Stylus-based Android note app that syncs with Google Drive

What I wanted

Stylus based note taking app which can take notes as good as S Note, AND save to and open from Drive / sync with Drive, allowing edit of Drive files from within app or from within Drive itself.

Apps tested

S Note

I can sync the files manually into Drive, but I won’t be able to retrieve them in a nice way in the future because they are stored only as thumbnails.

LectureNotes

Stylus features:

  • Very good (pressure sensitive, different styles, etc.)
  • Can cut and move pieces

Export/import:

    • Can export single pages as pgn
    • Can export multiple pages as .zip
  • This .zip file contains a bunch of .png files. You can import them from within the app, but you can’t go into Google Drive and open the file with your app. If you import it and edit, then upload again, it will create another copy with the same name. It can’t edit and save directly. In addition, importing seems to be done only in an existing notebook, not creating a new notebook.
  • Can export multiple pages as PDF to Drive, but can’t edit those PDF files.

Summary benefits:

  • Saves in PNG
  • Very good stylus functions

Summary negatives:

  • Can not edit files with multiple pages because 1) it can’t edit pdf files, and 2) multiple page files are saved as a zip file containing multiple .png files, which makes it impossible to edit them in Drive (although you can of course edit them in the note app by downloading from within app, editing, then uploading – but very clumsy way to do that)

To solve this, I installed the app FolderSync, which syncs a LectureNotes folder with a Google Drive folder. I’ve tested both ways and it works well.

Solution

Use LectureNotes and FolderSync together, this fulfills all criteria.

(Note: I could not do this with the app S Note since it saves the files in a custom format.)

(Note 2: This method may be possible with other note taking apps than LectureNotes, but I think LectureNotes was good enough so I did not test others. Another contender may be Papyrus – but I have not checked how and in which file format it saves its notes. If it is PNG or another common file format, then the method would work just as well on it, or any other note taking app.)

One thought on “Stylus-based Android note app that syncs with Google Drive

  1. Kermit Kordell Post author

    A quick update: It turns out FolderSync isn’t very good for the purposes of syncing LectureNotes (although it is in itself a really nice and easy to use tool which I really like, so it is a shame that this issue which I am about the explain makes it not work for LectureNotes in particular).

    The reason is, it doesn’t sync renaming files.

    That, it turns out, messes up FolderSync pages when you move, delete or add pages because in FolderSync, that creates renames – which get overwritten from Drive since renames don’t sync. To solve this, I downloaded the sync app “Drive Autosync” which works wonderfully.

    Reply

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