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(Updated review on note-taking apps for iPhone and iPad here.)

I have both Momo and Awesome Notes on my iPhone. You may find it a bit weird that I keep two note-taking apps on my phone at the same time but in fact, they serve different purposes.

I’m a private music teacher and I keep teaching notes / records. For this purpose, I go with Momo for three reasons:

  1. tagging system – a huge advantage for people who takes loads of notes everyday. The way I use it is I tag notes with my students’ names so that I can have a good view of notes I’ve taken in one particular student’s lesson so far in one single list.  The folder system in Awesome Notes doesn’t really work for this purpose. If I wanna do this is Awesome Notes, I’ll need, maybe, 20 folders – way too many for Awesome Note’s home screen. And even if I wanna go with folder system, there’s “Favorite tags and Smart tags" in Momo that I may include several tags in a “smart tag" and that “smart tag" will become a folder-like thing.
  2. Calendar – users may pick a day in calendar view to see notes taken on a particular day. The date with notes are highlighted so user may see if there’s note on a particular date.
  3. “preview" – it shows up to 2-3 lines of each note on the list so that I don’t need to open the note to know what’s inside. Very handy when I just wanna have a peep of what I taught the student previously.

For Awesome Notes, I use it for some totally different purposes:

  1. Todo list – I may choose to add “todo" as a tag in Momo but then there’s no icon badge and no due date to be set. In Awesome Notes, I can set due date very easily (pretty good user interface, really) and I can actually check it off when it’s done. I can also put todos in different folders to mark their categories, say “home", “work"…etc.
  2. Sermon notes – Right, I can take sermon notes in Momo as well… but Awesome Notes has some much prettier / funnier background theme. I do need something more fancy to keep my incentive (!) on taking Sermon Notes… I used to take sermon notes in Momo before I bought Awesome Notes.

Here’s a simple comparison between the two apps:

[Update: Awesome Note is only 3.99 and it has calendar view now.Date and time are also adjustable. It doesn’t have bullet point yet. Momo has it though.]

Yes, I’ve finally bought the game – on sale now: only USD0.99! Simply can’t resist it.

I basically enjoy playing most time-management games. I’ve got Sally’s Salon; I’ve got Sally’s Spa; Now I have Supermarket Mania! All bought at the price USD 0.99! Great deal!

Supermarket Mania… well, after playing Sally’s Salon and Sally’s Spa, I managed to get Excellent (there’re two ranks: Day Completed or Excellent – obviously Excellent requires more “skills") in all levels except one: 5-7 Customers Waiting. It took me like two days or three playing through it for I-don’t-remember-how-many times, and still just couldn’t get it! Then I googled it and found someone suggesting one pretty silly and time consuming method but it worked!

So, what’s game about? It’s basically about being a shop keeper. The job is to 1) keep shelves full. If it runs out of stock, customers will only wait for a limited time then they’ll leave the shop; 2) pick up garbages made by teenagers who love throwing things off the shelves – you can stop them by touching the shop guard. If a customer gets tripped over by a garbage, he/she will leave the shop ; 3) catch thieves – touch the guard when the icon above the thieves is shaking then the thieves will pay for it.

There’s a bonus function that will make all customers in the shop go clear the shelves like crazy. It’s available in most levels, but not all. When it’s there, it certainly helps reaching the Excellent requirement.

That’s it! Simple and straight forward.

The problem about level 5-7 is there’s no bonus function there. There’re three thieves and I managed to catch them all. Still, the best I could get was around $2130 but I need $2300 to meet Excellent. So, I followed that rather stupid trick found in a game forum and yet still couldn’t get it.

Ok, the trick is this: Don’t stop the teenagers from throwing things of the shelves. Each garbage worths $1. Let them run around but make sure no customer gets tripped over. In the end, one teenager will stay behind after the shop is closed. He will keep throwing things around and you just keep picking up the garbages. He will keep throwing and throwing… you just keep picking things up.

I tried it quite a number of times but that teenager doesn’t always stay behind! Eventually, there was this time that he’s finally staying behind but then he doesn’t throw things around long enough to let me earn enough money. Then several trials later, I finally have this boy stays behind like forever! I started picking garbage up from somewhere around $1870. And I just keep picking up all the way till it goes up to around $2250. $2250-$1870=$380! Which means… I’ve made 380+ touches to pick up all the garbages (putting the garbages into the bin requires one more touch)! It must have taken like 5 minutes just for picking the garbages!

It was a painful process… but hey, now I’ve got Excellent in all levels! LOL

Saw  another “free" iphone app through in Appsniper:


The best part, of course, is that it’s free though its original price is only USD1.99. Well, 1.99 is still a good price. I think it’s a must have for Mac users. To use it, Mac users also have to download “ACTprinter Mac" onto one’s own Mac. What it does is it adds a “print to iphone" option to “print" functions in applications. It is handy when you are currently working on the file you want to send to iphone. Then you don’t have to look for the file in Finder, then connect to iphone server, then drag and drop it and wait for it to crawl through wifi. The transfer on ACTprinter is pretty fast, btw. Haven’t got time to check how many file types it can handle but I’ve tried picture in mail and iwork Pages file. Both worked out fine.

