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Getting Organized with the Samsung Galaxy Note II

By Paul O’Reilly

Despite surrounding myself with electronic gadgets, I have always been an inveterate note-taker. And I’m not just talking about the odd ‘message to self’ on the back of an envelope. I like to make lists – and lots of them. To-do lists; book lists; app lists; shopping lists. Whatever’s in my head, I like to write it all down and file it away for future reference.

In the old days, that meant carrying around a journalist-style notebook, which I could pull from my coat pocket and flip open at a moment’s notice. But that was before smartphones and tablets took over the world, and carrying a notebook became a little like wearing shoulder pads or owning a pet rock.

But despite the digital revolution, I have never really been comfortable making the transition to electronic notes. Most note-taking apps are an afterthought, bolted on to a Calendar or Contacts function. So-called productivity apps allow little room for customization, and you end up adapting your notes to suit the app developer rather than the other way around.

There are also hardware issues. Smartphones tend to be too small for fast, efficient typing and most tablets are too big to fit in a jacket or jeans pocket. Finally, those rigidly impersonal onscreen keyboards eliminate the all-important doodle. (No self-respecting note-taker uses emoticons!)

However, despite all the issues, my digital note-taking has recently undergone a magical transformation. The reason? The Samsung Galaxy Note II.

If you just want a phone, then the Galaxy Note II is probably too big. And if you want a tablet, then the Galaxy Note II is undoubtedly too small. But if you want a communication device that is also one of the most efficient and user-friendly organizational tools that you’ve ever owned, then the Galaxy Note II is, as Goldilocks would say, just right.

The Galaxy Note II is crammed full of features and apps, including an amazing camera, state-of-art music and media hubs, and the S Voice personal assistant. But it is the S Pen feature and the associated array of S Pen apps that set this device apart from its rivals.

The S Pen is a pressure sensitive stylus that is neatly tucked into the body of the phone. Press on the side of the pen and double-tap any screen and up pops an S Note. You can drag and position the S Note anywhere on the screen and scribble away as much as you want. (You can even use the keyboard if you prefer.) You can save all your notes, edit them at any time, and delete them when they are no longer required. And none of your note-taking interferes with any other apps that are running at the same time.

And the S Pen lets you do far more than write notes. You can edit and highlight documents, use gestures to open applications or perform select tasks (Quick Command), navigate anywhere on the Galaxy Note II device, and even hover over features and applications to get a preview (Air View). The S Pen is a device within a device, transforming the Galaxy Note II into a virtual sketchpad for business or pleasure.

A productive day is all about getting organized, and for me, that means taking some notes along the way. The Samsung Galaxy Note II gives me back the power of the pen – the S Pen!

The 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy Note II is available from Verizon Wireless for $299.99 with a 2-year contract.

The Online Mom LLC receives a fee for participating in certain promotional programs for Verizon Wireless. All opinions are my own.

Follow Paul on Twitter.

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