Chrome has some really impressive extensions which can serve as full fledged web app instead of being just another add-on which is the case with Firefox. Scratchpad is one such full fledged extension, which in simple terms lets you jot down your notes even when offline, and sync them to your Google Drive account when you are online. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
Now Why Scratchpad?
Why on earth will you need another note taking app when you already have excellent apps like Evernote, Springpad or even Microsoft’s own OneNote? Well I would go for the following simple yet powerful features of Scratchpad for Chrome.
- It can sync your notes automatically to Google Drive, something missing in almost every popular note taking app present on the market today.
- Added bonus is ability to store the notes even when you are offline. A lot of note taking apps require the users to be logged in always to use it.
- Simple and very Intuitive UI with basic text formatting support, which is more than welcome and usually found missing in many apps which are littered with features so much so that it gets intimidating to use them.
Getting Around with Scratchpad
Once you install Scratchpad in Chrome, you can easily access Scratchpad by either
- Launching the Scratchpad icon in the New tab page (Apps) OR
- Accessing it from the Chrome icon present in the taskbar
In a cooler way, you can just create a shortcut of Scratchpad on your Desktop, Start Menu or Taskbar so that you can launch Scratchpad directly. To do so right click Scratchpad icon in the New tab page and select Create shortcut.
As mentioned earlier the interface is extremely simple and intuitive. I personally give extra brownie points to Scratchpad for the good UI coherence it maintains with Google Drive, which makes the whole experience with Google Drive Sync feel very natural.
The main editing interface features all the basic formatting options like Font selection, numbering, bullets, strike through, and more are all present. As soon as you finish editing your notes, they are seamlessly synced to your Google Drive account, so you can basically stop bothering about saving your notes.
The app does precisely what it advertises on the Chrome web store, and that makes Scratchpad an permanent entry in my list of best extensions developed for Chrome.
One nifty feature in scratchpad is that you can directly take notes by selecting text/image from Chrome and sending it to Scratchpad via the context menu (right click ). Of course you would be now glad to know that Scratchpad does support images. Though if you want to add images to Scratchpad you need to drag and drop the file directly to the Scratchpad window.
You would be better off keeping Springpad open always by keeping it pinned to the browser as an app tab. In fullscreen mode Scratchpad works elegantly. The combo of these two can be a deadly productivity booster in my personal opinion.
Scratchpad is one of the most useful extension you can get for Chrome, unlike many extensions in Chrome which end up being mere bookmarks with huge fancy icons. Anyone who wishes to be able to take notes with minimal fuss that is synced across different devices should definitely consider Scratchpad as a good solution.