CaptureNotes: Your Life, Color-CodedPosted on February 8, 2013 by
“I’m known for my handwritten notes.” ~ Pamela Anderson
You’re driving your Uncle Bugsy to the doctor when you spot a “for sale by owner” sign in front of a nice little brick house. You’re already running late, but you’ve been watching this house – it’s got a big blue tarp draped over the roof – for a couple of months now. You’ve got no pen and paper, and you won’t have time to stop later. Sure, you can snap a picture with your cellphone, but you’d really like to take some notes, too.
Unfortunately, Uncle Bugsy isn’t known for his patience, so you’re only going to have about a minute before he starts complaining about how inconsiderate kids are nowadays.
What should you do?
If you have an iPad, the solution is a great little app called CaptureNotes. CaptureNotes might look like just another note-taking application, but it’s not. Yes, it lets you do all the usual note-taking things: create notes, choose the type of paper and ink color, and doodle and scribble on a touch screen. So far, it’s pretty ordinary.
But there are three other things CaptureNotes does that make it really useful for us as real estate investors.
First, it has some pretty sophisticated bells and whistles. You can add photographs and record audio while you’re taking notes (say, in a seminar, or while you’re inspecting a house). And then you can draw or write on the picture. The app also uses searchable, customizable, color-coded flags as reminders (red for “to do,” for example, or green for “research needed.”). Those flags can even be used to tag a specific moment in the audio.
Second, it allows you to import PDF files and use them as templates. This is a great way to create standardized forms for specific uses. As an investor, I find that this kind of streamlining is a big part of my success – it allows me to spend more time on buying and selling properties, which is where the money is.
Finally, CaptureNotes provides a pretty painless way to back up your new files, simply by uploading them to Dropbox or iTunes.
Let me say something here about backing up your files. If you aren’t already backing up, please start! I’ve learned the hard way that it’s not a matter of IF your computer is going to crash. It’s a matter of WHEN. And it’s a pretty safe bet that it’ll go dead at the worst possible time. Please back it up!
So picture it: with the clock ticking (Uncle Bugsy is waiting, after all), you start a new notebook. Then you jump out of the car and take pictures of the FSBO sign, and various shots of the house. Now add those pictures to your note, and then circle things on the picture of the house that might be problematic. Go crazy and draw lots of arrows and circles. Then, flag something just for the heck of it. Between the flags and the ability to write and highlight in different colors, you’ll have an exciting, dynamic note that’s definitely useful and darned near artistic.
And that’s a beautiful thing.