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Review: Jot It
by Robert Werlinger on Monday, Aug 16, 2010

Note taking applications are quickly becoming a dime a dozen in the App Catalog, and only the ones that take a unique approach or offer high levels of functionality can hope to succeed. Jot It, which is currently selling for $1.99 in the App Catalog, doesn’t offer much more in terms of functionality that its contemporaries in the catalog, but the way it approaches user interface is indeed unique.  

Features and use

 The first thing you’ll notice when you start the app is that the card it lives in closes almost immediately, leaving you with an icon in the notification area. Tapping on the notification area brings up a small menu enabling you to look at all of your notes in Jot It! or add a new note. It’s a unique approach to be sure, but I get a fair deal of text messages and emails throughout the day, and I’d prefer to have the notification area saved for items that I need to act on, not static controls for a passive application. 

Note creation is straight forward. Tap on “Add Note” and you’re taken directly into the note creation scene where you can start typing right away, as well as pick which category your note will live in. You can have up to 5 user defined categories at any one time that can be modified with different names and colors to differentiate them. There isn’t a “title” field, so the first line in a note ends up being the title. Thankfully, the entire list of notes – which are scanned in their entirety – can easily be searched from the All Notes scene by simply beginning to type. 

The preferences menu could stand an overhaul, as the entirety of the configuration options reside in one big, long, monochromatic list and is hard on the eyes. From here, you can set notes to be automatically emailed to a specified email address upon creation or edit, categories can be turned on or off and renamed, category colors picked and more.  

I did run into some performance issues while testing the app. I’d occasionally run into the dreaded “Too many cards” error when I was only running the application, and I’d occasionally have notifications come in only to be displayed as large white rectangles. None of them were show stoppers, but they were significant enough to bear mentioning.   


In the end, Jot It is very much a run of the mill note taking app, and its biggest differentiator – that one of the most important part of its UI sits in the notification area – ends up being more of a hindrance as it can add clutter to an already busy aspect of the UI in webOS.  While I do laud the developer for thinking outside of the box, I’d much prefer more robust note management capabilities, such as categories, to novel uses of the notification area. Beyond that, markup options beyond the basics are missing, and efficient note management methods are absent.   If you’re looking for anything resembling a robust word processing/note taking application, you should go for the excellent Scratch word processor instead.

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