobs I have done with file modification dates on the Linux servers I work on. The disadvantage is that I have absolutely no way of searching through a pile of handwritten notes for the information I need.

So, I really need to kick this outdated work practice out and get a tablet PC with pen that would be capable of replacing my work journals. The Surface Pro 4 and Surface pen would seem to be a great option on the hardware side, but I am struggling to find which app would be the best for me.
  • Handwriting recognition is essential
  • The ability to store dated entries in a searchable document
  • Ability to draw diagrams
  • Task list functionality highly desirable - to do list with the ability to mark completed
  • Save as PDF? I'd maybe export once a month.
I would be really interested in hearing from anyone with experience of using the Surface Pro 4 and pen in the way I describe.

Thanks,

Phil
 

sharpuser

Administrator
Staff member
Do you already own a Surface, or are you justifying one?

I take notes like you do, with small sketches, handwriting-to-text portions, (IP addresses, server names, phone numbers), to-do lists, imbedded or referenced or attached documents, etc.

OneNote does what you describe. Do take some time to watch videos and read tips from others, to make sure it would work for you.
 
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piquet00

New Member
Hi Sharpuser,

I don't already own a Surface so yes I am in the justification stage but. for me, the ability to work smarter going forward would be worth the investment. I currently carry around 3 x A4 hardback workbooks with key information I need to have to hand - that has got to be wrong in this day and age.

I am pleased that you mention OneNote because it is something I have used before and like, but I've not committed enough time to exploring all of its capabilities. Will look for some videos.

Thanks!
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
I went paperless in 2003 for all of my notes, I have OneNote notebooks from the last 14 years all inked on Tablet PCs all on Surface devices since 2012....I'm currently in Technical Marketing but was in IT for many years before.
 
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piquet00

New Member
Hi Jeff - thank you. Do you find you can search easily through all your notes going back all that time?

How do you organise the notes? I'm thinking that maybe my work journal might have a tab per month and a page per day. Some pages would be longer than others, but presumably you just keep on writing? Does the handwriting recognition work well?

Sorry for so many questions!

Phil
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
I can search any notebook I sync, the older ones if I need to find something I sync it and search it or search them using OneNote online.
 

PCAnyWhere

Member
@Jeff, not sure if this is the right place to ask this. I know you have had an SP3/4 and now SB. which did you prefer for writing? in tablet mode? I'm looking this year to move from my SP3.
 

Moonsurface

Super Moderator
Staff member
I have used my Surface Pro 3 and One Note many times to take handwritten notes at conferences, it's excellent as I can then search through my notes and find things very quickly. One Note does a good job of recognising my not always tidy handwriting!
This feature is an extremely useful power of this device for me. I rarely take notes on paper any more. It woudl be even better if the surface was a work supplied device so I could sync with my network.
 

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