New stuff I'm grooving on: Noteshelf, Pogo, and Picplz

I'm sipping my second cup of coffee after another 12-hour corpselike sleep and before a straggler shift tonight. What to do other than ramble about cool stuff I've unearthed in the last day? First, I've posted a ridiculous number of times on here and Twitter about my bizarre agonizing regarding how best to journal. I have seriously wasted probably an entire day out of my life pondering this weighty issue. Today, for the first time in months, I have a solution I feel good about. I can tell I'll stick with it for some time because I've ceased to deliberate about the issue. My brain cells are breathing a sigh of relief, because really, there are so MANY other things to obsess about.

The answer: Pogo stylus, iPad app Noteshelf, and Dropbox and/or Evernote. Do you hear the angels singing? (If so, obtain medication.)

I have been pondering a stylus for some time and finally bought a green Pogo stylus from the local Mac store (where I'm "in the system," which makes me nervous). I bought it because I read about the iPad app Noteshelf [$4.99; iTunes link], which appeared to be about what I wanted. Notably, no pun intended, it allows you to write, draw, and include photos and then export the material in usable forms. Bonus: you can include emoticons. These features allow me to exactly duplicate what I used my Moleskines for---only without the laborious printing and gluesticking. You can create a bunch of different notebooks, use a bunch of different colors and thicknesses for the pen, and write around or even on imported photos (which you can pinch and rotate before plunking them down). It's got a wrist guard function that can be toggled on or off, and it intelligently moves down the page as you write so your hand doesn't "write" on the iPad while it rests there.

It gets better. You can export your work to Dropbox and Evernote. If to the latter, the handwriting text recognition works passably well even for my admittedly wretched handwriting. You can add, remove, and rearrange pages; you can export as PDFs or images. It would be difficult to add any more flexibility. So far, the only improvement I can think of is the ability to type into a text box.

I am pleased.

Second, I've been using Instagram because it's fun and shares to lots of places, but I woke up this afternoon to Picplz updates that will, I think, cause me to switch. The updates allow Picplz to be a Twitpic replacement that shares to Tumblr, Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook (you can toggle per-post) and has filters. You can also upload from the camera roll. It beats Instagram because the photos look better (I'll wait patiently for high res) somehow and you get a page with all your pics, a la Twitpic, yFrog, et al. That bugs me about Instagram: without the app you can't see all your photos. Picplz's Web page does, and it allows you to like, share, and comment. The app allows geotagging, like Instagram, only because it has a Web page you have a "Places" tab. I've heard tell that the filters aren't as good, but frankly there are half a dozen per app and both look stylized quickly. If I want funky filters I have 100 iPhone apps I can use before uploading from my photo roll. It would be groovy if Picplz photos would show up inline in Twitter apps, but that's pretty new for Instagram too, so I imagine it will be only a short while.