MarginNotes is an interesting app that may just be a little too confusing to use, or may be the perfect document markup app ever. I still can’t figure out which.
The app will open EPUB and PDF files and let you mark them up, adding comments, margin notes, sketches and anything else, and also lets you add entire outlines, or turn the document into an outline – I’m not quote sure. Let’s take a quick look:
MarginNotes seems to be designed for adding copious notes to a textbook, combining the text and your paper notepad into one, and with the advantages that all your notes are right there on the text itself. You can highlight individual words, and you can add a note to a whole section of text, although the distinction is a little blurred.
Once you’ve tapped the text and created a new note, this note can have anything added to it, from sketches to handwritten notes to text to color coded highlights to photos and even sound snippets. Theses notes then appear as thumbs in the margins, as well as overlaid on text (where appropriate). And the notes can also be viewed as an outline, or as a mind-map.
In principal, it’s a flexible and powerful app. In practice, it’s just confusing, and you never really know where anything is. Which is a shame, as being able to treat EPUB and PDF equally, to be able to literally scrawl all over your textbook, is a great idea. And you can even export the results to Evernote when you’re done.
Still, there’s no penalty to trying it out, as the app comes free, with a $6 in-app purchase to unlock all the features (export to PDF and unlimited notes).