How to Maximize Your Note Taking on the Surface Pro

surface pro stylus pen
Stylus pen working its magic on a Surface Pro credit: PCWorld

Being able to just whip out your Surface Pro and take notes on a whim is just one of the features that make this futuristic tablet so remarkable. But portability and convenience aside, being able to sync all of those notes and access them anywhere, at any time, well that is productivity at its finest.

One of the features that make the Surface Pro such a top contender for taking a massive amount of notes on is the stylus pen that takes note taking to a whole new level. Ultimately, it’s much faster to write with a stylus than typing on the keyboard. So with the Surface Pro and note taking, it’s like getting the best of both worlds. Writing and using the stylus with an app to translate your notes into text.

The Surface Pro uses palm block technology which means you don’t have to write with an ‘all hands off’ approach. You can actually rest your palm on the screen while writing and it will only detect the writing portion, not the palm.

The stylus pen also acts like a real pen with a tip that’s pointed for pinpoint accuracy. But that accuracy is largely due to the active digitizer. With this active digitizer, the tablet screen actually detects the pen – you can hover half an inch over the screen and it works just like hovering your mouse.

And when you use Microsoft’s SkyDrive, you can sync your notes and get access to your information from anywhere.

But with all the benefits of note taking on the Surface Pro tablet, there are also several options for apps.

What are the different apps and how does each of them perform? To answer that question, we pulled a couple different apps together and looked at what each one offers in terms of note taking that way you can see which one fits your needs best.


OneNote writing notes

A very popular app for taking notes. OneNote is also an incredibly functional digital notebook for capturing, storing and sharing all sorts of information, from essays to complete reports. OneNote is free as a web app, but the version with Microsoft Office gives you tons of additional features.

You can draw, erase and edit with your finger or stylus on your Surface Pro and OneNote will automatically convert your handwriting to text.

If you want to share OneNote between two computers on a shared network, here are some tips to help you accomplish setting it up:

  • A OneNote notebook is realized as a folder (not a file) in the Windows file system
  • So a shared notebook is a folder under the Windows shared folder
  • You should open it with OneNote using File, Open (not with a shortcut, notebooks should stay open in OneNote)
  • You must have write access to the Windows share
  • For easy access you should use the same user and password on both computers


EverNote on Windows 8

EverNote is the free alternative to OneNote for note taking. Evernote is available on web, iOS, Android and Windows systems. But beyond just simple note taking, Evernote has the ability to become your bookmark, recipe box, and basically store any and all information you could ever want to access. Organizing your stuff is easy through notebooks, stacks and tags.

You can search on any platform you have for whatever information you need. With 45 million users, Evernote is a huge driving force in the world of notes and organization.

Both of these apps are powerful for note-taking and even more power packed for organization.

Which one do you use and what do you think about it?

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