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Sketch, Write Notes Directly Onto Your iPad

The iPad has found a comfortable home in the business world -- somewhat unexpectedly, I might add. After all, this "magical" device was really designed to be a consumption toy, best used for reading books and magazines, playing games, and watching video. But as we have pointed out before, there's no shortage of killer apps that can make an iPad really tear up the business world. Until recently, though, you might yearn to pick it up and scrawl some notes on its surface, but you had few good options for doing so.

The solution: Wacom has unveiled an app called Bamboo Paper [iTunes link], which is a snazzy way to draw and write directly on the iPad's surface. Bamboo is completely tactile; just draw or write with your fingertip. That makes the app a handy way to quickly take notes in a meeting, or sketch out an idea. It's sort of like OneNote lite, if you will.

You have some customization options; you can choose from among a blank page, lined, or grid-style paper, and you can choose the color of your writing implement. You can clear the entire page at once, or delete sections with an eraser. Since your book has an unlimited number of pages, you can bookmark special pages for faster access. And you can turn the entire book into a PDF for sharing.

It's a simple app, but it hits the spot if you're looking for a way to leverage your iPad for note-taking and brainstorming. Alas, it's missing some obvious features. When you set a page style (lined, blank, or grid), for example, it affects every page in the book, so you can't mix up page styles throughout your notes. And you only get a single book, unlike in OneNote, for example, where you might dedicate multiple books to different projects. Finally, you can't turn the iPad sideways to use Bamboo in landscape mode. That's almost unfathomable.

So is it worth it? Absolutely -- but only for the rest of June. It's currently free, but Wacom should do a little more work on this app to warrant the $2 they will charge starting on July 1.

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