How it is inferior to Air Sharing, Files etc. is:

1/no scroll bar – hard to read long docs

2/can’t drag and drop a large bunch of file at the same time

So, I’ll be keeping both Air Sharing and ACTprinter. Air Sharing has recently updated and added a scroll bar, which is very handy for scrolling through long files like ABRSM syllabus (100 pages long…).

Back then, if you wanna save money, the best way to do it is to lock yourself at home and you won’t spend a penny.
Now, thanks to the internet, spending really doesn’t require much effort. Key in a bunch of numbers plus a few clicks and there goes your money.
With iTunes store, it’s even faster and easier to spend. I don’t even need to key in too many things except my password, I am spending. With wifi on ipod touch/iphone, I don’t even need to get out of my bed to spend money through itunes app store!
Just a few hours ago, I woke up my ipod touch and tapped on the Appsniper icon… wow! There’s this Japanese-English dictionary (with hand-written kanzi search function) on sale. Its original price was USD19.99 but it is now FREE! Free for one day only as new year discount… oh! How can I miss it? Tap… tap… password… downloading and installing… Here it comes to my ipod touch! How easy it is!

You may have a taste of how good it is here:

I simply love spending on itunes store. Don’t worry… I’m not spending that much on it. I usually focus on free apps only except for the really useful ones. “I am cheap!" Everyone should learn this positive thinking statement.

Finally took the time to figure out how to store youtube videos on ipod touch and am really enjoying it.

Thanks to RealPlayer11 that comes with RealPlayer Downloader that downloads videos available in browser (including youtube videos).
However, the downloaded video will be in .flv format, which is not supported on ipod/iphone. So, I need a something that can convert .flv file into .mp4 file. A friend suggested an online converter to me but it took forever to convert a file (maybe just an individual case), so I gave it up.
And I found iSquint – a freeware that does that work perfectly well. The conversion is fast and there’s this microwave “ding" sound when conversion is finished. Somehow I really do enjoy that sharp “ding"!

Well, these are actually nothing new just that I didn’t bother to put videos on my ipod touch. But that night I suddenly wanted to put some videos of Philippe Jaroussky and Yo-yo Ma and many others on my ipod touch, and so I took the time to figure out how to do it. 

I know I can tap on that “youtube" icon on the ipod touch to watch youtube videos but 1) it needs internet connection; and 2) it takes time to download a video. I’d rather have them stored. Besides, some videos may be removed after some time due to whatever reason… having them stored is safer =P

I have these two little girls who take lessons together back to back in studio. I use the ipod touch to keep teaching notes so I always have it at the corner of the piano. We were having lesson the other day as usual and somehow the older sister saw my ipod and got curious with it. She pressed on the home button and unlocked it. There, she saw the BibleXpress icon (I keep it at the dock for easy access) and exclaimed, “Oh! You have Jesus in your iPod!"

She pressed on that small icon and that lead her to Genesis 7 of The Message version. (Great that it’s got The Message version in the app – easier English and the kids can understand it relatively more easily.) Then she began to ask questions about Noah. Since she could swipe to go to previous and next chapter, it really gave me a chance to tell the two little girls the Noah story, which lead to questions about who God is, why God doesn’t like bad guys, what will happen to the bad guys, hell, how to avoid going to hell, Jesus, and the whole salvation scheme. They’ve heard about Jesus but didn’t quite know who he really is and why he is related to us. Now they know. They’ve even learned how to pray. That lesson went overtime but the two girls were really excited to hear about God.
God does show Himself through all things – may it be big or small.

Didn’t take taxi yesterday and saved the money to buy this app from Appstore: Momo
Yes, Momo. A funny name but a useful app. It’s a note taking app that comes with a calendar that user can choose by dates on calendar to find notes. User may also search by tags or words. It also syncs with the web-Momo. Extremely useful for me – I just can’t really find what I want from a long list of notes. I use notes apps for taking teaching notes and jotting reminders and that sort. Getting old – can’t remember what I taught last week and begin to find it hard to “resume" teaching content… And then I have various kinds of notes to write. It’s really a very long list of notes.

The built-in NOTES is just really simple. I like the Steno pad look but it doesn’t have any categorization function.
I’ve tried YOUNOTE. It’s better as I can sort by “titles" but I need things to be sorted in different ways e.g. date, name, title, category… so on.
I’ve tried Iconic Notes. It’s nice that I can assign icon to each note so that I can find the note I want a bit easier. But when more notes are created… I get the same problem of not being able to find the icon I’m looking for. I’m kinda disabled in this.
All the above apps are free – that’s why I’ve tried them and am still keeping them. Just put them in pages at the back.

So, pros and cons for Momo:
1) Sync with web momo (that works with Google mail/app) and the sync process is extremely smooth
2) May choose note by date from calendar
3) Tag system allows easy categorization and sorting
4) Password protection
5) Got an online user forum where users may post their suggestions. My experience is developers are quick in response. In fact, they’ve just completed one of the suggestions users have raised in the past few days.

1) Arbitrary date/time not yet supported (available in web version though and the developers said that they’ve begun working on it already)
2) It’s not free – costs USD4.99 (I am cheap. I want freebies.)
3) It’s still very new – about 1-2 week old – so there’re still rooms for improvement but I do see a lot of potentials.
4) No landscape typing yet though developers said that they’re working on it. It’s not really a big deal for me – I have thin fingers.

七月 2020


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