The relatively large size of the iPad lends itself to note taking. While I'm not totally hooked on the on screen keyboard for any extensive text input, I do like the flexibility in having an App that allows me to "handwrite" or sketch AND key in text as well. PaperDesk aims to give you more than just simple note taking. One of the first things that blew me away was the built-in Whiteboarding feature that works in conjunction with the iPad VGA Connector. This means that if you were in a meeting you could hook up your iPad to a projector and rough out your ideas for all to see. This kinda replaces those giant Sticky Notes and grease boards that we see in so many conference rooms today. I can't count how many times that someone said, "ok I'll take all of these ideas and type them up and distribute them to everyone here" only never to receive them. With PaperDesk not only could you choose to handwrite those same notes, but you could also choose to type them as well using the Keyboard Dock or a Bluetooth Keyboard. Even if you hand wrote them for speed (as we do today in meetings), you could actually email them out as is to everyone in attendance. Sure, handwriting recognition would be ideal, but I haven't seen an App that does it yet, let alone one that does it well enough to not have to do tons of corrections.
More than just pretty pictures and text
PaperDesk also supports audio notes. The more I think about this App, the more I'm starting to wish I had something like this in school! Think about it. You could type notes, scribble down things quickly AND recording the lecture too! Besides emailing the PaperDesk generated notes you can also "Sync" them with the FREE account that you setup at MyPaperDesk.com
Although notes can be multiple pages long and contain text, sketches and audio recordings, they can't contain pictures. I tried copying a picture into a note and rather an paste the image it pasted the name of the image. Oh well, Perhaps this will come in time or perhaps next time around when the iPad gets a camera some day.
You can get PaperDesk here from the App Store
The Bottom Line
I've tried other Note taking Apps on the iPad and my interest is primarily "writing" notes mores than typing them. However, having the ability to do both plus audio in the same App/Note, makes this my new Note Taking App of choice. There's also a FREE LITE (no syncing and limited number of notebooks) version here.
Yes it can be awkward drawing/writing with your finger so get a stylus!
If you're going to be a doing a lot of handwriting on your iPad, you might want to make an investment in a iPhone stylus to make it easier. I got one of these and I LOVE IT! Makes it so much easier to "write" my notes!