Developer: Ginger Labs, Inc.
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
Notability is an excellent note-taking tool for the iPad.
Notability nails the balance between apps that favor creating typed notes or hand-written ones. While it is primarily designed for using the iPad's on-screen keyboard, there is a very-easy-to-use way with Notability to merge drawings, illustrations, or other graphics.
The interface is well designed for solid maneuverability and, like many iPad/iPhone apps, has a design that harkens back to Notability's pre-digital counterpart, a notebook. In landscape mode notes can easily be selected through the familiar side-anchored menu.
If you want to record while taking notes, just tap the red button for including voice. In all a note could include text, audio and an image for a very dynamic alternative to the usual text-based messaging applications.
Notes can be organized through a series of categories. There is also a search function I found to be very effective for finding a specific note. Often when dealing with large amounts of text it is easier to just search rather than dig through a dizzying number of categories.
Other note-taking apps, like Evernote or Springpad, sync the notes to the cloud for easy access from other devices. While Notability does not have as robust a syncing system at these apps, it does hook up with Dropbox. By enabling your Dropbox account this allows to view notes on another device or download them from Dropbox into Notability.
For those unfamiliar with Dropbox, it is a free service that can sync data among multiple computers and mobile devices. If you are serious about giving Notability a trial for running your note-taking, getting a Dropbox account is strongly recommended.
However, Notability is a strong option for those who want a more robust note-taking option than the standard Apple app included with the iPad.