Annotate Office Documents on your iPad or iPhone



The iPad is a great companion in business. It lets you have all your files and documents with you, taking notes or collaborate with colleagues – all with one beautiful and handy device.

Numerous of apps are available on the App Store that support your workflows. They often support a lot of functionality, which is derived from standard applications from traditional PC’s or notebooks, but the downside is this mobile devices require different ways to interact with an app. Ease of use is key to be productive with an iPad.

Until now I have not found the right app that lets me use my iPad in meetings like I am used to with my laptop or even printouts.

There are several limitations:

  • Apps that support annotating PDFs are often very difficult to handle and it takes too long for fast note taking. Typing is on an iPad much faster than handwriting.
  • Adding notes to non PDF files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) is not possible without the document editor itself or prior converting to PDF.
  • You need to switch between file preview and note editing when you use a different app for note taking. That makes you also slow.

Because of that no app I have tried so far really convinced me. Thus it was time to create “FileNotes”.

FileNotes should exactly address the needs I have to be productive in meetings:

  • Previewing a large number of file types.
  • Adding text notes which are directly linked to the file.
  • Taking notes without leaving the preview.
  • Sending notes back to e-mail recipients or exporting to other storage locations.

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  1. Mark 4 years ago

    Great, thanks for letting me know!

  2. Mark 4 years ago

    I was able to install it. It’s still requiring me to open the app on the iPhone before the list of notes is displayed on the Apple Watch. When I first open the app on the watch, there is a timer that just counts up by 1 second, not sure what that’s for.

    • oliko 4 years ago

      Ah, too bad. The counter is to see how long the watch app is trying to get data from the iPhone app. 1 sec is not that much. With launching the watch app requests the data from the iPhone app and if this is is not running it forces the iPhone to launch the app. But for some reason this is either not working or iPhone takes too long. Problem is, I could not yet reproduce this on the watch simulator to figure what the reason is.
      Will go on investigating.

      Thanks for your support.

      • Mark 4 years ago

        I just installed the 2nd beta and it seems to be working now! Thank you for the quick turnaround. I’ll continue to test and see how it performs after sitting idle.

        • oliko 4 years ago

          Great! I saw that I missed to set a flag that lets the iPhone app running in background mode.

          • Mark 4 years ago

            The beta app just expired. Are you able to upload a new build or will you be releasing an app update soon? I am unable to use the app until there is an update.

          • oliko 4 years ago

            The new release is already in Apple’s review process and waiting for approval. Hope they will release soon.

          • oliko 4 years ago

            Now it is available on the App Store

          • oliko 4 years ago

            A new build should also be available in TestFlight.

  3. Mark 5 years ago

    I have an iPhone 6 with about 12 files in the inbox. This occurs every time so the watch app is unusable unless I open the app on the iPhone, then I see the files load on the watch.

    • oliko 5 years ago

      Do you allow me to invite you to test a new app version before published to the App Store? If yes you’ll receive an email with download instructions.

  4. Mark 5 years ago

    Hello, thanks for porting File Notes to the Apple Watch. However, the notes won’t load on my watch unless I open the app on my iPhone first. Will you be updating soon to fix the issue?

    • oliko 5 years ago

      Thanks Mark. Will check this and update soon.

      • Mark 5 years ago

        Great, thank you!

        • oliko 5 years ago


          just checked and could not figure that issue. What iPhone are you using and how many files have you got in your inbox? As I have to use the simulator (Watch delivery times in GER are quite long), could be a performance topic while syncing. Is this every time the case or only the first time using the watch app?

          Thanks, Oliver

  5. Ari 5 years ago


    Thanks for a nice app File Notes.
    Is it possible to pay off the ads?

    Kind regards,

    • oliko 5 years ago

      Hello, Ari,

      Next version will come soon with ad removal option and iCloud sync.

      Thanks for using the app.


    • John Gallagher 4 years ago


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