Get note-tastic with Squid

Squid is an app that allows you to take handwritten notes on your smartphone or tablet. Is it as easy and simple as that?

There is a chance you’re already familiar with this product. Previously known as Papyrus until some trademark issues were discovered- the newly spruced up, and preferably named in my opinion, Squid is an app that allows you to take handwritten notes on your smartphone or tablet.

You can import PDFs from your device and other cloud storage facilities such as Dropbox and Box and add your notes and editing suggestions with Squid. I don’t believe it is the best tool for collaboration and document editing on the market but where it really comes into its own is for reviewing and quick mark ups. So if you have a sales proposal or a contract that has been drawn up and just needs the final approval Squid is the perfect tool for highlighting any concerns and drawing attention to any imperfections.
Squid is also useful for people who do a lot of reading and researching on line, particularly students and and scientists who often have to download academic journalists as part of their course work or research projects. Squid allows them to easily identify interesting sections and isolate any ideas and concepts they may want to explore.
[su_pullquote]If Squid is going to become a regular staple of your productivity tool belt then I recommend investing in a stylus. [/su_pullquote]While it is possible to use your finger to circle and underline sections when note taking, a stylus would definitely be more convenient and less clumsy.

The zoom function allows you to hone in on specific parts of text and still keeps the resolution perfectly clear. You can upload images and use Squid to collaborate and get creative with suggestions. This is particularly useful when trying to decide on a company logo or get the team’s opinion on images for a website. People can highlight the elements they like and provide suggestions to help improve team collaboration. The functions for playing with images themselves are fairly limited at the moment, you can circle, highlight, crop, add text however these are only available when you purchase the extended tool pack (€3.30).

Get ready to pay…

Squid is available on Android, Kindle Fire and windows devices. The free version only allows you to avail of the primary note taking function. In order to be able to work with PDFs and the automatic cloud backup you must purchase these as add-ons (€5.59 for PDF function and €3.30 for backup) which seems a wee bit cheeky since most productivity apps have an integrated backup system these days. All of this in addition to the having to purchase the extended tool kit means you end up paying quite a bit for functions that aren’t as intuitive as the cost would suggest.
Another drawback is the scrolling function. By using two fingers to scroll down you run the risk of scribbling all over your document if your fingertips don’t register properly. While this error is probably down to me not being precise enough it can still be a hassle if you are working quickly.

Squid won the Popular Choice Award for its functionality in the “Dual Screen App Challenge” this means you can have Squid on a separate screen while you use your device to check other apps and resources while your team continues to work with Squid. At meetings you can share Squid on a presentation screen and people can make annotations that everyone can see without having to write on a whiteboard.

Overall Squid is a tool that is on the fast track to a world of #happywork and collaboration but you need to avail of all the Squid features in order to use it as intelligently as possible. I can’t wait to see what they have in the pipeline for this app.

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